Hemp is a variant of the cannabis plant and the hemp seeds produce an oil known as hemp oil, hemp seed oil or CBD oil. The cannabis family range from cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, cannabis ruderalis, and the hemp plant. One element which is common in most of the variations of the plant is the presence of over 100 different chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. The two most common cannabinoids found in cannabis as well as hemp plant are THC (trans-Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol) which is a psychoactive compound which makes users high, and CBD which isn’t. While THC can be traced in the hemp plant, it’s such a small amount that it can’t make you high.
With 23 states in the United States declaring it legal for medicinal purposes (and some for both medical and recreational), the uncertainty created by varying federal and state positions on the subject has somehow prevented physicians to go all out and prescribe such medicines.
With the hemp plant and hemp oil gaining popularity for its many uses, we thought that it would be a fun idea to create a list that provides information on hemp oil and the hemp plant that most people may not know including its uses, possible health benefits, side effects and more.
Hemp is not marijuana. Hemp is Cannabis Sativa – While they are all “related” and are apart of the same plant family, hemp and marijuana have differences as well as similarities. Industrial/agricultural hemp has extremely low levels of THC (below 0.3%), unlike marijuana which has very high concentrates of THC (above 0.3%). While smoking marijuana, it’s unlikely to get a headache, while smoking hemp could cause one.
Hemp could help combat world hunger – Food shortages in inevitable with overpopulation and various other environmental factors. However, the hemp plant might be able to help the hungry and those suffering from Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) – lack of protein and calories. Childhood malnutrition affects 19,000,000 children worldwide, including the United States.
For such a small seed, hemp is jam-packed with protein and amino-acids (Glycerin, one of the essential amino acids, plays an important role in regulating inflammation. It heals the body in a natural way without outside intervention), which could help combat PEM while also being a good protein supplement for vegans and vegetarians.
Hemp holds therapeutic effects which could treat a range of conditions – Studies on the hemp plant show that it has potential in being used as a treatment for anxiety. The anxiety relieving property of hemp oil is not exactly understood fully but the trace amounts of THC may be responsible for that sense of stillness and tranquility.
Hemp may have beneficial effects in treating arthritis. Arthritis is synonymous with inflammation and pain. Studies conducted on people suffering from different varieties of the medical condition such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis have found marked relief and also a significant decrease in its symptoms when treated with real scientific hemp oil.
Researchers are indicating through scientific results that hemp could help prevent and treat acne, eczema and other skin conditions. It is believed that CBD can be used as a highly effective treatment for acne. Studies show that pure CBD prevents external bacterial attacks and at the same time it keeps the skin nourished. Hemp oil reduces inflammation, pain and at the same time calms down the sebaceous glands, preventing over production of sebum.
Hemp oil could be used as an antidote for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). As mentioned above, it has potential in treating the symptoms of chronic anxiety arising out of other serious illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety, and panic disorders.
Hemp Oil Could be Used as a Supplement – Hemp oil, especially its seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. It is one of the few plants that boast its presence and that too in admirable quantity. Incidentally, Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and it also lowers blood pressure. On the other hand Omega-6, fatty acids in hemp oil stimulate hair growth, regulates metabolism for optimum functioning of the brain and other organs.
Hemp is one of the strongest natural fiber across the globe and it is known to have 50’000+ uses. The cultivation of the hemp plant in itself has its own benefits. In fact, Hemp can gather between three to eight tons of fiber per acre (four times the average forest can gather). Cultivating hemp also does not require pesticides or chemicals. Here are a few things that the hemp plant can be used for;
Textiles – the stalks from hemp have been used for crafting shoes, fine fabrics, diapers, clothes and handbags for tens of thousands of years. History dates back as hemp being used for these items as far back as Ancient China.
Industrial textiles the stalks from hemp (industrial hemp) can be used for making rope, carpet, netting, and canvas’. Netting and rope made from hemp date back 10’000 years.
Building materials – the stalks from hemp is known to be a good insulator, it can also be made into fibreboard, fiberglass, and acrylics. It’s also common for hemp to be used for crafting paper-based products such as cardboard, packaging, and printing.
Industrial products – The seeds from the hemp plant can be turned into fuel, coatings and varnishes, printing inks and oil paints. The hemp-based oil paints are said to be less toxic, which is why many painters trying to improve their health are starting to use hemp-based paint.
Food and skin/body care – With the rise of CBD oil, hemp oil has also gained popularity due to the fact that they both contain the same chemical compound. As a result, many beauty companies are making hemp oil-infused shampoos, lip balms, cosmetics, and various other lotions and potions. All of which could help promote healthy skin.
The hemp plant has so many benefits, and it’s no wonder industrial hemp is growing more than ever. The future for the plant is bright while science uncovers more potentials in all aspects and for various types of industries.