Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is an edible plant oil that can be used in the kitchen and in body care products alike. Industrial hemp seed oil is also used in various lubricants, plastics and inks. If you’re curious about what this natural oil can do for you, here’s a look into what properties the unique oil possesses.
Looking at the many benefits of hemp oil
Providing healthy and nutrient-rich fats
Hemp seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are known as healthy fatty acids that help regulate blood pressure and inflammation in addition to providing other benefits. The ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids contained in hemp oil is actually the balance required by the human body itself, 3 to 1. One tablespoon of hemp oil can provide you with all of your recommended daily needs for essential fatty acids.
Although the calorie content of hemp oil is in line with many natural oils, the low level of saturated fatty acids contained in the oil from hemp seeds makes it a nice pick when compared to some other oils commonly used in the kitchen. Also, daily consuming alternative picks like flaxseed oil can, over time, create deficiencies and imbalances of components like gamma-linolenic acid. However, hemp seed oil does not pose such risks and is considered to be safe even when used continuously.
Providing immune system support and anti-inflammatory relief
The composition of hemp oil has been shown to improve the response and functioning of the immune system, strengthening the intestines and reducing the risks of coming down with common conditions like a cold or the flu. Hemp oil is thought to possess anti-inflammatory capabilities, which can help provide relief from joint pain and various other ailments.
Unlike fish oil, hemp seed oil does not contain traces of mercury, making the plant-based pick a good alternative for those who are concerned about the possible side effects and hindrances that can come from mercury poisoning. In general, consuming a pick like fish oil may pose more risks in this regard.
Preventing cardiovascular risks and degenerative diseases
The fatty acids and other nutrients contained in hemp oil have been shown in studies to help promote heart health and cardiovascular function while also helping prevent a number of age-related degenerative diseases. Helping to protect your heart, brain and eyes, hemp oil may be effective in warding off some of the natural declines that your body would otherwise undergo over time.
Promoting healthy skin and nails
As a dietary supplement, hemp oil may actually be able to help treat symptoms of eczema and other skin disorders. Hemp seed oil can also topically act as a moisturizer for skin and nails with antioxidant capabilities that help fight against age-related effects such as wrinkles, discoloration and loss of collagen.
Although you can use hemp oil to create your own body scrubs and moisturizers, you can also look in the beauty and skincare aisle of your favorite natural market to see if there is a ready-to-go product that contains the combination of organic ingredients that you want to see in a treatment. You can also shop online for the perfect picks that feature nature’s best.
Understanding the drawbacks of hemp oil
Hemp oil comes from the same plant as a recreational drug
Although hemp oil does not contain any notable traces of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol, which is found in other parts of the cannabis plant, hemp oil does come from cannabis. The association between hemp oil and other parts of the plant makes some individuals nervous about consuming the oil.
Even of those who are willing to recognize that the oil itself is not a drug, some individuals still have moral and personal objections to using hemp seed oil because creating a demand for the oil means that the demand for the plant overall is also increasing. Consequently, hemp oil isn’t for everyone. If you have any reservations about consuming the oil, you can easily stay away from the product according to your personal beliefs and preferences.
Hemp oil is not a low-calorie option
Hemp oil has around 120 calories per tablespoon, which is similar to that of olive, coconut and vegetable oils. Because the oil is a source of fat and not a low-calorie option, hemp oil should not be consumed in large quantities. When adding hemp into your diet, it’s best to use it as a replacement for a different type of fat that you’re currently consuming. Substituting hemp oil into your diet while removing some other fat off of your plate can help keep your overall calorie and weight management goals on track.
Hemp seed oil is not a good choice when frying
Hemp oil has a low smoke point when compared to other oils so it should not be used when pan frying or deep frying food. Those who enjoy the taste and/or benefits of hemp oil commonly add the substance as a vinaigrette-like dressing after food has already been prepared or the individuals simply ingest the oil by itself as a tonic-like dietary supplement.
Unsaturated oils can spontaneously spoil
If not stored properly in a dark and airtight container, hemp oil can oxidize and become rancid easily because of the high content of unsaturated oils. Ideally, you should refrigerate the oil to help prevent this from happening. If you want to keep your hemp oil in storage, you may actually be able to successfully freeze the oil in order to help it stay good for longer.
Hemp oil is a dietary supplements and not a medication
When looking at the purported health benefits of hemp oil, remember that the oil is a dietary supplement and not an actual medicine. Even when a dietary supplement lists a number of disease-fighting capabilities, you’ll notice the accompanying fine print warning that the product is not intended as a drug and that the statements printed have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Some of the claimed benefits are, frankly, just too good to be true so don’t fall prey to the marketing scams that can trick you into buying products that don’t work as advertised. If you have a serious medical condition that warrants attention, consult with a medical professional about your situation rather than just picking up an over-the-counter oil that may or may not provide any health benefits concerning your area of need.