Hemp is a nutritious plant that first originated in Central Asia and China and then later spread to Europe and the Mediterranean. It has a variety of uses and is quite versatile. For example, the Europeans used it for their textiles and food while the Chinese used it to make paper and clothing. You can learn more here about its variety of uses apart from nutrition.
Hemp is also known as cannabis sativa and is a variety of cannabis. In that respect, it is different from the cannabis plants that are used to make marijuana and hashish. While all cannabis plants have the compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is known to be psychoactive in humans, the variety of cannabis that is cultivated for hemp has lower levels of THC than the others that are specifically grown for the drugs.
The hemp seeds are the part of the hemp plant that you can eat. They are found right at the top of the plant and contain plenty of important nutrients. They are about 29 percent dietary fiber, 25 percent protein and 35 percent oil and also contain vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals. When the hemp seeds are still shelled, they are known as hemp hearts and can be eaten raw or blended in smoothies or sprinkled on chia puddings, yogurts, porridge and salads. The flowers and seeds can also be used to make organic body care products and a wide range of nutraceuticals. The stalks and the fibers can be used to make paper, clothing, plastics, construction materials and biofuel.
The hemp plant has a lot to offer in terms of nutrition and is a worthy addition to your diet. It helps keep your diet balanced and healthy and also helps with weight loss goals.
The Nutritious Properties of Hemp
Hemp has many different nutrients that our body can gain a lot from, all of them coming from hemp seeds, which can also be used to make hemp oil or cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Hemp seeds contain very high levels of vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene. They are also a rich source of minerals like potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium. They contain high levels of plant protein and dietary fiber.
They have also been found to have optimal amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important in reducing the risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease and systemic inflammation and damage to the nervous system. Omega-6 fatty acids are important for the growth of skin and hair as well as the proper functioning and health of our brains, bones and metabolism.
A Great Source of Protein
Perhaps one of the greatest things about hemp seeds is that they have plenty of plant protein. For example, 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds should contain about 11 grams of protein. They also contain nine essential amino acids that the body needs from its diet to function properly. This is great since complete protein sources aren’t that common in plants.
One of the greatest things about hemp seeds is that they have plenty of plant protein. They also contain nine essential amino acids that the body needs from its diet to function properly.
Hemp seeds are a good source of dietary fiber ― both the soluble and insoluble kinds. Soluble dietary fiber provides nutrients for the bacteria in our gut that contribute to the stabilization of blood sugar levels. Insoluble dietary fiber helps food and waste to pass smoothly through the digestive system and prevents constipation. Most of the fiber is contained in the shell, so you should have a healthy mix of both shelled and unshelled hemp seeds in your diet.
The Benefits of CBD
It will be hard to discuss the nutritional benefits of hemp without mentioning cannabidiol or CBD. Among the cannabis sativa strains, hemp is the richest source of this compound, which has recently commanded the attention of experts in the field of medicine. Initials studies show that CBD has many potential medical applications, both for the treatment and management of a variety of medical conditions.
CBD has long been used in skin care products for its anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies indicate that CBD also show this ability when ingested, making it a good alternative anti-inflammatory supplement. Other studies show that CBD has vasodilating properties or the ability to dilate the blood vessels. Adding CBD oil and hemp seeds to your meals may help in managing hypertension and reduce the risk of developing heart and kidney problems.
Research also suggests that CBD show strong anxiolytic properties or the ability to reduce anxiety. One study on 57 subjects show that those who took a dose of CBD performed better when asked to speak in public and were more relaxed compared to those who took a placebo. Experts theorize that CBD has this effect due to its ability to interact with the neurotransmitter, serotonin.
Those who are suffering from chronic pain can also look to hemp as an alternative option for pain management. Studies show that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, coupled with its ability to interact with the body’s pain receptors give it the ability to ease pain.
Will Hemp Make You High?
To settle the confusion, the answer is NO, consuming or smoking hemp or any of its derivatives will not make you high. The presence of the beneficial substance cannabidiol or CBD may have something to do with it. Naturally, cannabis sativa strains that have a high CBD content, such as hemp, tend to have insignificant amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which is the psychoactive component of marijuana.
For a cannabis derivative to get you stoned, it needs to have between 20 to 40 percent THC content. Hemp on the other hand, only has .3 percent THC. Marijuana, which has a high THC content, have low amounts of CBD.
Is Hemp Legal?
There was a time when hemp was mistakenly included in the government’s list of banned substances, which made it a Schedule I drug. However, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 that was signed into law by President Donald Trump in December 2018, essentially made hemp legal again on a federal level. Also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, the law makes it legal to cultivate hemp, as well as process and consume its derivatives. It is up to the State to affirm its legality by adopting and approving the provisions about hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill.
The hemp plant has a lot to offer in terms of nutrition and is a worthy addition to anyone’s diet. Not only does it keep your diet balanced and healthy, but it can also help you with your weight loss goals.
Have you included hemp in your diet?
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