Health Benefits of Hemp
Humanity and hemp have a relationship that spans millennia. Discover the benefits of hemp and how to incorporate them into your lifestyle with myCBD.org.
Counting the Many Health Benefits of Hemp
As the anecdotal and scientific evidence mounts to support the incorporation of CBD, THC, and hemp into your diet, people are discovering that hemp delivers a dynamic number of benefits.
Considered by some as a superfood, hemp seeds are bursting with nutrients and a particularly beneficial ratio of Omega fatty acids. Second only to soybeans when it comes to protein content, hemp protein contains includes all 9 essential amino acids in a ratio and quantity that’s ideal for the human body’s absorption. For example, the Omega-3 fatty acids found in hemp can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, while Omega-6 fatty acids help regulate metabolic rates and promote improved brain function.
Hemp’s rich fiber content also aids digestion, preventing spikes in blood sugar and helping sustain satiety. Hemp seeds also contain essential amino acids that improve muscle control, mental function, and homeostasis.
The Growth of the Global Hemp Industry
Cultivated in 30 different countries, industrial production of hemp seed alone has more than tripled since the late nineties. The demand for hemp has become particularly noticeable in the increasing number of states and countries allowing legal hemp industries to legitimize themselves.
While the demand for hemp and CBD products may seem sudden or new, hemp has been grown around the world for thousands of years. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1930s that cannabis and hemp became criminalized as the result of a concerted effort between regulators and special interests. These groups led one of the most effective misinformation campaigns in American legislative history.
According to one article, the ‘plan’ was to “[w]hip the public into a frenzy over ill effects of marijuana, the psychoactive leaves and flowers of the hemp plant; the reputation of the fibers and seeds used by industry would be posing little threat to society emerged as the ‘assassin of youth.’ The strategy worked… From that point on, hemp was viewed solely as an illegal drug; its role in constructing our national economy was forgotten.”
Unfortunately, the ramifications of this misinformation campaign can be felt, even today as regulators struggle to understand the nature of the cannabis sativa plant and harness the health benefits of hemp.
When it comes to understanding the different ways that hemp and cannabis can help you, it’s important to understand the differences between the species of cannabis out there:
- Cannabis Sativa– Cultivated for centuries and used for everything from industrial fiber, to hemp seed, oils, foods, drugs, medicines, and more. An annual crop, cannabis sativa is a hardy and dynamic plant.
- Cannabis Indica– This sub-species of the genus Cannabis can be differentiated by several factors, including region of origin, leaf size and shape, and lifecycle. Suited for cultivation in more temperate climates, Cannabis Indica originated in the Hindu Kush Mountains. Today, this varietal is said to help induce sleep and ease pain. While most plants found in legal cannabis markets can be considered hybrids, cannabis indica is shorter in shape with conical buds in comparison with cannabis sativa which is taller with long, narrow leaves and fewer branches.
- Cannabis Ruderalis – Originally found in abundance in central Asia, cannabis ruderalis flowers earlier and much smaller than other cannabis species. This variation of cannabis is also much hardier than either Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa. This species of cannabis is also used as raw material for hemp seed and hemp seed oil production.
In addition to knowing what kinds of cannabis there are, it’s also important to understand the legal differentiation between hemp and marijuana. The United States and a number of European countries, varieties of cannabis containing less than 0.3% THC can be cultivated under an industrial hemp license, while strains testing at higher levels of THC are classed differently and highly regulated. Indeed, until the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, all varieties of cannabis, including industrial hemp, were considered to be Schedule I controlled substances is regulated by the Controlled Substances Act.
Health Benefits of Hemp
Touted by some as a “superfood,” hemp seeds and fibers contain a concentrated balance of proteins and essential fatty acids while reducing inflammation, improving brain function, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as increasing energy levels.
According to Purdue University’s agricultural website: “Hemp is of high nutritional quality because it contains high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids… Linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are the only two fatty acids that must be ingested and are considered essential to human health … In contrast to shorter-chain and more saturated fatty acids, these essential fatty acids do not serve as energy sources, but as raw materials for cell structure and as precursors for biosynthesis for many of the body’s regulatory biochemicals…”
High in antioxidants and fiber, hemp is also a good source of minerals including:
- Vitamins B1, B2, and B6
- Vitamin E
Other potential health benefits of hemp:
- Helps reduce nausea and vomiting
- Helps control seizures
- Helps to fight psychotic disorders
- Helps to fight neurological and degenerative disorders
- Ability to combat tumors and kill cancer cells in vitro
- Helps control depression and anxiety
While ongoing studies are being conducted when it comes to the benefits of CBD, research in Europe and North America is relatively conclusive about the health benefits of adding hemp to your diet. Find out which CBD products are right for you by exploring myCBD.org or submitting your testimonial to our team!