If you’re looking for a super food that can do triple duty as supplement, medicine and cosmetic, then you’re looking for hemp oil.

“In my 25 years working in the nutrition industry, I have rarely come across a supplement that works for so many people for so many different reasons,” Joe Hamilton of Pilgrim’s market in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the Spokane, Washington, Spokesman-Review.

Uses range from nutritional supplement, to skin care, to treatment for epilepsy. The one thing hemp oil won’t do, despite its relation to marijuana, is get you high.

“There are a lot of superlative claims about hemp oil: most unsaturated oil, best essential fatty acids (EFA) ratio and combination, highest amino acid variety, only plant source of vitamin D. Can one oil be all that? In short, yes,” writes Lisa Bronner in the Huffington Post.

Here’s a look at three key beneficial uses for hemp oil.

Nutrition

“Eat your hemp oil. It’s good for you,” is something that probably isn’t heard around many dinner tables. But maybe it should be.

“Getting enough essential fatty acids is necessary to prevent brain and nervous degeneration over time,” according to the Herb website. “To keep myelin functioning properly, you need dietary essential fatty acids. Hemp is a great source of these essential fatty acids, acting as a dietary supplement for these brain-boosting lipids.”

Hemp oil can also help lower the chance for heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol and preventing saturated fat buildup in the arteries.

It’s also chock full of anti-aging vitamins.

“Not only does hemp contain a wealth of healthy fats, but it also is a rich source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant essential for skin and overall health,” according to Herb. “If you’re hoping to age gracefully, antioxidants are key. Over time, the body accumulates damage from environmental free radicals. Free radicals can wreak havoc on your DNA and cell membranes.

Consuming foods high in antioxidant vitamins neutralizes free radicals and thereby protect your DNA and cells from damage. Depending on the type of hemp oil you consume, the product may also contain cannabidiol (CBD), which is a more potent antioxidant than vitamin E.”

Hemp oil is believed to be efficacious for balancing hormones, as well.

“Hemp seed oil is rich in GLA (gamma linolenic acid), which is considered to be a necessary building block from some prostaglandins. Researchers concluded that supplementing with GLA is important for optimal hormone health and may be the reason so many women who suffer from PMS have been helped by it,” according to Natural Living Ideas. “In a study of women with PMS, taking one gram of essential fatty acids (including 210 mg of GLA) daily resulted in a significant reduction in symptoms.”

As if all that weren’t enough, hemp oil is high in protein and minerals.

One can truly say that it’s good for you.

It’s medicinal

Hemp oil contains CBD, which is believed to have numerous medicinal uses.

The Miami New Times writes, “Dr. John Hicks, a physician in Los Gatos, California, advises his patients to take hemp oil for a whole host of conditions, from insomnia to cancer… Hicks adds that research suggests CBD might be a potent cancer fighter (especially breast and prostate) and might prevent metastasis. A whole coalition of moms agrees. Dubbed “cannamoms,” they believe in and advocate for CBD as a medical treatment for their children.”

Cannabis has been used to treat seizures for hundreds of years. Modern studies at least tentatively point to CBD’s effectiveness.

“Ancient Chinese and Persian medical texts — and modern anecdotes — suggest that cannabis is useful for treating seizures,” according to the Verge. “Research has been scant, but a new study of cannabidiol, a molecule in cannabis, has given some credence to these claims. Kids with a severe form of epilepsy had 39 percent fewer seizures per month after taking the substance, also called CBD. Three people stopped having seizures altogether.”

While CBD can help treat seizures, the Omega 3 in hemp oil helps people deal with mood disorders such as Bipolar Disorder and Depression.

And hemp oil can be used to reduce inflammation.

“A study published in the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism found that consuming GLA found in hemp seeds was able to decrease arthritis symptoms by 25%. This effect was compared against a placebo, which reduced symptoms by just 4%. Hemp seed oil’s high GLA content combined with its ideal ratio of omega-3/6 fats and other anti-inflammatory nutrients, is believed to be why it is so effective,” according to Natural Living Ideas.

It’s good for your skin

Hemp oil’s high concentration of Vitamin E make it ideal to promote hair growth.

“Many women and men take vitamin E to promote healthy hair growth or silky hair,” according to The Alternative Daily. “A better option than buying pricey vitamin E capsules at the store is to simply rub hemp oil all through your hair a few minutes before you shower and wash your hair. Around a tablespoon of the oil is all it takes — you want to coat your hair but not saturate it. Using hemp oil on your hair will help make it silky, strong and will even help it grow!”

The oil also works as a beauty treatment. It can be used to remove makeup and even as a cleanser.

“If you’re prone to acne, you’ll want to use hemp oil only for removing makeup, and then finish with an apple cider vinegar/lemon juice toner, which will help cleanse the skin of excess oil and bacteria but won’t promote dryness,” according to The Alternative Daily. “Hemp oil is better to use than makeup removers because it’s very nourishing to the skin and won’t strip away good oils the skin needs to actually fight bacteria. When the skin becomes too dry and undernourished, harmful bacteria can make their way into the pores. Dead skin from dryness can cause bacteria to fester, which in turn can lead to acne. Using harsh creams can create a vicious cycle that further dries the skin and makes things worse. Hemp oil is a better alternative and is also very alkaline — it’s naturally cleansing and will remove impurities while still being gentle.”

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