Hemp oil is a unique plant-based health product with many surprising benefits for your well-being. In Australia, hemp oil is used as a dietary supplement and food source. It’s been well-researched for its ability to support overall nutrition and assist in mitigating many conditions including inflammation. Hemp oil is simultaneously being used as a massage medium, to promote healthier skin and hair, better blood pressure, healthier hormonal balance, and improved nutrition quality. It’s also vegan-friendly and entirely natural, making it great for those on plant-based diets. Let’s uncover what hemp oil is and why people use it. We’ll examine its benefits, and effects and give you an overview of how to take it.
What is Hemp Oil?
There are many types of plant-based oil products. These are generally either sourced from ‘whole plant’ extraction or from the plant’s seeds. In whole-plant extraction, all parts of a plant are compressed and processed to be refined into a concentrated oil. While seed-based oils are sourced from the plant’s seeds alone. Hemp oil is sourced from hemp plants and can be produced using either of these methods. Each will produce a nutrient-rich golden oil that contains high quantities of plant nutrients and healthy fats but will have some differences in the nutrients they contain.
For hemp oil produced from hemp seeds – the oil is made after the hemp plant’s seeds are stripped from the plant, compressed, and finally extracted into a highly nutritious oil form. Hemp seeds have a unique nutrient profile due to containing the ideal ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids at a 1:3 ratio. These fats are synergistic but provide the best health benefits whereas omega 6 is used at a higher mix. Hemp seeds are extremely nutrient-dense as they are designed to grow an entire hemp plant. They are packed with antioxidants like lignans and beta-caryophyllene that aid in metabolic health.
With whole-plant extracted hemp oil, the method of production is slightly different. Because this method uses all parts of the hemp plant, it is a bit more involved. The entire hemp plant must first be dried after harvesting. This removes water content that can dilute or degrade the final oil extract. After drying, the plant is stripped of its leaves, buds, seeds, and stems. All parts of the plant are broken down, compressed, and refined using an extraction process. This might involve the use of alcohol as a solvent or gasses like CO2 under extreme pressures to separate heavier plant matter from the pure hemp oil contained in the plant. Whole plant-extracted hemp oil contains a greater variety of minerals, phytonutrients, and vitamins than hemp seed oil but fewer long-chain fatty acids like GLA and ALA.
What Does it Contain?
As a plant-based oil, hemp oil offers the perfect healthy substitute for traditional vegetable oils because it concentrates carbohydrates, manganese, calcium, potassium, and Vitamins A, Vitamin B, D, and E. It also is rich in zinc, magnesium, and other useful bioactive compounds that support metabolic and cardiovascular health. Additionally, fatty acids from hemp like omega-6 and omega-3 aid with brain, heart, and skin health. Omega fats are high-quality antioxidants and are classified as healthy unsaturated fats. Hemp also contains all nine essential amino acids which are the building blocks for muscle and new cells. Finally, gamma-linolenic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are produced by hemp in high quantities. Both support lower blood pressure and improved inflammatory markers, in addition to having anti-carcinogenic properties.
Is Hemp Oil Different from CBD Oil?
Both hemp and CBD oil are extracted from the cannabis plant. Because of this, they have many similarities in appearance, method of consumption, smell, and taste, and even contain much of the same nutrient content. For example, full-spectrum CBD oil contains most of the same nutrients that hemp oil provides like omega 3s, zinc, and vitamin E. But hemp oil and CBD oil are different. The key difference between these two products is that CBD oils contain cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are bioactive compounds that are naturally produced by the hemp plant. They are absorbed by the cannabinoid receptors located in the brain and body. More than 100 cannabinoids have been discovered and each has different benefits. Hemp oil doesn’t contain these compounds which are refined during filtration.
Outside of their differences in cannabinoid content, hemp, and CBD oil have different roles for their users, plus differing benefits. Hemp oil is largely used as a dietary supplement or additive. Its typically added as part of a dietary regime to provide the user with more healthy fats, nutrient density, and vitamins into the diet. It can be quickly and easily consumed with food, and drinks or added as a tasty topping to salads and other dishes for a nutrient boost. Hemp oil also supports reduced inflammation, healthier skin, and reduced blood pressure. CBD on the other hand is used for therapeutic purposes. It has properties that mitigate anxiety, reduce stress, enhance sleep, support lower inflammation, and can help reduce pain. Its effects are more potent than hemp oil as it directly activates the endocannabinoid system of the body which helps control sleep, immunity, and homeostasis.
Both CBD and hemp oil are used in distinct ways to support improved health. Hemp oil is added to food or can be topically applied to the skin and hair for the absorption of healthy fats. CBD oil is taken in many ways like capsules, tinctures, topicals, and even vape products, to target and address specific health conditions. Both are highly bioavailable and readily absorbed by the body.
What Benefits Does Hemp Oil Provide?
Hemp oil is excellent for the skin and hair due to its high concentrations of healthy fats. It contains omega 3, omega 6, polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, GLA, ALA, and other quality fats. In the body, fats are used to build and support hormones. Many of these hormones have significant effects on the health of our skin and hair, influencing oil balance and sebum content. Poor hormone levels and low intake of healthy fats can wreak havoc on our skin’s health and lead to conditions like acne. These fats are essential for oil balance in the skin and maintenance of moisture within the skin’s many layers.
Some of these fats are even anti-inflammatory. Polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega 3 help lower inflammatory markers in the skin’s surface and avoid irritation from allergens. They may be key to avoiding autoimmune conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and even acne in some cases. These conditions are often caused by the body’s immune system causing excess skin build-up and imbalances in sebum. Resultantly the skin becomes either excessively dry and flaky – as with eczema or psoriasis. With acne, the opposite occurs. Excessive oil and sebum in combination with bacteria or other allergens causes unsightly pimples and boils. Healthy fats like those in hemp can help to restore the skin’s natural oil balance and moisture, preventing these problems. It’s even being added to many moisturizers and soothing balms today to enrich them with high concentrations of restorative nutrients.
With its uniquely powerful mix of healthy fats, hemp oil can provide rejuvenation for both your scalp and hair. It can aid in replenishing dry scalp skin which occurs with dandruff. The scalp is often neglected as a site that needs moisturization and skin care. Harsh shampoos or conditions can also dry it out and lead to flaky, itchy skin. Dandruff can also be caused by a fungus that feeds on the oils produced by the scalp. The rich polyunsaturated fats like GLA and ALA in hemp oil also support hair moisture content and sheen. Healthy plant-based fats like coconut or argan oil are already used widely by people seeking to restore their hair’s keratin. It is effectively a natural conditioner but avoids the use of harsh chemicals found in many conditioners you will find in stores. You can use hemp oil daily directly on your hair to improve its condition, moisture, and oil balance, or simply buy a natural shampoo or hair product that contains hemp oil. In either case, your scalp and hair will be nourished, have improved oil balance, and have a healthier appearance.
Hemp oil contains a range of natural antioxidants. This supports improved metabolic health and helps defend your cells from damage. You can use it as a relief from inflammation. What makes it anti-inflammatory? Hemp was rich in gamma linoleic acid (GLA), alpha-linolenic acid, and Omega-3 fatty acid. Each of these has anti-inflammatory properties. They support the body in reducing oxidative stress, the primary cause of inflammation. Oxidative stress occurs from free radicals that damage our cells, leading to aging, reduced recovery ability, and dampened immunity. Healthier cells mean your body is more resilient – from your immune system to cardiovascular and brain health. In 2007 a study showed that hemp oil can prove helpful in helping to protect against inflammatory bowel problems like colitis. It is best used in combination with other plant foods to maximize antioxidant variety. Much of these health-protecting outcomes are the result of protective antioxidative vitamins like E and K. Preventing and reversing cellular damage through consuming phytonutrient-rich products like hemp oil is an easy way to boost overall health.
Blood Pressure Benefits
Outside of its amazing nutrition content, hemp oil contains chemicals like tannins and lignans which help in lowering our blood pressure and improving our blood lipids. The omega fatty acid content of hemp oil further helps in reinforcing cardiovascular health. Omega 3 in particular helps your body in reducing triglycerides and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Omegas help the body clear LDL cholesterol and prevent arterial plaque build-up, particularly when combined with other measures like exercise. Hemp oil also contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a long-chain fatty acid that helps to improve blood pressure and reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease. ALA is also a common component in many fish and flax seed oils. It’s beneficial to heart health because it helps in reducing high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and cholesterol levels
Hemp seed oil has numerous phytonutrients like polyphenols, which play an important role in protecting the brain. It plays a role in lowering blood pressure in people with hypertension (high blood pressure). Hemp oil also contains high levels of helpful minerals like manganese, magnesium, zinc, and iron. These support energy production and haemoglobin levels in the blood.
Not only can hemp oil be applied to your skin or hair to enhance your health – but you can also consume it as a nutrition booster. It contains chlorophyll, which is what gives the oil its green-gold colour. This substance is what makes plants green. But it’s also what makes them extremely healthy for the body as it is highly antioxidative. Other key plant nutrients include terpenes, which are the ‘smell’ enzymes produced in many plants like lavender and hemp, which are nutritious and protective of cell health. Hemp is rich in cannaflavins, carotene, and beta-caryophyllene – potent anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Each of these naturally produced chemicals is supportive of overall immunity, metabolic function, and physical well-being.
How to Choose a Hemp Oil Product
When choosing a hemp oil product ensure you research and compare prices, ingredients, and quality online. Seek organic products which will be free from pesticides and herbicides that can contaminate many plant-based supplements. You should also look for oil sourced from biodynamic and GMO-free hemp. Ensure your supplier is trusted – many providers sell olive oil as hemp oil. It can be difficult to tell the difference. You might also see a different hemp oil type known as CBD oil sold in some countries which can assist with problems like arthritis, anxiety, or pain. Cannabinoids in this oil known as cannabidiol can assist with many health areas and many use it for sleep and insomnia. It may not be legal though depending on where you live. Be aware when buying hemp oil to not mix it up with CBD oil to avoid this risk. Ensure you read the label and confirm your product contains no cannabinoids like CBD or THC.
Hemp oil is more popular than ever in Australia – and for good reason. It has amazing benefits for your overall health, skin, and hair. It can also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. You can use it topically or for dietary purposes to take in higher levels of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Because of its rich phytonutrient content, it’s great for metabolic health, immunity, and supporting your heart. It’s easily digested, can be readily added to food, and drinks and you can take it daily without any side effect risks. Hemp oil is entirely safe, has no psychoactive effects, and is ideal for any health-conscious user. Look for organic, non-GMO products when buying, and ensure you research product quality.