Hemp oil is the most frequently misunderstood of all the oils, but it packs plenty of health benefits. Most of that misunderstanding comes from its association with marijuana. But hemp oil is made from pressed hemp seeds and has absolutely no psychoactive properties. Now that industrial hemp is once again becoming legal in large parts of the country, hemp oil is making a comeback. To clear some of the confusion, we researched the health benefits of hemp oil.
Promotes Skin Health
Hemp oil is often found in beauty products due to its ability to moisturize and heal dry skin. Using hemp oil will help maintain elasticity of the skin and reduce wrinkles. Hemp oil will strengthen your skin and has antiviral and antifungal properties. Hemp oil can also be applied topically to treat eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne. By using hemp seed oil, the skin is strengthened and more able to resist bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
A study done in 2010 suggests that the compounds found in hemp oil, called cannabidiols or CBDs, have antimicrobial properties that are suggested to be effective in treating vancomycin resistant MRSA pathogens.
Use for Healthy Hair and Scalp
Many shampoos, hair oils, and conditioners contain hemp oil. Using these products can help thicken your hair and keep dandruff at bay while reducing hair loss and scalp infections thanks to its antifungal properties.
Use for a Healthy Heart
The fatty acids found in hemp seed and hemp oil are great for boosting cardiac and vascular health. Incorporating hemp seed or hemp oil into your diet will provide a good source of these fatty acids which helps reduce the risk of developing coronary disease.
Hemp is a good source of plant-based protein
Hemp protein is a good supplement for vegans or anyone looking for good source of plant-based protein.
Hemp protein is more easily digested compared to whey protein and many people report that they do not experience bloating that they would otherwise have with whey protein.
Hemp seed and hemp oil promote healthy digestion
Hemp seed is a good source of fiber, which plays an important part in digestive health. Hemp oil does not contain fiber, but can be taken with fish oil to maintain digestive health in the gut.
The products of industrial hemp are paper, textiles, plastic, and fuel in the form of hemp biodiesel. Using hemp instead of wood pulp has the potential to replace trees as the major source for paper production among many other benefits. Hemp grows faster than trees, doesn’t require toxic bleaching chemicals, and lasts longer than paper made from wood pulp. Approximately one acre of hemp produces the equivalent of four acres of trees.
Good Source of Fatty Acids and Nutrients
Consuming hemp seed or hemp oil regularly in our diet provides an abundant source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a plant derived fatty acid. Alpha-linolenic acid is essential for proper organ function and regular consumption helps to prevent heart disease, arthritis, depression, and can lower LDL cholesterol.
Hemp oil and hemp seeds are also a great way to supplement your diet with DHA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for the growth and development of the brain in infants and is required for maintenance of normal brain function in adults. Deficiency of DHA is associated with difficulties such as ADHD, cystic fibrosis, phenylketonuria, unipolar depression, and even aggressive hostility.
The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in hemp oil and hemp seeds are also extremely helpful in reducing depression and improving mood and cognition. In a study conducted by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation was studied in 49 patients that reported suffering from depression and self harm.
In addition to standard psychiatric care, study subjects were randomly assigned to receive 1200 mg EPA plus 900 mg DHA, or placebo, for 12 weeks. At the end of the treatment period, the group receiving omega-3 fatty acids reported significantly greater improvements in scores for depression, suicidal, and daily stresses compared to the placebo group. Additionally, having an adequate amount of DHA intake in your diet could better equip you to deal with stress when it arises.