If you have a penchant for finding natural remedies, then you will most likely have heard about the outstanding benefits of hemp oil and what they can do for your health. From improved cardiovascular function to smoother skin, it would seem that hemp oil is the next it-remedy we have all been searching for.
But what exactly is this ‘miraculous potion’ everyone seems to be talking about nowadays? Can hemp oil actually promote all of these amazing results? And are there any legal aspects we should be worrying about in the process? Let us discover this – and much more – further on.
What is hemp oil?
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As the name aptly suggests, hemp oil represents what results from the pressing and processing of hemp seeds. While usually associated with drug consumption, hemp actually has a wide variety of uses in the papermaking and textile industry (as a source of fiber), as well as insulation, animal feed, and biodegradable plastic.
While both cannabis and hemp share common roots in the Cannabis sativa plant, it is worth mentioning that their chemical structures vary greatly. Cannabis contains high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), which is the main psychoactive component responsible for the ‘high’ effects of this drug. Conversely, hemp has a significantly lower THC component and a much higher content of cannabidiol (or CBD), a cannabinoid element that counteracts THC and also gives you the healing properties normally linked to hemp oil.
Since hemp is one of the fastest growing and easily spreading plants known to man, it is simple to see how cross-contaminations between these varieties (and many others) might have occurred over time. Still, the goal of hemp oil products is to avoid elevated THC concentrations through modern manufacturing techniques for both legal and health-concerning reasons (since it can cause side effects like paranoia, nausea, anxiety attacks, etc.).
How does hemp oil work?
As a general rule, seeds are regarded as a wholesome source of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that boost the organism’s natural functions – and the hemp plant is no exception to this.
Approximately one-third of a hemp seed’s weight can be reduced to an oil format that contains essential fatty acids such as omega-3, omega-6, and linolenic acid. Essential fatty acids are considered to be ‘good’ (or unsaturated) fats, namely fat that does not have a negative impact on your cholesterol readings, cardiovascular wellness or even overall weight. In addition, hemp oil is full of minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc.) and vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin E, etc.).
The aforementioned nutrients present in hemp oil make it an ideal candidate for a whole array of human afflictions since this product goes to the core of any internal imbalance via the natural and organic route. Providing your organism with the nourishing elements it needs to heal itself can go a long way, which is why hemp oil can be so beneficial – by packing all of its antibacterial, anti-inflammatories, energizing, and mood-boosting qualities into a concentrated and simple to use format.
How should you use hemp oil?
Hemp oil is fit for human consumption and has been employed as such for thousands of years. One major advantage of hemp oil is its versatility, meaning that it can be used as cooking oil, a moisturizing body oil, a wood varnish, and pretty much everything in between.
Keep in mind that you should be very careful that your hemp oil brand of choice is of a good quality. For example, you should always aim to purchase cold-pressed, unrefined hemp oil, since its refined counterpart (namely oil which has been bleached and deodorized) has also been stripped of its natural properties through these ‘cosmetic’ transformations.
Although the shelf life of unrefined hemp oil is much more limited, it is nevertheless what you want in order to receive this product’s full set of health benefits. So be on the lookout for a type of oil that looks ‘cloudy’ or green-tinted and which smells nutty – this way you will know you are on the right track.
Like with most things in life, moderation is essential for getting the most out of what hemp oil has to offer. As such, you should stick to 1-2 tablespoons (or up to 30ml) of hemp oil per day so as to get a proper nutrient boost without going overboard either. Excessive hemp oil consumption can lead to unwanted side effects such as digestive problems, blood thinning, and THC sensibility.
What are the benefits of hemp oil?
Having learned how hemp seed works, we should, therefore, take a closer look at the many uses these properties have for us in store. Thus, here are some of the benefits you should expect while using CBD oil:
- Cardiovascular wellness – as mentioned before, hemp oil consumption has been more and more frequently linked to heart wellness over time. For example, one study showed that the omega-3 fatty acids such as those present in hemp oil protect your cardiovascular system against issues like inflammation, thrombosis, elevated blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and arrhythmias. These beneficial outcomes are owed to the fact that the fats present in hemp oil lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and regulate ‘good’ cholesterol levels, hence keeping you healthy and happy the natural way.
- Reduced inflammation – internal body inflammation can be caused by multiple factors like trauma, oxidative stress or chronic conditions (Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD, for instance). Luckily, hemp oil contains cannabidiol (or CBD, for short), a chemical compound that has analgesic properties and which also displays the capacity to ameliorate inflammatory responses within the organism. Hemp oil is equally packed with antioxidants that combat cellular damage that might be caused by inflammatory responses, leading to improved and quickened regeneration of your tissues.
- Meliorated arthritis – as you may know by now, arthritis represents a disease that mostly affects joints and which is characterized by pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility over time. Hemp oil has been used for the management and treatment of this affliction due to its ability to reduce inflammation and soothe discomfort. Research has shown that hemp seed oil has positive effects on rheumatoid arthritis by inhibiting the development of the cells which promote this condition, as well as having antioxidant effects on the body’s healthy tissues.
- Acne protection – the essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 present in hemp oil work wonders for your skin by providing just the right amount of moisture, as well as offering an antioxidant barrier against detrimental factors such as air pollution, germs, and even stress (which can trigger or worsen acne outbreaks). Whether you choose to use hemp seed oil-based cosmetic products like lotions and creams or just massaging the oil directly onto your skin, rest assured that you are doing a great service to your pores and overall complexion.
- Hormonal balance – it is a well-known fact that hormonal imbalances cause a lot of displeasure (especially for women) in the shape of mood swings and bodily changes (acne, fatigue, trouble handling stress, etc.). Whether natural (PMS or menopause, for instance) or the result of other health issues, these hormonal swings can become more manageable through hemp seed oil consumption. The cannabidiol found in this type of oil has been shown to eliminate hormonal surges, as well as improve mood and mental wellbeing (which are also common issues associated with hormonal imbalances).
- Smoother skin – the advantages presented by hemp oil for skin imply that you should not limit using this product only for your complexion. Due to its moisturizing and rejuvenating qualities, hempseed oil can be used to massage your entire body. Aside from preventing dry skin, it can also provide you with some relief in the case of problems like eczemas and psoriasis, which are as uncomfortable and they are difficult to otherwise keep under control. Including hemp seed oil into your regular diet is, therefore, a smart choice, since the nutrients can aid your organism ‘recover’ from within and leave you with glowing, healthy skin.
- A slimmer figure – the fact that hemp oil contains so many polyunsaturated fats can work to your advantage when trying to get into better shape. These healthy fats get quickly turned into energy by your metabolism instead of being formed into fat deposits. Moreover, hemp oil can also be used to reduce your appetite and curb any ‘unplanned’ cravings. So don’t hesitate in using hemp oil for salads, smoothies, or as a natural dietary supplement. The only precautions to remember are to not use too much of it at once and not utilize hemp oil for frying since it has a low smoke threshold.
- Boosted immunity – the interesting way in which hemp seed oil helps boost immunity might surprise you since it goes through a surprising route – your gut! If you did not know, almost 80% of your immune protection is located in your gastrointestinal system, hence giving a whole new meaning to the saying ‘you are what you eat’. Since it contains healthy fatty acids and exhibits antimicrobial effects upon consumption, hemp oil is able to both ease nutrient assimilation and get rid of unwanted ‘bad’ bacteria, in the end giving your immunity a much needed helping hand in the long-run.
- Enhanced mental focus – as we age or get more exposed to stress factors, we are more likely to experience a neurological process named demyelination. Demyelination takes place when the myelin layer which protects your nerves begins to degrade, generating mental issues and impairment. Conversely, the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from hemp oil target this damage and slow down its evolution, thus keeping you mentally sharp, focused, and overall more energized and balanced from a psychological standpoint.
- Better hair – it is no secret that modern beauty trends – straightening, bleaching, dying, etc – can leave your hair brittle and rough to the touch. This is where hemp oil comes in to restore shine and wellness to your locks. Applying hemp seed oil as a treatment or mask can help your hair become softer and more healthier-looking, as well as reduce the occurrence of dandruff (owing to its antiseptic properties) and skin problems. Thoroughly massaging the oil into your scalp can even improve blood circulation in that area and thus inhibit hair loss over time.
- Varicose prevention – varicose or ‘spider’ veins are aesthetically unappealing veins which have become enlarged due to longer periods of standing upright. Although not a direct concern for your health, they can be the cause of discomfort, pain, and self-esteem issues. Introducing hemp seed oil into your normal eating regime can minimize lipid adhesions to the vascular system and facilitate circulation. In addition, hemp oil has been known to ‘thin’ out blood and reduce the occurrence of clots, which is the ideal setting for little to no varicose veins, to begin with.
- Cancer prophylaxis – while there is no foolproof way of preventing cancer, taking proper care of your body and mind can keep you on the right track of avoiding this affliction. For example, the cannabidiol content of hemp oil has been revealed by studies to actively combat the development and proliferation of breast cancer cells. The fact that hemp oil also has a positive impact on inflammation and immunity is equally helpful in cancer prevention since it maintains your body healthy at a cellular level and hence makes it less likely for it to ‘turn in’ on itself.
Choosing hemp oil
Hemp oil might still remain controversial these days, with people either praising it as a panacea or condemn it for being a gateway ‘drug’.
The fact of the matter is that hemp oil can be considered a very encompassing herbal treatment that does not induce psychoactive effects and which does not exhibit unwanted side effects when consumed in its recommended doses.
Additionally, the wide variety of issues successfully covered by hemp oil employment pretty much speak for themselves regarding this product’s overall validity and equally explain its current worldwide appeal.
So it really doesn’t matter whether you choose hemp oil for beauty purposes or to treat a certain health affliction – you will most certainly get only benefits from it in the end.