Hemp Seed Oil – Why Should We Use It?

Hemp Seed OilWhat is Hemp?
Hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.) seed oil is a complete nutritional source.
It contains all of the essential amino and fatty acids. Additionally, a number of compounds within the oil may exhibit desirable pharmacological activity. Hemp seeds are not actually seeds, but “achenes,” which are tiny nuts covered by hard shells.

Whole hemp seeds are composed of 20-25% protein, 20-30% carbohydrates and 10-15% insoluble fiber. (Theimer 1995). They are also an excellent source of minerals including phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, sulfur and calcium, as well as a fair source of iron and zinc. 

Why is Omega-3 Important?
Omega-3 benefitsIt’s important to have an optimal ratio of omega (Ω)6: omega Ω3 in the diet. Most commonly consumed oils in the Westernized diet are high in Ω6. The average American diet contains somewhere around a 10:1 ratio of Ω6: Ω3, while the desired ratio is closer to 3:1.

Fatty Acid Comparison
Hemp seed oil contains this desirable ration with its composition of LA (Linolenic acid, Ω6) and ALA (α-linolenic acid, Ω3) being roughly 3:1. It also contains some GLA (γ-linolenic acid, Ω6) in smaller amounts. Since its composition matches the body’s optimal fatty acid requirements, it can be consumed and supplemented with indefinitely without the development of any imbalances.

Flax vs Hemp

The same is not always true for other fatty acids like those from flax seeds. The ratios are so important because the fatty acids are metabolized into eicosanoids, which ultimately become prostaglandins, which affect a number of important functions like clotting, inflammation response and immune function. When the ratio is undesirable then certain metabolic intermediates will build up and efficient fatty acid metabolism, as well as these important functions, can be compromised.

 

What is the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?Hemp VS Marijuana
While both compounds are found in little more than trace amounts, hemp seed oil’s composition is higher in cannabidiol (CBD) and lower in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabis plants have been shown to have higher THC concentrations in tropical latitudes, likely because the THC may provide some evolutionary advantage in being protective against UV light (Pate, 1994).  Conversely, cannabis plants grown in more Northern and temperate climates, as many modern day hemp crops are grown in places like Canada, will yield concentrations of CBD that are much higher than THC. This is good news for the nutrition of hemp seeds because CBD may possess a number of pharmacological benefits, without the psychoactive effects of THC. It is well-documented to be anti-convulsant and anti-epileptic (Karler et al., 1973; Karler &Turkanis, 1981).  CBD may also possess analgesic, anti-inflammatory (Formukong et al., 1988) and antimicrobial activity (Ferenczy et al. 1958).

Protein comparsion

Hemp powder, oil, and seed are very high in protein.

Other chemical compounds and benefits found in Hemp Seed Oil
Aside from CBD, hemp seed oil contains a variety of other compounds that may provide health benefits:

  • Beta β-Sitosterol– Phytosterols like β-sitosterol may be efficacious in lowering cholesterol by blocking its absorption.
  • Tocopherols-Tocopherols are often touted for their capacity as antioxidants, as in vitamin E supplements.Hemp seed oil contains both α-tocopherol and γ-tocopherol. The former tends to have high bioactivity by virtue of its interaction with the liver, yet the latter may be overall more effective in helping to prevent coronary heart disease in comparison (Wolf, 1997). γ-tocopherol may also show some ability to eliminate harmful products in the bowel, thereby helping to prevent colon cancer (Stone & Papas, 1997). γ-tocopherol is present in significantly higher amounts in hemp seed oil than α-tocopherol (Leizer 2000).
  • Terpenes -Another group of compounds that exhibit antioxidant activity.
  • Methyl Salicylate -Present in trace quantities in hemp seed oil, methyl salicylate is closely related to aspirin and possesses its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Benefits Hemp

How do you use hemp seed oil?
An ideal fatty acid composition complemented by an amalgam of minerals and phytochemicals make hemp seeds and hemp seed oil incredibly rich, complete and well-rounded, nutritional food sources.

hemp seed fruit saladCold-pressed, unrefined products are best, and should be kept refrigerated after opening. Compared with some other cooking oils such as coconut, hemp seed oil is low in saturated fat. Hemp seed oil has a low smoke point so it isn’t conducive to frying, however it makes a perfect base for salad dressings and dips, and may be added to soups. Adding a tablespoon of whole seeds or oil to a smoothie is also a great way to enjoy some extra EFA’s, protein and fiber.

References
Benhaim, Paul; A Modern Introduction to HEMP – From Food To Fibre: Past, Present And Future, Australia (2003).

Erasmus, U., 1999. Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill. Alive. Books, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Fan, Y.Y, K.S. Ramos and R.S. Chapkin, 1999.

Hansen, Ray, Industrial Hemp Profile, AgMRC, Agricultural Marketing Resource Center

Industrial Hemp in the United States: Status and Market Potential, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Agricultural Economic Report No.(AGES-OO1E) 43 pp, January 2000

Johnson, Renee, Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity, Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, (RL34725) July 24, 2013, 7-5700

Leizer, C; Ribnicky, D; et al. (2000). The composition of Hemp Seed Oil and its Potential as an Important Source of Nutrition. Journal of Nutraceuticals, Functional & Medical Foods Vol. 2(4).

Pate, D. (1994). Chemical ecology of Cannabis. Journal of the International Hemp Association 1(2): 29, 32-37.

Stone W, Papas A (1997). Tocopherols and the etiology of colon cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 89(14): 1006-1014.

Theimer, R. R. and H. M–lleken, 1995. Analysis of the oil from different hemp cultivars – perspectives for economical utilization. Pages 536-543 in Bioresource Hemp, 2nd edition. nova-Institute,Rosenstr. 53, 50678 Cologne, Germany.

Turner, C; ElSohly, M; Boeren, E. (1980). Constituents of Cannabis sativa L. XVII: A review of the natural constituents. Journal of Natural Products 43(2): 169-234. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ‘White Paper’ on Hemp:What Do the USDA and the DEA Have to Say About Hemp?  NORML Foundation, 1100 H Street, NW, Suite 830, Washington, DC 20005

Weil, A. (1993). Therapeutic hemp oil. Natural Health. March/April, pp. 10-12.

Wolf, G. (1997). y-tocopherol: an efficient protector of lipids against nitric oxide- initiated peroxidative damage. Nutrition Reviews 55(10): 376-378.
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Kevin McMahan3This article is written by Kevin McMahan, a Health and Wellness Educator for the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. Kevin has had a lifelong interest in health and wellness. After graduating from Carmel High School he went on to get an associates degree in social sciences from Monterey Peninsula College, and a bachelors in kinesiology from California State University Monterey Bay. He is a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. “Your health is your wealth”, is something that he always likes to say. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.


Disclaimer:  
The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

What is Naturopathy?

What is Naturopathy?

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What is Naturopathy?
In the dictionary, Naturopathic Medicine is defined as, “the integration of alternative practices such as Botanical Medicine, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, and Oriental Medicine with modern scientific diagnostic methods and standard of care.” In a few words, Naturopathy is the usage of natural methods and non-toxic remedies to improve or restore health.

Naturopathy has been around for centuries. The Chinese are known for their usage of acupuncture. The Greeks and especially Hippocrates described in their literature many Naturopathic principles like the usage and benefits of water, diet, massage, herbs and physical therapies. During the 19th century, Naturopathy was extensively developed with more than 20 Naturopathic schools in the United States (today there are only four). The practice of Naturopathic medicines declined as the use of pharmaceutical drugs increased. However, in the past several decades there has been a resurgence of interest in Naturopathy. Today there are more people consulting a natural health practitioner in the United States than their primary care practitioner.

What are the main principles of Naturopathy?
The body’s inherent ability to heal itself: The body, with the appropriate use of non-toxic remedies, has the ability to recover its initial functions. For that to be accomplished, the Naturopath needs to investigate and find all the different causes of the symptoms expressed by the patient by conducting a very detailed questionnaire. Then, if it is possible, the naturopath will help the patient to remove, one by one, the obstacles (physical and emotional) that blocked the body to use its own self-healing process.

The notion of intoxination:
Naturopaths consider that one of the reasons why people get sick is because their body is intoxicated by the consumption of too many chemicals and prescription drugs, as well as inappropriate diet. Thus, the Naturopath’s first goal is to help the patient to clear this state of intoxination.


Natural RemediesPrevent and educate: 
Information and education are very important keys given to the patients to improve their quality of life. The Naturopath carefully and thoroughly explains to his patients how to eat better, how to exercise, and how to prevent most of the current diseases. This helps the patients to become more autonomous by a better understanding of how their bodies work. Thus, a typical Naturopathic consultation includes not only the recommendation of certain remedies, but also the explanation of the reasons the body may malfunctions. As a consequence, the patient becomes more and more knowledgeable and responsible for his own health.

The idea of the Whole Person:
To really understand and find the primary causes of a person’s disease, Naturopaths always consider all the factors integrated in the patient’s lives. This includes their physical health, but also their psychological and emotional state, their environment, their genetic inheritance, and their professional and social life.


Vegetables and FruitNutrition: Good nutrition is the foundation of good health. Naturopaths take a considerable time to explain to their patient how their diet is important to improve their health conditions. A personalized nutrition program is built with the patient to meet his personal needs depending of his health problems. Generally, improvements appear very quickly if the patient follows the diet recommendations faithfully.


Every person is unique:

Naturopathy is very aware of the individuality of a person. As everyone is a very unique human being with his own past, his own story and his own sufferings, every treatment is personally adapted to fulfill each patient. Because everyone has a different health history, there is not a standard treatment and not a standard dosage of the remedies. Instead, Naturopaths recommend a specific and unique treatment to each individual.


What are the different techniques utilized in Naturopathy?

They are many different techniques used in the domain of Naturopathy, and each Naturopath chooses his/her own specialties during his/her studies. Those techniques are for example: Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, different types of Massages Therapies, Iridology, Herbal medicine, Nutritional Therapy, Counseling, Mind-body therapy, Applied Kinesiology, or Cranio-sacral Therapy. We will detail some of them:


Nutritional Therapy:

Only whole food based supplements are used to improve or restore one’s health. An unhealthy body has a lot of needs for supplements but only if when they are of the best quality can they be assimilated properly. Chemically made or extracted types of vitamins are at the most not efficient, at worst harmful.

Healing HerbsHerbal Medicine:
Plants are used in different forms such as the entire plant in a tea (fresh or dried), a mother tincture (plant in alcohol), or as dried plants put in capsules. Throughout the ages people have turned to herbal medicine for healing. Many drugs used today originated in the herbal traditions of various cultures such as the medication commonly used for heart failure, digitalis, which is derived from Foxglove. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4 billion people or 80% of the world’s population use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary care.

Homeopathy
Homeopathy:

Homeopathy is a 200-year-old practice developed by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann. It is based of two main principles. The first one states that a substance that can cause certain symptoms when given to a healthy person can cure the same symptoms in someone who is sick. The second states that the more substance is diluted, the more potent it becomes. Homeopathy is a very useful technique that has its best results on chronic symptoms because it really works on the origins of the disease.


What can Naturopathy address?

Naturopathy can improve and/or resolve almost all types of health problems from acute to chronic symptoms. Indeed, there are limitations for Naturopathic medicine, as for any type of technique or method. Naturopathy doesn’t perform miracles. Today there is more scientific research conducted on natural remedies to understand how they work. More and more physicians are accepting the concept of Naturopathy. Naturopathy can help in certain areas where conventional medicine cannot. But, Naturopathy also needs the competence of conventional medicine. Naturopathy is in fact a complementary medicine. When naturopathic and conventional medicine work together, all the benefits accrue for the patients, and that is certainly the most important.

Who should consult a Naturopath?
Anyone who is concerned about his own health and wants to eliminate or reduce the use of chemicals medications. Anyone who wants a better understanding on how to prevent illness and cure it with natural remedies. Anyone who is ready to make changes in his/her way of living and thinking. Naturopathy is wonderful for babies, children, adults and the elderly. It is a family orientated medicine that can improve everyone’s health. “The body is the temple of the soul”, and we need to take care of our body very carefully if we want to live a happy and healthy life.

Beatrice LevinsonBeatrice Levinson is a Naturopath and submitted this article to MBHA as a member and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  For more information about membership, contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com 

Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.