There can a lot of confusion when it comes to health and nutrition and even qualified experts can differ on opinion. Hemp seed oil has been primarily valued for its wide range of nutritional properties and many people have been reaching for the natural supplement in lieu of pharmaceuticals.
What makes hemp seed oil ideal for human nutrition is its fatty acid composition, with the oil content ranging from 25-35%. The hemp seed oil contains linoleic acid and a-linolenic acid as its major omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and due to the ratios in which these exist they are the most desirable contents. The addition of gamma-linolenic acids presence in hemp seed oil also make its nutritional value superior to other comparable seed oils.
Another element present in the hemp seed oil is Cannabidiol (CBD) and although the levels are typically small, many health benefits may still be gained for its presence.
The Composition of Hemp Seed Oil
Fatty Acids in Hemp Oil
Omega-3 has reportedly been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, help normalize fat metabolism and decrease insulin dependence in diabetes. The polyunsaturated fat can also increase your overall metabolic rate and membrane fluidity as well as exhibiting anti-inflammatory properties, specifically with regards to arthritis.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to possess several desirable pharmacological properties and even in small doses its presence can still be proven to be beneficial. CBD has been reported to reduce tremors in dystonic movement disorders with minimal side effects (this has yet to be fully accepted within the scientific community though). Its added efficacy as an anti-epileptic, without the associated side effects of psycho-activity, give it great pharmacological potential.
Another component of hemp seed oil with several reported activities is beta-sitosterol. Although studies have primarily demonstrated the efficacy of beta-sitosterol in reducing hypercholesterolemia, additional antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties have been studied and observed.
Antioxidant properties of alpha-tocopherols have been known and exploited for some time. Tocopherol has been found to be overall more effective in protecting against coronary heart disease, in comparison to supplementation. However, perhaps the most interesting activity of tocopherol which has not yet been widely studied, is its ability to act as an anti-cancer agent, specifically with respect to colon cancer.
The presence of several terpenes has been confirmed in hemp seed oil, the most abundant of which were caryophyllene and myrcene. Some previously noted pharmacological properties of caryophyllene would include anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective activities, in addition, it has been reported that myrcene exhibits antioxidant properties.