When you think of hemp, do you mainly think of people smoking marijuana? Or perhaps of the hemp bags and clothing that you can find made of the fibers from the hemp plant? In either case, you’d be right, but actually, there is a lot more to the plant than the things it is best known for. As well as producing marijuana, which is used both as a medicinal therapy for a lot of different conditions (in states where it is legal on prescription) and as a recreational drug (though this is still illegal in most states), and being used for fabric, hemp products can also be used as food and health supplements. Hemp is becoming a big deal in the health food and wellness sector, and the products concerned do not have anything to do with getting you high!
Here we take a look at some of the ways hemp is becoming a major commodity in the health and wellness industry.
One of the products that a lot of people are becoming more familiar with from the hemp plant is hemp flour. The flour is made by grinding up hemp seeds in order to make a flour that can then be used for baking.
Why Hemp Flour is Popular
One of the main reasons this flour is becoming so popular is that it is very useful for making gluten free baked goods. Some people have to avoid gluten because they have a condition called celiac disease where their body is unable to process gluten. Long term, gluten consumption can cause irreversible damage to their digestive systems, as well as causing unpleasant effects like bloating and pain. If it isn’t diagnosed and the sufferer’s diet isn’t modified to completely cut out gluten, someone with celiac disease can become undernourished and even die.
Why People Choose Hemp Flour
Some people also have wheat allergies or other intolerances that mean eating products that contain normal flour isn’t good for them, and then there are also people who stick to a gluten free diet because they believe it is simply healthier (though this is somewhat controversial as gluten is not known to be harmful to people who do not have celiac disease).
When people can’t eat, or choose not to eat, gluten or have to avoid wheat, it can seriously limit the things they can eat because as well as being in all wheat based products like breads, cakes and cookies, gluten is often used as a filler in other products, including things you may not think of like ice cream! While there are plenty of gluten free products available, many people lament the lack of choice when it comes to good gluten and wheat free baked goods and how expensive it can be buying niche products like these instead of regular bread.
Why Companies Choose Hemp Flour
With hemp flour, it is possible not only for food companies to make good gluten free baked goods to serve this market, but also for people who can’t have gluten or wheat in their diets to experiment and bake their own products. Hemp flour has a nutty taste that a lot of people say is very pleasant, and lends itself well to the texture of crunchy baked goods like flapjacks and cookies, as well as being suitable to use when flour would normally be dusted, for example for frying things.
Hemp Flour Does Not Get You High
Of course, when some people first hear about hemp flour they worry that it will contain the elements of cannabis that will cause a high. This is not the case at all, just as using poppy seeds in baking will not cause similar effects to taking opiates.
The seeds that hemp flour is made out of can also be eaten and used in baking as they are. Seeds in general are a popular snack with people who want to avoid the unhealthy ingredients in processed snacks like chips and pretzels, so many people already like to munch on things like flax seeds and sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds make a good addition to a healthy snack mix.
The Nutritional Benefits of Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds have quite a lot of nutritional benefits, however, which make them highly regarded as a superfood, and some believe an even better choice than other seeds as a healthy, easy to eat snacking food. They have high amounts of vitamin E, which is great for cellular repair and important for healthy skin, hair and gums. They also contain important minerals including magnesium, potassium and sodium, along with calcium, iron, zinc, sulfur and phosphorous, which is a huge amount of beneficial components for a simple snack to have!
Further to that, hemp seeds contain fatty acids that are great for your overall health, and are rich in healthy fats and protein. Some of these things can be hard to get into your diet if you don’t eat things like fish or lean meats. For vegans and vegetarians then, hemp seeds are a very good thing to eat.
How to Eat Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds don’t just work as a snack, and can also be sprinkled on breakfast cereals, included in smoothie blends and shakes, or used in baking to add a crunchy texture, as well as introducing some protein into what would otherwise be a purely carbohydrate food like a cake or some bread. As with the hemp flour, the seeds are also a good option for people who are on a gluten free diet.
Eating hemp seeds and making flour out of them are two ways that products from the cannabis plant are becoming popular in the health food and supplement sector, however there are also ways that people are getting the medicinal benefits of the compounds in cannabis without the associated high or legal implications of using marijuana.
Why People Choose Hemp Oil
Hemp oils are a way that more and more people are doing this. Because cannabinoids are associated with helping with a massive range of health problems, from mental health issues like eating disorders, depression and PTSD through to conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia and osteoporosis, as well as being useful for pain management and in controlling nausea (for example in patients undergoing chemotherapy), it is understandable that a lot of people want their benefits. Of course, not everyone wants or enjoys the effects of marijuana in terms of the high, because it can cause problems to productivity, can make it unsafe to do things like drive, and can also have some unwanted side effects like paranoia, hunger, and a dry mouth. Some people also don’t approve of recreational cannabis use but could benefit from the medicinal applications of the drug.
Hemp Oil Does Not Get You High
In these cases, using an oil that contains the spectrum of cannabinoids but does not have a strong enough component of THC – the one compound in cannabis with the psychotropic effects – allows people to experience some of the benefits without the high. This means it is suitable for everyday use and can be used even while working or doing other things that you wouldn’t be able to do effectively while affected by THC.
How to Take Hemp Oil
There are different ways of taking hemp oil, which is also known as CBD oil or cannabis oil. Some people simply dab it and take it orally, but a way of taking it that is becoming more and more popular is using CBD vape oil.
If you are unfamiliar with the term, vaping is the word used to described using an electronic cigarette. Normally, e-cigs are used by people who are looking to cut down on smoking tobacco or quit altogether as a less harmful way of taking in nicotine. However, there are now some e-liquids for vaping that contain CBD oil, allowing people who want to get the benefits of CBD oil to take it this way instead of orally ingesting it. There are different concentrations available, because people tend to need to spend some time when they first start using cannabis oil to figure out the best dose for them, and this varies depending on what they are taking it for.
Benefits of CBD Oils
Research into the benefits of CBD oils for a wide range of conditions is ongoing, and it is not recommended to try and treat a serious condition with CBD oil instead of prescribed medical marijuana or other medications recommended by a doctor. However, a lot of people find it beneficial for more minor health complaints, ranging from acne through to menstrual cramps. It has also shown promising effects on people with chronic and difficult to manage pain or migraines, as well as with mental health problems including depression, anxiety and eating disorders, and can be worth trying as a natural remedy if you suffer from any of these.
Many generally healthy people also use hemp oil because they say it improves their mood and sleep, and helps with day to day anxiety and stress.
Have you tried Hemp food products before?
As you can see there are lots of ways hemp products that don’t get people high are being used, and it is clear to see why hemp is becoming such big news in the wellness industry!