7 Great Health Benefits of Hemp

7 Great Health Benefits of Hemp

The health benefits of hemp are multiple, and easy to get. Here’s all you need to know

By Diane Small

It’s great news that most parts of America and Canada have legalised hemp – this plant is packed with benefits! Not only does it grow without the need for pesticides (unlike, say, cotton), but it creates wonderful fibres for clothing, rugs, curtains and more.

Hemp seed oil is also a wonderful ingredient for beauty products, and can hydrate skin, terminate inflammation and prevent wrinkles. Did you know this oil possesses 80% essential fatty acids, (one of the highest percentages of any plant oil in the world) along with terpenes, sterols and vitamin E, which can help keep skin moisturised and balanced?

But hemp seed oil also works wonders for your health in other ways, too.

No, Hemp Isn’t Marijuana

First, let’s clear something up. Hemp oil shouldn’t be confused with CBD oil, or cannabidiol. That stuff is also wonderful, and works for many medical maladies, from multiple sclerosis and epilepsy to various neurodegenerative disorders. Those oils also help with more common ailments, like insomnia, anxiety, and skin disorders.

But hemp and marijuana are quite different. Sure, they’re both cannabis plants, but that’s really where their similarities end.

Think of hemp as the harder working brother of marijuana. While marijuana’s psychotropic chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will get you high, hemp holds down a more straightlaced job in the industrial world as a fibre, mainly. But it’s also a food. Hemp is extremely low in THC, which is why eating hemp products won’t get you stoned or give you the munchies. Yet as with cannabis, the health benefits of hemp are plentiful.

The Health Benefits of Hemp

7 Great Health Benefits of Hemp

You can take hemp in a variety of forms: seeds, oil or flour would be the main ones. No matter how you eat it – be it seeds sprinkled into a salad, oil drizzled on your cooking, or hemp flour added into your baking – you’ll get some of the health benefits of hemp as described below.

1. Lowers Bad Cholesterol

The DHA and EPA present in hemp have been proven to lower triglycerides, which is a fat in our blood. Elevated triglycerides have been linked to high cholesterol and heart disease. Researchers from one study have concluded that: “Hemp seed oil’s high polyunsaturated fat content — compared to saturated fats — could help reduce people’s cholesterol levels and treat atherosclerosis, or the buildup of materials on the inside of arteries.”

2. Provides Plant Based Protein

Hey, vegans! We have some great news for you! Whole hemp seed can be up to 25% straight-up vegan protein. According to Sagely Naturals, one ounce (2 tablespoons) of hemp seed contains 10 g of protein. Plus, hemp seeds have even more protein per ounce than both chia seeds (4.7 g) and flax seeds (5.1 g).

And for all you vegans tired of answering: ‘Where do you get your protein from”, you can answer with this study from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. It discovered that hemp seed protein PDCAA score is “greater or equal to many protein sources, including grains, nuts and certain legumes.”

7 Great Health Benefits of Hemp

3. Provides Magnesium

Did you know that more so than calcium, magnesium is considered an essential macro mineral for bone health? It’s also involved in over 300 enzymatic functions within our bodies, some of which include:

  • Metabolising food for energy
  • Synthesising fatty acids and proteins
  • Neuromuscular transmission and activity
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Bone formation and health
  • Anti-anxiety and stress reduction

The recommended daily dose of magnesium is 300-400 mg, depending on your age and gender. And one ounce (2 tablespoons) of hemp seeds has 179 mg of magnesium, which equals roughly 45% of your DV.

4. Protects the Brain

The journal Food Chemistry has found that hemp seed extract has strongly antioxidant effects. This may result from the seeds’ cannabidiol (CBD) content. But that’s not the only study that has shown such great results! A 2018 review suggests that CBD oil and hemp seeds both may have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects, and may also help to regulate the immune system.

The review suggests that because of these potential properties, hemp oil may help with neurological conditions.

These include:

7 Great Health Benefits of Hemp

5. Can Reduce Inflammation

Omega 3 oils are very important for many reasons. Namely, for reducing the inflammation that can lead to skin disorders and even cancer. Hemp seeds are rich in this kind of oil, as well as in gamma linolenic acid (GLA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid which may also have anti-inflammatory effects.

Reducing inflammation may help manage the symptoms of chronic diseases, such as:

  • metabolic syndrome
  • type 2 diabetes
  • arthritis
  • heart disease
  • non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease

6. Better Skin

There’s a reason hemp seed oil is often found in beauty products! Basically, it can help with atopic dermatitis (AD) and acne thanks to those anti-inflammatory compounds and high Omega 3 content, as mentioned above.

For example, this 2018 review explored the effects of dietary changes on skin diseases. The authors noted that prebiotics, Omega 3s, and plant fibres, such as those found in hemp seeds, can help manage skin disorders such as dermatitis and psoriasis.

7. Helps Menstruation and Menopause

It’s a sad fact that up to 80% of women of reproductive age may suffer from physical or emotional symptoms caused by premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Studies show that these symptoms are most likely caused by sensitivity to the hormone prolactin. The good news is that gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), found in hemp seeds, produces prostaglandin E1, which reduces the effects of prolactin.

What else does this mean for women? Well, in one study, women with PMS who took 1 gram of essential fatty acids per day — including 210 mg of GLA –  had a significant decrease in symptoms.

Ingesting these oils also decreased breast pain and tenderness, depression, irritability and fluid retention associated with PMS. In addition, oils like hemp, which are high in GLA, may also help to reduce symptoms of menopause, too. The exact reason for this is unknown. But it’s thought that the GLA in hemp seeds may regulate the hormone imbalances and inflammation associated with menopause.

Seven Tasty Hemp Recipes

Ok, so now you know the health benefits of hemp. But still not sure about how to incorporate the seeds or oil into your diet? These recipes should get you started. To your health!

1. Hemp Maple Granola

Start your day off with this easy maple and date granola with hemp seeds. It’s naturally sweetened and loaded with oats, hemp seeds, and flaxseeds. Yum!

Get the recipe here.

2. Cauliflower Hemp Alfredo

This Cauliflower Hemp Alfredo recipe has just 10 ingredients. It only takes 30 minutes to make, and it’s packed with vitamins and protein. It’s also dairy-free and nut-free.

Get the recipe here.

hemp based alfredo sauce

3. Hemp Millet Nuggets

Savoury, tasty and healthy, these vegan nuggets contain ancient grains and hemp. Plus, these are perfect for dipping into some BBQ sauce or ketchup.

Get the recipe here.

4. Healthy Hemp Heart Energy Bites

Whether it’s for a snack or a pick me up, these healthy hemp energy bites are raw, vegan and super simple to make with just 6 ingredients. They’re wholesome, with a mix of oats, dates, maple syrup and cinnamon and will give you the boost you need!

Get the recipe here.

5. Creamy Ranch Herb Dressing

Reap the rewards of hemp with this super creamy ranch dressing. It’s light, refreshing, and delicious topped on salads or even used as a dip! It’s super quick easy hemp to throw together and made with hemp hearts, lemon, and herbs, and is raw, nut free, oil free, soy free, and vegan.

Get the recipe here.

6. Hemp Burgers

Skip the mock meat burgers and opt for one of these delicious veggie loaded hemp patties instead! These are made from plant based goodness, such as hemp seeds and are delicious thrown into a bun with simple and classic ingredients

Get the recipe here.

7. Hemp Seed Chocolate Bars

Craving something sweet? These hemp seed bars are vegan and require zero baking, yay! They have a nutty, crumbly crust and a fudgy chocolate topping and are oh so delicious!

Get the recipe here.



Diane Small
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