Hemp seeds have long been used in Ayurveda for their tamasic (sedative) qualities, which can help you feel rejuvenated and induce deep sleep. Not only are they more nutritionally efficient than flax and chia seeds, but hemp oil extract is generally considered safe. It is also known to reduce inflammation due to its high omega-3 content and healthy omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. The use of hemp in the food and supplement industry is expected to expand in the coming years, with many potential social, economic, and health implications.
Research has shown that hemp seeds contain higher concentrations of melatonin than the aerial parts of the plant, which can help modulate sleep patterns. A new hydrolyzed hemp seed meal protein has been found to reduce oxidative stress factors in rats with spontaneous hypertension. Clinical trials are currently underway to prove or refute the safety of hemp dietary products and measure subsequent exposure to cannabinoids in participating subjects. The hormone melatonin has many diverse actions in plant physiology, such as growth, rooting, seed germination, and photosynthesis.
In a randomized, controlled, blind cross-over study involving 20 participants with atopic dermatitis, those who consumed 30 ml of hemp seed oil over a 20-week period showed reduced inflammation. Another trial involving 36 children with primary hyperlipidemia showed no improvement in their lipid profile after consuming 3 g of hemp oil.
Hempproteins are a valuable source of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine and provide large amounts of arginine, an essential amino acid with beneficial cardiovascular properties. Hemp sprouts may also represent an attractive functional food due to their flavonoid and flavanol content.
This review article aims to provide a comprehensive perspective from a multidisciplinary perspective on the scientific evidence that supports the beneficial properties of hemp when consumed as a food or supplement.