Cannabis is the latest and greatest health craze — and for good reason. Ample research is finding this humble plant to provide numerous health benefits, some of which could lead to breakthroughs for treatment of serious disease, like cancer or epilepsy.
Though not everyone is comfortable or capable of using cannabis, hemp is a type of cannabis that is accessible to all. Non-psychoactive and packed with vitamins, minerals and other useful compounds, hemp is easy to integrate into a healthful lifestyle. Here are a few tips for using hemp today.
After a hemp flower is fertilized, it grows seeds, which are sometimes called hemp hearts. Even in cannabis plants that have a significant cannabinoid content, seeds are not psychoactive and have almost no cannabinoids or terpenes of their own. Most hemp seeds in America are produced by industrial hemp farms, so the chances of THC making it into the hearts is essentially nil.
Hemp hearts are small, sesame seed–like morsels that can be sprinkled onto almost anything, from oatmeal to ice cream to salad to pasta to pizza. Hemp seeds have only a slight nutty flavor and a good, crisp pop — but best of all, they are extremely dense in nutrition.
In three tablespoons of hemp seeds, there are:
What’s more, a single serving of hemp seeds provide a significant daily value of iron, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, various B vitamins and zinc. It is almost impossible to overstate how incredibly nutritious these little seeds are. Anyone can add a sprinkling of hemp seeds to boost the healthiness of almost any dish.
All those vitamins and healthy fats in hemp seeds serve to improve the strength and beauty of every part of the human body — but the skin tends to receive more than its fair share of benefits. This is particularly true if one takes advantage of the wealth of hemp-derived skin products now available.
It is important to mark the difference between skincare products with hemp oil and those containing other cannabis extracts. Hemp oil, also called hempseed oil, is created by pressing hemp seeds — as one would olives or coconuts to create those oils. Like hemp seeds, hemp oil contains no cannabinoids, but like other oils, it can be extremely nourishing to dry or imbalanced skin. Hemp oil has been found to moderate the production of natural skin oils, soothe inflammation and fight aging. Sometimes, hemp oil products contain the ingredient “cannabis sativa seed oil,” but if the word “seed” is present, the ingredient is cannabinoid-free.
In contrast, CBD oils, marijuana oils and other products do contain cannabinoids. Researchers can’t say for certain that cannabinoids improve skin in a dramatically different way to typical oils or moisturizers, except perhaps for sufferers of serious skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema. Thus, the high price tags on cannabinoid-filled skincare might not be worthwhile.
Finally, more and more home décor products are being manufactured with hemp fiber. Hemp grows quickly and the fiber is relatively easy to manufacture into textiles, which means hemp is remarkably sustainable — unlike other fibers used in home décor. What’s more, it is common to see hemp products that are made organically, without chemical dyes or unnatural preservatives, which means integrating hemp into one’s home is a good way to reduce volatile compounds that can compromise health.
It is even possible to DIY home decorations using hemp rope. There are instructions online for weaving mats, rugs, baskets and trendy wall hangings or plant hangers. Those experienced in sewing might create their own hemp window treatments, table runners or pillowcases. Once one begins working with hemp, it is easy to see dozens of applications for hemp around the home.
Hemp is healthy — regardless of what form it takes. Those disinterested in using cannabinoids can still take advantage of the health benefits of hemp through seeds, oils and fibers, which include trace amounts (if any) of THC and CBD. Thanks to an increase in industrial hemp cultivation in the United States, hemp is almost certain to be the next great health craze.