While marijuana is known as an addictive kind of plant when smoked, hemp oil which comes from the same plant known as Cannabis sativa offers a number of health benefits which makes it an essential oil used for herbal medicinal purposes. This tall annual plant can grow from three to ten feet high and is highly distinguishable by its leaves which resemble a spread out palm. It is a native of temperate Asian regions but can also grow in North America especially in cultivated grounds.
The Origins and Traditions Related to Hemp Oil
Hemp or marijuana is also known by its name hashashin from which the word “assassin” is said to be derived. There is a famous sect of Mohammeddans who would attack crusaders, and they called themselves by this name.
This plant goes as far back as 10,000 years and when man discovered its uses, considered it of good value for both medicinal and miscellaneous purposes. From the trees, durable ropes were made and used for day to day activities. In China, they even mad cloth, paper, and food items from this tree. Hemp seed oil is said to have the brightest flames when used as an oil lamp.
Properties of Hemp Oil
Hemp oil contains up to 80% of essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid, gamma-linoleic acid, omega 3, stearidonic acid, myristic acid, behenic acid, and alpha linoleic acid. Compared to flaxseed oil, hemp oil can be used without having to develop an imbalance or deficiency of EFAs. However, this kind of oil has a low smoke point which does not make it a good oil for frying purposes.
The leaves, flowers, and mainly the seeds of hemp are used to benefit from its medicinal properties. It can act as an analgesic, antispasmodic, a rich source of EFAs, a sedative, and a natural anticancer oil. It also has emmenagogue, psychedelic, nervine, and aphrodisiac effects.
Health Benefits of Hemp Oil
Hemp oil is considered as a highly nutritious food item which contains carotene, protein, phospholipids, and antioxidants. It is also a good source of not just EFAs but of minerals such as sulphur, potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium. Hemp oil also has vitamins A, C, D, E, and B vitamins 1, 2, 3, and 6.
The EFA content of hemp oil brings about healthier skin, eyes, and hair. The antioxidants also the body have a better transfer of oxygen from one cell to another. When ingested, it can help regulate the bowel movements and avoid constipation. Adding a tablespoon of hemp oil to dishes after they are cooked can give a good dose of EFAs.
Hemp oil can also be added to cosmetic products which are applied topically. It can also be used as a massage oil which helps improve the skin condition by making it more manageable and naturally glowing and elastic. A few drops can be added to shampoos, soap, and lotions. There are no known adverse side effects from using hemp oil as a topical application.