Cannabis and hemp are two varieties of the same plant, Cannabis sativa.
Hemp seeds have been the subject of a significant number of controversies for a long time, because of their plant of origin. Though hemp is a variety of the plant Cannabis sativa, it has a very low THC content. Despite that, because of the global ban on the cannabis plant, and hemp’s relation to cannabis, hemp has also suffered. For years, there was no research and no commercial production of products made from hemp seed oil.
Today, when most people hear the word cannabis, they think of a dangerous drug, one that can cause people to get “high” and hallucinate. The positive aspects and the hundred of uses and benefits of Cannabis sativa's varieties are easily forgotten, and due to this, the plant has remained ignored for the longest time.
In recent years, there has been extensive research conducted on two types of oil derived from the Cannabis sativa plant; hemp seed oil and CBD oil. CBD oil is further derived from hemp seeds. Both of them are somewhat similar and considered cousins to each other, with the difference being that hemp seed-derived CBD has a lower THC content than cannabis-derived CBD. Only oils and products that contain certain levels of THC are considered legal.
What Are Hemp Seeds?
Hemp seeds are derived from the plant Cannabis sativa. Yes, it’s the same plant which gives us cannabis, or marijuana. Deemed illegal in many countries, cannabis is only now starting to be used as a medicinal drug because of its superior health benefits and its ability to heal pain and inflammation.
Nutritional Benefit of Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are often considered superfoods because of all the nutrients and phytochemicals these seeds pack. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a tablespoon of hemp seeds contains 38 calories and the following nutrients:
These seeds provide all nine of the essential amino acids that our bodies require. Essential amino acids are those that cannot be produced by the body itself and have to be taken in through our diet or supplements.
Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins, and hemp seeds are loaded with them. Very few plant-based foods are such complete sources of protein. This makes hemp seeds a very valuable addition to a person’s diet.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are a major part of hemp seed oil, and their benefits are becoming increasingly well known. They help in brain development in infants, decrease liver fat, fight dementia, and maintain bone and heart health.
Hemp seeds are an excellent source of essential fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ala), an omega-3 fatty acid. As with essential amino acids, our bodies cannot make essential fatty acids on their own, and so, these fatty acids need to be absorbed from the food that we eat. The ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s is also important, and hemp seeds contain omega acid in the perfect ratio of 3:1, which ensures the maximum benefit to our bodies.
Most of the fiber in hemp seeds is found in its hull, also known as its shell. People generally make the mistake of using hemp seeds without the shell, by grinding it. However, the fiber is contained in the shell of the seed and is great for digestive health. The fiber of hemp seeds has been used by people for centuries, from consumption to making fabric. Hemp seed fabric is one of the strongest materials there is, and people from ancient times have been using it to make canvases and items of clothing.
Vitamins and Minerals
If you thought that was it, think again. Hemp seeds also contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. They are rich in the following minerals: magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and potassium. Along with all this, they are also a good source of zinc, iron, and some B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamine, and folate.
Hemp Seed Oil
Approximately 49% of the weight of the hemp seed is an edible oil that contains:
76% essential fatty acids, i.e., omega-6 fatty acids, including linoleic acid (LA, 54%) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, 3%), and omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, 17%).
Monounsaturated fat (5% to 11%) and stearidonic acid (2%).
5% to 7% saturated fat.
Like other oils, hemp seed oil provides 9 kcal/g. Compared with other kinds of culinary oils, it is low in saturated fatty acids. Hemp oil can be extracted from a hemp plant seed or from a strain of the plant.
Hemp seed oil has a dark to light green color and possesses a nutty, grassy flavor. The flavor of hemp seed oil gets grassier as the color gets darker. Refined hemp seed oil, however, is colorless and clear, and has very little flavor.
Hemp seed oil is generally manufactured from a variety of Cannabis sativa that does not contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the prime psychoactive component of cannabis. THC is what makes people high after smoking or consuming marijuana; hemp seeds do not have any THC content.
The manufacturing process starts with a thorough cleaning of the seed before pressing it to extract the oil. The plant and seeds are usually cold-pressed for oil, which retains much of its nutrients and beneficial properties.
The hemp seed itself has no THC. Hemp seeds that have a concentration of more than 0.3% THC are banned in most countries. In accordance with these strict laws, modern hemp seed oil production, especially in Canada, has been successfully able to lower the THC content of the oil to negligible amounts.
The shelf life of hemp seed oil tends to be on the short side. This is because the high level of unsaturation provides the oil with more of an opportunity to oxidize with the oxygen in the atmosphere. To store hemp seed oil in the best way, it should be stored in glass bottles, preferably in an area that is dark and cool. Why glass bottles? This is because plastic bottles quicken its degradation.
Uses of Hemp Seed Oil
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 in the US effectively stopped the industrial production of hemp in the country by 1938. Even though hemp oil contains no THC content, it gained a bad name and came under the same umbrella that got cannabis banned, all because of its connection to cannabis.
The United States re-introduced the production of hemp in 1942, and gradually, hemp seed oil came back into production. It has only been a few years since people again started taking an interest in hemp seed oil. Several research studies have also been conducted on this oil that is notorious for no reason at all.
Hemp seed oil has been used as a source of nutrients and energy for a very long time. With the plethora of nutrients and healthy fatty acids available in the seeds and the oil, it was used widely in foods; bread, yogurt, and grains were sprinkled with hemp seeds or hemp seed oil to gain strength and energy from this powerful super seed.
Hemp was used in making the oldest documented paper (found in China). Also, many important, historical documents were written and even printed on hemp fiber paper. You can find hemp fibers in common, everyday products as well. You’ll see hemp fibers in cigarette papers, tea bags, and some forms of specialty paper. Hemp fibers are also used in paper currency.
Sailors and seamen in the olden days made sails from hemp seed fiber. Capable of withstanding the strong winds and storms, the fabric made from hemp seed is one of the strongest ones till date. To get an idea of how prevalent its use in history was, it should be known that the word ‘cannabis’ was derived from the word ‘canvas.’
Beauty Care products
Hemp seed oil is used in several beauty products. Its high fatty acid content makes it a popular ingredient in the making of shampoos, conditioners, soaps, and detergents. As a hair care product, it nourishes and moisturizes hair to promote the growth of lustrous and strong hair. Hemp seed oil has a similar composition to that of skin lipids, which makes it an ideal ingredient in skincare products like creams, moisturizers, lotions, and hand soaps.
Plastic flooring such as linoleum and similar materials have been made from hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is also used in the making of plastic parts of automobiles.
The fatty acids that are present in hemp seed oil make it an excellent ‘drying oil.’ A drying oil is one that can turn into a solid layer of coating after it is exposed to air. This property of hemp seed oil popularized its use in the production of varnishes, paints, and other materials commonly used for coating.
Benefits of Hemp seed Oil
A lot of anecdotal evidence suggests that hemp seed oil is extremely beneficial for a person’s hair. Its high fatty acid and emollient content make it a rich, hydrating substance for hair. People in favor of using hemp seed oil for hair care, whether taken as a supplement or used topically, claim that it will help the generation of new hair cells, provide luster and hydration to hair and strengthen hair strands.
The long list of nutrients present in hemp seed oil suggests that it may be beneficial for the heart. A 2014 study concluded that one particular fatty acid in hemp oil can play a significant part in reducing the risk of heart disease. This fatty acid, also known as linolenic acid, is linked to a reduced risk of heart attacks, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and the reversal of the hardening of blood vessels (atherosclerosis).
Studies suggest that hemp seeds and their respective oils may have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects that may also assist in regulating the immune system. Because of these valuable properties, hemp seed oil is believed to help with neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and neuropathic pain.
Hemp seed oil’s composition has proven to be very similar to that of the skin lipids and is thought to be one of the best ingredients for maintaining skin health. The vitamins and fatty acids in this oil help with all sorts of skin conditions, acne, and inflammation.
The high fatty acid content in hemp seed oil makes it an effective moisturizer and anti-aging ingredient, helping your skin ward off symptoms of oxidation, inflammations, and aging.
External application of the oil fortifies the skin cells and ensures better protection against skin infections. It is a helpful treatment for a collection of skin problems, including eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition which is very common in aged people. It causes the immune system to attack its own tissues, which leads to inflammation in the joints and thus, difficulty in walking. This kind of disease greatly hinders physical activity.
In 2014, studies suggested that hemp seed oil could have anti-rheumatic effects. This could be chalked up to its anti-inflammatory properties and to the presence of GLA, also known as gamma-linolenic acid, which is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that is said to relieve inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
There is a lot of scientific evidence that shows that hemp seed oil is of the most beneficial and nutritious products that can be harvested by modern industrial agriculture. Governments around the world are lowering the bans that have been placed for the longest time while monitoring the seeds and oil carefully to ensure no trace of THC makes it into the final product. Nonetheless, it is progress and paints a promising picture of the future of the harmless hemp seed oil.
Maverik Oils extract pure hemp seed oil that is all-natural, meeting the law requirement with regards to the level of THC. The oil is of the finest quality and is processed and stored in a controlled environment with low chances of degradation. Maverik Oils can provide hemp seed oil in bulk for all your industrial needs. Call us at 1-888-516-8881 for quotations.