Hemp oil, also known as hempseed oil, is extracted from the seeds of hemp plant, which belongs to the Cannabis genus. While Cannabis is marked by its abundant presence of THC- a chief psychoactive compound, you can find none of that chemical in hemp oil. Although the whole plant can be used for making oil, the one extracted from the seeds is of its best quality.
Hemp oil can come in different flavor depending on the way it is processed. Unrefined cold-pressed oil preserves its dark green color, unclear liquid and a somewhat pungent odor; whereas the filtered oil is transparent, lacks its original color and taste of unrefined hemp oil. Importantly, the reduction of natural look entails significant loss in nutrition values.
Nutritionally speaking, it is advised that you use the unrefined version of the oil for the sake of health benefits galore, which will be elaborated later in this article. Although it may smell quite strong and nutty at first, it is likely that you will love it not only for its natural nutty flavor but for a bunch of other concrete reasons as well. The advantage of refined oil is that it has longer lifetime, which enables it to become an active ingredient in soaps and other body care products. In contrast, unrefined oil finds itself beneficial in various organic treatments for health and beauty care, either topical or internal. To prevent unrefined hemp oil from going rancid quickly, you should store it in dark containers and place in a refrigerated environment. You should also buy unrefined hemp oil in small amount only because excessive storage may contaminate or lower its nutrition.
One of the most celebrated properties of hemp oil is its 3:1 ratio- the naturally balanced proportion- of omega 6 to omega 3, which exactly resembles that of human body. For this reason, hemp oil is considered the “Nature’s Perfect Food for Humanity”, the reservoir of health which everyone can resort to improve their long-term health condition.
Nutrition content of hemp oil
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA)
One of the most important nutrients of hemp oil is the unsaturated fatty acids, also known as the good fat, with 80% of total fatty content found in the oil. Such fatty acids are tremendously beneficial for the body to maintain an optimal condition. However, your body does not naturally provide it but relies on outside resources instead. And hemp seed oil is popular among nutritionists and health-conscious individuals for being the most unsaturated oil originated from plants. Western countries face the insufficient daily intake of essential fatty acids due to the diet that bases heavily on animal fats deprived from processing foods and meats instead of natural foods.
Studies reveal that hemp oil was once a daily dietary food worldwide because it was one of the first cultivated crops of human kind. Not only its seed, the whole hemp plant is edible, easily digests and packed with nutrients. However, in America, it has been banned and its information has been deliberately removed from literatures since 1930s and thus, hard to recollect now. Today, researchers are making great effort to bring back lost treasure of hemp oil so that people can reap off the enormous benefits it has to offer.
Omega 3 and omega 6
Omega 3 and omega 6 are two special fatty acids that are involved in maintaining sufficient energy throughout a human’s life that we cannot live without. They both come hand in hand in hemp oil, amazingly though, in the just-right combination. First, let’s look at their health benefits individually. After that, we will see why the amount of each element is so important.
Apart from being mainly responsible for proper function of organs, brain cells and a healthy cardiovascular system, omega 3 can also help reduce inflammation, mitigate excessive cognitive decline and maintain good metabolism. A deficiency in omega 3 is revealed through a wide range of symptoms including: growth retardation, physical weakness, decreased vision and learning ability, impaired motor coordination, trembling limbs and behavioural disorders. The less extreme forms of omega 3 shortage involve high blood pressure, dry skin, mental slowness and some types of immune dysfunction.
Similarly, omega 6 performs various roles that help your body operate at its best. It acts as a safeguard officer who reacts in response to outside stressors or bacteria, alerting the immune system to get ready. Omega 6 also helps produce energy, protect the body from food allergies and maintain proper functioning of heart tissue. Lastly, you will find omega 6 especially useful when you need energy to recover from tiredness or fatigue.
Lack of omega 6 supply can result in several health conditions such as: Eczema, hair loss, problems with organs and glands such as kidney, sterility in men and miscarriage in women, vulnerability to infections, cardiovascular problems, growth retardation and behavioural changes.
The gold ratio of omega 3 versus omega 6
No other organic food has such a unique property as hemp oil: it contains the perfect balanced 3:1 ratio of omega 3 and omega 6. Human body needs these two essential fatty acids, but only in a moderate and proportionated amount. Excessive consumption of these can cause pro-inflammatory behaviors, which is the premise of all types of inflammatory diseases we might have known about
Researches have repeatedly shown that many common diseases are closely associated with deficiencies or imbalances of those special fatty acids in the body. As mentioned above, missing any of those essential fatty contents can cause illness at various degrees. In addition, an immoderate supplementation of them, especially within a short period of time, may lead to negative health issues. For this reason, hemp oil is considered the “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil”.
Hemp oil is also highly concentrated with antioxidants (vitamin E), carotene (forerunner of vitamin A), phytosterols, alongside with a number of microelements such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, chromium and a small portion of iron and zinc. Those minerals are also important in keeping yourself fit and healthy.
Benefits of hemp oil
Hemp oil contains a variety of nutrients that make it become a valuable herbal treatment for multiple human bodies’ organs, including hair, skin, brain, metabolism, immune system and other problems related to deficiency of fatty acid content.
1. Hemp oil for hair
Hemp oil is beneficial to your hair thanks to the high presence of fatty acids and vitamins. You can easily find many non-industrial herbal hair care products like shampoos, massage oils, conditioners, … that has hemp seed oil as the main ingredient. Hemp oil comes without any significant side effects in most cases if used in moderation. For external uses, you only need to remember to wash it carefully after applied on scalp and hair. Some of the best way to treat your hair with this Cannabis originated plant oil is to use it in your massage therapy, which will boost blood circulation; therefore, removes dead cells, promotes hair growth and resilience. Using hemp oil together with shampoo and conditioner over a period of time can moisturize your hair and improves its texture, bringing you fresh and silky hair you dream of. Such common scalp problems like dandruff, itchiness and infection can also be cured using hemp oil.
2. Hemp oil for skin
The fatty components of hemp oil also benefit the skin as well. They regenerate and energize the skin’s protective layer using rich content of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Actually, with such elements, hemp oil resembles the skin lipids, which allow the oil to become an excellent natural emollient and moisturizer. It is especially recommended for people with dry skin type or those suffer from dry, dehydrated skin and nails due to environmental factors. The additional benefit of using hemp oil regularly is that it provides anti-aging effects. The antioxidants fully packed in hemp oil will revitalize your skin complexion and slow down the appearance of wrinkles.
Additionally, the component of polyunsaturated fatty acids in hemp oil is highly anti-inflammatory. Therefore, it can greatly improve conditions of eczema with a daily intake of 1-2 spoons on a regular basis.
3. Hemp oil for brain
Having omega 3 and omega 6, hemp oil if taken internally could benefit you in similar way that salmon or other omega-packed food have on your overall health as well as your nervous system. Those essential fatty acids are necessary in maintaining a healthy brain cell’s membrane structure. They also prevent the destruction of myelin sheath, which protects the brain’s neurons and makes sure that they function properly.
For this reason, hemp oil is recommended in special diet of people with multiple sclerosis, a rare and dangerous disease in which nervous system deteriorates.
4. Hemp oil for other health issues
Maintains hormonal balance
Hemp oil is good for women in menopause because it supports the changing process of hormonal levels in the body. This is because it contains gamma-linolenic acid, which finally transformed into the protective hormone prostaglandin PGE, regulates hormonal balance and aid menopausal health.
Being the only vegetable oil with the right balance of omega 3 and omega 6, hemp oil helps lower cholesterol levels by enhancing metabolism. A healthier metabolic process allows fat to burn more quickly instead of clinging onto the artery wall.
Good for Diabetics
Being high in good fat and low in sugar and carbohydrate content, hemp oil is a dietary supplementation for people with diabetes. The good nutrients in this oil will act as moderator of blood sugar levels and keep them under control.
As discussed above, omega 3 and omega 6 is responsible for proper human function in many ways. One of the sicknesses that result from deficiency of these essential fatty acids is psoriasis. Hemp oil helps improve skin oxygenation and hydration.
Boost your immunity
Not only beneficial for brain and other organs, the content of essential fatty acids and other micro elements in hemp oil are extremely beneficial for your overall health in terms of building a strong immune system and regulating intestinal flora. Thus, daily intake of hemp oil can naturally bring you a protective barrier against harmful bacteria and promote your physical resilience.
Some precautions when using hemp oil
You should keep in mind these safe measures in order to apply hemp oil safely and effectively.
- It should not be heated. High temperature may very well turn the good fats in hemp oil into saturated fats. Therefore, hemp oil should not be used for frying.
- It should not be used in high doses. As large consumption of this Cannabis plant oil can lead to nausea or diarrhea, it should be kept away from children and adults should use in moderation only.
- It has anticoagulant property. Hemp oil has the anti-clotting effect on the blood. Therefore, those with heart disease who take blood thinners should avoid hemp oil or must consult doctors before use.
There are so many good benefits of hemp oil that its popularity is increasing worldwide. With careful research and understanding about this Cannabis originated plant oil, you can reap off the most powerful benefits of hemp oil in many ways.