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Key Facts You Should Know About Hemp Seed Oil

Inflammation Circuit

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Carrie Lam, MD; Jeremy Lam, MD

An image of hemp seeds, hemp seed oil and a hemp leafHemp seed oil is an indispensable source of nutrients for general well being and various health conditions. It has also been used for its valuable health properties in ancient times. However, people remain unconvinced about its benefits and consider it similar to marijuana which has intoxicating psychoactive properties. There is also unclear understanding about cannabidiol (CBD) oil which is often confused with hemp seed oil. This has resulted in a decline in the use of hemp seed oil. You should know what composes hemp seed oil, how it is different than CBD oil, its ways of using, benefits, associated risks, and how it works in your body.

What is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. The hemp seeds contain abundant amounts of unsaturated fats and protein, with no or small amount of cholesterol. It contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, linolenic acid, and nutritious antioxidants. Hemp seeds produce negligible amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. THC has psychoactive properties while CBD is an anti-inflammatory. Any presence of THC, CBD, or other cannabinoids is related to possible contamination during the process of harvesting the oil. The cold press technique is used for extracting the oil which involves heating the oil for a short time, to a temperature less than 50 degrees Celsius. This retains the various active ingredients. It has excellent nutritional and therapeutic value in reducing inflammation in your body.

On the other hand, CBD oil is prepared from several parts of the mature hemp plant consisting of its stalks and flowers. It contains predominantly CBD and has THC under the 0.3% threshold. Marijuana and hemp are the two varieties of Cannabis plant species. The level of THC in marijuana plants can range from 12% to 15% on average, to as high as 30% in particular strains. The hemp plants have a much lower amount of THC content and are used for making CBD oil. It is made by ethanol, butane, propane, hexane, or carbon dioxide extraction process. CBD oil is used for anxiety, inflammation, mental health conditions, pain, seizures, and neurodegenerative conditions.

Ways of Using Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil can be used topically or by ingestion.

Topical Use

You can apply hemp seed oil directly to the skin over the affected area. It can also be used directly on the scalp for promoting hair health or mixed into shampoos or hair conditioners.

Oral Use

You can also consume the oil either directly or mixed in food. It has a pleasant nutty taste and its color varies from light to dark green. The oil can be used for salads, shakes, cold soups, etc. However, it should not be used for making hot dishes or for frying since it has a low smoke point and can damage your health.

Benefits of Using Hemp Seed Oil

An image of hemp seed oil and body butter with hemp seeds and leaves around themHemp seed oil is beneficial for skin and hair conditions and as a dietary supplement.

Resolving Skin Conditions

Hemp seed oil is used for numerous skin conditions. It acts in the following ways:

  • Controls oil production: It maintains the oil production of your skin without clogging your pores. Hydration and moisture levels are kept balanced in all skin types.
  • Soothes irritated skin: It provides relief to your skin irritation in conditions such as eczema, acne, psoriasis.
  • Reduces wrinkles: It decreases the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and reduces the signs of aging.

Resolving Hair Conditions

The use of hemp seed oil on the scalp makes your hair grow stronger, shiny, elastic, less susceptible to fall out and, correctly moisturized. It also reduces itching, dryness, and the formation of dandruff.

Nutrition

The hemp seed oil has a high nutritional value. It is very rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs) and other polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) with a similar amount of protein as soybean. Vitamin E and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, and zinc are also present in it. These are all great for adrenals. It is a source of essential amino acids and also consists of high levels of the amino acid arginine. Arginine helps in the formation of nitric oxide (NO), a molecule essential for the tone of your blood vessels, regulation of your blood pressure, and stopping bleeding. Blood pressure can often be erratic in adrenal fatigue. The oil, thus, protects your heart health as it reduces the cholesterol levels and decreases atherosclerosis. It also protects your brain from inflammation due to toxins produced in the body.

Risks With the Use of Hemp Seed Oil

You can safely use hemp seed oil as it is devoid of psychoactive properties.  You must pay careful attention to the source of the oil.

An image of an older woman talking to her health coach about hemp seed oilThe topical application of the oil may cause mild irritation on the skin in some people. Hence, apply it to a small test patch of skin before using it. Similarly, the ingestion of hemp seed oil may cause some negative side effects in some people. The most common side effect is loosened stools or digestive upset, which can occur due to the oily, fatty nature of the oil. For prevention, begin by consuming a small amount of the oil daily and gradually increasing the dose. Besides, this oil can interact with blood thinners by potentially inhibiting platelets. Hence, consult with your health coach to know your options.

Hemp Seed Oil and Inflammation

Hemp seed oil acts by reducing inflammation in your body:

Skin Conditions

Research has revealed that the use of hemp seed oil in acne is due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Acne is caused by the inflammation of oil-producing glands (sebaceous glands) attached to hair follicles. Microbes grow easily on the skin when an increased amount of sebum or oil is made by the glands of the skin. This activates inflammation in acne lesions by enhancing the level of inflammatory molecules and pro-inflammatory cytokines.  Hemp seed oil inhibits inflammatory responses via the inactivation of inflammatory enzymes and the reduction of cytokines.

Acne-prone skin is also deficient in linoleic acid and collagen. Since hemp seed oil is rich in linoleic acid, it replenishes and promotes the synthesis of collagen. Therefore, it aids the skin regeneration process of inflamed skin. Moreover, the anti-aging properties of the oil are attributed to linoleic and oleic acid. They provide nourishment to your skin, keeping it healthy.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS)

By reducing inflammation in the body, the adrenal glands do not need to produce as much cortisol on demand. This allows the adrenal glands more time to rest and recover, assisting in adrenal fatigue recovery. The health benefits of hemp seed oil are due to its desirable omega-3 and omega- 6 fatty acid ratio, 3:1. An unbalanced intake of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids is also associated with many conditions. The disrupted levels of essential fatty acids set the stage for inflammatory processes associated with the mentioned conditions. There has been a big push in society to take more omega-3 fatty acids because of the thinking that omega-6's are bad. However, your body still needs natural omega-6's in the right ratio with omega-3's as an imbalance of too much omega-3's can also be harmful. Both omega -6's and omega-3's are essential to cell function and hemp oil has the perfect ratio.

Suppression of  the NeuroEndoMetabolic Stress Response (NEM)

The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response can explain the action of the hemp seed oil in your body. The physical and psychological stress triggers the NEM stress response in your body, which consists of six circuits of organs and systems that work in collaboration against stress. Chronic stress results in the overproduction of cortisol in the adrenals, leading to inflammation. The cortisol production eventually falls as adrenal glands are unable to cope up with stress. The underlying adrenal fatigue is the source of an unbalanced Inflammation Circuit.

Inflammation Circuit

The exposure of your body to constant stress strains the Inflammation Circuit. This leads to dysfunction that raises your susceptibility for acquiring different conditions and negatively impacts the effects associated with the aging process. This subtle kind of inflammation lingers on for years before presenting itself as symptoms in your body.  The inflammatory response works in collaboration with other body systems and organs in stressful conditions to balance your bodily functions. The components of the Inflammation Circuit include your immune system, gut, and microbiome. The word ‘microbiome’ consists of two parts: micro (meaning small), and biome, which includes all the characteristics found in an environment, involving the biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) components.

Chronic stress leads to inflammation in your gut initially. This results in increasing the permeability of the lining of your gut. The undesirable substances pass through the gut lining and set off your body’s immune system against them. Further, they may travel to different organs such as the brain, heart, or skin where they start inflammation. When the digestion and absorption processes of your body are defective, it makes it highly demanding for you to get the various nutrients, vitamins, and minerals required for normal function. Similarly, chronic inflammation causes disruption in the normal microbiome of your body in the gut and different other parts of your body. This triggers skin conditions such as acne and various conditions involving other systems. Hemp seed oil works to suppress the Inflammation Circuit and controls the NEM response. It also provides anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agents that protect against inflammation. Linoleic acid (an essential omega-6 fatty acid in hemp oil) lowers inflammation. Both omega 6's and omega 3's suppress the plaque making activity of blood vessel cells. This is how hemp seed oil can reduce inflammation in your body.

Conclusion

An image of someone dripping hemp seed oil into a glass of teaIn case, you are suffering from skin or hair conditions or have concerns about inflammation, you can use hemp seed oil for these purposes:

  • Improving skin and hair health;
  • Decreasing inflammation;
  • Getting an optimum ratio of omega-6's to omega-3's in your body.

No matter what plan of action you decide to take, however, please seek advice from your healthcare practitioner who will assess your particular situation and recommend the correct dosage of the hemp seed oil for you.

If you would like to get additional information or need assistance with hemp seed oil,  the team at Dr. Lam Coaching can help. We offer a free** no-obligation phone consultation at +1-626-571-1234 where we will privately discuss your symptoms and various appropriate choices. You can also send us a question through our Ask The Doctor system by clicking here.

 
© Copyright 2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.


Dr. Lam's Key Question

Hemp seed oil has excellent nutritive and therapeutic value. It is often used as a food supplement and also for various skin and hair conditions. This oil provides anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-aging and anti-microbial agents that are responsible for its benefits in your body.

© Copyright 2001-2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
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