Hemp oil or Hempseed oil — not to be confused with it’s wilder, headline-grabbing cousin hash oil — is the nutty, flavorful oil that comes from the raw seeds of the hemp plant. While the health benefits of hash oil are questionable, hemp oil benefits arent: It’s a documented dietary supplement and beauty aid.
Unfortunately, the widely reported anecdotal claims that hemp oil does much, much more — like miraculously curing cancer and other ailments — are unproven (and likely bogus).
So What Exactly Makes Hemp Oil Healthy?
Hemp seeds are rich in protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega 6, omega 3 and insoluble fiber. They are a good source of tocopherols or Vitamin E antioxidants. They’re packed with minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus, plus microelements like strontium, thorium, arsenic, and chromium.
High in essential fatty acids, Omega 6 and omega 3, hemp oil can be used to increase immunity, counteract aging skin and improve cardiovascular health. Several studies show that the linoleic acid present in hemp oil can slow down the aging process and fight psoriasis.
Benefits of Hemp Oil:
1. Maintain a Hormonal Balance
Hemp is the only edible seed that contains gamma-linolenic acid, which is eventually converted to the protective hormone prostaglandin PGE1 that regulates the hormonal balance and supports menopausal health.
2. Regenerates and Energizes The Skin’s Protective Layer
Due to its high content of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, hemp oil has a composition similar to skin lipids, which makes it an excellent natural emollient and moisturizer. It is especially useful for dry, tired or dehydrated skin and nails. It increases the skin elasticity and water retention capacity in tissues. Pure hemp oil can be used to treat dry hair and is often included in hair conditioners.
3. Great For Vegetarians
Getting the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can be tricky for vegetarians and vegans. Hemp oil has the optimal ratio of these acids.
4. Helps Lower Cholesterol
The only vegetable oil to contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (3:1), hemp oil can help lower cholesterol levels by accelerating metabolic processes. With a faster metabolism, fats burn at a quicker rate and are not deposited on the artery walls.
5. Good For Diabetes
Due to its low carbohydrate and sugar content, hemp oil is can be a great food additive for diabetics. The nutrients present in it can help moderate blood sugar levels.
6. Help Prevent Psoriasis
Psoriasis is caused by a deficiency of omega-6 fatty acids in the body. The fatty acids present in hemp oil help improve skin oxygenation and hydration.
7. Boost Your Immunity
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids also improve immunity and regulate intestinal flora, thus building a natural barrier against microbes and increasing the resilience of the body.
8. Helps Prevent Demyelination Of Nervous System
Essential fatty acids are necessary for a healthy cell membrane structure. They also prevent the demyelination, the destruction of the myelin sheath (a membrane that protects the nerve cells).
9. Help Prevent Varicose Veins
Like other compounds high in omega-3s, hemp oil can thin your blood, reducing blood clots and varicose veins.
Hemp Oil Precautions For First Time Users
Though it has a number of health benefits, hemp oil should be avoided by prostate cancer patients or people who take blood thinners. Here are a few precautions you should keep in mind before using it:
- It’s an Anticoagulant: Hemp oil can have an anti-clotting effect on the blood. People who suffer from heart diseases and take blood thinners should avoid it (or at least check with a doctor before use!)
- It Can Increase Prostate Cancer Risk: Hemp oil has been shown to creates the best conditions for the cells to regenerate, which could promote the growth of tumors, particularly prostate cancer cells. While more research is needed, medical professionals advise that you avoid consuming hemp oil if you are at an increased risk of prostate cancer.
- In High Doses, It Could Cause Diarrhea or Cramps: Large doses of hemp oil can cause nausea, diarrhea and/or abdominal cramps. For this reason, hemp oil should be kept out of the reach of children.
- It Shouldn’t Be Heated: High temperatures can denature the unsaturated fats of hemp oil and turn them into saturated fats.