The Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil
Cannabis has certainly been in the news a lot over the past several years, as it first became legalized for medicinal use in some jurisdictions and then for recreational use, as well. But nearly all the public discussions of its possible risks and benefits have been focused on the consumption of its 'flowering tops' (the buds) and leaves: the marijuana.
What's often overlooked in these heated debates are the facts that the seeds of hemp plants are actually an excellent, nutritious food source (see Organic Traditions Hemp Hearts for an overview), and that the edible oil extracted from hemp seeds may be one of the best forms of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) to take as a supplement.
Hemp seed oil is almost completely devoid of THC and has no psychoactive properties. It does have a number of nutritional benefits:
* Provides all 8 types of EFAs including the "conditionally essential" ones, which are generally not essential to healthy adults, but are sometimes required under some developmental or disease conditions. Conditionally essential EFAs help eliminate the risk of developing a deficiency if you supplement exclusively with one type;
* Supplies the perfect ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in particular, to help support both heart and brain health simultaneously;
* Contains four times as much GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid, a well-known type of Omega 6 which is sought for many types of conditions) as Evening Primrose Oil (one of the leading supplementary sources of GLA);
* Has no trans fats or cholesterol (and may even be able to help lower cholesterol), and is relatively low in saturated fatty acids;
* Delivers antioxidants such as tocopherol (vitamin E);
* Has numerous potential health benefits, including reducing several types of inflammation; relieving joint pain, or eczema symptoms; and strengthening the immune system.
Other virtues of hemp seed oil include it being entirely plant-based, and so being vegan; and having a nutty, rather than a fishy, taste; and being gluten-free.
What about CBD Oil?
Hemp seed oil is almost complete devoid of the other major type of phytocannabinoid present in hemp plants -- CBD, or cannabidiol, which accumulates in the resin on the flowering tops and (to a lesser extent) the stalks, not within the seeds themselves. In Canada, CBD oils can only be sold legally to those with a prescription for medical marijuana, even if it has been extracted from agricultural or industrial hemp which had very little or no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content.
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