Hemp is one of the oldest crops in the history of humanity, having been cultivated for at least 10,000 years. Yet as one that derives from the cannabis plant, it is only in relatively recent times, with the hype surrounding other cannabis products like CBD, that its medical applications have begun to be widely understood.
Hemp vs CBD
Hemp oil and CBD oil are both non-psychoactive products that are extracted from cannabis. As such, it is perhaps unsurprising that people tend to confuse them or think they are one and the same thing. We will not go deeply into the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil here, but in brief, CBD is a cannabinoid that comes from the flowers of the cannabis plant, while hemp oil is extracted from cannabis seeds. CBD’s medicinal benefits have been well documented. But hemp oil is also nutrient rich and has medical applications of its own.
1. Glowing Skin
Hemp oil is rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Researchers have found that these are effective in combating a number of skin conditions, including acne, eczema and psoriasis. Furthermore, a study carried out in 2014 showed positive results when hemp oil was used to treat lichen planus, a skin condition that causes inflammation and a rash on the arms and legs.
2. A Healthier Heart
The omega-3 in hemp seed oil can reduce other types of inflammation that might not always be visible but can lead to life-threatening conditions including heart disease. 10 years ago, the Nutrition and Metabolism medical journal published a report suggesting that the broader nutritional profile of hemp can be beneficial for those suffering a range of heart-related conditions, including high cholesterol and hypertension.
3. Helping to Live With PMS And Menopause
Hemp oil is a great source of a substance called gamma linolenic acid (GLA). GLA helps the body produce the hormone PGE1, and it is lack of PGE1 that is believed to be a primary cause of premenstrual stress. A study carried out in 2011 by researchers from the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil found that small doses of GLA significantly reduced the emotional symptoms of PMS.
A related study a year earlier drew similar conclusions when those going through the menopause took doses of hemp seed oil. Again, this was believed to be due to the GLA content helping to redress hormone imbalances.
4. A Sharper Brain
Could hemp seed oil even make you smarter? Research in this area is still in its infancy, but initial studies on mice suggest it is a distinct possibility. The study found that hemp seed oil reduced the likelihood of inflammation and kept the brain in better all-round condition. This is believed to be due to the fatty acids and the polyphenols in hemp, both of which are instrumental in promoting brain health. The authors of this particular study were sufficiently encouraged to start planning for human trials. We eagerly await further developments in what could be a highly exciting area.