Despite the controversy around the confusion between hemp and marijuana, hemp is steadily gaining popularity, particularly for its medicinal properties. Most of the nutritional value of hemp is from hemp seeds which have been referred by some as a superfood. Hemp seeds have proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, and fatty acids. It also has minerals and B vitamins and though research is still ongoing, it is currently being used by many for its known medical properties. Hemp seeds may be consumed whole, grounded or may be cold pressed for the oil in the seeds.
It is very good for aiding skin conditions. It has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and has a good balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 which is very good for the skin. It is used to treat oily skin and atopic dermatitis. It also helps in managing eczema and some of its symptoms such as dry skin and itchiness. It is incorporated into moisturizing creams or ingested in various different ways.
Its cannabidiol (CBD) content has neuroprotective properties. It helps in managing neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and neuropathic pain. Furthermore, studies show that hemp is vital for heart health. The fatty acids in hemp have anti-inflammatory that is good in managing high blood pressure, reducing blood clots and aiding healing after heart attacks. It also has arginine, which is converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric acid helps blood vessels to dilate and reduces plaque, therefore, enhancing blood flow and consequently optimizing blood pressure. It has also been shown to reduce risks of arrhythmias.
Hemp seeds have excellent nutritional value. The fatty acids in it help aid in the growth of cells, muscle, nerves, and organs, They are also one of the few plant-based proteins that have all nine essential amino acids. The body cannot produce its own essential amino acids and has to absorb them from food. They are therefore a good source of these proteins, particularly for vegans and can be used to supplement what they miss from animal proteins. These proteins have an added advantage of being easily digested by the body. The high fiber content in shelled seeds also helps the body’s digestion system by bulking up the stool, helping one feel fuller for longer and may help in weight and blood sugar management.
Hemp seeds are a rich source of Gamma-Linolenic Acid which has been shown to aid in reducing the effects of the hormone prolactin in females. This is useful in managing premenstrual stress (PMS) in females by helping with cramps and inflammation. It can also be used to manage menopause symptoms. The CBD in hemp also helps in managing mood swings and depression associated with menopause and PMS.
There is currently a very high demand for hemp products in the market. It is being distributed in the form of seeds, hemp oil, and supplements while also being incorporated into other products. Hopefully, this increase in demand will help in the push to legalize its growth and distribution in many different parts of the continent.