The Science:Authors' Contribution
P. H. Koulivand and M. K. Ghadiri contributed equally to this paper.Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 681304.
Lavender is traditionally alleged to have a variety of therapeutic and curative properties, ranging from inducing relaxation to treating parasitic infections, burns, insect bites, and spasm. There is growing evidence suggesting that lavender oil may be an effective medicament in treatment of several neurological disorders. Several animal and human investigations suggest anxiolytic, mood stabilizer, sedative, analgesic, and anticonvulsive and neuroprotective properties for lavender. 4.1. Anxiety, Depression, and Lavender: Anxiolytic effect of lavender was superior to placebo in 221 patients suffering from anxiety disorder. In addition, lavender improved associated symptoms such as restlessness, disturbed sleep, and somatic complaints and had a beneficial influence on general well-being and quality of life. In line with this study, the efficacy of a 6-week-intake of oral lavender oil preparation (Silexan, 80 mg/day), compared to lorazepam, was investigated in adults with generalized anxiety disorder. This study indicates that lavender effectively ameliorates generalized anxiety comparable to 0.5 mg/daily lorazepam . These studies raised the possibility of revival of lavender therapeutic efficacy in neurological disorders. In this paper, a survey on current experimental and clinical state of knowledge about the effect of lavender on the nervous system is given.This study suggested that ambient lavender oil might be used as a temporary relief from continued medication for insomnia and reduces the side-effects of these drugs . In a study on thirty-one hospitalized patients, administration of lavender odor showed a trend towards an improved quality of daytime wakefulness and more sustained sleep at night.
Callaway, J.C. Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview. Euphytica 140, 65–72 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10681-004-4811-6
Technically a nut, hemp seed typically contains over 30% oil and about 25% protein, with considerable amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Hemp seed oil is over 80% in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and is an exceptionally rich source of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) linoleic acid (18:2 omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (18:3 omega-3). The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio (n6/n3) in hemp seed oil is normally between 2:1 and 3:1, which is considered to be optimal for human health. In addition, the biological metabolites of the two EFAs, gamma-linolenic acid (18:3 omega-6; ‘GLA’) and stearidonic acid (18:4 omega-3; ‘SDA’), are also present in hempseed oil. The two main proteins in hempseed are edestin and albumin. Both of these high-quality storage proteins are easily digested and contain nutritionally significant amounts of all essential amino acids. In addition, hempseed has exceptionally high levels of the amino acid arginine. Hempseed has been used to treat various disorders for thousands of years in traditional oriental medicine. Recent clinical trials have identified hempseed oil as a functional food, and animal feeding studies demonstrate the long-standing utility of hempseed as an important food resource.
1. Hemp Seeds are incredibly nutricious.Hemp seeds are also a great source of vitamin E and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc (1, 2Trusted Source).
2. Hemp Seeds May Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide (3.)
Interestingly, eating hemp seeds may reduce your risk of heart disease.
In a large study in over 13,000 people, increased arginine intake corresponded with decreased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation marker. High levels of CRP are linked to heart disease (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
Additionally, animal studies have shown that hemp seeds or hemp seed oil may reduce blood pressure, decrease the risk of blood clot formation and help the heart recover after a heart attack (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).
Summary Hemp seeds are a great source of arginine and gamma-linolenic acid, which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
3. Hemp Seeds and Oil May Benefit Skin Disorders
Studies suggest that your immune system depends on the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Hemp seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. They have about a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which is considered in the optimal range.
Studies have shown that giving hemp seed oil to people with eczema may improve blood levels of essential fatty acids.
Summary Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats. They have a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which may benefit skin diseases and provide relief from eczema and its uncomfortable symptoms.
4. Hemp Seeds Are a Great Source of Plant-Based Protein
About 25% of calories in hemp seeds come from protein, which is relatively high.
In fact, by weight, hemp seeds provide similar amounts of protein as beef and lamb — 30 grams of hemp seeds, or 2–3 tablespoons, provide about 11 grams of protein (1).
They are considered a complete protein source, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids. Your body cannot produce essential amino acids and must obtain them from your diet.
Hemp seeds contain significant amounts of the amino acids methionine and cysteine, as well as very high levels of arginine and glutamic acid (18).
The digestibility of hemp protein is also very good — better than protein from many grains, nuts and legumes (19Trusted Source).
Summary About 25% of the calories in hemp seeds come from protein. What’s more, they contain all the essential amino acids, making them a complete protein source.
5. Hemp Seeds May Reduce Symptoms of PMS and Menopause
Up to 80% of women of reproductive age may suffer from physical or emotional symptoms caused by premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (20Trusted Source).
These symptoms are very likely caused by sensitivity to the hormone prolactin (21Trusted Source).
In a study in women with PMS, taking 1 gram of essential fatty acids — including 210 mg of GLA — per day resulted in a significant decrease in symptoms (22Trusted Source).
Other studies have shown that primrose oil, which is rich in GLA as well, may be highly effective in reducing symptoms for women who have failed other PMS therapies.
It decreased breast pain and tenderness, depression, irritability and fluid retention associated with PMS (25Trusted Source).
Because hemp seeds are high in GLA, several studies have indicated that they may help reduce symptoms of menopause, too.
The exact process is unknown, but the GLA in hemp seeds may regulate the hormone imbalances and inflammation associated with menopause (26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).
Summary Hemp seeds may reduce symptoms associated with PMS and menopause, thanks to its high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
6. Whole Hemp Seeds May Aid Digestion
Whole hemp seeds are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, containing 20% and 80%, respectively (1).
Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in your gut. It’s a valuable source of nutrients for beneficial digestive bacteria and may also reduce spikes in blood sugar and regulate cholesterol levels (29Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source).
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and may help food and waste pass through your gut. It has also been linked to a reduced risk of diabetes (31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source).
However, de-hulled or shelled hemp seeds — also known as hemp hearts — contain very little fiber because the fiber-rich shell has been removed.
Summary Whole hemp seeds contain high amounts of fiber — both soluble and insoluble — which benefits digestive health. However, de-hulled or shelled hemp seeds contain very little fiber.
The Bottom Line
Though hemp seeds have only recently become popular in the West, they’re a staple food in many societies and provide excellent nutritional value.
They are very rich in healthy fats, high-quality protein and several minerals.
However, hemp seed shells may contain trace amounts of THC (< 0.3%), the active compound in marijuana. People who have been dependent on cannabis may want to avoid hemp seeds in any form.
Overall, hemp seeds are incredibly healthy. They may be one of the few superfoods worthy of their reputation.
Hemp oil is harvested by cold-pressing hemp seeds. Although it comes from the cannabis plant, hemp oil (also called hempseed oil) contains only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive, intoxicating element in cannabis.
Hemp and marijuana both come from the Cannabis sativa species, but the amount of THC present in the plant is what makes them different. When it contains less than 0.3 percent THC, it’s considered hemp. And when it has more THC, it’s considered marijuana. This means that you can use hemp oil and eat hemp seeds without feeling “high” afterwards.
So what’s so special about hemp oil? It serves as a natural source of important nutrients, including polyunsaturated fatty acids (including omega-6s and omega-3s), terpenes and proteins. It does not contain THC or CBD, so the main appeal of hemp oil is its fatty acid profile and other beneficial nutrients.
There’s confusion about the compounds in hemp oil for good reason. Some products labeled as “hemp oil” do actually include cannabinoids like CBD. These kind of superfoods with cannabinoids also act on receptors of the endocannabinoid system.
But if you are focused on increasing your intake of healthy fats and more, you’re likely looking for oils extracted from hemp seeds, so go for products labeled as “hempseed oil.”
Hempseed oil is commonly used on skin because it works as a natural moisturizer, and nourishes the skin. You’ll see it as an ingredient in many cosmetic products, lotions and soaps. It is also an antioxidant and may benefit the skin when used internally and topically.
Researchers found that dietary hemp oil increased levels of both essential fatty acids, linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid and GLA. Skin dryness improved, and it’s believed that this positive change resulted from an abundant supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids provided by hemp oil ingestion.
If your hair is dry and brittle, try applying a small amount of hemp oil while conditioning your hair or after showering — or even as a deep conditioner prior to shampooing. The fatty acids in hempseed can help to moisturize your hair and scalp, adding to your own natural oils. This is exactly why fatty acids are often used in hair shampoos and conditioners and serums. The omega-3s in hemp oil will also help to add shine, tame unruly hair and give it strength.
3. Provides Chlorophyll
Believe it or not, hemp oil is also a source of chlorophyll, a substance in plants that allow them to make food from carbon dioxide and water. This plant pigment has been linked to certain benefits and is a great (and often little-known) aspect of hemp oil.
4. Features Essential Amino Acids
Hemp oil features all nine of the essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. Your body needs all amino acids to function properly and consuming foods high in essential amino acids can help the body to function as it is designed to.
Eating foods high in amino acids, like hempseed oil, is a plus when it comes to overall health!
Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil
Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the cannabis plant, and it contains little to no THC or CBD. But you may have seen “CBD hemp oil” on the market and aren’t sure about the difference.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is created by extracting CBD from the cannabis or hemp plant and then diluting it with a carrier oil, like coconut oil or even hemp seed oil. Most CBD oil products come from industrial hemp, which can only have trace amounts of THC. These products are gaining popularity for its purported CBD benefits and because it doesn’t cause a “high,” as it doesn’t affect the same receptors as the psychoactive agent THC.
Meanwhile, unlike both hemp oil and cbd oil, cannabis oil contains THC and is psychoactive and/or intoxicating.