The hemp plant is slowly regaining its once well-deserved reputation as an important, extremely useful farm crop. Up until the 1930s field of hemp were a common sight on many farms in our country. It has provided humanity with valuable resources of versatile fiber, edible seed and oil, and medicines for thousands of years. Hemp fiber is strong and durable; it was used traditionally for making sails, canvas, twines, ropes, cordages, cloth, clothing, paper, and more recently, plastics. Hemp Seeds are important food source in some parts of the world ; they contain high quality protein and fat in the form of a highly nutritional oil.

Hemp seed oil is the new food oil on the market these days. It is a nutritionally superior oil that has been called by some Nature’s perfect blend of the essential fatty acid Omega-3 and Omega-6. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are nutrients that are required in our diet since our bodies cannot produce them. They are critical in all cell functions and body systems and have proven effective in curbing and preventing many disease conditions. They help digest fat ; an essential fatty acid deficiency often results in high cholesterol levels.

Many people take oils as a supplement to their diet. Flax oil has been the well-known choice for years. Hemp oil, however, is a wider spectrum nutritional oil than flax. Hemp oil contains Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an important fatty acid that promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails, and helps in reducing inflammation. The usual GLA supplement is evening primrose oil. But hemp oil has it all—a rich blend of Omega-3 and Omega-6 EFAs, GLA, in addition to Omega-9, palmetic acid and other important unsaturated fatty acids. Of all foods that contain fatty acids, Hemp oil is the only one that contains both the Omega EFAs and Gamma EFAs. And because of its high fatty acid profile, it is one of the most digestible and assimilable of foods.

Unlike other oils that are nutritionally good for you, hemp oil has a pleasant, clean, nutty flavor. it can be used in a wide variety of ways, easily replacing the oil you have been using. Try it in your favorite recipes for dressings, dips, pesto, and spreads. You can use it as a topping over pasta, rice, and potatoes. Try it on whole grain breads, crackers, and bagels. For a simple idea, mix hemp oil with garlic, lemon, and sea kelp or red dulce and pour it on breads, pasta, salads, or potatoes.  It can be used as a butter substitute, for example, in popcorn. Hemp seed oil is also as versatile in restaurants as it is in the home. A number of restaurants in Hawaii and California have featured it on menu and at banquets ;  successful gourmet events have highlighted hemp seed dishes and oil.

Hemp oil has many other uses in addition: in natural health care and first aid, massage, soap-making, and wood preservation. Refined hemp oil is excellent for manufacturing purposes including making soap, cosmetics, industrial lubricants, and machinery oils. The traditional uses of hemp are staggering. Creative minds, rediscovering it, will find even more.