You may find yourself asking, Is hemp healthy? This is a very popular question in the cannabis industry today. Hemp’s versatility has led it to it becoming one of the world’s most widely used agricultural crops. However, a nationwide move towards prohibition in the 20th century led to a rapid decline in its use. But now, as awareness of its health benefits grows through research and trials, hemp products are in popular demand.
Hemp is the same species of plant as cannabis. However, unlike cannabis, hemp contains very low levels or almost non-detectable amounts of delta-9 THC. Hemp contains many cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), plus many others.
The hemp plant has served a wide variety of purposes for more than 10,000 years. It offers fiber from the plant’s stems, protein from the seeds, oils from the leaves, and oils from the smokable flowers. Hemp fibers can be used to make items including paper, clothing, textiles, and rope.
It is believed that hemp was used as a natural food source for thousands of years. It was first cultivated in Asia before spreading to Europe and around the rest of the world.
Its nutritional value was initially discovered in ancient China. Here, it was also used for clothing, rope, paper, and other essential materials.
As far back as 2737 BC, records show that Hemp crops were grown en masse in China. The leaves were infused in teas and used for a myriad of wellness benefits.
Despite this rich history, hemp was largely forgotten as modern medicine became widely accepted.
William B. O’Shaughnessy was an Irish physician who published a paper on hemp that was controversial at the time. It investigated the therapeutic effects of cannabis. His work paved the way for scientific exploration studying hemp and its compounds. It was the first of many steps to bring this incredible plant back into the public sphere of acceptance.
Is Hemp Healthy?
Hemp is very rich in healthy fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. It also contains useful vitamins such as niacin and vitamin E. Niacin has been found to help improve the function of our nervous system, and digestive systems, and improve skin quality.
These healthy compounds are particularly concentrated in the seeds of the plant which are considered a complete protein source. This means the seeds of the hemp plant contain all of the amino acids our body needs to form protein.
Hemp oil is a highly nutritious alternative to most other oils and fats. It is rich in omega-3, 6, and 9 as well as it contains vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium.
Hemp oil is also known to be a powerful antioxidant which means it may help maintain healthy hair, nails, and skin.
CBD oil can be extracted from the whole hemp plant. More and more people are experimenting with CBD oil extracted from hemp plants as a wellness supplement. This has enhanced the ever-growing popularity of CBD-focused production.
Can hemp help?
The antioxidants found in hemp seeds such as polyphenols, help with anxious thoughts, or oxidative stress. The hemp works with receptors throughout the brain and body to give a calming, relaxing effect on the user, thus reducing stress levels, and possibly helping serotonin receptors work to relieve those anxious thoughts. Hemp also helps to decrease the risk of many neurological disorders.
Digestive and Cardiovascular
Hemp has been known to aid in the relief of digestive problems, and cardiovascular diseases. Since they are rich in fiber, they have the potential to be used to reduce ulcers, and hemorrhoids as well. Many hemp products are also known to reduce swelling in veins and arteries and aid in lowering blood pressure.
Skincare and wounds
Hemp seed oil is a very rich source of healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids help to boost immunity and reduce free radicals in the body. Due to the dominant presence of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, hemp can also provide relief from dry skin, itchiness, and other skin-related ailments.
If you have a slow-healing wound, hemp may help enhance your recovery process and time. Hemp contains many antifungal and antibacterial properties. These properties can speed up your recovery time and also help ward off infections.
When using hemp for wounds, you may want to apply it topically, or directly to the affected area. This method will work better for skin wounds, rather than ingesting it. Using a hemp product as a topical ointment helps create a protective barrier around the injured skin and ensures that nutrients are distributed where they are needed the most.
Is Hemp Legal?
The legality of hemp and hemp products have always been a difficult question to cover due to the complexities surrounding this topic. However, a law passed by Congress in 2014 allowed for the cultivation of industrial hemp. This is known as the Agricultural Act. The specific section is numbered 7606. This section of the act federally makes it legal to grow hemp, without legal repercussions.
However, the passing of the Farm Bill Act in 2018 led to the reclassification of hemp products. This meant that CBD and other cannabinoids derived from hemp were no longer considered to be an illegal drug at the federal level. This, however, meant that the sale and ownership of hemp-derived products was something for each state to regulate themselves. Hence, there can be a lot of confusion surrounding hemp and its legality in different states.
Finding the Healthy Hemp Products
Next and most importantly, you want your hemp product to be tested by a third-party laboratory. Ideally, the lab will be accredited by the International Organization for Standardization. And since there are no regulations on how often hemp products must be tested, the more recent the results, the better.
Another thing to pay attention to is how accessible the hemp company makes its lab reports. Many companies will post lab reports on their website. Other times, they may only provide them if you’ve purchased a product or submitted a formal request through customer service.
When purchasing CBD online, don’t underestimate the power of online customer reviews. While they may vary since everybody reacts differently to hemp products, pay attention to what customers are saying about the quality of the products and the customer service.
“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”