Is cannabis the next “superfood”?
Seeds from a hemp plant have popped up in a variety of dishes worldwide, and are considered by some as the new superfood to watch out for. But as with every superfood, it can be helpful to take a look at its actual health benefits, to separate facts from fiction.
What is superfood?
“Superfood” is a term more commonly used in health food stores than shops that sell CBD and THC products. But what constitutes a superfood exactly? Superfoods are naturally occurring plants that are packed with all the healthy substances that your body needs to thrive. Superfoods often contain high quantities of essential compounds such as:
What makes cannabis an original superfood?
Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Cannabis leaves and hemp seeds contain both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are considered “essential” because the human body does not produce them, they have to be ingested. Essential fatty acids are key to brain health. The human brain is nearly 60% fat, and the right kinds of fatty acids protect it against neuro-generative diseases.
Hemp seeds are one of the world’s most potent natural sources of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral required for a healthy metabolism. Nearly 75% of the U.S. population does not get enough magnesium.
Terpenes are found in all plants, and cannabis is no exception. Terpenes provide different cannabis strains their unique scent and flavor. In partnership with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, terpenes contribute to the “entourage effect”; multiple compounds working together to produce a particular outcome.
Common Terpenes include:
Limonene has a citrusy scent and flavor. It has been shown to promote weight loss, prevent and treat cancer, and treat bronchitis.
Myrcene is earthy with a hint of fruity flavors. Myrcene has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory. It also works as a sedative and a muscle relaxer.
Linalool is floral with a hint of spiciness. It can be used as an anti-inflammatory, helps modulate motor movements, and can be used to treat liver cancer.
Essential Amino Acids
Cannabis contains essential amino acids, which our bodies also do not produce. Amino acids are necessary for cell function, helping cells maintain their structure, repair damaged tissue, and transport nutrients.
When cannabis is in its raw state, it contains the cannabinoids THC-A and CBD-A. When heat is applied to these compounds that they break down into psychoactive THC and active CBD. While these active compounds have their own benefits, THC-A and CBD-A also have high anti-inflammatory properties and can be consumed in higher doses due to their non-psychoactive nature.
Not only does cannabis offer many health benefits, it can be consumed in many ways, and is able to be eaten in its entirety. Cannabis chemical compounds have been shown to greatly inhibit many disease-causing pathways. In time, cannabis may become one of the greatest therapeutic plants we know. Research has shown the best way to get all these benefits is to consume the plant in its raw form and use every part of the plant. The best way to get all these benefits is to juice or eat the plant from seed to root.