Cannabis is another name for marijuana or what used to be called hemp. It has been used for hundreds of years for a variety of purposes.
Evidence from China shows that it was used as an medicine as far back as 2700 BC. It appears to have slowly spread around the world and then was brought to North America by European settlers.
Over the centuries marijuana has been recognized as a recreational drug, a medication, and a source of fiber. It has gotten less attention for its healthy benefits as an herbal supplement.
Hemp seeds and oil do not contain significant amounts of THC and are not useful for recreation or as a medication. The THC and cannabinoids are contained in the plants foliage.
However, they do contain:
• 25% protein (only soybeans are higher)
• 31% fat (as a nutritious oil)
• 34% carbohydrates
• Many different vitamins and minerals
Image thanks to Erik Fenderson via Wikimedia Commons
Proteins and Essential Amino Acids
Proteins are the building blocks that your body uses to build muscle, nerves, and all of the other structures that form your body.
Amino acids are the building blocks that build protein. The protein found in cannabis contains all of the essential amino acids that your body cannot make. This makes it a quality protein similar to what is found in meat, eggs, and dairy.
Proteins are also used by your body to make the enzymes, antibodies, and hormones, along with everything else that it needs to make it work.
Hemp oil has the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid in a combination that fits your body's needs. Essential fatty acids are fatty acids that your body needs but cannot produce. These need to be obtained from your diet.
This oil also contains antioxidants eating carotene, phytosterols, and vitamin E. There are also minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur and potassium.
Oil that is cold pressed from cannabis seed has a nutty flavor and can be used in salad dressings, dips, and mayonnaise. It should not be used for frying or cooking because heating decreases the healthy benefits.
It can also be taken in pill form as a supplement.
Used externally on your skin it is easily absorbed and works well as a moisturizer for dry skin. The recommended dosages range from 50 ml to 150 ml.
Herbal and dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Because of this, there are no well designed scientific studies that prove that claims found on many web sites.
However, it does appear that hemp oil and seeds may have many benefits. When obtained from reputable manufacturers they are most likely healthy and safe. You can learn more about the dietary benefits of cannabis at The Nourishing Gourmet.
Before starting any new medication or dietary supplement you should always discuss it with your doctor, especially if you have other significant medical problems to consider.