Did you know that hemp is considered one of the most nutritionally balanced superfoods in the world? To a skeptic mind, it might sound like a marketing gimmick for hemp products, but this doesn’t change the fact. Hemp seed has rich nutritional content with iron, amino acids, the right balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and vitamins that provide holistic health benefits.
You might be wondering if hemp is so rich in nutrients and good for health, why is there so much controversy surrounding it? If its use is legal, why does it still gets a raised eyebrow even from medical professionals every time they come across hemp products?
The Anatomy of Hemp
Hemp is a plant that belongs to the cannabis species. While this fast-growing deciduous plant has various uses, it is mostly used for medicinal reasons.
The fats, protein, and other nutrients of the plant promote various health benefits. For instance, omega fatty acids found in the plant help to reduce pain and inflammation. Hemp is also antioxidant-rich, making it useful in various neurological conditions.
What’s It’s Association With Marijuana?
Hemp has always been confused with marijuana. While hemp, marijuana, and cannabis all have the same origin, they are still different.
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Cannabis has two different variations, one gets us high, and the other doesn’t. The key difference between marijuana and hemp is the ratio of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), if you know about CBD Facts you should be familiar with the chemical and its effect. It is a substance that can have psychedelic effects on our minds and consciousness.
The cannabis containing zero to less than 0.3% of THC in their structure is considered hemp. While Hemp is mostly produced for various medicinal and industrial use, marijuana is produced for recreational purposes.
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In the USA, the use of recreational marijuana was banned, hemp was also banned, because of their shared similarity and origin. For years, hemp has received the same notoriety as marijuana regarding its use.
Photo by BATCH by Wisconsin Hemp Scientific via Unsplash
What Are the Health Benefits of Hemp?
The nutritional profile of hemp contributes to its various health benefits. While studies related to health benefits are still in progress there are some known health benefits of hemp plants, these benefits are
Hemp Can Boost Heart Health
The healthy fatty acid omega 3 and 6 in hemp, helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure and boosts heart health. The amino acids in hemp can help in dilating arteries and other blood vessels connected to the heart. This ultimately lowers the risk of heart attack and many other heart conditions.
It Can Improve Your Brain Health
The CBD compound in hemp helps in neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects in our brain. These properties are known to help with the symptoms of different neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, seizure, multiple sclerosis, and neuropathic pain.
It Can Help With Inflammation
The hemp plant is rich in omega fatty acids and antioxidants that contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties. Reduced inflammation may help with type 2 diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, metabolic disorder, and liver disease.
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What Is It Used For?
Each part of the hemp plant is multifaceted. From the textile to food industry, every sector can reap from its versatile uses.
Hemp is considered the strongest organic fiber in the world. Besides, hemp fiber has been the oldest known fiber in human civilization. This fiber is traditionally used in both the textile and paper industry. Sturdy ropes, denim, shoes, carpeting, canvas, diaper, and even fine clothing can be produced by using hemp fiber.
As you know hemp seeds are highly nutritious and the food industry ensured their optimum use. The nutty hemp seeds can be used as ground-up powder and can be eaten raw. The oil produced from hemp seeds also has nutritional value. Even the leaves can be used in the salad to provide some much-needed protein, vitamins, and nutrients.
Medicinal use of CBD
CBD or cannabidiol is probably the most widely used variation of hemp products. It can be used by vaping, as oil, or even as honey sticks. It has many medicinal properties like pain reliever or anxiety suppressant.
Hemp fiber is one of the strongest fibers in the world and that makes it a suitable building material. Hemp-made composite hempcrete is such a construction material that is quickly gaining recognition.
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While hempcrete can not be used as a load-bearing material as its load-bearing capacity is only one-twentieth of the concrete, it still has a special use in construction. The elasticity of hemp makes it perfect for lateral load-bearing, a hempcrete-made wall won’t crack even after an earthquake.
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Does Hemp Get You High?
While you can get some calming effect from hemp, it can’t get you high as the THC content in hemp is less than .3%, which is not enough to create a psychedelic effect. Even if you smoke tons of hemp and try to create some euphoric high, you won’t get it; chances are, you will only end up with a migraine.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Hemp taken as food has little to no side effects. However, you might still be allergic to hemp seeds just like any other seeds and that can give you some unpleasant reaction. Besides, hemp proteins are known for lowering blood pressure and in some cases, it might reduce the blood pressure to a point causing health complications.
How Should You Use It?
To make the best of hemp, use it as food or oil. It can also be used as a topical massaging element. But smoking hemp is not recommended as it might alter its potential.
The Bottom Line
As the 2018 Farm Bill made it legal for hemp production, the use of hemp in medicine, food, and other sectors will only continue to grow in the future. While the myriad health potentials might spark your interested in hemp, the scientific studies regarding those potentials are still in their early stage. However, if you are intrigued to try any type of hemp product, make sure you get it from a trusted source and use it per the recommended dose.
This article originally appeared on Green Market Report and has been reposted with permission.