Hemp is probably the most underrated and misunderstood crop on the planet. It was one of the first agricultural crops and its history goes back more than 10,000 years to Asia but it is now grown on every continent. In the US, it was the largest cash crop prior to the 20th century but was outlawed as a drug crop because of confusion with the other Cannabis plant, otherwise known as marijuana, grown for the psychoactive THC. You can’t smoke industrial hemp to get high but you can turn it into more than 25,000 different products ranging from food to medicine, cloth, rope, paper, dynamite and Cellophane. Hemp has a very light ecological footprint, requires few pesticides, no herbicides and improves the condition of the soil. The fibre from hemp is the longest, strongest and most durable known to man.
Hemp seed is roughly 30–35% oil – almost all of which is made up of essential fatty acids with the perfect ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3. Essential fatty acids are deemed essential because they cannot be made by the body and must be obtained from outside sources, Hemp Oil having the highest percentage of any known food. There are two other fatty acids present, stearidonic acid (SDA) and gamma linoleic acid (GLA,) seldom found in vegetable oils. Additionally, it is a source of complete protein, featuring all 20 amino acids, including the nine essential ones, plus anti-oxidants, carotene, phytosterols, phospholipids and minerals like calcium, magnesium, sulphur, potassium, iron, zinc and phosphorus, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, and E. Hemp Oil’s green blush comes from the chlorophyll in the seeds. With this impressive line-up of nutrients, Hemp Seed Oil just might be the healthiest oil on earth.
This perfectly balanced, uber nutritious oil is beneficial on all levels and can be considered a functional food – for skin, hair, brain, arteries, heart and immune system. It keeps blood pressure in check, improves cardiovascular health, increases metabolism, reduces hyperactivity and is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer.
Topically, Hemp Seed Oil is skin compatible, having an almost identical lipid profile to skin cells. It penetrates deeply, lubricating, detoxifying and evening skin tone. It balances skin PH and moisture levels and improves the elasticity and manageability of hair.
Hemp Seed Oil is medicinal and curative. On skin, it is highly moisturising, on its own or in skin, hair and body care formulations. Its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing effects are useful for eczema, psoriasis, dry and scaly skin, abscesses, boils, pimples, swelling and cancerous ulcers.
As a supplement, it is good for osteoporosis, rheumatism, inflammation, diabetes, excessive epidermal water loss and poor wound healing as well as immune system support and general good health.
For culinary use, Hemp Seed Oil should ideally be used cold, or very gently heated. It can be added to salads and salad dressings, sauces, soups, pesto, pasta or any other food after cooking. Good drizzled over baked vegetables or in smoothies.