Written By: Lily Brooks from GreenSociety
It’s been more than a year since recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada. In just this timespan, Canadians have bought 100 tons (or 100,000 kilograms) of legal weed and cultivated 5 million cannabis plants.
It’s easier now to buy your fix from online dispensaries. You could also opt to head to the nearest physical dispensary in your area.
Though recreational use has skyrocketed in Canada, cannabis is still being used for medical purposes. It is popular for treating conditions including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Muscle Spasms
- Chronic Pain
In fact, over 360,000 Canadians are registered as medical marijuana users as of 2019.
But for those who aren’t interested in getting high but still want to enjoy marijuana’s health benefits, they do have an alternative: hemp.
The difference between hemp and marijuana
Both marijuana and hemp are actually of the same genus and species of the cannabis plant, cannabis sativa. They both contain the cannabinoids THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), which we will be discussing in a short while.
What distinguishes hemp from marijuana is the amount of THC that it contains. A Cannabis sativa plant that has a THC content of less than .3% is considered hemp. Higher than that and will be called marijuana.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are found in cannabis sativa.
They affect our bodies via the endocannabinoid system or the ECS, which is made up of neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids that interact with cannabinoid receptors in our cells and trigger certain effects.
There are two main receptors in the ECS:
- CB1 – located in the central nervous system
- CB2 – located in the peripheral nervous system, immune system, and digestive system
The ECS helps regulate body functions such as:
- Pain management
Endocannabinoids are produced naturally by the body and are broken down by enzymes ones they’re finished with their task to maintain the balance. But because cannabinoids come from the outside, they can stimulate the ECS more so than usual.
As mentioned earlier, hemp and marijuana contain THC and CBD, along with dozens of more cannabinoids. THC is known for causing the high that we experience with marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t make you high but does have other healthy properties that are sought after. It’s the more dominant cannabinoid in hemp.
Reasons To Include Hemp In Your Diet
One of the most popular ways to enjoy hemp’s health benefits is by adding hemp oil or CBD oil to your food.
However, hemp oil is normally extracted from hemp seeds, which don’t have CBD.
Likewise, CBD oil is extracted from the flower, which won’t have the properties of hemp seeds. If you do want hemp oil that also contains CBD, go for full-spectrum hemp oil, which has extracts from both the flowers and the seeds.
This way, you’ll get the full range of hemp’s healthy properties.
Here are the best benefits that you can gain from adding hemp in your diet:
1.High Nutritional Value
One of the most notable qualities of hemp is its fatty acid content. It contains all the essential amino and fatty acids that the body needs and has a high polyunsaturated fatty acid count. The 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 acids is considered ideal for healthy diets.
Aside from its fatty acids, hemp also contains the following nutrients:
- Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E
Hemp’s nutritional profile has led many to call it a superfood.
2.Supports Heart Health
Hemp’s rich fatty acid content makes it good for our cardiovascular health. If you have a high-cholesterol diet, hemp reduces the build-up of fats in your arteries.
It lessens the risk of heart problems like coronary artery disease, hypertension, cardiac arrests, and strokes. It helps in regulating blood pressure and also hinders blood clot formation.
3.Pain and Inflammation Relief
One of the ways that CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors is by sending a signal to create pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
It’s become a popular alternative to pharmaceutical drugs like opioids because it doesn’t cause severe risks like addiction and overdosing.
CBD can help relieve different causes of pain which include:
- Muscle tension
- Neuropathic pain
- Pain caused by cancer and cancer treatments
Hemp’s numerous vitamins and minerals make it a great addition to your skincare regimen — whether you eat it or apply it directly to your skin.
These are some of the ways that it can improve your skin’s health:
- Moisturizes your skin – this helps your skin from becoming too dry and also prevents your skin from producing too much oil which could clog your pores and cause acne.
- Anti-aging – The fatty acids found in hemp can reduce age lines and wrinkles that develop as we get older.
- Soothes inflammation – omega-6 and omega-3 acids are effective at soothing skin irritations and inflammations from conditions like dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.
5.Improves Mental Health
Although hemp won’t induce a high like marijuana will, it shares one well-known trait: its ability to treat symptoms for mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and even PTSD.
This is thanks to CBD, which helps calm the brain down and supports the limbic system, the part of the brain that regulates our emotions and memory. CBD can also stimulate our appetite and help with insomnia.
On a more serious note, people with addiction problems (particularly to drugs like meth or heroin) can also take CBD to reduce their cravings. It also has the potential to lessen the impact of hallucinations in schizophrenics, though more studies need to be conducted on this.
Final Thoughts: Consult A Physician First
CBD and other hemp-based products are generally safe to consume, but some people may experience adverse side effects such as:
- Weight gain or loss
- Liver toxicity
It never hurts to play it safe instead of just experimenting on your own.
It’s best to ask a trusted doctor for advice first — particularly someone who has extensive knowledge of medicinal cannabis.
They will take any existing medications or current conditions that you have into consideration and recommend the right dosage for you.
Lily Brooks is a passionate blogger who loves to write about innovative ideas on promoting mental and physical health. She is currently working with GreenSociety, the best bmwo weed alternative, which offers the best and top quality weed online.
Read More: Hemp Seeds Side Effects