Hemp (INCI: Cannabis sativa) is one of the earliest domesticated plants known to the history of human civilization. It has been cultivated for over 12,000 years. The Chinese used hemp fibre to make clothes and ropes, and one of the earliest forms of paper. To this day we still turn Hemp to into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and biofuel.

Today there is a fair bit of taboo surrounding Hemp as it is the very same plant that can also produce flowers that are high in a psychoactive chemical called THC, (Those are the ones Bob Marley liked to smoke), although the hemp seed oil that we are discussing today is produced from Hemp that has no significant amounts of THC, it is produced from the seeds which are rich in oil.

Illustration_Cannabis_sativa0

Illustration Cannabis Sativa

Hemp seed oil is breaking through to the mainstream but there’s no getting away from it that there is a degree of confusion about what Hemp oil does to you. I have had some funny reactions describing the ingredients of my products to the general public and even had an old lady turn away in utter distaste that I should state so brazenly that my products contain an illegal drug! I wish she would have given me a moment to explain it to her.

Hemp seed oil profile

 80 % of Hemp seed oil is made up of Essential fatty acids(EFA), these are fatty acids which we cannot make for ourselves inside the body, so they must be obtained from outside.

57% linoleic – omega 6
19-25% linolenic – Omega 3

These are oils that are good for you and found in many foods and that was the reason your Gran took Cod liver oil. These are in a ratio of more or less 3:1, it has been said that this is the optimum proportion for our bodies to absorb.

Hemp seed oil also contains around 5% Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is another fatty acid that our body can’t produce. It can be found in some quantities in Evening Primrose and Borage oil. It is said to reduce inflammation and on topical applications can help repair the skins barrier and help retain moisture.

 Other goodies include, Palmitic acid, Stearic acid and Oleic acid which each offer repairing and supportive benefits to the skins structure.
Hemp oil also contains Carotenoids which behave as free radical scavengers, antioxidants. The darker the colour of the oil the more carotenoids it contains. So my lovely dark green virgin, unrefined Hemp oil must be full of them!

 Although these effects are better seen when taken internally, this oil does wonders when applied topically. Or you could try doing both! …

 Is hemp oil really that great?

 I think so! It has so many uses…people use it to supplement their diet, adding omega 3 and 6 which are necessary for healthy skin and a strong immune system. It also provides a supply of antioxidants and a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus.

The first times I heard of taking Hemp oil as a supplement (or just generally including it in your diet) was from my friend/yoga instructor, she was vibrant even after having just given birth and had been giving yoga classes right up to birth. One day we were out walking and talking, she feeling healthy and even had not one stretch mark, she told me it she swore by yoga and Hemp oil! She said she put it on salads, toast, her skin…She had my interest! I had to find out where to get some of these magical juices!

Lets be realistic, that is just the experience of one person, a fit and healthy individual and maybe had genetics on her side, but from my own experience over the years since then, I have to say that Hemp seed oil is one of my top oils. To sum it up, I see Hemp seed oil (must be virgin Organic) as one of the more nutritional oils, a balancing oil that even has antibacterial properties. I use it to help my skin from inside as I have dry skin but also tendency to breakout – yay, as well as in the hope it will help to stop me getting old and wrinkly before my time. I also use it for my bone health and any other nutrient, mineral I might need.

Making cream with Hemp oil

Making Hempalicious! face cream with Hemp seed oil. Alchemy Skin and Soul

On the skin – Being a light and fairly dry, it’s your less greasy option for facial use, making it great for confused skin that needs nourishment but cannot take too much oily-ness although it can be used on all skin types. It does not block the pores, protects the skin from free radicals and supports the skins natural structure maintaining epidermal  lipids and natural elasticity. With its anti-inflammatory benefits it is indicated for use in the treatment of psoriasis and eczema.  It is used in many skincare products these days and it also has its place in so many of my skincare recipes for a reason.

On the hair – Hair requires omega-3 nutrients to maintain its health and a beautiful shine. Caring for the scalp and the natural oils that lubricate the hair shaft is vital. Increasing your intake of omega 3 and also topical application can help add shine and moisture.


How to introduce Hemp oil into your life…

I have to admit, there’s just one little problem here, one that I personally have to face up to, Hemp oil has a strong, nutty flavour, which some people like but I don’t so much. Either way drinking it down neat, isn’t appealing, somehow just doesn’t have the charm of vinaigrette.

Facing up to that tablespoon of hemp oil brings all manner of ideas to mind, I just need something else to help the Hemp go down. Maybe Mary Poppins was right: a spoon full of sugar may help … My boyfriend is Spanish and it would probably be what he would do, he was the first to introduce me to eating toast with Olive oil and a thick layer of sugar sprinkled over it (“because it makes the oil taste more”!?) Well I have to admit that is one way of doing it, but if you are actually trying to lay off the sugar, or diabetic or running a sugar boycott this may not be an option for you (honey might be nice though), here are my few more ideas for including hemp in your life!

Chuck it in a smoothie!

First and most obvious, actually you hardly notice it and its definitely my favourite way to take hemp oil.

Hemp ´n´Kefir Shot!

Take a small glass or shot glass. Dose out your hemp oil, now top up the glass with kefir milk or any yogurt, you can flavour this further any spices you like, I also like to add some spirulina powder into it… Or sprinkle bee pollen over it for some honey flavoured crunch. There must be so many other variations on this, feel free to experiement.

Salsa!

Put it in your homemade Hummous, mayonnaise, other salsa of your desires…

or Pour it over your salad with other oils and fresh herbs.

For skin care,  look out for a nice organic, unrefined oil, you can use it all over. Include it as part of a nice massage with essential oils.

Our products that include organic unrefined Hemp seed oil:

Check out my hempy collection on Pinterest

Follow Alchemy Skin and Soul’s board Hemp on Pinterest.