Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a controversial plant because it is often confused with marijuana. They may both belong to the same species, but they are from a different variety.
Scientific studies consider the seeds of the hemp plant as a superfood. So, hemp seeds are highly nutritious and high in minerals, protein, and fats.
In other words, the complicated information about hemp may discourage some people from using it, not knowing what essential benefits they are missing.
As a result, we answered some of your pressing questions to help you know more about hemp and its exceptional nutritional value.
What is Hemp?
Hemp, commonly known as industrial hemp, has been cultivated and used for its health benefits for thousands of years. Although a hemp plant belongs to the cannabis species, it has none of the mind-altering properties of marijuana.
Instead, hemp is an essential source of nutrition. Its seeds are an excellent source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that offer significant health benefits.
Misconceptions About Hemp Consumption
The plant Cannabis sativa has been the subject of many debates and opposing points of view. Due to the plant’s popularity has opened many myths and misconceptions about its use and consumption.
In addition, here are a few misconceptions about hemp consumption:
- Hemp can get you high
- Hemp is addictive
- Hemp is only for sick people
- Hemp is illegal
- Hemp takes a long time to work
Clearly, these misconceptions persist despite scientific findings and research because hemp is often falsely projected as a gateway drug. In short, the media and some individuals spread unfounded claims against hemp consumption.
How Healthy is Hemp?
Firstly, hemp has been grown in many places for centuries because of its versatility and a unique capability to prevent and treat certain health conditions.
Secondly, these claims are backed up by modern clinical research. Findings show that hemp is used and consumed not because of its psychoactive effects but its nutritional value.
The hemp plant seeds are a nut that can be consumed raw or used as a healthier oil, milk, cheese, and protein powder substitute.
Excellent Source of Plant-Based Protein – Hemp seed is known to be a complete source of protein. It has 21 amino acids, nine of which are essential for cell building and repair.
Reduce Risk of Heart Disease – The fatty acids in hemp seeds support proper brain and heart functions. Additionally, hemp seed oil reduces blood pressure and helps recovery after a heart attack.
Aid in Digestion – Hemp is a valuable source of soluble and insoluble fibers that are highly beneficial to maintaining gut health and improving good digestion.
Prevents Skin Disorder – Hemp seed oil improves levels of essential fatty acids in the blood, which in turn relieves skin dryness and itchiness, especially for people with eczema.
Reduce Symptoms of PMS and Menopause – Hormonal imbalance makes many women suffer from the emotional and physical symptoms of menopause and PMS. Hemp seed produces Gamma-linolenic acid that reduces the effects of hormonal imbalance.
What Does Research Say?
Studies have shown that fatty acids in hemp seeds are the ideal ratio to support immunity, healthy cholesterol levels, and maintain normal metabolism.
Likewise, hemp has the ideal omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids ratio, compounds known to lower high blood pressure.
Further, research analysis found hemp seed oil to contain sterols, a-linolenic acid, and aliphatic alcohols. These compounds aid in the prevention of cancer and coronary heart diseases. Hemp seeds are also a great source of Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Zinc, and B-vitamins.
Above all, clinical researchers support the claims that hemp helps remedy many medical conditions, including asthma, cough, bronchitis, pneumonia, urinary infections, and warts.
How Can You Consume Hemp?
- Hemp Seed Oil
You can consume hemp seed oil by drinking or mixing it into foods and salads as a dressing or condiment. You can consume hemp seed oil any time of the day, with the ideal consumption amount of 1 tablespoon per day.
- Hemp Protein
Most hemp protein comes in powder form. You can shake, mix, or stir the powder into your drink or other recipes. For example, you can add it to your daily coffee mix or as a baking ingredient.
- Hemp Snacks
There are many ways to snack on hemp. Some add hemp seeds in the sandwich spread, while others use them in their yogurt and smoothies to improve flavor and crunchiness. Some prefer milk hemp for their shakes and smoothies. Or as a topping to pancakes and oatmeal.
- Hemp Hearts
Hemp Hearts are either whole or shelled hemp seeds. However, shelled hemp hearts are preferred by many for convenience and easy snacking. You can eat the seeds raw, toasted, or baked. You can also opt to sprinkle it on your salads, cereals, cakes, and pastries or in some of your pasta recipes.
- Hemp Flour
Hemp flours are powdered hemp that can be used as a flour substitute when baking. You can add hemp flour to regular baking recipes for healthier and more nutritious bread and pastry. Play around a bit on your ratio and baking recipe to see what proportion works best for you.
Other Ways to Consume Hemp
Aside from edibles where you consume hemp by directly or indirectly eating it, there are other ways you can consume hemp and incorporate it into your daily health activities.
Here are some other ways to consume hemp:
- As a cooking oil
- As a salad dressing
- Sprinkled on salads
- As a nut butter
- Add on for cereal and oatmeal
- In granola and meal bars
- Mixed with baked goods
- On casserole dishes
- Yogurt mix
- As a hemp milk
- As an ingredient for your favorite recipes
In addition, topical application is one way you can make use of hemp products. Topical application is the best method for hemp cream and balms. Apply the hemp cream on the area of your body that feels sore, itchy, or painful.
Can Hemp Seeds and CBD Make You High?
One common misconception about hemp seeds and CBD is that they can make you high.
The hemp seed oil has no psychoactive effect. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a compound that produces psychoactive tendencies. Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, an amount not sufficient to alter one’s mental state.
Therefore, consuming hemp products as part of your diet is safe. Hemp seeds are non-psychoactive, meaning one can’t get high by eating them.
Additionally, CBD can’t alter the state of mind because it inhibits the effect of THC. CBD promotes calmness and relaxation. Same with hemp seed, CBD is safe.
Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil
Hemp oil is a different product from CBD oil. There’s confusion on how these products are called interchangeably and sometimes synonymously.
CBD oil and hemp oil are distinct products with their own set of uses and benefits. For instance, hemp oil comes from hemp plants’ seeds, while CBD oil extracts from its leaves, stalks, and flowers.
Hemp seed oil does not contain CBD. Nonetheless, it has a rich health and nutrients profile. Hemp oil is effective as a nutritional supplement and antioxidant.
Meanwhile, CBD is for relaxation and other medicinal benefits. CBD products are allegedly effective in alleviating symptoms of epilepsy, pain and inflammation, anxiety and depression, and addiction management.
Possible Side Effects of Hemp Seeds
Consuming hemp seeds and other hemp plant parts is safe. But because hemp seed has a high-fat content, it can cause mild stomach irritation and diarrhea.
Here are some likely side effects of eating hemp seeds:
- Throat irritation
- Slow heart rate
- Nausea and vomiting
As of this time, there are not enough clinical studies on the effect of hemp on pregnant and breastfeeding women. Likewise, research is ongoing to show that it is safe for topical application.
Interaction with Medications
It is highly advised not to ingest hemp when taking diuretics or cardiac glycosides medication.
Diuretics are medicines to reduce the amount of fluid in the body by increasing urine. The increase in urine and hemp consumption can lower the body’s potassium, which may cause heart function problems.
Cardiac Glycosides aid the heartbeat and slow down the heart rate. As a medicine for heart failure and irregular heartbeats, hemp interaction can affect the slower heart rate.
Therefore, it is prudent to talk to your doctor before taking hemp, especially under maintenance or medication.
Can Eating Hemp Cause a Person to Fail a Drug Test?
Moderately eating hemp seed and other hemp products will certainly not cause a person to fail a drug test.
How to Incorporate Hemp Seeds in Your Diet?
Various hemp products are available in select supermarkets, health food stores, and online. Still, people prefer hemp seed products because of their versatility and nutritional value.
Moreover, you can incorporate hemp seed into your diet through the following:
- Add seeds to drinks and smoothies
- Sprinkle seeds on yogurt and cereals
- Bake using hemp seeds
- Make homemade hemp milk
- As a nut substitute for salads and other recipes
To sum up, hemp is becoming a popular health supplement because of its high nutritional value, natural and organic.
While hemp consumption offers potential health benefits, it is best to use it in moderation. In addition, before deciding to start hemp supplements, consult your doctor first to ensure that it is the right choice for you.