Its use dates back thousands of years in history, yet Hemp is slowly becoming the new modern fad as the public conversation moves away from political rhetoric and towards the many, many uses of one of nature’s most unique and versatile plants. In everything from environmental conservation, manufacturing and textiles, to skin care, beauty and dietary supplements, Hemp has an estimated 50,000 uses and counting. To list them all would take an age, so we’ve made a list of just 5 important health benefits of Hemp and how they can help you.
The Marijuana Myth
Despite its chronicled use throughout ancient history, modern governments have often vilified and banned Hemp due to association with its psychoactive cousin, Marijuana.
What many fail to understand is that industrially cultivated Hemp is an entirely different strain of plant. Hemp is harvested for its seeds, oil and fibre, and has little to no THC with no resulting psychoactive effects. In other words, eating Hemp won’t make you high.
5 Health Benefits of Hemp
1. Hemp the Super Food
Hemp is considered a “super food” thanks to its high levels of vitamins, minerals and protein. Even though Hemp foods are still banned in Australia, other countries have recognised the most important health benefits of Hemp – its high nutrient density, high protein content, and essential fatty acid (EFA) ratio.
Hemp’s Dietary Benefits:
- High in vitamins A, B, D and E
- High in minerals iron, magnesium, and phosphorus
- A complete protein that contains all essential amino acids
- High in Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids
- High in fibre and easily digested
Hemp as a Protein Source:
Hemp is comprised of almost 30% protein, and more importantly, it’s also a complete protein. Complete proteins contain every essential amino acid needed by the body for good health. The human body isn’t able to produce these on its own, so we have to source them from meat and other protein sources. Hemp’s robust protein content makes it a valuable addition to any diet, but especially to vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. Just two tablespoons (about 30g) of Hemp seed contains around 6.9g of protein. By comparison, 1 egg has 8g and 30g of chicken breast has approximately 8.5g of protein. As a plant protein source that’s also high in fibre, Hemp is easily digested and not as tough on the digestive system as some animal proteins.
2. Hemp for Heart Health
Though there is still a lot of research to be done, another potential health benefit of Hemp could be its effects on cholesterol levels and heart health. Hemp is rich in the Omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid (LA) and the Omega-3 a-linoleic acid (ALA). These essential fatty acids (EFAs) are important for heart health, and some researchers are looking into the possibility of Hemp seed oil as an alternative to fish oil or flax seed supplements.
Benefits of EFAs for Heart Health:
- Support good cardiovascular health
- Promote circulation
- Help maintain healthy cholesterol levels
Studies into Hemp oil’s use as a supplement for healthy heart function found that some subjects’ overall cholesterol levels were lowered after taking Hemp supplements for a period of time. However, findings in this area are largely inconclusive when compared to other well-known supplements such as fish oil and flax seed, and some concluded that higher doses of Hemp oil would be needed to achieve the same positive outcomes.
3. Better Skin
Hemp seed oil is well known for its many wonderful skin care properties, which are said to help those with combination, dry or acne prone skin as well as being helpful in the treatment of eczema, rosacea, and other dermatological issues.
Hemp oil contains around 50-60% Omega-6 and 15-20% Omega-3 essential fatty acids, a ratio of 3:1 which is a perfect match to human skin. This means that it quickly and easily soaks into the skin, hydrating from the inside out and helping to reduce redness and inflammation. Hemp oil also has a comedogenic rating of 0, meaning that it doesn’t clog pores. It’s often referred to as a “dry” oil due to its fast absorbing nature.
• Reduction of pore size, blackheads and acne
• Reconstruction of the skin’s water barrier and elasticity
• Reduction of wrinkles and signs of ageing
• Treatment of eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, and inflammation (as approved by a dermatologist)
• Anti-inflammatory benefits
• Antioxidant effects that protect skin from free radicals
Hemp seed oil is a wonderful occlusive that helps lock in moisture and soften the skin, but it also has a firm lather, making it an effective oil cleanser that can clean deeply and washes off easily, leaving your skin feeling silky and smooth.
You can use straight Hemp seed oil, or find it in a wide array of commercial cleansers, lotions, soaps, lip balms and other skin care products. We stock a range of Australian grown and 100% natural Hemp products for skin, face and hair.
G.R.E.E.N Hemp products are 100% natural and Australian grown. We stock a variety of G.R.E.E.N Hemp soaps and other products.
4. Natural Healing
Because Hemp is such a good emollient rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, it works wonders for some in healing dry, itchy skin. Hemp’s emollient properties mean that it traps moisture into the skin, creating a protective barrier. Hemp is also rich in GLAs (gamma linoleic acids) which is an essential skin lipid that encourages skin regeneration at a cellular level. The GLAs in Hemp oil are said to speed up the cell renewal process, making for fast healing of skin irritations, allergic dermatitis and some inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Skin salves and balms containing Hemp are becoming more and more common as people embrace its healing properties. Products like G.R.E.E.N’s Hemp Healing Balm contain pure Hemp oil with another rich emollient, such as beeswax, and offer a powerful natural remedy for a whole range of minor to chronic skin conditions. Hemp has also been said to help soothe itchy bug bites, nappy rash, minor burns, and can even be helpful in fading scars and stretch marks.
5. Natural Hair Care
Similar to Argan oil, Hemp oil is rich in essential nutrients that are beneficial for the health and vitality of your hair. Just as hydrating for your hair as for your skin, Hemp oil nourishes and softens the hair, smoothing frizz and leaving hair with a silky shine. Hemp oil has been proven to be beneficial in stimulating keratin production, which is why many who include Hemp in their diet report stronger hair and nails.
Again, it’s Hemp’s perfect 3:1 fatty acid ratio that’s responsible for its ability to heal and nourish the hair. As you age, your hair can become deficient in Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, and Hemp oil works to replace this nutrient loss, keeping hair youthful and smooth. Symptoms of hair that’s lacking in EFAs include brittle hair, scalp irritation and dandruff.
Use herbal products with knowledge and caution and always consult an appropriate health care professional before use.
All information presented is provided as a guideline and we do not warrant its accuracy. Information provided is based on research and data that we believe to be reliable at this time. Statements regarding health conditions are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Each person is different, and the way you react to a particular product may be significantly different from other people.