Hempseed oil is loaded with exceptionally healthy compounds

Harold Mandel's picture
Hemp plant
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Hempseed oil has surfaced as being loaded with an unusually large quantity of healthy compounds. It often appears that claims dealing with the positive health impact of hempseed oil may simply be part of heavy marketing campaigns by natural health advocates. However, the excessive claims of good health with hempseed oil have been backed up by scientific research.

For thousands of years non-drug varieties of Cannabis sativa L., which are collectively known as “hemp”, have been an viewed as a valuable source of food, fiber, and medicine, reported the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Due to the ever-increasing demand for vegetable oils it has become essential to characterize additional vegetable oil via innovative uses of its components.

The lipid profile of hempseed oil shows an interesting profile, which includes:

1: Linoleic (55%) fatty acid

2: α-linolenic (16%) fatty acid

3: Oleic (11%) fatty acid

Further compounds in hempseed oil include:

1: Unsaponifiable matter (1.84–1.92%)

2: β-sitosterol (1905.00 ± 59.27 mg/kg of oil)

3: Campesterol (505.69 ± 32.04 mg/kg of oil)

4: Phytol (167.59 ± 1.81 mg/kg of oil)

5: Cycloartenol (90.55 ± 3.44 mg/kg of oil)

6: Y-tocopherol (73.38 ± 2.86 mg/100 g of oil)

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This study has added an interesting contribution for Cannabis sativa L. to be considered as a source of bioactive compounds which contribute to novel research applications for hemp seed oil in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic food, and other non-food industries.

This new analysis has found hempseed oil is packed with health-promoting compounds, reported the American Chemical Society in a discussion of this research. Hempseed oil has suffered stigmatization due to its “high”-inducing cousins. However, hemp which is derived from low-hallucinogenic varieties of cannabis has been remerging as not only a good source of fiber for textiles, but also as a crop which is loaded with oils that have potential health promoting benefits. The new study has elucidated upon just how many healthy compounds are contained in hempseed oil.

Maria Angeles Fernández-Arche and colleagues have noted that for millennia, people worldwide have cultivated cannabis for textiles, medicine and food. There are high levels of many nutrients in hemp, including:

1: Vitamin A

2: Vitamin C

3: Vitamin E

4: Beta carotene

5: Protein

6: Carbohydrates

7: Minerals

8: Fiber

Because some varieties of cannabis contain large amounts of the high-inducing compound THC, in the early 20th century many countries banned cannabis. Furthermore, although Colorado recently legalized marijuana for recreational use, and many states have passed medical marijuana laws, according to U.S. federal law the drug remains illegal. The European Union has responded to the controversy by legalizing the growing low-THC versions of hemp, which has lead to hemp making its way back into fabrics and paper.

Fernández-Arche’s research team wanted to investigate hempseed oil’s health potential, due to increasing interest in plant oils as a source of healthy compounds. They performed a detailed analysis of a portion of hempseed oil. The researchers discovered hempseed oil contains a variety of very interesting substances, such as sterols, aliphatic alcohols and linolenic acids, which research has suggested promotes good health. For example, consider that α-linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid, is found in hempseed oil. Studies have suggested omega-3 fatty acids help prevent coronary heart disease. There are likely to be further positive implications in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and non-food industries from these findings.

As the controversy continues surrounding the use of high-THC versions of hemp in marijuana, nevertheless among health conscious people there appears to be no controversy about the health promoting aspects of hempseed oil. Good nutrition is essential for overall good health in body and mind and oils are a tasty way to get a lot of this needed nutrition. I therefore suggest adding hempseed oil to a list of nutritionally loaded products which are generally good for your health. Hempseed oil offers a really delicious alternative for salad oil to help make eating fun and healthy.

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