Farmers have been growing hemp since the dawn of civilisation. In fact, according to historians, there is evidence of hemp cultivation from more than 10,000 years ago. The use of hemp fibre to make sacks, ropes and other hardy textile products is well known. But it is only in comparatively recent times that its wellness and therapeutic properties have really started to be understood and documented.
Hemp and CBD
Part of the reason for this is the hype that has surrounded CBD oil over the past year or so. Hemp and CBD both derive from the cannabis plant, but from completely different parts of it. CBD is a cannabinoid that can be extracted from the flowers of the plant, while hemp oil is extracted from cannabis seeds. The claimed therapeutic benefits of CBD oil have been well documented, and it is commonly used as a natural remedy to help with a wide variety of conditions. But hemp oil is also rich in nutrients and can likewise be beneficial to health.
Promoting better heart health
One of the most important health-giving properties of hemp oil is that it contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in a perfect three to one ratio. This is associated with reducing inflammation within the body that is not always obvious from the outside but that can have serious long term consequences. Heart disease is a prime example. A report published in Nutrition and Metabolism back in 2010 discussed this and went on to suggest that the overall nutritional profile of hemp oil makes it an ideal complementary supplement to help with a number of different heart conditions, including hypertension and raised cholesterol.
A youthful glow
There are all sorts of creams and lotions on the market that claim anti-aging properties. It might sound like either marketing spiel or some sort of miracle, but there is science behind the claims. Again, it all comes down to those omega fatty acids, and they benefit the skin in two distinct ways. Firstly, they keep it moisturised and supple, giving it a fuller and healthier appearance. Secondly, studies have shown that they can help clear up several common skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis and lichen planus.
How about hemp seeds?
It’s not just the oil that is attracting the attention of health conscious consumers. Many are munching on hemp seeds themselves, too. They are rich in gamma-linolenic acid, which, according to a 2016 study, gives them strong anti-inflammatory properties. They also contain a whole range of other health-giving nutrients, including magnesium, zinc, calcium and iron.
Adding hemp to your diet
Why not make a new year’s resolution to add some hemp to your diet and see if you notice the difference? It has a mildly nutty flavour, and many people enjoy a few hemp seeds sprinkled over their cereal or yoghurt in the morning to get the day off to a healthy start. Hemp oil, meanwhile, works well in a vinaigrette or is an ideal base for making your own healthy mayonnaise or pesto.