Hemp oil is a popular natural remedy. It comes from varieties of Cannabis sativa that don’t contain high quantities of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis – it’s responsible for making users high. So what exactly are the ingredients in hemp oil, and what is their purpose?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp cultivation nationwide. Thanks to this advancement in the industry, there’s been a huge increase in cannabis-derived products flooding the market.
Although CBD is quite a new ingredient to many people, hemp seed oil (or hemp oil) has been around for decades. It is sold at many health stores for both cooking and skincare purposes. Despite popular belief, hemp oil and CBD oil are vastly different products.
The biggest difference comes down to their medicinal value. CBD is sought out for its therapeutic health benefits, while hemp oil is seen as more of a “superfood” and is ideal for adding nutritional value to one’s diet. Hemp oil is also especially big in the beauty industry. Often used in personal care, hemp oil is one of the most on-trend natural ingredients making headway across bath, shower, and body products.
According to the Hemp Business Journal, consumers in the United States spent $181 million in 2017, on hemp-based personal care products. They expect that the number will increase to $260 million by 2022.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil is very similar to many other carrier oils, such as sunflower seed oil and jojoba oil, in that it is a cold-pressed extract from seeds. Derived from the hemp plant, hemp seed oil is a perfectly good seed oil that is high in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, and antioxidants. However, it contains no CBD or THC.
Hemp seed oil is a deep green oil produced by pressing the seeds from non-drug strains of the hemp plant. Naturally, these strains have very low (if any) levels of cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are abundant in CBD oil and interact with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors to produce their effects.
Nutritionists consider hemp seed oil to be a healthy, nutritionally-balanced oil. It provides a high level of monounsaturated fats, essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (55%), and alpha-linolenic acid (16%). It generally has a low level of saturated fat (9%). Just one tablespoon of hemp seed oil a day will give you the daily requirement for essential fatty acids.
You will also often find hemp oil in the kitchen, where it is popular for its nutty, earthy flavor. It’s great to add to salad dressings, drizzle over food, or to use in dips or pesto sauce.
In terms of skincare, hemp oil is known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that won’t clog the pores or contribute to oily skin. It’s also known as Cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, virgin hemp oil, and hemp seed oil.
Hemp Oil Ingredients: What They Do
We’ve already touched on some of the key ingredients of hemp seed oil. Below we will go into a bit more detail about what these ingredients are and what they do.
Omega-3 and Omega-6
Hemp oil is very rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6. The abundance of such fatty acids makes it an excellent choice for nourishing the skin. Both Omega 3 and 6 are essential fatty acids that play an important part in the body and offer a number of health benefits.
They are used to produce signaling molecules, known as eicosanoids – which have roles related to blood clotting and inflammation. Furthermore, these fatty acids contribute to the health of cell membranes and hair, skin, and nails, among several other benefits.
Fatty acids may affect the immune response in the body, which can benefit skin disorders. Research suggests that the immune system depends on the balance of Omega 3 and 6 acids. Hemp seeds have a ratio of 3:1 in Omega 3 and 6 – considered to be optimal range. Studies have found that hemp oil may relieve dry skin, help with eczema, and improve itchiness.
However, contrary to popular belief, Omega 3 has little to no effect on the risk of heart disease. According to a new study published in Science Daily, Omega 3 offers little, if any, benefit to the heart.
Magnesium plays an essential role in more than 300 enzymatic reactions within the body. This includes the metabolism of food and the synthesis of proteins and fatty acids. Magnesium plays a part in muscle relaxation and neuromuscular transmission and activity.
Scientists have linked magnesium deficiency to metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, insulin resistance, and osteoporosis. Like nuts and seeds, hemp offers some of the best sources of magnesium.
Research suggests that women suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may be able to alleviate symptoms like insomnia, bloating, weight gain, and leg swelling.
Approximately 25% of calories found in hemp seeds come from protein, which is quite a high percentage. By weight, hemp seeds offer similar amounts of protein to beef and lamb. 30 grams of hemp seeds is equivalent to 11 grams of protein.
Hemp seeds are a complete protein source, meaning they provide the essential amino acids. The body can’t produce these amino acids and you must, therefore, obtain them from your diet.
The digestibility of hemp protein is also excellent – better than the protein obtained from nuts, grains, and legumes.
Hemp seeds are second to only soybean when it comes to protein content. Proteins serve several functions in the human body, such as acting as antibodies, enzymes, and the structural components of hormones, tissues, and blood protein. Supplying amino acids is the main function of dietary proteins.
Amino Acid – Arginine
Arginine is an amino acid that plays a role in the biosynthesis of proteins. The body converts it into a chemical called nitric oxide – and it can help to prevent heart disease.
Nitric oxide helps blood vessels to open wider for improved blood flow. It also stimulates the release of insulin, growth hormone, and other substances in the body. There is evidence to suggest that taking arginine by mouth can reduce blood pressure in healthy people, those with high blood pressure, or those with slightly high blood pressure.
Benefits of Consuming Hemp Oil
Now that we know the key ingredients of hemp oil let’s summarize some of the benefits of consuming hemp oil:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve organ function
- Improve immunity levels
- Reduce inflammation and the symptoms of arthritis
- Improve cardiovascular circulation & function
- Increased energy levels & metabolic rate
- Improve recovery of muscles after exercise
- Reduce & treat dry skin and hair conditions
- Reduce symptoms of PMS & menstrual cramps
What Not to Expect from Hemp Oil
Hemp oil is not the same as CBD oil, and you should not expect the same medicinal benefits when using hemp oil. CBD oil is produced using the stalks, flowers, and leaves of the hemp plants, which contain a much higher concentration of CBD and other cannabinoids.
Hemp oil comes from the small seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The seeds don’t contain the same levels of compounds as the plant itself does. However, they do have a rich profile of fatty acids, nutrients, and useful bioactive compounds.
The main drawback of hemp oil (when comparing it to CBD oil), is that it doesn’t contain any cannabinoids (CBD, THC, etc.), terpenes, or other medicinal compounds that are in the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the cannabis plant. In other words, it doesn’t provide any of the benefits associated with whole-plant hemp extracts, like CBD oil.
Final Thoughts on Hemp Oil
Unlike CBD oil, people do not use hemp oil for its medicinal value. Instead, it’s more of a nutritional supplement. Hemp oil is rich in healthy fatty acids, high-quality protein, minerals, and vitamins. It provides excellent nutritional value and is also becoming very popular in the beauty industry.
Hemp oil has its own unique benefits and is an excellent addition to just about any health and wellness routine.