What is hemp seed oil, why is it so popular and what's the difference between hemp seed oil and medical marijuana? From legalities and production to doses and variety of uses; we take you through one of the most increasingly popular health products on the market.
DID YOU KNOW? 80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, drapes, bed sheets and the like were made from hemp until the 1820s, when the cotton gin was introduced and took over textile production. HEMP TABOO Hemp seed oil is an increasingly popular product, used for an expanding variety of purposes. It's a controversial crop in some regions of the world, because parts of the Cannabis genus plant have psychoactive properties. In discussions around hemp oil you'll often hear the terms CBD and THC which are components that distinguish different qualities of the plant. CBD, or Cannabidiol is a chemical compound found in the Cannabis plant. It's a compound that doesn't produce any psychoactive effects but is known to hold the highest medicinal value. Research deems it effective for treating inflammation, pain, seizures, anxiety and spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, becoming a major focus of scientists, researchers and doctors alike. Many cancer patients use CBD as part of their treatment.  Doctors at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute have found that CBD is a potent inhibitor of cancer. Documented, medical research shows that CBD inhibits the ID-1 protein gene which is a major conductor of cancer cells and CBD has been shown to slow and sometimes stop the metastasis in certain patients suffering from certain forms of cancer. More research is needed though and several clinical trials are under way. THC or Tetrahydro-cannabinol is the psychoactive constituent of the Cannabis plant and underlies much of the controversy around the plant which has legal restrictions in most countries. Washed hemp seed contains no THC at all. The tiny amounts of THC contained in industrial hemp are in the glands of the plant itself. Sometimes, in the manufacturing process, some THC- and CBD-containing resin sticks to the seed, resulting in traces of THC in the oil that is produced. The concentration of these cannabinoids in the oil is infinitesimal. No one can get high from using hemp seed oil. But, to get to grips with what it really is, here's a run-down of the different types of products that can be derived from hemp: Hemp Essential Oil: This comes from the upper leaves and flowers. They're steam-distilled and contain no THC or CBD. It's an expensive product as it takes a huge amount of hemp plant to get each drop of oil. It is mostly used in flavouring and perfumes. Hemp Seed Oil: As the name says, this comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. It can be derived in two ways; either unrefined and cold-pressed, or refined. The unrefined oil is green in colour with a nutty flavour, and has all its nutrition preserved. The refined oil is clear with little or no flavour. It's typically used in nutrition supplements, as an ingredient in body care products, lubricants and some plastics. Hemp CBD Oil: This is the oil used for medicinal purposes. It doesn't contain any THC, and is being sold around the world as a health supplement. CBD is non-psychoactive and has been shown to be safe, even in large doses, for human consumption. It has anti-psychotic properties and is used in the treatment of many nervous system issues. There are number of places through which you can buy hempseed oil for nutrition. Coyne Healthcare stocks CBD Hemp Oil and a brand called Elixinol has a range of CBD hemp oil tinctures available in Cinnamint and Natural flavour. HEMP BENEFITS Contributing to the growing popularity of hemp seed oil is a global recognition and praise of the health benefits. Hemp seeds are an incredibly healthy source of protein and nutritious oils packed with all eight of the essential fatty acids the body needs. While hemp oil and tinctures are virtually free of THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) and have no psychoactive properties and won't make you 'high', but they do have proven health benefits, so they're excellent for supporting a healthy lifestyle. Hemp seed oil is a medically recognised treatment for conditions including diabetes II, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and arthritis. It also reduces the inflammation caused by eczema, psoriasis and acne, so it's super for healing and moisturising dry skin. The oil nourishes your skin, providing useful fatty acids to restore a youthful appearance. When used on hair it can stimulate blood circulation in the head, and even thicken hair texture. Unrefined, cold-pressed oil has a rich, nutty flavour and a green tint. After some refining, hemp oil becomes colourless and the flavour, minimal. The oil has many applications and uses; one classic use is in soaps. Hemp oil is also used in paints and lubricants, and in body care products. It may be rubbed directly onto the skin to treat cracked, dry skin, or blended into body oils, body creams, and other personal care products. It can be used as a dietary supplement, taking advantage of the high concentrations of essential fatty acids in unrefined hemp oil or using the oil as a dressing or garnish to improve nutrition. Unrefined hemp oil doesn't have a very long shelf life. The oil quickly goes rancid, unless it is stored in dark containers in a refrigerated environment. People who use unrefined hemp oil generally purchase it in small amounts to avoid it going off. The oil is not suitable for cooking because it has a very low smoking point. Refined hemp oil has a more stable shelf life; although many of the benefits are not present after refining. SIDE EFFECTS & PRECAUTIONS As with all health products, it is advised to check with your doctor before commencing treatment with hemp oil as it may lower your blood pressure, so if you are taking blood pressure medication, you may no longer require it. It's a good idea for those beginning treatment with the oil to check their blood pressure often and then reduce their intake of blood pressure medications as blood pressure levels reduce. Those who have low blood pressure may, in some cases, find it necessary to ingest even smaller doses and to increase their dosages accordingly. Those struggling with Diabetes should also be aware that a need for insulin may be reduced. A DOSE OF CONTENTION In some regions, cultivation of hemp is banned, although products made from hemp such as oil, hemp garments, and hemp paper may be legal. In other areas, hemp is permitted, but only industrial hemp, and some nations freely permit cultivation of all plants in this genus, assuming that regulation is a more efficient technique for control than outright bans. Wild hemp is also not uncommon in some regions of the world, making it difficult to enforce bans on hemp crops. Some believe the curative properties are best experienced when taking hemp oil with both CBD and THC intact. There is hugely contentious opinion on this matter and besides the legal implications of this action, the side effects of THC can be extreme ranging from euphoria to anxiety and including both auditory and visual hallucinations. For now, having access to the non-psychoactive industrial hemp products is a great start towards leading a healthy lifestyle.

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