Hemp oil refers to the oil from the seeds of the hemp plant. A common misconception is that Hemp oil is the same as cannabidiol (CBD) oil but that is not the case. Although both come from the same plant, Cannabis sativa, CBD oil is created with the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the plant while the hemp oil is created through the seeds of the plant. The seeds of the plant do not contain the same levels of compounds as the plant but the seeds still contain nutrients, fatty acids, and useful bioactive compounds. The risk of intoxication is very low from hemp oil. According to the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, the food-grain strains of hemp has less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory which lowers pain and inflammation. It has been used for centuries to provide pain relief to muscle aches, arthritis, joint pain, neuropathic conditions, and headaches. They are also used to aid skin conditions when applied topically such as psoriasis, rosacea, sunburn and bug bites. Multiple studies also show that cannabinoid helps reduce acne. On labels, the confusion comes from it being labeled as CBD, hemp CBD and phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil.
Hemp seed oil is a seed oil that's high in antioxidants, omega-3, and -6 fatty acids but contains little to no CBD. Hemp seed has been available in stores for decades. It contains no cannabinoids which means no CBD, THC or CBN. It is seen as a superfood and a powerful moisturizer/skin softener. It will show up on the label as hemp seed oil, Cannabis Sativa (hemp) seed oil, virgin hemp oil, and hemp oil.
Benefits of Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are highly nutritious. As stated above they contain omega-6 (linoleic acid) and omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid). They also contain gamma-linolenic acid. Hemp seeds also contain over 30% fat and are a great protein source, as a 25% or more of their calories are from protein. Hemp seeds also contain vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
Speaking more about the protein, by weight, hemp seeds provide similar amounts of protein as certain meats such as beef and lamb. 30 grams of hemp seeds provide 11 grams of protein. They also provide essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce on its own. Some of those specific amino acids are methionine and cysteine. Hemp seeds also contain high amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber which is beneficial towards digestive health. The shell is what contains the fiber.
Another benefit of hemp seeds is that they may reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause. The physical and emotional symptoms of PMS, which affects about 80% of the women of reproductive age, is most likely caused by the hormone prolactin. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is found in hemp seeds, produces prostaglandin E1 which helps reduce the effects of prolactin. In a study in women with PMS where they take 1 gram of essential fatty acid which includes 210 mg of GLA, they saw a decrease in breast pain and tenderness, depression, irritability, and fluid retention which are all associated with PMS. The GLA in the hemp seeds may also reduce symptoms of menopause as well by regulating the hormone imbalances and inflammation associated with menopause.
Hemp oil benefits for the heart
A study in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism states that the nutrient profile of hemp seeds may have a positive effect on health issues such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and cholesterol levels. While this study is an older one, a 2014 review supports this claim as they concluded that an increase in one of the fatty acids in hemp oil, alpha-linolenic acid, appears to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The researchers want more clinical trials to confirm this statement. The seeds also contain a high amount of the amino acid arginine which produces nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is very important as it relaxes your blood vessels which leads to lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease.
Hemp oil benefits for the skin
In regards to the benefits of Hemp seed oil for the skin, there are many vitamins and fatty acids that may help keep the skin healthy. A 2014 study supported this in saying that the amount of fatty acids may help protect the skin from oxidation, inflammation and other causes of aging. Another 2014 review states that applying the oil topically will strengthen the skin and help prevent infection. They also state that due to the high amount of beneficial fats and other compounds the oil would help with skin issues such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, varicose eczema, lichen planus, and acne rosacea. The 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the seed, which is the optimal range, may provide relief from eczema and its symptoms.
Hemp oil benefits for the brain
The high amounts of fatty acids also may be beneficial for the brain to operate properly. Other compounds in the hemp seed oil also may help protect the brain. A study done in mice found that the compounds in a hemp seed extract were able to help protect the brain from inflammation. There still needs to be studies done on humans to confirm this theory but the results on the mice look promising.
Full-spectrum hemp oil benefits
Full-spectrum hemp oil is when the hemp oil from the seeds includes plant matter which contains CBD which was stated earlier. A higher concentration of CBD may bring other benefits to the body. Natural pain relief is one benefit of hemp oil that contains CBD. Many people make use of hemp oil instead of over-the-counter or prescription pain medication. Fatty acids may also help in preventing the inflammation that causes acne by helping to balance the skin. A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD may help people with chronic acne by reducing sebum production and helping clear/prevent breakouts. Full-spectrum hemp oil also may help with stress and tension in muscles. CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body which would help relieve some tension that people may have from stress.
Hemp, a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species, is grown specifically for its wide variety of uses including fiber. It can be refined into a variety of commercial items, including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.
Additionally, Hemp has higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD) and low concentrations of the psychoactive cannabinoid, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
What is CBD?
CBD is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis. CBD has a wide variety of health benefits including treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.