Used since the dawn of time, hemp was one of the first plants cultivated by man. There are several kinds of hemp, Indian hemp which contains THC and (tetrahydrocannabinol) responsible for psychotropic effects, wild hemp, and finally agricultural hemp, this last comes from selected plants that contain less than 0,3 % of THC.
Hemp is a plant cultivated for its multiple functions: its fibers are used to make clothes, rope, insulation, mulch, or bedding. Hemp can also be consumed in different forms. Its leaves can be used to make herbal teas and its seeds can be eaten as is, to garnish a dish, soaked in water and then ground to produce a vegetable drink, or ground to extract the famous hemp oil with multiple virtues. Finally, hemp oil is used in the composition of many cosmetic formulas, notably in creams, some soaps, or in shampoos.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of hemp oil and its various uses.
What is hemp oil?
Hemp oil is obtained by grinding hemp seeds, also known as hemp seed oil. This oil does not contain any psychoactive compounds since the species used for this purpose is an agricultural strain, Cannabis sativa L., which does not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), responsible for psychotropic effects.
Easy to cultivate, hemp is an “ecological” plant because it requires little water and no fertilizer. Cultivated hemp has few pests and its growth is fast, it resists very well to drought.
Hemp spreads its roots up to 2 meters under the ground to draw the nutrients it needs to grow, so in rotation crops, this plant improves the quality of the soil.
What is hemp oil made of?
Hemp oil is very rich in essential fatty acids, which must be supplied by the diet. Indeed, the body does not know how to produce them, so it is important to have a sufficient supply of essential fatty acids, especially those of the omega-3 family. Hemp oil is an excellent source of these and is composed of approximately 90% monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFA and PUFA). In detail, hemp oil contains 13% monounsaturated fatty acids (omega-7: palmitoleic acid; and omega-9: oleic and eicosenoic acid), and 77% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), including 59.5% omega-6 (linoleic acid) and 17.5% omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid).
What are the benefits of hemp oil?
Due to its composition, hemp oil has many advantages, both nutritional and cosmetic. Its content of vitamins A, and E, two vitamins with antioxidant properties, as well as fatty acids, give it protectively, moisturizing, and nourishing virtues for the skin, nails, and hair.
The optimal balance between omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids contained in hemp seed oil is a real nutritional asset because it has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, helps control cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and also regulates glucose metabolism. Also, the balance between omega-6 and omega-3 contained in hemp seed oil supports the immune system and optimizes our body’s response.
The many benefits of hemp seed oil make it a multi-purpose vegetable oil, which is why we will discuss below the different ways of using it.
The uses of hemp oil
In the kitchen
One to two spoonfuls of hemp oil from Hemponix are enough to cover your daily needs in omega-3, it would be a shame to deprive yourself of this oil in cooking! Its beautiful green color will delight your dishes, and its herbaceous hazelnut tastes your taste buds.
Hemp oil goes perfectly with salads, fish, and raw meats. After cooking your dishes, a drizzle of hemp oil is enough to sublimate a mashed potato or a plate of pasta.
Take care to consume this oil only raw because it is unstable when cooked and can release toxic substances when heated. Like all other oils rich in antioxidants and omega-3s, it should be consumed quickly after opening, protected from light or it will go rancid and stored in a cool place.
Bonus recipe: Hemp pesto
For your hemp pesto you will need a nice bunch of aromatics of your choice (basil, parsley, wild garlic, sorrel…) and, of course, hemp oil. Finely chop your leaves and cover them with hemp oil. Leave to infuse for a few hours, then add a chopped clove of garlic, chili or bell pepper, pine nuts or walnuts, Parmesan cheese, and a few hemp seeds for crunchiness, as well as a turn of the salt and pepper mill.
This is an original pesto to complement your pasta, meat, or fish dishes!