Hemp 101: What It Is And How It Works

Hemp 101: What It Is And How It Works
APR 5, 2020

Hemp 101: What It Is And How It Works

Hemp has been used for thousands of years to make a wide range of products, from textiles and building materials to paper, beauty products, food, and medicine.

What is hemp?

Hemp is a variety of cannabis that is grown specifically for industrial use. As long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC, hemp can be legally cultivated and sold in the United States—unlike marijuana, which remains federally illegal. Hemp has been used for thousands of years to make a wide range of products, from textiles and building materials to paper, beauty products, food, and medicine. Cultivating hemp requires half the water other crops require, uses no pesticides during cultivation, and leaves less soil contamination than cotton.

The plant is tall and sturdy with a strong stalk that provides an excellent source of fiber for clothing, rope, or other textiles. The seeds provide protein that can be eaten raw or processed into oils—allowing you to add nutritional goodness to smoothies or salad dressings—and even used as alternative cooking oil for baking or frying food. The flowers are where most hemp-derived CBD comes from; they are also the part of the plant traditionally used in herbal remedies (the ancient Chinese called it má).

Hemp is not only environmentally friendly—it’s also one of the most versatile plants on Earth!

What are the benefits of using hemp products?

Hemp is widely used in alternative medicine to promote wellness with the following potential benefits:

Pain relief: Many users claim that hemp products can help reduce chronic pain, arthritis, and inflammation.

Insomnia and sleep disorders: Hemp has been used by individuals struggling with insomnia and other sleep disorders as an aid to falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer.

Anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions: Hemp may also be helpful for those who suffer from anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s thought that the mood-boosting properties of the hemp plant can improve these conditions.

Skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema: Some evidence suggests that a topical cream containing hemp oil may work as well as prescription medications like cortisone in treating post-surgical swelling, skin rashes like psoriasis and eczema, itching from dry skin or insect bites, minor burns or abrasions, acne flare-ups on sensitive skin, fungal infections at the site of a small wound (such as athlete’s foot), hemorrhoids after childbirth or surgery (especially for women experiencing episiotomy pain), varicose veins due to pregnancy (in addition to helping soothe leg cramps during pregnancy), diaper rash in babies—the list goes on!

Hemp is not only environmentally friendly—it’s also one of the most versatile plants on Earth

How does hemp work for pain relief?

The human body actually contains its own endocannabinoid system (ECS). That's our body's own internal network of cannabinoid receptors which regulate how we feel and experience our mental states. Since the ECS works to regulate so many things in our bodies, getting it back in balance can have positive effects on us humans.

When you use hemp/cannabis products that are rich in CBD and other cannabinoids, these compounds interact with your ECS by attaching themselves to receptor sites throughout your brain and central nervous system.

This helps to restore an already present but unbalanced process within the body—and produces positive effects for us humans looking to get back into balance ourselves!

Hemp and CBD oil

The hype about hemp oil is everywhere, and you might find yourself wondering if it's any different from CBD oil. Hemp seed oil is essentially the same thing as hemp oil—but not the same as CBD (cannabidiol) oil, which has a somewhat complicated structure.

CBD is the second most prevalent cannabinoid in marijuana plants, but unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), it has no psychoactive properties. Instead, CBD works to reduce inflammation and regulate pain. CBD can also promote enhanced sleep, something that many people who suffer from insomnia or chronic pain can use help with.

You may have heard of hemp as a prolific fiber source—it’s used to make paper and textiles—but did you know that hemp seeds are rich in nutrients? Hemp seeds have more protein than chia or flaxseeds, contain all 10 essential amino acids, and are a great source of healthy fats like omega-3s and omega-6s, making them a good choice for those who don’t eat fish or want to go meatless. Hemp seed oil contains fatty acids that help keep your skin moisturized; studies show it can reduce skin dryness and improve eczema symptoms. It also helps improve hair strength and growth by reducing breakage from combing or brushing your hair; nails can benefit too when applied topically!

Hemp for pain relief

Hemp for pain relief can be found in many forms, such as tinctures, lotions, creams and salves. While it’s not known exactly how hemp works to relieve aches and pains, studies have shown that CBD may block an enzyme called COX1. This is a key mechanism by which pain is created throughout your body. By blocking the COX1 enzyme from working properly, CBD can “trick” your body into feeling less pain or discomfort than it would otherwise feel. The dosage you use (and type of product) will depend on your individual needs. Not sure where to start? Send us an email!

Takeaway

So to recap: Hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa, and it’s used for its seeds, fibers, and sometimes the flowers. Hemp contains an ingredient called CBD (cannabidiol), which doesn't get you high but works to reduce anxiety, relax muscles, and soothe aches.

EXPLORE HEMP

Muscle & Joint Salve With CBD All Natural Pain Relief - Suzi’s Lavender

@GETSUZIS