Health Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil
In this Article
In this Article
In this Article
- Health Benefits
- Health Risks
- Amounts and Dosage
Hemp seed oil is extracted from seeds of the hemp plant. The extraction occurs through cold-pressing, similar to the way that olives are cold-pressed to make olive oil.
Although the hemp and the cannabis (marijuana) plant belong to the same plant family, Cannabis sativa L, they are two different plants and have different compositions. The most notable difference is the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) present in each plant. THC is the psychoactive portion of the cannabis plant. It’s the chemical that makes you feel “high”.
While the cannabis plant has high THC levels (up to 10%), the hemp plant’s THC concentration does not exceed 0.3%. Thus, products derived from the hemp plant are unlikely to create a “high” and are mainly used for medicinal purposes.
The many health benefits of hemp seed oil come from its high content of three polyunsaturated fatty acids: linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and gamma-linolenic acid. Additionally, its ratio of omega-6 (linoleic acid) to omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) fatty acids is 3:1.
Experts agree that this 3:1 fatty acid ratio is ideal for health benefits in humans.
Hemp seed oil provides the following health benefits:
A dermatology study found that oral consumption of hemp seed oil improves symptoms of atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema. Researchers attribute these results to the fatty acids found in hemp seed oil.
Hemp seed oil is also useful in treating other skin conditions, such as cradle cap, psoriasis, and acne. In addition, hemp seed oil strengthens the skin and makes it better able to resist infection.
Lower Blood Pressure
Omega-3 fatty acids abundant in hemp seed oil can help lower blood pressure in people with hypertension (high blood pressure). Research recommends using omega-3 fatty acid supplements along with blood pressure medicine to lower blood pressure.
Promotes Heart Health
Hemp seed oil is rich in linoleic acid. Studies have shown that eating a diet high in linoleic acid significantly reduces total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol.
Lowering cholesterol levels reduces your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.
Hemp seed oil’s anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce pain. You can apply hemp seed oil directly to the painful area for natural pain relief.
Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) present in hemp seed oil has been shown to reduce inflammation. A review of studies suggests that natural herbs rich in GLA are effective in relieving symptoms of inflammatory conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and multiple sclerosis (MS).
Supports a Healthy Pregnancy
Hemp seed oil’s high omega-3 fatty acid content makes it a beneficial supplement for women who are pregnant. Studies found that omega-3 fatty acids are vital during pregnancy. They support healthy brain and eye development for the baby and may also help prevent maternal depression.
Although hemp seed oil offers many health benefits, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks.
Lower Blood Pressure
Hemp seed oil’s ability to lower blood pressure may cause issues for people who have chronically low blood pressure. Low blood pressure (hypotension) can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Prolonged bed rest
- Significant blood loss
- Heart problems
- Endocrine problems (hormone imbalances)
- Septic shock (a severe infection)
- Allergic reaction
- Neurally mediated hypotension (miscommunication between the heart and the brain)
- Nutritional deficiencies
If you’re experiencing any of the health conditions listed above, speak to your doctor before using hemp seed oil.
Low blood pressure also increases the risk of complications and death during surgery. Your doctor may recommend you stop using hemp seed oil for a period of time before and after surgery.
Amounts and Dosage
While the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t provide a recommended daily allowance (RDA) for hemp seed oil, you may wish to consume hemp seed oil to receive its beneficial health effects.
The amount of hemp seed oil you take depends on how you use it and what health benefits you would like to obtain. Researchers estimate that three tablespoons of hemp seed oil per day can provide the amount of 3:1 fatty acid ratio needed for a healthy diet.
You can drink hemp seed oil straight or mix it into salad dressings or other foods. You can also use hemp seed oil in place of olive oil for cooking.
One tablespoon (15 milliliters) of hemp seed oil contains:
- Calories: 125
- Total fat: 14 grams
- Saturated fatty acids: 1 gram
- Monounsaturated fatty acids: 2 grams
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 11 grams
As with any oral supplement, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before consuming hemp seed oil.
If you are using hemp seed oil topically, be sure to try a small amount first to test for skin irritation. Hemp seed oil can also be used as a carrier oil for an essential oil mixture.
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Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research: “A Review of Hemp As Food and Nutritional Supplement.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “State Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Programs Address High Blood Cholesterol.”
European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology: “Physiochemical studies of hemp (Cannabis sativa) seed oil using enzyme-assisted cold-pressing.”
Journal of the American College of Cardiology: “Intensive cholesterol reduction lowers blood pressure and large artery stiffness in isolated systolic hypertension.”
Journal of Dermatological Treatment: “Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis.”
Journal of Hypertension: “Reduction of blood pressure and plasma triglycerides by omega-3 fatty acids in treated hypertensives.”
Journal of Nutraceuticals, Functional and Medical Foods: “The Composition of Hemp Seed Oil and Its Potential as an Important Source of Nutrition.”
Molecules: “Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa) as an Emerging Source for Value-Added Functional Food Ingredients and Nutraceuticals.”
Nutrition and Metabolism: “The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed.”
Pharmacognosy Review: “Plants used to treat skin diseases.”
Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology: “Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Pregnancy.”
Science News: “Before an operation, low blood pressure rather than high is a risk factor for death.”
Find out what nutrients are in hemp seed oil and learn how it can help everything from skin conditions to heart health.
12 Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Great Health
Hemp seed oil is extracted from the hemp plant’s seeds, the name given to cannabis plants with little to no THC. The seeds are cold-pressed to produce one of the most diverse and nutritionally strong oils available. As the seeds are from the hemp plant, they will not produce the famous cannabis ‘high.’ Hemp seed oil is growing in popularity because it provides a long list of health benefits that have been confirmed through an ongoing body of research.
Hemp seeds do not have as many phytochemicals as the plant itself, but they have a rich profile of fatty acids, nutrients, and valuable bioactive vitamins and minerals. The oil is well-known for being nutrient-rich and for its general health benefits and comprises healthy fatty acids, protein, and carbohydrates. The many positive health effects of hemp seed oil are linked to the 3:1 ratio of linoleic (LA) and a-linolenic acid (LNA), two essential polyunsaturated fatty acids that particularly benefit the heart.
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Hemp Seed Oil Benefits
Below are some of the health benefits.
1. Hormone Balance
The hemp seed oil contains gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), which is needed to synthesize prostaglandins, compounds identical to hormones that contribute to many body functions. As scientists have found out, supplementing with GLA may improve hormone health and reduce symptoms associated with PMS, such as menstrual cramps. There is subjective evidence (not supported by research) that advocates that hemp seed oil may reduce breast tenderness, swelling, and feelings of irritability and depression.
It can also improve hormone health in older women going through menopause and reduce their symptoms such as hot flashes, irritability, and depression. Studies show that supplementation with fatty acid GLA does not cause any side effects.
2. Promotes Heart Health
Hemp seed oil improves heart health through several mechanisms.
It contains high levels of the essential fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3 in the ratio 3:1. Studies have found that the ratio should never exceed 4:1, meaning that 3:1 is a perfect ratio for our health. These essential fatty acids reduce cholesterol levels in the blood due to their β-sitosterols content, helping prevent heart disease.
Hemp seed oil is also a good source of Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA), and it is rich in the enzyme lipase, which is an excellent non-invasive chelation treatment for the removal of plaque build-up from blood vessels and the cell membranes. That way, it promotes heart health and prevents heart disease.
The amino acid arginine in hemp seed oil contributes to nitric acid production, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels. This is how it can reduce blood pressure and help prevent heart disease.
Lastly, the GLA in hemp seed oil reduces inflammation, which prevents heart disease caused by inflammation.
3. Assists in Weight Loss
GLA found in hemp seeds can reduce sugar cravings and is a natural appetite suppressant that reduces weight loss as you take in fewer calories.
Since hemp seed oil is rich in GLA, which reduces weight by preventing weight regaining, one study found that formerly obese individuals taking GLA supplements for a year gained back less weight. It is possible that omega-3s in hemp seed oil also enhance weight loss, but this still needs to be studied.
4. Moisturizes and Alleviates Skin Conditions
Hemp seed oil is an excellent skin moisturizer as it is easily absorbed by the skin and contributes significantly to the skin’s barrier function to prevent moisture loss. Hemp oil is a perfect skin food because it is rich in nutrients, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants, making it an ideal carrier oil for massage and healing treatments. After using it for some time, the skin’s appearance can improve significantly.
The hemp seed oil also offers other benefits such as relief of acne, minor abrasions, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and itchy skin. The oil also strengthens the skin and enhances its ability to resist viral, fungal, and bacterial infections.
5. Boosts the Immune System
The body’s essential fatty acids in hemp seed oil must synthesize endocannabinoids to strengthen the immune system. That makes it a good idea to take hemp seed oil as an immune-enhancing supplement regularly.
6. Powerful Anti-inflammatory; Eases Arthritic Pain
The gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) found in hemp seed oil is known for its ability to fight- inflammation. This is good news for people who have arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. For example, people with multiple sclerosis (a chronic inflammatory disorder) who participated in a study were given hemp seed oil and evening primrose oil, and their symptoms improved. Scientists believe that it may be useful for the treatment of fibromyalgia as well.
7. Pain Relief
Many people use hemp seed oil as a form of natural pain relief because it reduces pain when ingested or applied topically. When this is combined with its anti-inflammatory properties, it becomes a useful ally for injuries, infections, or autoimmune disorders that cause pain. Subjective evidence suggests that hemp seed oil is a gentle pain-relieving massage oil that can be rubbed into the muscles after a workout or onto sore joints (due to injury, wear, tear, or inflammation). There is hope in hemp seed oil for people who don’t want to take allopathic pain killers for chronic pain.
8. Improves Brain Function
The hemp seed oil contains low levels of cannabinoids that have been found by research to ease anxiety in people who have a social anxiety disorder. The oil can probably reduce the symptoms of depression as well. The essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, are already known to improve memory and prevent age-related brain function decline.
A review of several studies suggests that CBD and other compounds in hemp seed oil possibly work in a way that protects the brain and the nervous system. It can relieve or prevent Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, ADHD, and childhood seizure disorders.
9. Beneficial for Pregnancy
Because of the omega-3 fatty acids, hemp seed oil is an excellent supplement for pregnant mothers. One American study found that adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids is crucial during pregnancy since it is one of the building blocks for developing the fetus’ brain and retina. It also helps prevent perinatal depression and preterm delivery and promotes easier birth and lifelong health.
10. Diabetes Prevention and Treatment
Diabetes is connected to an unbalanced intake of essential fatty acids. As hemp seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids, it has a high potential for the prevention and treatment of diabetes.
11. Enhances Digestive Health
Research on the effectiveness of hemp seed oil for digestive health is not available. However, in the omega-3 essential fatty acid, the DHA and EPA are known to synthesize eicosanoid compounds that regulate hormones and digestive juices. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and relieve some digestive tract problems such as inflammatory bowel disorder.
Lastly, the fatty acids help promote the good microbes in the gut flora, improving digestion and the immune system. In all these ways, hemp seed oil helps to improve overall digestive health.
12. Enhance Hair Growth
The essential fatty acids in hemp seed oil are known to add moisture and shine to the hair, promote hair growth, strengthen brittle hair strands, and help the hair grow thicker. Subjective evidence suggests that applying the oil on the scalp tends to reduce several scalp problems, including dryness, itchiness, and dandruff and will possibly treat scalp psoriasis.
Video courtesy of Hairguard.com – hemp seed oil benefits
Hemp seed oil is a must-have supplement.
As the laws surrounding hemp have only recently loosed worldwide, most research into the plant is still underway. With all these benefits, and research backing new ones every day, hemp seed oil is one of those supplements that should be taken daily.
12 Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Great Health – Hemp seed oil is growing in popularity because it provides a long list of health benefits.