You may have heard of the benefits of hemp but because you always assumed that it is the same as cannabis, you would never even contemplate using it. Cannabis and hemp are not the same thing, despite coming from the same plant. The difference between hemp and cannabis is in the amount of psychoactive substance they contain. This substance is known as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and it is this that causes the ‘high’ experienced by those who use cannabis. Hemp is the name given to cannabis that has less than 0.3 percent THC.
What is Hemp Seed Oil Used For?
When talking about hemp being good for you, it is typically hemp oil that is being referred to. Hemp oil is used in a variety of ways. It is extracted from the seeds of the cannabis plant using hemp extractors, such as those sold by CedarStone Industry, the Houston-based manufacturer of quality processing equipment.
Hemp seed oil is often a key ingredient in products designed to improve the skin, such as hand protectors, moisturizers, and face oil. Hemp oil is said to given balance to the skin, helping to hydrate it without clogging the pores. Moreover, as it contains omega-6 acids, it has anti-inflammatory properties, helping to soothe the skin and calm any irritation. It is also great for encouraging the growth of new skin cells.
Furthermore, what many people find appealing about hemp skincare products is the fact that they are said to have anti-aging properties with an ability to alleviate signs of aging by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Hemp seed oil is also purported to be good for lowering blood pressure, and therefore contributing to maintaining good heart health. As hemp seed oil contains linoleic acid, it can help reduce cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of stroke and high blood pressure as well as the onset of heart disease.
Can You Eat Hemp Seeds?
Some people are curious about hemp seeds and whether these can be consumed as-is before the oil is extracted. Although called seeds, they are actually nuts and yes, they can be eaten. They are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as gamma-linolenic acid, all of which are linked to a number of health benefits.
Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein, with just three tablespoons containing just under 9.5g of protein. They are an ideal protein source for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. In addition to protein, hemp seeds contain a variety of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and unsaturated fats.
Are There Risks Associated with Hemp Seeds and Oil?
It is understandable that some people might be confused between hemp and cannabis because they come from the same plant, but there is no risk of you getting high by eating hemp seeds or using hemp seed oil. That being said, there are some risks, particularly for those taking certain medications such as blood thinners or medications for hypertension (high blood pressure). Hemp seeds could lower blood pressure and reduce blood clotting, so it is important to seek medical advice before adding them to your diet if you regularly take anticoagulants or tablets for high blood pressure.
If eaten in large quantities, hemp seeds may result in digestive problems that can include nausea, bloating, or constipation. This is due to the fiber content.
As far as hemp seed oil is concerned, it can cause irritation in some people when applied topically to the skin. It is always best therefore to use a small amount initially to gauge how your skin will react.