Tag: cannabis

Hemp Seed Oil and its Incredible Skin Benefits

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is no one trick pony; it has rightly earned the title of “the most balanced seed oil”. Proclaimed to be the most unsaturated oil derived from the plant kingdom, hemp seed oil provides a huge array of skin benefits with very little downside. Hemp seed oil has proven to be a great treatment for many pesky skin conditions including acne, eczema and psoriasis, showing very little evidence of irritability for those with sensitive skin. In terms of natural skin care, hemp seed oils unique combination of healthy fats, antioxidants and antibacterial properties puts it in a league of its own.

 

THE HEAVYWEIGHT OF SEED OILS

Hemp seed oil is cold pressed from the seed of the hemp plant, a tall seedy and fibrous variety of Cannabis. The oil is dark to clear light green in colour due to the large amounts of chlorophyll found in the hemp plant. The plants used for the extractions are specifically cultivated to have near zero amounts of the psychoactive substances associated with Cannabis, specifically THC. Not to be confused with cannabis oil, hemp seed oil is perfectly legal across the globe and has been utilised in cosmetics for hundreds of years.

 

WHY YOUR SKIN LOVES HEMP SEED OIL

Optimum Essential Fatty Acids Ratio

Essential fatty acids are the building blocks of healthy cells, making them a vital part of any healthy aging regimen. Studies have determined a 3:1 ratio of omega 6 (linoleic acid) to omega 3 (alpha-linoleic acid) essential fatty acids (EFA) to be the optimum requirement for human health. No other single plant source contains the oils essential to life in such a perfect ratio for human health and vigour than hemp seed oil.

Western diets are commonly very unbalanced, displaying a ratio of around 10:1. This high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in our modern diet likely plays a role in the occurrence of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and rosacea. Increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids have shown to decrease inflammation, and may help reduce the risk of pesky skin conditions by preventing hyperkeratinisation of sebaceous follicles (skin blockages).

The essential oils, linoleic (LA) and linolenic (LNA) acid are responsible for the luster in your skin, hair and eyes. LA and LNA are involved in transferring oxygen from the air in the lungs to every cell in the body.  In skin care, linoleic acid helps provide healing support, moisturising and anti-inflammatory support. It also helps keep the skin soft and supple, while allowing the skin to absorb other active ingredients such as antioxidants. The oil pressed from hemp seed contains 55-60% linoleic acid, and 18-25% linolenic acid, making it one of the best natural sources available.

 

Complete Amino Acid Profile

Hemp seed oil uniquely contains all of the 21 known amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein which play a crucial role in almost all biological processes. A large proportion of our cells, muscles and tissue are made up of amino acids. Amino acids carry out many important bodily functions including giving cells their structure and are essential for healing wounds and repairing tissue.

Naturally Antibacterial and Antifungal

The use of antioxidants in a skin care regimen is vital in both preventing and repairing age related damage, and helping protect the skin against the harmful action of free radicals. Hemp seed oil contains an adequate supply of antioxidants including Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene; two compounds that help maintain healthy skin. Regular application of hemp seed oil has proven to be beneficial as a natural moisturiser, as well as helpful for conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. A study carried out in Finland showed reduced itching and dryness when patients with atopic dermatitis applied hemp seed oil.

Comedogenic rating of 0!

The Comedogenic rating (CR) of an oil is a measure of how likely it is to block skin pores. A “Comedo” is an acne lesion – a hard blockage caused by excess sebum in a pore.

No two oils are the same; they are all composed differently which influences their likeliness to block pores. For those with sensitive skin prone to breaking out, it is important to try and steer clear of oils with high comedogenic ratings (4-5), these include oils such as coconut oil, flax seed oil and palm oil.

Hemp seed is one of the very few oils to have a CR of 0, yes zero. Simply put, hemp seed oil will not block your pores and is a very safe oil to try with your skin.

(Click here for an extensive list of oils and their comedogenic ratings)

Natural UV Protectant

Hemp seed oil has shown absorbance in the UV-B and UV-C ranges with an SPF rating of 6, demonstrating potential use as a low broad band spectrum UV protectant. Because the plant is capable of developing its own UVR protection (like other plants do), its extracts form a natural protection from the sun. Importantly, hemp seed oil helps deflect some of the UV rays without affecting the very important absorption of vitamin D, which is important as vitamin D plays a vital role in the human body.

Note: Although UV protection from the sun is important for the skin, hemp seed oil alone is not sufficient to eliminate skin damage caused from the harshness of the sun.

 

RECAP- THE LOW DOWN ON HEMP SEED OIL

  1. Ideal 3:1 ratio of omega 6 (linoleic acid) to omega 3 (alpha-linoleic acid) essential fatty acids for health and vigour.
  2. High content of Linoleic Acid (55-60%).
  3. Rich in Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
  4. Naturally Antibacterial and Antifungal.
  5. Comedogenic rating of 0!
  6. Low broadband spectrum UV protectant (SPF 6).

 

Works Cited

 

  1. Chen, H. J. (2010). Analytical characterization of Hempseed (seed of Cannabis sativa L.) oil from eight regions in China. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 7(2), 117-129
  2. Callaway, J. (2004). Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview. Euphytica, 65-72.
  3. Theobald, J. L. (2006). The health effects of dietary unsaturated fatty acids. British Nutrition Foundation, 178-224.
  4. Rodrigues HG, V. M. (2012). Oral Administration of Oleic or Linoleic Acid Accelerates the Inflammatory Phase of Wound Healing. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 208-215.
  5. Da Porto C, D. D. (2015). Potential oil yield, fatty acid composition, and oxidation stability of the hempseed oil from four Cannabis sativa L. cultivars. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 1-10.
  6. S. Montserrat-de la Paz, F. M.-A.-G.-A. (2014). Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Seed Oil: Analytical and Phytochemical Characterization of the Unsaponifiable Fraction. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 1105–1110.
  7. Callaway J, S. U. (2005). Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis. The Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 87-94.
  8. Jeong M, C. J. (2014). Hempseed oil induces reactive oxygen species- and C/EBP homologous protein-mediated apoptosis in MH7A human rheumatoid arthritis fibroblast-like synovial cells. Journal of Ethnopharmocology, 745-752.
  9. B. Dave Oomaha, M. B. (2002). Characteristics of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) seed oil. Food Chemistry, 76, 33-43.
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Hemp Seed – The Superfood

The hemp seed (or hemp heart) has been an important source of nutrition for many cultures for thousands of years, and is the true definition of ‘superfood’. In its natural state hemp seed is considered by many to be the safest, most balanced, natural and complete source of protein, amino acids, and essential fats found in nature. Technically a nut, hemp seed contains on average 30% oil, and 25% protein, with considerable amounts of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Hemp seeds have been ignored for their nutritional benefits because of hemp’s relationship to cannabis; however hemp seeds don’t cause any psychotropic (high) reactions, and are extremely nutritious. Let’s take a look at its key features and how you can benefit from it.

Healthy Fats at the Optimal Ratio

The oil in hemp seeds is typically over 80% in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and is an exceptionally rich source of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in hemp seed oil is generally 2:1-3:1, this is considered to be optimal for human health. No other single plant source contains the oils essential to life in this perfect ratio as well as hemp.

Western diets are commonly very unbalanced, displaying a ratio of around 10:1. This high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in our modern diet likely plays a role in the occurrence of various skin problems, and inflammatory diseases.

The EFAs are fatty acids that cannot be made by humans, and thus must be obtained through diet. Diets that contain sufficient EFAs and PUFAs have shown to lower both arterial levels of LDL-cholesterol and blood pressure in humans. PUFA’s also increase bleeding times which results in decreased peripheral blood pressure and clot formation.

Amino Acid and Protein Profile

The two main proteins found in hempseed are Edestin and albumin. These high-quality storage proteins are easily digested and contain significant amounts of all essential amino acids.

Edestin Protein

Edestin protein is found only in hemp seed. Edestin protein is similar to the human body’s own globular proteins found in blood plasma. Edestin protein produces antibodies which are vital to maintain a healthy immune system. Since Edestin protein closely resembles the globulin in blood plasma, it’s very compatible with the human digestive system. This could explain why there are very few reported food allergies to hemp foods. Edestin protein has also been shown to promote a healthy immune system as well as eliminate stress.

Albumin Protein

Albumin protein is another high quality globulin protein and is similar to that found in egg whites. Albumin is highly digestible and is a major source of free radical scavengers. In fact, Albumin is the current industry standard for protein evaluation. (Reference) Albumin protein also assists in maintaining the strength of tissues that hold the body together.

Amino Acids

Digestion transforms hemp protein into amino acids which are the basic building blocks required for the growth and maintenance of body tissue. (Reference)

Hemp protein uniquely contains all of the 21 known amino acids — including 9 essential amino acids (EAAs). These amino acids are labelled “essential” because the human body can’t produce them on its own. Amino acids carry out many important bodily functions including giving cells their structure and are essential for healing wounds and repairing tissue.

Vitamins, Minerals and Fibre

Hemp seeds are rich in minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium sulfur, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. On top of this hemp seeds contain adequate amounts of Vitamin E, B vitamins including Folate, and Vitamin D3 (the only known plant food source of this incredibly important sunshine vitamin).

Hemp seeds are also high in insoluble and soluble fibre, providing more than enough to help keep your gastrointestinal system regular. A research study conducted in a Hong Kong university demonstrated hemp seed pills as an effective treatment for relieving functional constipation. The researchers found that a dose of 7.5 grams (Just under 1 tbsp) to be more effective and therapeutic than smaller doses of 2.5 or 5 grams.

Hemp Food in Australia & New Zealand

In April this year, Australia and New Zealand food regulators finally decided to follow the rest of the world and allow hemp to be sold as a food source. Coming into effect in November 2017, sales of low-THC hemp products including proteins, milks, flours and oils will be available to the public to consume as they please.

Big ups to the regulators involved! We can’t wait to see what interesting ways people find to use hemp products in their foods.

Wrap Up

Hemp seed is an excellent source of nutrition. The many benefits of hemp seeds can be attributed to high levels of essential fatty acids, being rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as a rich source of important amino acids in an easily digested protein.

P.S We will be following the post with some amazing hemp food recipes, keep your eyes peeled.

HEMP HEART LOW-DOWN

  1. Healthy fats at the ideal 3:1 ratio.
  2. High in protein (~25%), and contains the amazing proteins Edestin and Albumin
  3. High in gut healthy fibre
  4. High in fibre, minerals and vitamins
  5. Is now a legal food source in Aus & NZ



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