Hemp - when it comes to this plant, a large part of the population thinks of hashish, joints or the bong. Hemp is generally considered to be a drug that does not immediately make you addicted in the same way as synthetic substances such as crystal meth. But it is precisely its character as a gateway drug that has given hemp a negative image. This overlooks the fact that hemp can also have positive properties from very different points of view. Example: According to media reports - such as Der Spiegel - the majority of the regulations on hemp in Germany are now approved by prescription.
Cannabis products are still viewed with suspicion today - however, they have some health-promoting properties that are worth a closer look. © yanadjan - Fotolia.com
The active ingredients give pain patients, for example, a higher quality of life. The legalization of hemp is not only regularly debated in Germany. In the United States, some states have now allowed the legal sale of cannabis products. According to Focus, California recently dared to take this step. In hemp, however, there is not only the intoxicating THC, as becomes clear when looking at the other substances. The seeds of the hemp plant provide a high-quality oil with ingredients that medicine has also become aware of in recent years. Does the hemp oil have a positive effect on health?
Hemp is actually a useful crop that played a much larger role in agriculture in earlier centuries. Industrial hemp (not to be confused with Indian hemp) was already cultivated in ancient times to make ropes from the fibers, for example. Since the fibers were suitable for the production of robust fabrics, hemp was used again and again over the centuries for ropes or for the production of canvas. Banned in many countries after World War II, the positive effects are increasingly being "rediscovered".
As a result, not only the fibers are experiencing a comeback. Hemp oil can now also be found on many health food shelves and drug stores. What is actually in a teaspoon of hemp oil?
In organic chemistry, hemp oil is assigned to fatty oils. These are esters of glycerine that contain various fatty acids (aliphatic monocarboxylic acids). The term fatty oils was introduced to differentiate between fats that solidify at room temperature. With regard to the ingredients, a large proportion of the unsaturated fatty acids make up. Of particular interest here are:
A positive effect of the hemp oil is the comparatively high content of omega-6 fatty acids. This is found much less often in many other edible oils.
The production of the oil not only detaches the fatty acids from the seeds of the hemp. Various other substances can also be detected in the oil. The following can also be found in hemp oil:
These ingredients are partly responsible for the special effects of hemp oil. Incidentally, the taste is described as nutty and thus complements a wide variety of dishes very positively.
|Tip: Oils that are cold-pressed are considered to be of particularly high quality. These can be recognized by their green-yellowish color. If the color of the oil is rather dark green, it is probably a warm-pressed hemp oil, in which some valuable ingredients may have been lost.|
Knowing what ingredients are in hemp oil is one thing. The question arises as to which positive effects the oil can develop in practice. In principle, two areas of application can be separated against this background - use in the kitchen and as a medical / cosmetic product. Why this distinction?
Due to the special content of omega-n fatty acids, it is a high-quality edible oil that can be used in the kitchen as an excellent oil for salads or dressings and dips. Warning: hemp oil has a low smoke point, which is why it cannot be used for frying or as deep-frying oil.
The substances contained in hemp oil such as tocopherols or phytosterols have a positive effect on the cholesterol level and can prevent inflammation. Unfortunately, this potential remained unused for a long time - precisely because of the prohibitions on hemp cultivation. It has also been shown that some of the fatty acids - such as linoleic acid - can also have a positive effect on inflammation. This makes the oil suitable for a natural treatment of various skin diseases. Especially since gamma linoleic acid has some special properties to offer.
The applications for hemp oil are diverse today. The focus is on various diseases that are treated with the oil to experience relief. Due to the anti-inflammatory substances contained in the oil, hemp oil is often used externally on the skin. Here the oil can either be applied neat or processed in various care products.
For example, hemp oil is said to have a positive effect on neurodermatitis. Their origins are still not fully understood. For those affected, however, the skin disease is a considerable nuisance. This is where linoleic acids, for example, come into play.
The oil can also be used due to the phytosterols, which, as already mentioned, have a lowering effect on the cholesterol level. Gamma-linoleic acid also has some interesting effects. This compound is said to help alleviate hormonal imbalances. The latter occur, for example, during menopause or with PMS. At the same time, studies attribute some positive effects on blood pressure to the substance.
Cannabis or Marijuana - Hemp is still primarily known for its use as a drug. The plant was used for a long time as a robust base for canvas and ropes. And humans should have recognized relatively early that an oil can be obtained from the seeds of the plant.
Hemp oil has been making a comeback for several years. Old foods are being rediscovered, driven by the need of a growing group of consumers to eat healthily. Hemp oil is not only an interesting alternative to the well-known edible oils because of its content of various fatty acids.
Hemp seed oil also has some other amazing properties. Anti-inflammatory agents can be used for skin diseases. And some ingredients are even said to have positive effects on blood pressure. So hemp oil has a lot of power - and should perhaps end up in the shopping cart more often.