Industrial hemp is a versatile plant that is harvested for a number of commercial uses including rope, paper and textiles. Hemp also has a variety of health benefits and has been used as a food for centuries. The major benefits associated with consumption of industrial hemp include reduced inflammation, improved heart and immune function, reduced muscle soreness after exercise, and healthy skin. Specifically, hemp oil derived from the hemp seed, is a potent source of nutrients including essential fatty acids and protein.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are “good” fats that must be consumed by diet because the human body cannot produce them on its own. EFAs are critical for all tissues and organs including the heart, brain and liver. Since the standard western diet tends to be high in processed food and animal fats, many people have a dietary EFA deficiency, which has been linked to a number of health problems including heart disease, kidney dysfunction and depression. However, research shows that by consuming adequate levels of EFAs, such as those found in hemp oil nutrition, these illnesses and other diseases can be reversed or even prevented.
One of the major advantages of hemp oil nutrition is that it contains an ideal 3:1 ratio of the two main types of EFAs, Omega-6 (linoleic acid) and Omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid), which has been shown to provide optimal long-term health benefits. Hemp oil also contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), oleic acid and stearidonic acid, comprising a unique fatty acid combination that has earned it the nickname “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil.”
Protein is a key nutrient that is used by the human body in a variety of structural and functional ways. It is made up of molecules called amino acids, which are necessary for tissue growth and maintenance. Unlike other animal or plant sources, hemp oil contains all 20 amino acids. Nine of these, like EFAs, are considered essential because they cannot be produced by the human body. Hemp oil is also unique in that it does not contain molecules that impair absorption and digestion, such as those found in soy, which makes industrial hemp a viable source of plant-based protein.
In addition to EFAs and protein, hemp oil derived from industrial hemp contains several other important nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and zinc, as well as a component known as cannabidiol (CBD). CBD has been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties, with potential anti-psychotic and pain-relieving effects currently showing promise in various studies.
Hemp oil has a pleasant nutty flavor and is vegan and gluten-free. It is often used in skin care because of its powerful moisturizing and anti-aging effects.