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que es hemp seeds

Nutritional benefits of hemp seeds

Hemp has been an important source of food, fibre and medicine for thousands of years in the Old World. The oldest documents that depict the use of hemp seeds as food and as medicines, come from China. There is enough evidence to claim that hemp was first used as a source for fibres and medicines in the whole Mediterranean Coast, from East (Egypt) to West (Morocco), several centuries before Christ (B.C.).

It was by the middle of the 20th century that Cannabis (including hemp) was subjected to a strict international control system. This took place when Cannabis was marked as one of the narcotic substances listed in the 1961 US Single Convention, which is the prohibitionist regime’s keystone still in force today. As a result, Cannabis growing became virtually banned except for cultivation for scientific purposes and cultivation of certain varieties with a low concentration of active narcotic substances. The latter can be used for industrial purposes such as the production of fibre and seeds. The varieties of industrial Cannabis in Europe have THC (Delta-9-tetrahidrocannabinol) levels under 0.2 %.

 Typical nutritional composition of several hemp seeds products
Table 1. Typical nutritional composition of several hemp seeds products.
Source: Callaway and Pate, 2009.

Hemp seeds as a highly nutritional food source

Typical nutritional values (mg/100g) of vitamins and minerals found in hemp seeds
Table 2. Typical nutritional values
(mg/100g) of vitamins and minerals
found in hemp seeds.

Due to the nutritional properties of hemp seeds and their derivatives (such as oil, flour, etc.), its content in fatty acids, vitamins, proteins and minerals, it is recommended to consider them as a key element in a human diet. (Table 1 and 2).

Hemp seeds have a characteristic walnut flavour and are, as a fact, incorporated in many food preparations such as bread, cakes, biscuits, non-dairy milk, ice cream, etc.

Close to 50% of the hemp oil global market is concentrated in food industry and nutritional supplements. The other half of the world trade is focused on cosmetic applications (soap, shampoo, creams. ) and other industrial uses (biodiesel, varnishes. ).

Chemical composition

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are perfectly represented in hemp seeds oil. Linoleic acid ‘omega-6’ (18:2n-6, LA) is found at a rate of 20%. Moreover, significant amounts of its metabolic respective products such as the presence of gamma-linoleic acid (18:3n-6, GLA), which varies from 1-4%, and stearidonic acid (18:4n-3, SDA), which fluctuates between 0.5% and 2%. Even though most vegetable oils have at least one of the EFAs, it is unusual that they contain high amounts of both. It is also uncommon to find them in close to a 3:1 proportion of omega-6/omega-3, this being the relation recommended for human ingestion. (Picture 1).

The composition of the oil obtained from hemp seeds is of great interest due to the beneficial effects it has on health.

Typical fatty acid composition of vegetable oils
Picture 1. Typical fatty acid composition of vegetable oils.

Furthermore, this oil also contains tocopherols, which can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and age-related macular degeneration as well as showing antioxidant activity, because its content in total phenols is higher than in other vegetable oils such as sunflower or soya oil. These tocopherols are well known for being important antioxidants, which have a positive effect in the oxidating stability of oils. The dominant tocopherol in hemp seeds is the γ-tocoferol, followed by α-, β- y δ-tocoferol. The same composition in tocopherols can be found in the oil.

On the other hand, this oil is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and has a low concentration of saturated fatty acids. This is what makes it really interesting from a nutritional point of view, as our diet is becoming increasingly rich in saturated fatty acids and there is an attempt to reduce their intake, due to their relation with the increase in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, which may cause coronary heart disease.

It should be noted that both hemp seeds and oils are gluten free.

Hemp seed flour is an excellent and easily digestible source of proteins. Picture 2 compares the proportion of amino acids to the total protein content of hemp seeds, soya and egg. The concentrations of proteins vary between the whole hemp seed (25%), shell-less seeds (45%), soya (32%) and egg (11%). Picture 1 shows the individual values of amino acids per 100g of protein in order to offer a direct comparison between these products.

The recent increase in the interest in hemp proteins, is due to their exceptional content in amino acids that have sulphur, i.e. methionine and cystenine, as well as its surprisingly high amount of arginine. This makes it an ideal nutritional complement for high-protein diets as it facilitates the increase of muscular mass.

Proportion of amino acids to the total protein content of hemp seeds, soya and egg whites
Picture 2. Proportion of amino acids to the total protein content of hemp seeds, soya and egg whites. The abbreviations are the ones recommended by IUPAC. Source: Callaway and Pate, 2009.

The relevance of fatty acids to health

The high concentration in PUFAs makes it an especially important oil for human nutrition. Thus, it has been shown that omega-3 fatty acids help to decrease the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases and the proliferation of several types of cancer. It also has beneficial effects in the treatment of inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and Crohn’s disease.

GLA acts as an intermediary in the synthesis of long chain PUFAs, eicosanoids and endocannabinoids. These play an important role in vital processes such as the controlling of inflammations and muscle tone or the onset of contractions during labour.

This relation is 3:1 in hemp seed oil, having an appropriate omega-3 concentration. Germany, Austria, and Switzerland’s nutritional societies recommend a 4:1 to 5:1 relation. However, bearing in mind that the relation in Western Europe’s diets is around 10:1 (due to the constant increase in the intake of omega-6 fatty acids, mainly in processed food) the use of hemp seed oil is close to the recommended level. This is important as high ratios of omega-6 against lower ones of omega-3 cause the pathogenesis of cancer and many other diseases, including cardiovascular and autoimmune. Whereas lowering these ratios (omega-6/omega-3), i.e. by increasing omega-3, has beneficial impacts on health.

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Nutritional benefits of hemp seeds Hemp has been an important source of food, fibre and medicine for thousands of years in the Old World. The oldest documents that depict the use of hemp seeds as

que es hemp seeds en espanol

Que es hemp seeds en espanol
Those who frequent the bulk nuts and seeds section of the supermarket might already be familiar with hemp hearts, the edible interiors of the seed that hemp grows from. For those who have yet to come across hemp hearts, however, their reputation shouldn’t be associated with another plant byproduct you might immediately be thinking of.

The 1 Superfood You’ll Be Sprinkling on Everything

No, it’s not that kind of hemp—but it does pack a nutritional punch.

Those who frequent the bulk nuts and seeds section of the supermarket might already be familiar with hemp hearts, the edible interiors of the seed that hemp grows from. For those who have yet to come across hemp hearts, however, their reputation shouldn’t be associated with another plant byproduct you might immediately be thinking of.

The hemp plant, which is the source of where hemp heart seeds are cultivated from, does share the same plant species as the marijuana plant, known as the Cannabis Sativa L, reports the Huffington Post. But the hemp plant contains nearly undetectable levels of THC as compared to marijuana plants – hemp hearts contain less than 0.3 percent, while traditional marijuana plants can contain levels upward of 10 to 30 percent. You won’t get high eating hemp hearts, nor will you fail a drug test.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

Hemp hearts are a simple solution for adding heartiness to a slew of dishes and increasing protein intake. There’s also a laundry list of health benefits that hemp hearts can offer: They’re a noticeable source of fiber, pack an arsenal of vitamins, and are filled with calcium and iron. According to the USDA, hemp hearts are comprised of 25 percent protein and more than 20 percent in fiber. Hemp hearts also contain all of the nine essential amino acids.

Sprinkling an ounce of this nutty topper on your favorite salad will run you 160 calories and provide 10 grams of protein.

Hemp hearts have a place alongside some of your favorite dishes as a nutty topping – sprinkle them on salads, granola, cereal, or popcorn; smash them into a veggie burger; or blend them into smoothies.

Que es hemp seeds en espanol
Hempseed oil and CBD oil are both trendy ingredients used topically in skincare products.

CBD Oil vs. Hemp Seed: How to Know What You’re Paying For

In 2018, a farm bill passed making industrial hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) legal nationwide. Because of this, there’s been a “green rush” of cannabis-inspired products flooding the market — including beauty products.

While CBD is a new ingredient to many consumers (since it’s now more readily available), hempseed oil has been around for decades and sold at health food stores for both cooking and skincare. However, when CBD and hempseed oil are put side by side, a lot of misleading labeling happens.

First, a Cannabis species (Cannabaceae) breakdown

To filter through the CBD marketing, here’s a cannabis breakdown: Cannabis (often referred to as marijuana) and hemp are two varieties of the same plant species, cannabis sativa.

Since they share the same species name, they’re often lumped into one big family and there seems to be a lot of confusion around their differences.

Marijuana Hemp Hemp seeds (cannabis sativa seed oil)
produces tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at 20%+ levels (the psychoactive compound that makes a person feel “high.”) has to be less than 0.3% THC to be sold legally 0% THC, trace amounts of CBD
produces CBD at 10%+ levels produces CBD at 20%+ used as food such as hempseed milk, granola, and more
medicinal and therapeutic uses for chronic pain, mental health, and illnesses stalks of the hemp plant can produce clothing, rope, paper, fuel, home insulation. (the list goes on and on) cold-pressed for oil production that can be used in cooking, beauty products, and even in paint

Why this matters in the beauty world

Hempseed oil and CBD oil are both trendy ingredients used topically in skincare products.

Hempseed oil, in particular, is known to not clog pores, be anti-inflammatory, and provide superior moisturization to keep the skin looking and feeling supple. It can be used within a product or even just on the skin as a face oil.

New research is coming out all the time about the skin benefits of CBD. What we know so far is like it’s cousin, hempseed oil, it’s been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory which helps in healing acne, sensitive skin, rashes, eczema, and psoriasis. It also packs a ton of antioxidants.

But is CBD beauty actually more effective or worth paying more for?

It’s still too early to tell, and results can vary depending on the person. If there’s a beauty brand making such claims, you may want to do extra consumer research as brands aren’t obligated to tell you how much CBD is in a product.

The tricky marketing tactic behind hempseed oil

With the green rush, some brands are jumping on cannabis-infused beauty products but mixing the terms up — intentionally or not. Since CBD and hempseed oil are in the same cannabis family, they’re often incorrectly marketed as the same thing.

Why would a brand do this? Simply put, consumers are willing to pay more for CBD oil, which is a pretty expensive ingredient compared to hempseed oil.

It’s easy for a brand to add hempseed oil to a product, adorn it with marijuana leaves, and highlight the word cannabis to make consumers think they’re receiving a CBD product that contains no actual CBD at all.

And paying a premium I might add!

So how can you tell what you’re purchasing? It’s pretty simple actually, check the ingredient list.

Hemp seed oil will be listed as cannabis sativa seed oil. CBD will be listed as cannabidiol, full-spectrum hemp, hemp oil, PCR (phytocannabinoid rich) or PCR hemp extracts.

While it’s not required to see the milligrams listed on the bottle, it has become a common practice to do so. If it’s not, you should wonder what’s in that bottle you’re paying for.

It’s so important to be an educated, savvy consumer. Don’t fall into the trap of weed washing (hemp-based product hype)!

Is CBD Legal? Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.

Dana Murray is a licensed aesthetician from Southern California with a passion for skin care science. She’s worked in skin education, from helping others with their skin to developing products for beauty brands. Her experience extends over 15 years and an estimated 10,000 facials. She’s been using her knowledge to blog about skin and bust skin myths on her Instagram since 2016.

Those who frequent the bulk nuts and seeds section of the supermarket might already be familiar with hemp hearts, the edible interiors of the seed that