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Hemp Oil: Benefits, Nutrition, Side Effects and Facts

Hemp oil is an oil extracted from the hemp plant. All plants in the Cannabis genus can produce the oil, but usually only industrial hemp is used to make hemp oil. Industrial hemp is a hemp varietal which has been cultivated specifically for industrial production, and it has a minimum of the psychoactive substances associated with the genus, most notably THC. Hemp oil is typically almost free of THC, and it has no psychoactive properties.

Seeds tend to produce the best hemp oil, although the whole plant can be pressed for oil. Cold pressed oil which has not been refined has a rich, nutty flavor and a green tint. After refining, hemp oil becomes colorless, and the flavor is fairly minimal. There are a number of uses for it, and a variety of packaging formats as a result.

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One classic use is in soaps. Hemp oil is also used in paints and lubricants, and as a body care product.

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It may be rubbed directly onto the skin to treat cracked, dry skin, or it can be blended into body oils, body creams, and other personal care products. Some people also use it as a dietary supplement, taking advantage of the high concentrations of essential fatty acids in unrefined hemp oil and using the oil as a dressing or garnish to improve nutrition.

Unrefined hemp oil does not have a very long shelf life. The oil quickly goes rancid, unless it is stored in dark containers in a refrigerated environment. People who use unrefined hemp oil generally purchase it in small amounts so that it will not become rancid. The oil is also not suitable for cooking, because it has a very low smoking point. Refined hemp oil is much more shelf stable, although many of the benefits of it are not present after refining.

Hemp is a controversial crop in some regions of the world, due to concerns about psychoactive plants in the Cannabis genus. In some regions, cultivation of hemp is banned, although products made from hemp such as oil, hemp garments, and hemp paper may be legal. In other areas, hemp is permitted, but only industrial hemp, and some nations freely permit cultivation of all plants in this genus, assuming that regulation is a more efficient technique for control than outright bans. Wild hemp is also not uncommon in some regions of the world, making it difficult to enforce bans on hemp crops.

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Hemp Oil Uses

Every application that uses petroleum for its skin and hair products can use hemp oil as it is more beneficial and herbal. It can be used in many health issues as either a pain reducer or even as the cure for it.

  • Since hemp oil is natural, it is used as a moisturizing oil which can be applied after a shower or a bath. When you massage your body with it, it nourishes the skin and increases the blood circulation.

  • Hemp oil is used in cooking as well, though it is not suitable for high heat cooking. Along with giving a slightly nutty and crispy taste to food, it can be the perfect salad oil just in case you're out of olive oil.

  • Another application of hemp oil is its use as biodiesel in the same manner like other vegetable oils. It is a safe replacement for petroleum as it is non-toxic and doesn't harm the environment.
  • Almost all the forms of plastics can be made by using hemp oil instead of using petroleum as a base. As those made from petroleum, release harmful chemicals while decomposition, but those from hemp oil, don't.
  • Hemp oil can also be used in the production of paints as it doesn't cause any harmful releases when washed down from the drain and has very low emissions than the petroleum paints which are currently being used.
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Hemp Oil Nutrition

  • The oil contained in the hemp seed is 75-80% polyunsaturated fatty acids (the good fats) and only 9-11% of the less desired saturated fatty acids. Hemp seed oil is reputed to be the most unsaturated oil derived from the plant kingdom. The essential fatty acids contained in hemp seed oil are required in our diet more than any other vitamin, yet our bodies do not naturally produce them. They must be obtained from external sources in the food we eat. Essential fatty acids are involved with producing life's energy throughout the human body and without them, life is not possible. In general, North Americans have a high dietary deficiency in essential fatty acids due to our high intake of animal fats versus plant fats, caused by our high consumption of processed foods and meats versus natural organic foods.
  • Hemp seed oil has been dubbed "Nature's most perfectly balanced oil", due to the fact that it contains the perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 (linolei/LA) to Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic/LNA) essential fatty acids, determined to be the optimum requirement for long-term healthy human nutrition. In addition, it also contains smaller amounts of 3 other polyunsaturated fatty acids in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), oleic acid and stearidonic acid. The EFA combination is unique among edible oil seeds.
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  • Extensive studies have demonstrated that many common illnesses are related to deficiencies or imbalances of specific fatty acids in the body. Symptoms are often related to a lack of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and their derivatives, the postaglandins. Most people eating a healthful diet, one that includes a balanced ratio of essential fatty acids, also have healthy skin and a strong immune system. Yet some individuals may experience shortages in specific fatty acids or their metabolites due to dysfunctional enzyme systems or other inhibitions in their metabolic pathways caused by genetic, immune-system-related, or even environmental factors. It has been proven in several clinical studies that dietary supplementation with essential fatty acids or their metabolites (such as GLA) will often prevent or even cure these illnesses. Since hemp seed oil contains both essential fatty acids in a desirable balance while also providing two of the essential fatty acid metabolites, it is a good resource for the prevention and treatment of certain illnesses.
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  • Hemp seed oil also provides an adequate supply of antioxidants (Vitamin E), carotene (precursor to Vitamin A), phytosterols, phospholipids and a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, along with modest amounts of iron and zinc. Hemp seed oil also provides a good source of chlorophyll.
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Hemp Oil Benefits

  • The hemp oil has a number of health benefits and its products as well as its raw forms are used to provide many essential amino acids to the body. If the body is deprived of any of these amino acids there are serious problems like genetic mutations and cancer. Hemp oil cures cancer as the essential and non-essential amino acids are present in abundance in the oil and thus when hemp oil is regularly used by cancer patients, there are chances of cure. Thus using hemp seed oil is very useful for many reasons.

Hemp Oil Benefits for Skin

  • The hemp oil contains a number of fatty acids which are very healthy for your skin. These fatty acids nourish and moisturize your skin in the right manner and sufficient amount. There are many skin products like face creams and body creams which have hemp oil as the main ingredients. This is because it is herbal and has almost no side effects. A skin massage of only hemp oil, would give you healthy and rich skin which looks very young and held. If you are a regular user of hemp oil products for the natural skin care, it acts as an anti-aging benefit too. Hemp oil prevents skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, acne and dry skin.
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Hemp Oil Benefits for Hair

  • There are many hair health benefits of hemp oil as well. Many non-commercial and herbal hair products like shampoos, hair oils, conditioners, etc. are made by using hemp oil. Like the skin care, massages with hemp oil products can improve blood circulation in the head and the brain. Washing hair with hemp oil shampoos and conditioners, can thicken the hair texture and keep the scalp away from dandruff. Thus hemp oil is very beneficial for your hair care as well. Loss of hair is also reduced by using them and scalp infections and problems are kept away.
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Alpha-Linolenic Acid

  • Hemp oil is an abundant source of alpha-linolenic acid. Alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential to proper organ function. It is similar to the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, and can help prevent heart disease, arthritis and depression, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It can also help reduce low density lipoprotein cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol that clogs arteries.

"Super" Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

  • Hemp oil is also rich in "super" polyunsaturated fatty acids, most notably gamma-linolenic acid and stearidonic acid. Although these are not essential fatty acids, they may help reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and other skin conditions. However, the amount of these non-essential fatty acids varies according to the quality of the hemp plant the acids were derived from.

Protein Content

  • Hemp oil is comprised of 25 percent protein, says Dr. Andrew Weil, the program director for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, which is recognized by the Arizona Board of Regents. This high-quality protein provides amino acids in ratios similar to the protein in meats and eggs. The structure of hemp oil proteins makes them easily digestible. Compared to other oils, hemp oil provides the protein and amino acids the body needs without adding unnecessary calories.

Hemp Seed Oil Dosage

  • The daily recommended allowance of hemp seed oil is 14-28 ml (1 to 2 tablespoons). This allowance provides between 8 and 16 grams of Omega 6 (LA) and between 3 and 6 grams of Omega 3 (LNA).

Can Hemp Oil Make You High?

In short, no. To grow marijuna you have to have special seed that grows a plant high in THC, the property responsible for the drug response. Commercial hemp seed or hemp seed oil contains very low amounts, plus they contain a substance that counteracts THC.

Reality: Hemp oil is an increasingly popular product, used for an expanding variety of purposes. The washed hemp seed contains no THC at all. The tiny amounts of THC contained in industrial hemp are in the glands of the plant itself. Sometimes, in the manufacturing process, some THC- and CBD-containing resin sticks to the seed, resulting in traces of THC in the oil that is produced. The concentration of these cannabinoids in the oil is infinitesimal. No one can get high from using hemp oil.

Hemp Oil Side Effects

Hemp oil can be used for the treatment of minor health ailments and as a dietary supplement for the promotion of general good health. Hemp oil is considered one of the most useful natural supplements for the body due to its ability to provide essential fatty acids to humans that we would not be able to manufacture on our own. However, you should also be aware of potential side effects associated with hemp oil. As such, be sure to speak to a medical professional for more information on hemp oil effects.

Peroxides

  • Avoid using hemp oil for frying. It should be used in cold and warm dishes that are never heated above 121 degrees F. High heat breaks down polyunsaturated fats into harmful peroxides. Use Hemp Seed Oil as a flavor-enhancer in many recipes. Do not use as a substitute for frying oils. Keep bottles tightly sealed after opening and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Digestive Symptoms

  • According to PeaceHealth, a website dedicated to providing information on an array of different supplements and medications, hemp oil can cause minor side effects in the digestive system. For example, the website suggests that hemp and hemp oil can soften the stools, often leading to diarrhea or abdominal cramping. Many times, excessive diarrhea can lead to increased weight loss or malabsorption. While further research is needed to substantiate these side effect claims, it is recommended that for individuals with a history of digestive disorders or irregular bowel movements to not take hemp oil supplements.

THC Effects

As the PeaceHealth website suggests, hemp oil derives from a plant that contains high levels of the neurological chemical THC. This chemical can cause hallucinations, euphoria or high anxiety in supplement users when taken on a regular basis. As such, hemp oil supplements can cause similar effects in some patients using the herb for the treatment of any disorder. It is recommended that supplement users not take hemp oil products prior to operating machinery or driving due to the risk of these hallucinogenic properties. This is especially true to individuals who are overly-sensitive to THC, which can be determined by visiting your medical doctor for more information.

Effects of the Blood

Another common side effect that hemp oil can cause in supplement users involves the cardiac system and bloodstream. As the PeaceHealth website states, hemp oil products can directly affect the anticoagulant properties of platelets within the blood, often inhibiting their very production. As a result, patients who are currently being treated for a blood clotting deficiency or other cardiac medical condition are strongly advised to stay away from hemp oil supplements of any kind due to possible symptom complications.