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Find out what the research says about hemp oil, who should avoid it, and how it may affect your health. Add multiple health benefits to your favorite meals with just a few drops of Plant Power CBD oil, designed for foodies.

Hemp Oil: Is It Good for You?

Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is made from hemp, a cannabis plant like the drug marijuana but containing little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that gets people “high.” Instead of THC, hemp contains cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical that has been used to treat everything from epilepsy to anxiety.

Hemp is increasingly popular as a remedy for a range of conditions including skin issues and stress. It may contain properties that contribute to reduced risks of illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease, though additional research is necessary. Hemp oil may also reduce inflammation in the body.

In addition to CBD, Hemp oil contains large amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fats, which are two types of unsaturated fat s, or “good fats,” and all nine essential amino acids, the materials your body uses to make protein. Here’s more information about nutrients in hemp seed oil and how they may benefit your health.

Nutrition Information

Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds. In one serving of hemp seeds (3 tablespoons), you’ll find the following:

  • Calories: 170
  • Calories from fat: 108
  • Total fat: 12 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1 grams
  • Trans fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 0 grams
  • Total carbohydrates: 5 grams
  • Sugars: 1 grams
  • Protein: 10 grams

Hemp seeds also contain these minerals and hemp nutrients:

Many of these nutrients provide the body necessary minerals and also contribute to overall health. Note that hemp seeds contain a significant amount of iron (20 % of your recommended daily diet). This helps prevent iron deficiency, or anemia.

Potential Health Benefits of Hemp Oil

Hemp seed oil is used as a remedy for a range of conditions. Some studies show that its nutrients and minerals can contribute to better skin and heart health as well as reduced inflammation. Here’s a deeper look at what the research says about the potential health benefits of hemp oil:

Improved Cardiovascular Health

The amino acid arginine is present in hempseed oil. Studies have shown that this ingredient contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system. Consuming foods with high arginine levels can help decrease the risk of heart disease.

In studies, the CBD in hemp oil has been shown to reduce seizures in rare types of childhood epilepsy that are resistant to other treatments, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Regularly taking CBD can also reduce the number of seizures brought on by tuberous sclerosis complex, a condition that causes tumors to form throughout the body.

Reduced Inflammation

Over time, excess inflammation in your body can contribute to a variety of diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and asthma. It has been suggested that gamma linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid found in hemp, acts as an anti-inflammatory. Studies have also linked the omega-3 fatty acids in hemp with reductions in inflammation.

Healthier Skin

Spreading hemp oil on your skin as a topical application can also reduce symptoms and provide relief for several types of skin disorders. One study showed that hemp oil can act as an effective acne treatment, though more research is needed in this area. In addition, consuming hemp seed oil was found to improve symptoms of atopic dermatitis, or eczema, due to the presence of the “good” polyunsaturated fats in the oil.

Potential Risks of Hemp Oil

Although hemp and marijuana come from the same species of cannabis plant, hemp has little to no THC. This means that consuming hemp is legal in the U.S. and will not cause you to become intoxicated or impaired.

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In general, hemp seed oil is safe to ingest or use topically, but there are a few things to note if you decide to start taking hemp oil. Pay attention to the following potential risks of hemp oil:

Some people experience skin irritation when using topical oils containing CBD, possibly due to an allergy. Start with using a small amount to see how your skin reacts to it, and keep an eye on any changes.

Digestive Issues

It’s possible that ingesting CBD-containing oils like hemp oil can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. Again, when you’re first introducing hemp oil into your diet, start small to see how it impacts you. Reactions may be different from person to person.

Show Sources

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity: “Omega-3 Supplementation Lowers Inflammation and Anxiety in Medical Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial.”

Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment: “Scoping paper on the potential adverse effects of CBD products.”

Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports: “Cannabis for the Treatment of Epilepsy: an Update.”

Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology: “Gamma linolenic acid: an antiinflammatory omega-6 fatty acid.”

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon: “Hemp Oil.”

GW Research Ltd.: “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Cannabidiol (GWP42003-P, CBD) for Seizures in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (GWPCARE6).”

Harvard Men’s Health Watch: “Iron and your health.”

Journal of Clinical Investigation: “Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes.”

Journal of Dermatological Treatment: “Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis.”

Mayo Clinic Proceedings: “Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils.”

Nutrition & Metabolism: “The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed.”

The Healthy Cooking Hack to Boost Your Favorite Meals

Plant Power CBD adds multiple health benefits to your favorite meals with just a few drops

If you’re a health conscious foodie, Plant Power Plant Power is a dropper-design CBD oil that can be added to food for an instant nutritional boost. Approved by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Plant Power’s own hemp strain is cultivated to the highest level of scrutiny to ensure effectiveness in each bottle. The CBD formula is free of pesticides, and all plants used are organically grown.

Moreover, every hemp plant used undergoes pharmaceutical-grade certification under guidelines set forth by the Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP), which is monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This additional level of attention during the manufacturing process guarantees each Plant Power purchase meets both brand and federal regulation standards.

How Can CBD Be Used in Cooking?

As the list of available CBD-based products expands across industries, it can be hard to discern effective formulas from the rest. Luckily, Plant Power is transparent on formulas and manufacturing processes, giving customers an inside look at what they’re putting in their body and how the CBD oil is made. Of the many benefits of incorporating CBD throughout your daily routine, Plant Power is different in that it’s designed to be used in cooking.

Using CBD when prepping meals is easy and does not alter the taste of your favorite food. The combination of natural oils produces a light fragrance that’s enjoyable on its own or when added to a dish. Plant Power CBD oils come in a variety of combinations that compliment traditional spices and seasonings. It’s currently available in:

  • Coconut, Pineapple and Lemongrass
  • Orange, Cinnamon and Ginger
  • Mint, Rosemary and Lemongrass

If you’re thinking of trying CBD for yourself but are interested in alternatives to oils, consider Plant Power’s CBD gummies, which are packed with the same healthy ingredients.

Unfortunately, as is the case with many fads, there are many barriers preventing more individuals from trying CBD oil for themselves. Among many reasons, socioeconomic reign supreme as a deterrent for trying health-conscious products, which often tote a higher price tag or are only available at select retailers. Plant Power believes in the benefits of CBD oil and has set out on a mission to give back . Through every purchase of Plant Power, you’re helping those less-fortunate gain access to naturally-derived CBD oil, which can unlock many health benefits. Every month, Plant Power gifts products to those in need. If you think you’d be a fit for Plant Power’s give back program, simply send in your story to [email protected]

Shop Now: Coconut, Pineapple and Lemongrass CBD Oil 40mg, $74.99; via plantpower.io.

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Great For:

    Reduces anxiety.
  • Boosts mood.
  • Promotes relaxation.
  • Pain and inflammation management.
  • Improves quality of sleep.

Shop Now: Orange, Cinnamon and Ginger CBD 40mg, $74.99; via plantpower.io.

Great For:

    Reduces anxiety.
  • Boosts mood.
  • Promotes relaxation.
  • Pain and inflammation management.
  • Improves quality of sleep.

Shop Now: Mint, Rosemary and Lemongrass CBD 40mg, $74.99; via plantpower.io.

Great For:

  • Reduces anxiety.
  • Boosts mood.
  • Promotes relaxation.
  • Pain and inflammation management.
  • Improves quality of sleep.

All products featured on GRAZIA are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, GRAZIA may earn an affiliate commission.

CBD products are everywhere. But do they work?

By now, you’ve probably run into a product containing cannabidiol, also known as CBD. It’s in everything from drinks and pet products to lotions and chewable gummies. Even major drugstore chains have announced they will start carrying CBD products in certain states.

But many people still don’t really know what CBD is. Is it marijuana? Is it legal? Does it actually work? Is it safe?

The answers to those questions aren’t necessarily straight­forward. The only thing that is clear at this point: The marketing has gone way ahead of the science and the law when it comes to CBD products.

That said, CBD is thought to be a safe and effective option for certain conditions. Below, we sort through the confusion by answering some of the most common questions about CBD.

Is CBD marijuana?

Yes and no. Cannabidiol is one of the two best-known active compounds derived from the marijuana plant. The other is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the substance that that produces the “high” from marijuana.

CBD does not get you high, but the idea that it’s not psychoactive is something of a misconception in his opinion. It does change your consciousness. You may feel mellow, experience less pain, and be more comfortable. In addition, some CBD products do contain small amounts of THC.

While CBD can come from marijuana, it can also be derived from hemp. Hemp is a related plant with 0.3% or less of THC. This plant is often used to make fabrics and ropes. As of 2018, Congress made hemp legal in all 50 states, and consequently CBD derived from hemp is also legal. The rules around marijuana-derived CBD, however, are far less clear.

Is marijuana-derived CBD legal?

Again, yes and no, depending on where you live. In some states marijuana is legal for both recreational use and medical use. In other states, it’s legal only for medical use. And in some areas, it’s not legal at all.

When it comes to CBD products, the FDA is still trying to get its arms around the issue. The agency is just starting the process of hashing out some rules regarding CBD sales. Officials recently formed a working group to create guidelines that could allow companies to legally market CBD products. Currently, CBD products are considered supplements, which aren’t FDA-regulated, and it is illegal for companies to make health or therapeutic claims about the products in their marketing. In announcing its effort to set CBD marketing rules, the FDA also signaled that it is cracking down on CBD companies that are using “egregious and unfounded claims” to market their products to “vulnerable populations.”

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Currently, there is only one CBD product that has FDA approval: a prescription medication called Epidiolex, used to treat some rare severe seizure disorders in children. The bottom line is that in order to understand whether CBD is legal where you live, you’ll need to consult your state health department website or professionals in your community.

Does CBD work?

Yes, there is evidence that CBD works for some conditions, but certainly not all the conditions it is being promoted for these days. There’s no evidence, for example, that CBD cures cancer. There is moderate evidence that CBD can improve sleep disorders, fibromyalgia pain, muscle spasticity related to multiple sclerosis, and anxiety.

People report that oral CBD helps relieve anxiety and pain and also leads to better sleep. However, the same may not be true for a host of other CBD products on the market today, in particular those that are rubbed on the skin. It’s hard to know whether these have any clinical benefit, because they haven’t been tested sufficiently.

Testing also shows that many products don’t contain what’s claimed on the label. For example, they may have less CBD than advertised. So, buyer beware.

Where should you purchase CBD products?

If you are interested in trying a CBD product, it’s best to seek one through a dispensary, which is an establishment legally licensed to sell marijuana, if they are available in your state. Dispensary products must be labeled so you can see exactly how much CBD is in the product and whether it also contains THC. A small amount of THC in a CBD product isn’t typically problematic. But larger amounts could cause a “high” and may present a risk if you are going to drive.

Also, keep in mind that CBD products aren’t standardized and will vary. It helps to keep a journal recording what type of CBD product you took, how much, and your response to it. This will help you track what works and what doesn’t for your condition.

Is CBD safe?

The safest way to take CBD is orally, as a tablet, chewable, or tincture (a concentrated liquid typically administered with a dropper). Steer clear of any illegally sold synthetic CBD products, sometimes called “spice” or “bath salts.” These products have induced psychotic reactions in some people and pose a major health risk.

For adults, CBD appears to be a very safe product. CBD does produce side effects for some people, including nausea, fatigue, and irritability. It may also interact with certain medications, so always check with your doctor before use.

But for children under age 21 it’s a different story. It’s also not clear if any amount of CBD is appropriate for children.

Evidence regarding CBD is still building. Now that some states have legalized recreational and medical use of marijuana products, including CBD, scientists are finding it easier to conduct research. More will be known in the next 5 to 10 years, including whether there are yet undiscovered problems associated with long-term use.

Image: Vanessa Numes/Getty Images

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