One of the most underrated ayurvedic herbs from ancient India is hemp — also known as cannabis. Hemp has several benefits that most people do not know about. From its high nutritious value to its phenomenal beauty benefits — hemp has been undervalued throughout its discovery, for most people only see it as a drug. It was only recently that hemp benefits have been discovered and have gained popularity worldwide.
The industrial hemp market is projected to surge at a CAGR of 34 percent from $4.6 billion in 2019 to $26.6 billion by 2025. The growth of this market is attributed to its various health benefits.
However, the complex regulatory structure of industrial hemp and its usage in different countries is expected to block the market growth of industrial hemp.
Today, increasing demand for hemp seeds over traditional herbal seeds is driving the growth of the market. The growing demand for personal care products, protein supplements, cosmetics, and several other health products will boost the market in the forecast period.
Be it the hemp seed, plant, or hemp leaves — each has its different benefits. Hemp-based products — when added to our everyday life — can give visible results.
For instance, hemp seeds are a source of rich protein and a powerhouse of other essential nutrients that can fill the needs of the body.
Hemp Sativa seeds and hemp nubs as superfoods can be a good and sufficient source of energy, and protein for vegetarians and vegans. These seeds are incredibly healthy, and they may be one of the few superfoods worthy of their reputation.
So, let’s look at the dietary benefits of the same.
Over 25 percent of hemp’s total calories are from high-quality protein. Hemp seeds have a rich source of vitamin E and minerals, which can be consumed raw, cooked, or roasted.
The harder to find Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) prevents inflammation and helps to bind and balance the body’s hormones.
Interestingly, eating hemp seeds may reduce your risk of heart disease, keeping cholesterol and blood sugar at healthy levels, and improving blood circulation.
These seeds are particularly rich in the amino acid — arginine — which plays a role in the body’s production of nitric oxide that causes the blood vessels to dilate and relax. Thus, in turn, it lowers blood pressure and reduces your risk for heart disease.
Hemp seeds are packed with antioxidants like fibre, which helps the digestive system and boosts daily energy. Fibre is an essential part of your diet and linked to better digestive health.
Whole hemp seeds are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, containing 20 percent and 80 percent, respectively. Hemp seeds aid in digestion and are gut-friendly.
A normal serving of three tablespoons of hulled hemp seeds has over 14 gram of healthy fats, 165 calories, and almost 10 gram of protein. These seeds are also rich in minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Hemp seeds also offer great restorative properties that can alleviate joint pain, arthritis, and general aches. It also contains components that work with the body’s cell receptors to help reduce pain.
In fact, anecdotal evidence shows that hemp seed oil makes for a soothing and gentle pain-relieving massage oil for rubbing into the muscles, following a workout, or a nightmare like the menstrual cramp.
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) — found extensively in hemp seeds — lowers the effects of prolactin and reduces the tendency of breast pain and tenderness, irritability, depression and fluid retention, and other problems generally associated with PMS.
Beauty benefits of hemp
Hemp seeds include over 30 percent fat, particularly rich in alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and linoleic acid (omega-6). These oils are often used in cosmetics because they can penetrate through layers of skin to promote cell growth.
In fact, the seeds can help repair and moisturise dry and damaged skin, and support healthy hair and nails. Unlike most cosmetic products, hemp-based beauty products allow the skin to breathe without clogging the pores.
Hemp cannabinoids have the potential to make skin less oily as oily skin can lead to acne. Cannabidiol, specifically, reduces the secretions of sebocytes — the skin cells producing fat or oil.
While healthy fats have an important role in maintaining skin health, omega-3, especially derived from hemp, helps create a smoother, healthier-looking complexion. It also reduces redness and swelling of the skin caused by inflammation — from the inside out.
Overall, hemp has benefits and qualities that can improve your lifestyle, besides improving your health and diet.
This list of hemp benefits is not limited to any one sphere of life but covers most major areas, making it one of the best ayurvedic herbs available. Hemp superfoods and cosmetics are two major categories, where hemp benefits have been explored after serious and long research.