Hemp plants probably have hundreds of uses. Queen Elizabeth I mandated that hemp be grown on a portion of all farms in England in the 16th century so that there would always be enough rope for the royal ships. Perhaps she was a few hundred years ahead of her time using hemp oil to get great skin and hair, too?
Hemp seed oil is derived by pressing hemp hearts (seeds) and extracting it just as you would from other seeds like flax or sunflower. It’s not “hash oil,” as it has no THC, it’s just a healthy culinary product with wonderful benefits. You’ll want to store it in the refrigerator and use it in salad dressings, dips, sauces or topically on your skin and hair.
Hemp seed oil is one of the most healthful fats, as it is highly unsaturated and provides plenty of essential fatty acids that we all need, and can only get, from plant foods that have them. It’s best to cook with other oils that are stable under heat, but you’ll want to incorporate hemp seed oil for its rich, nutty flavor and these surprising benefits.
Hemp Seed Oil Benefits
Hemp seed oil is high in omega-3s, which have been proven to strengthen your defenses against disease. It doesn’t stop there though. It also has vitamin E, carotene, zinc and chlorophyll, which can all give your immune system the support it needs. Plus, hemp seed oil has a relaxant effect in some people and can help your nervous system work better, so you feel steadier and calmer.
It’s recommended to take a tablespoon of hemp seed oil a day, which is a perfect amount to top a salad or stir into a sauce. Mix it with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, or put in place of other oils in your favorite dressing recipe.
Being rich in linolenic acid makes hemp seed oil a wonderful anti-inflammatory agent. “Two teaspoons of hemp seed oil consumed daily (along with a good diet) can act as a ‘fire extinguisher’ for inflamed tissues,” writes Dr. Michael Klaper, practitioner of nutritional medicine, in an issue of Health Science. It can reduce arthritis or perhaps help with that crick in your neck.
Spread out the two teaspoons throughout the day by adding hemp seed oil in place of butter on your pancakes, toast or baked potato.
Healthy Skin and Hair
You might want to mix a teaspoon of hemp seed oil into your lotion each day (remember to store it in the fridge), or apply it directly to your skin to reap the benefits. Researchers found that eating hemp seed oil can clear dermatitis and protect against sun damage (1). Topically, acne to eczema suffers are finding relief with nightly application, and it’s touted to be anti-aging.
The benefits don’t stop at your skin. Your hair will be rejuvenated from using hemp seed oil, too. Registered dietitian and nutritionist Laura Lagano recommends applying it directly (you can use your hands) to your hair and leaving it on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing, as a hair mask for silky nourished hair.
Lagano also recommends incorporating hemp seed oil into your healthy diet to regularly feed your cells and curb the pesky symptoms that go with hormonal fluctuations. Hemp seed oil can work for both PMS and menopausal complaints. You might even shed a few pounds with it.
She suggests drizzling it over avocado, then sprinkling with hemp hearts for a great protein-packed snack that can help you keep your cool.