Going back as far as 6000 BC, hemp seeds and hemp oil have commonly been used for everything from cooking to making paper, building materials, and clothing, especially in ancient Chinese culture and medicine, where hemp oil was sought out to treat a variety of ailments. In Western culture, including in the United States, hemp oil extracted from hemp seeds has long been used in soaps, and in cooking for hemp’s nutty flavor.
But today, studies are proving that hemp seed oil as well as cannabis oil (cannabidiol/CBD) has a wide range of important health benefits to help treat everything from chronic pain and immune system issues to boosting brain and heart health and more. Hemp oil and CBD are additionally appealing because there are no side effects — and no high, as they contain only negligible small amount of THC (less than 0.3 percent), the psychoactive element of the cannabis plant.
This is why, in addition to medical marijuana and CBD, oil extracted from hemp plant seeds is growing as a popular natural treatment or aid in addressing a wide range of health concerns. And it’s proving to be an effective treatment — when applied topically or ingested as supplements.
Like cannabidiol CBD, hemp oil extracts work with the complex network of cell receptors of our natural endocannabinoid system that partner with the nervous system to regulate stress, anxiety and mood, along with other essential functions including pain and pleasure. They regulate our “happy hormones,” serotonin and dopamine, which help put you in a calmer state.
Hemp Oil for Pain
The same goes for hemp oil and CBD oil for pain management. Our endocannabinoid system helps regulate how we perceive pain through regulation of our nervous system. Studies increasingly suggest that CBD and hemp seed oil can be valuable in managing mild to chronic pain.
Hemp Oil for Inflammation
Hemp oil is rich in a powerful anti-inflammatory called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that helps with inflammation as well as encouraging new cell generation and skin growth—which can help with general inflammation and ailments such as acne.
Immunity-Boosting Qualities of Hemp
Cannabidiol CBD contains terpenes, the aroma molecules found in plants. And while hemp seed oil contains fewer terpenes, it does contain myrcene (musk) and beta-caryophyllene (pepper), which research shows act as a cannabinoid in the body, interacting with our natural endocannabinoid cell receptors that regulate the immune system. Research has shown myrcene has anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant effects. It also acts as an antioxidant and helps molecules move across cell membranes.
Hemp Oil for Balancing Hormone
Studies have shown that the gamma-linolic (GLA) omega-6 fatty acid in hemp oil also helps balance hormones in the body. This means that hemp oil has potential for easing PMS—premenstrual symptoms—as well as easing pain and cramping during menstruation.
Hemp for Your Brain’s Health
Hemp seed oil is considered to be an excellent nutrient for brain health as it contains additional essential fatty acids, including DHA–docosahexaenoic acid. DHA is crucial to brain health and plays a critical part in brain development, which suggests another of the benefits of hemp oil for expectant moms to provide brain health benefits to their developing baby by supplementing with hemp oil during pregnancy.
Hemp for Your Heart
Yet another of hemp oil uses in the health department is its benefit in promoting overall heart health, and in particular supporting healthy cardiovascular function. This is because hemp seed oil has the balance Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids that research shows is best for supporting a healthy heart—a ratio of 3:1. A 2007 study of hemp seed oil showed that hemp seed oil helps relieve side effects from cancer treatments as well as preventing heart disease through reduced platelet aggregation (clotting).
Anti-aging, Skin Health, and Healing with Hemp
Hemp oil’s high fatty acid content make it perfect for body lotions resulting in lusciously moisturized and smooth skin, or applied topically to discrete areas of concern. Again, it’s the omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that encourages new cell and skin growth, and keeps the skin moisturized and nourished. This means it can help ease the symptoms of acne and even more serious conditions like psoriasis. Studies show that hemp seed oil can have a dramatic impact in alleviating irritation, itching, and skin dryness—and even helping to treat atopic dermatitis. Another of the many benefits of hemp oil is its anti-aging benefits as it contains anti-oxidants that help soothe and smooth the skin. Hemp oil’s ability to reduce inflammation also helps skin fight aging.