It's durable, useful, and easy to grow. But is it good for you?
By 1970 all cannabis cultivation — including hemp — was made illegal due to concerns over the recreational use of marijuana. The laws started loosening around 2014, but hemp's once-illegal status means that most people don't know a whole lot about the plant.
No wonder it's left many people asking the question, "Is hemp bad for you?"
Let's take a look at all the ways hemp is used today from creating CBD products to textile manufacturing, so we get a solid understanding of hemp's impact on us and the world.
Hemp is one of the strains of the cannabis plant. Marijuana is another one. The main differences between hemp and marijuana is that hemp has very low levels of THC while marijuana generally has much higher THC content.
Legal hemp — that with 0.3% or less THC — is often called industrial hemp. This is a means of distinguishing it from hemp with more than the federally-allowed amount of THC. But, in many cases (like this post!), hempand industrial hemp are used somewhat interchangeably and are referring to the legally-permitted hemp.
Hemp is chock-full of nutritious plant compounds like vitamins, minerals, and fats, and is durable enough to make commercial products. People are realizing that hemp is a great choice for a variety of uses — from food to building products — since it lacks the mind-bendy psychoactive effects of marijuana and is an insanely sustainable and hard-working crop.
Hemp is totally non-toxic. Not only that, it's also recyclable and biodegradable — talk about an overachiever!
So now that we've established that hemp is NOT poisonous, we can dig into the follow-up question: Is hemp good for you?
Let's look at hemp's nutritional makeup first.
Hemp seeds are the main part of the hemp plant used to make food products. They can be eaten raw or roasted, added to smoothies, salads, and more. They can also be used to make dairy substitutes.
Today, hemp food products can be found in your supermarket aisles. You’ll find hemp seeds added to granola bars, turned into hemp milk and cheese, pressed into culinary-grade oil, and milled into hemp flour. Home chefs and bakers can find their version of hemp heaven in many grocery stores.
One of the few plant-based sources of protein, hemp seeds are a great food for vegans and vegetarians.(1) Just three tablespoonsful of seeds satisfies 19% of the recommended daily protein needs!(2) And, they contain all nine essential amino acids.(3)
Hemp seeds contain the optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. This 3-to-1 ratio is said to be best for brain and heart health.(4)
The power-packed nutrition of hemps seeds doesn’t stop there. These little dudes are full of magnesium and linoleic acid — nutrients linked to lower blood pressure and better heart health.(3) You’ll also get a healthy helping of several key vitamins and other minerals and fiber.(5)
Hemp seed oil is also a popular ingredient in beauty and skincare products. You’ll find tons of hemp-based salves, creams, and lotions nowadays.
This should come as no surprise since hemp seed oil contains essential fatty acids — which can help reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. In fact, fatty acids might help with a range of skin disorders like acne, psoriasis, and eczema.(6)
Hemp seed oil has also been shown to help reduce symptoms of atopic dermatitis.(7)
The 2018 Farm Bill was huge for the CBD industry. Once industrial hemp gained its federally-legal status, the floodgates opened and hemp-derived CBD products skyrocketed in availability and popularity.
Hemp is an integral part of CBD products. CBD oil is a hemp-derived extract that can offer significant health benefits. It’s used to create all the amazing CBD products you see on the shelves today — like CBD oil, CBD gummies, CBD topicals, and CBD softgels.
The uses for CBD are as varied as the types of products you'll find — but these are some of the biggest benefits CBD enthusiasts are realizing:
First, we know there's no danger of getting "high" on cannabidiol. CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
Next, we know through research studies that CBD is generally well tolerated in adults.(10) Reported cases of adverse reactions are relatively few and far between.
However, there is the potential for some mild side effects:
And, of course, like anything else — CBD isn’t for everyone. There are some well-documented contraindications and drug interactions. Children and those who are pregnant or nursing should also double check with their healthcare provider before consuming CBD.
In sum, the chances of an adult, who uses CBD responsibly, having an issue = probably pretty minimal.
So we've established all the good hemp does for your body — but what about the environment?
Hemp is a fast-growing plant that requires very little to grow well. It needs minimal water and can be grown without the use of harmful pesticides. (Though hemp must be properly managed so it doesn’t become an invasive pest!)
Like a purifying sponge, hemp can absorb a lot of CO2 out of the air. Plus — how cool is this?! — hemp is being used in soil remediation, cleaning toxins out of contaminated ground.
More than that, hemp returns nutrients back into the soil. Because of this, many times, farmers who add hemp into their crop rotation don’t need to leave fields fallow.
And, speaking of functional and Earth-friendly uses of hemp: management of excessive water. This mighty plant — in various forms — is also helping with flood prevention and control.
Indeed, hemp is a “green” crop and an agricultural wonder.
Hemp is remarkable since the entire plant can be utilized! The flowers, seeds, leaves, and stalks can all be used to create food and wellness products, but also commercial and industrial goods. This makes hemp a versatile plant to cultivate.
The fibers of the hemp plant are used in the production of textiles, paper, clothes, building materials, and even biofuels. It's durable and mold resistant, so it's incredibly useful to meet the demands of commercial production today.
Check out our article Hemp — It's In There! [Hemp Uses & Products] for a detailed rundown on all the types of products that can be created from hemp.
Hemp has a lot to offer when we look at its nutritional profile, wellness benefits, utility, and sustainability. We can use the whole plant in a whole lot of products, while keeping the planet happy through eco-savvy farming.
Hemp is good for us in all these ways:
CBD oil is just one of the amazing uses of hemp. Made with only the highest-quality ingredients, Pure Craft is proud to offer a variety of hemp-based CBD goodness and help spread the word about this extraordinary plant.
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