Often claimed as a nutritious “superfood”, hemp seed oil has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine. Although, the oil has sparked a larger interest in the past decade, especially with the recent boom in the CBD industry.
What is Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp seed oil, often known as “hemp oil”, is crafted by cold-pressing hemp seeds and is a common oil associated with health and beauty. It can have a nutty flavor profile and is often a clear green liquid.
Hemp seeds come from the hemp plant, which should not be mistaken with marijuana. While hemp and marijuana are both derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant, they hold a major difference: Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC while marijuana contains more than 0.3% THC. It is the THC that is known to give users a “high” and is the psychoactive element found in cannabis.
Hemp seed oil is not to be confused with CBD oil, which is an extract from the cannabis plant containing the cannabinoid known as cannabidiol (CBD). Although, they are often combined since hemp seed oil is considered to be one of the best carrier oils for CBD.
Hemp Seed Oil as a Carrier Oil for CBD
Hempseed oil is considered a top choice as a carrier oil since it is packed full of proteins and healthy fats. Many believe it is the best choice as well due to the possibility of a synergistic relationship with CBD since they are both derived from the same plant.
Hempseed oil is also found in beauty products, mainly dealing with skincare.
Hemp Seed Oil for Healthy Skin
Since the oil has moisturizing qualities and is packed with essential fatty acids, it is a fantastic choice in the application of skincare products. It is known to prevent dry skin and has moisturizing qualities to balance out oily skin, which can reduce acne.
What Makes Hemp Seed Oil Special?
While the oil is packed with healthy fats, high-quality proteins, and dietary fiber, there is more than meets the eye that makes this oil unique when compared to other oils.
Hempseed oil is made of over 80% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) but what makes it so special is that the oil has an almost-perfect balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. It is mainly because of the desirable ratio of 3:1 for omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids that this oil is a complete nutritional source. This optimal is alleged to be the perfect range for nutrition.
There is another element found in the oil that makes it superior to other oils when it comes to healthy living and that is the presence of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
Gamma-linolenic Acid (GLA): What is it?
GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid that is fundamental for metabolism, reproductive health, brain function, skin growth, and skeletal health. While GLA holds a lengthy list of health benefits, it is important to balance the ratio of omega-6 to the omega-3 fatty acids to reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.
Packed with tons of essential vitamins and minerals, there are many hemp seed oil benefits to consider.
Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil
- Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Hemp seeds contain a high amount of arginine, an amino acid used in the biosynthesis of proteins. This allows the seed to produce nitric oxide, which is an essential gas molecule that assists with the dilation and relaxation of blood vessels found in the body. This effect is directly linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
The optimal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is also known to help prevent blood clotting.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects
The anti-inflammation properties of hemp seed oil come from the proper levels of omega-3 acids and another compound found in the oil known as Grossamide. The omega-3 acids are linked to anti-inflammation effects and it only helps that the oil has an optimal balance of the fatty acid. Grossamide has been reported to assist with inflammation within the nervous system.
- Supporting Healthy Skin
The gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) found in hemp seed oil is known to support cell regeneration and new skin growth as well as having the anti-inflammatory properties.
Also, a 2005 research study linked hempseed oil to the treatment of atopic dermatitis in patients.
The omega-3 and omega-6 acids that cannot be produced naturally by the body also play an essential role in anti-aging. Be sure to consider adding hemp seed oil to your nutritional regimen if you are wanting to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging.
- Supporting Brain Health
The claim that hemp seed oil assists with brain health still needs further study but recent research shows that the treatment of the oil prevented memory damage in mice. While this has yet to be tested with humans, it shows that hemp seeds have a strong potential for further study with brain health.
- Antioxidant Properties
This is yet another potential benefit due to the almost-perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 acids. The claim is also supported by a research study in 2018 that explores the antioxidant activity found in the seeds and sprouts of the hemp plant.
Hemp Seed Oil is a Superfood
When compared to other similar oils, hemp seed oil stands out as having a more nutritious profile to support healthy living. Between the optimal levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, the high amount of GLA, the levels of arginine, and other various essential vitamins and minerals, hemp seed oil should be considered for someone looking for a more nutritious oil regardless of the application it is used with.