Cannabis, better known as Cannabis sativa L. is an annual plant belonging to the Cannabaceae family. It can reach a height of 4-5 metres and its leaves, resembling the palm of a hand, are recognisable on sight.
Cannabis seeds: properties and benefits of one of the most beneficial foods in the world
Cannabis seeds are suitable for human consumption, raw or whole (or alternatively shelled) ready to be eaten, added to salads, soy yogurt or other dishes of your choice.
The cannabis seeds, in addition, are cold pressed to obtain the prized cannabis oil, rich in good omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Properties of cannabis seeds
Today cannabis seeds are considered one of the most nutritional foods on the planet, inasmuch as complete from a nutritional point of view. Let’s see why:
1 - A load of proteins
Cannabis seeds are composed of 24% proteins, in a unique combination if compared to most of the plant based foods known. In fact they contain 8 essential amino acids.
Amino acids are the element from which our body is able to produce proteins. When necessary, our organism has the possibility to generate certain amino acids from other amino acids. Of the twenty that take part in the proteic synthesis (and as such to cellular renewal), only eight are synthesizable and are defined as “essential amino acids”. These amino acids can be introduced only via food intake.
The 8 essential amino acids are: leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Nearly all plant based foods contain only some of these essential amino acids, whilst others are absent, or contain only traces. And this is one of the many reasons which it is difficult to follow a vegan diet, inasmuch as one risks an insufficient intake of these amino acids.
The cannabis seeds contain all the essential amino acids. But this is just one of the reasons why these seeds are considered a real “superfood”….
2 - A veritable mine of “good fats”
Like all oilseed dried fruits, even cannabis seeds are very rich in vegetable fats (approximately 35%). These are made up of approximately 75% of polyunsaturated fats, such as linolenic and alpha-linolenic acid. These are fatty acids that are considered essential for the correct functioning of muscles, nerve receptors and numerous glands present in our organism.
Furthermore, in the cannabis seeds the fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, are present in an excellent proportional ratio (3-1) and useful for the regulation of the metabolic activities of the organism.
The high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids make these seeds extremely precious, especially in combatting and preventing various diseases such as: arterial sclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, high cholesterol, brain diseases (Alzheimer’s, senile dementia, Parkinson’s disease), arthritis, respiratory diseases (such as asthma, sinusitis and tracheitis), eczema and acne.
3 - Vitamins and mineral salts
The cannabis seeds also have an excellent vitamin content, especially of Vitamin E, which is very important because of its antioxidant role. In addition to vitamin E, cannabis seeds also contain vitamins A, B1, B2, PP and C.
Among the mineral salts the following are present: potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium and iron.
4 - Rich in fibres
The cannabis seeds (especially the ones that have not been shelled) are rich in fibres. The fibres are useful in maintaining and restoring the proper working of the intestine and as such in counteracting constipation, a condition that many people suffer from, especially here in the West. Fibres help to reduce glycaemia, to balance intestinal bacterial flora and prevent the formation of colon cancer.
Benefits of Cannabis Seeds
These are the main benefits of the eating cannabis seeds:
1. They are anti-inflammatory: they are rich in omega-3 and gamma-linolenic acids (GLA), the cannabis seeds are considered natural powerful anti-inflammatories and as such the consumption of cannabis seeds and oil is recommended for all those suffering from acute or chronic inflammatory diseases such as colitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, dermatitis, osteoarthritis, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
2. Heart health: because of its wealth of polyunsaturated fats, the cannabis seeds are considered by nutritionists to be an excellent ally for the health of your heart. The consumption of these seeds helps to regularise blood pressure, cholesterol (reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol) glycaemia and triglycerides. All this means reducing significantly the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.
3. Fighting constipation: Thanks to its wealth of fibres, the cannabis seeds are excellent to improve and preserve the correct working of of the intestine and thus prevent and treat constipation.
4. Anti-oxidant action: the vitamin E contained in the cannabis seeds, is a powerful anti-oxidant that helps in blocking the harmful effects of free radicals, primarily responsible for cell degeneration.
How to eat cannabis seeds
To best benefit from the health properties of the cannabis seeds, we recommend the purchase of WHOLE SEEDS. This means eating the seeds whole with their shell.
Why? Because the shell protects the seed. You should in fact know that polyunsaturated fatty acids are extremely rich, they are photosensitive, that is very sensitive to the sun, in addition to heat. This means that during cooking and the simple exposure to sunlight, the essential fatty acids spoil and loose their beneficial properties. However, this does not occur if the seeds are whole.
In addition, the shell contains many fibres which, as already mentioned, are valuable for the health of the intestine.
Finally, shelled seeds, with the same weight, cost a lot more than whole seeds.
Therefore, let’s eat whole cannabis seeds and NOT shelled seeds, and let’s eat them raw. We can add them to salads, fruit salads, shakes or soy yogurt.
The oil is obtained from cold pressing cannabis sativa seeds and represents a previous source of omega-3 and omega-6. Because of its wealth of polyunsaturated fats, this oil is suitable only as a raw condiment and has a pleasant hazelnut aftertaste Cannabis oil is however not suitable for cooking.
As already mentioned, the polyunsaturated fats are photosensitive and as such be sure to buy the oil which has been bottled in dark glass and store it in a cool place, away from sunlight. The best place in fact would be in the refrigerator.
A last recommendation is to buy small unit sizes, 100 ml to maximum 200 ml. As it is rich in polyunsaturated fats, the cannabis oil, like linseed oil and other oils rich in omega-3 and omega-6, go rancid very quickly and needs to be consumed within a few weeks.
The cannabis oil, besides being used in food preparation, can also be used in the cosmetic sector, for the nourishment of our skin and for massages.
Cannabis flour is obtained from grinding the cannabis sativa seeds. This flour, until recently, represented the “waste” of the cold pressing of the seeds for cannabis oil and was destined for feeding livestock.
Today it is widely used in the preparation of bread, pasta or some deserts, normally added to other flours made from cereals or pseudo cereals
The properties are roughly similar to those of the seeds, even if the percentage of protein is decidedly higher, whilst the quantity of unsaturated fats is less.
Are there any side effects?
Apart from possible personal problems of intolerances or allergies, the cannabis seeds do not have any particular side effects.
Furthermore, the variety of the Cannabis Sativa, the cultivation of which is allowed in Europe, it is practically devoid of cannabinoids (THC) and therefore there is no risk of psychotropic effects as happens when smoking a joint.
Its use, as one can imagine, is purely therapeutic and above all legal. From the processing of a pure cannabidiol paste, obtained from plants containing a high concentration of cannabidiol and the subsequent mixing with olive or cannabis vegetable oils, gives rise to the CBD oil.
Completely natural, without any type of additive or other chemical substance, and therefore completely safe and devoid of any side effect. The oil can be easily preserved and dosed by using a dropper, as is or added to foods.
Therapeutic properties of cannabidiol
But which are the therapeutic properties of the cannabidiol, that make it so important in the medical field?
Firstly it is a powerful analgesic, as it attenuates pain acting as a neuro-stimulator of the nervous system.
Consequently the cannabidiol is effectively used to alleviate migraines, chronic pain, arthritis and inflammations in general, with an action aimed at sedating the perception of acute pain, giving immediate relief.
Cannabidiol also has antiemetic properties, able to notably calm vomit and nausea.
It has also been found to be a powerful anticonvulsant and neuroleptic drug. It is therefore used to overcame states of anxiety and depression, to calm epileptic crises and schizophrenia and even in fighting various withdrawal symptoms in the case of addictions such as alcoholism.
Its antioxidant properties, furthermore, make it effective in fighting degeneration of the brain, proving to be an excellent ally against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Already from 2005, the use of cannabidiol has been allowed in Canada for clinical purposes, in particular for the care and treatment of multiple sclerosis.
But the most amazing property of the CBD is its cytotoxic effect. The cannabidiol, in fact, seems to be able to kill cancer cells leaving healthy cells unaltered.
As such, it could prove an effective remedy for the fight against cancer, in particular breast cancer, on which various studies have already been conducted. What is more, according to what was highlighted in a study conducted in 2007 by the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, the CBD is capable of inhibiting the activity of the Id-1 gene, responsible for the diffusion of cancer cells that provoke the formation of metastasis.
This would mean that we could be on the right road to find a valid alternative to invasive and debilitating methods, such as chemotherapy, in curing tumours. However, though, we are still far from real clinical trials, and as such traditional medicine must not in any way be substituted by the galenic type, as may be considered the therapeutic use of CBD oil.
CBD is not only the second most abundant cannabinoid present in Cannabis sativa. Researchers are discovering that the cannabidiol is also very effective in therapies to treat various physical and mental health problems.
CBD is the acronym of cannabidiol, a cannabinoid overshadowed by its psychoactive counterpart, the THC. Recently, scientists and consumers are acknowledging the innumerable benefits of CBD, interesting therapeutic properties that could leave you speechless.
1. CBD PLACATES THE EFFECTS OF THC
The CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, namely it does not provoke the so-called “high” associated with Cannabis. As many marijuana users already know, THC tends to provoke various psychotropic effects when used and can generate moments of anxiety, paranoia and panic when taken in high quantities.
Nevertheless, CBD has the ability to counteract symptoms of anxiety induced by THC, generating sedative effects that reduce some negative consequences of this psychoactive cannabinoid, such as tremors and rapid heartbeat. CBD and TCH are more effective when they act together, with respect to when they are taken separately in their isolated form. This principle is also known as the “Entourage Effect”.
2. REDUCES PAIN AND INFLAMMATION
If one had to list all the benefits of CBD for our health, one would fill the pages of a large encyclopaedia. This article states that many consumers use cannabinoid to alleviate plain and inflammation.
While giant steps have been made in cannabidiol research, the international medical community has not yet fully acknowledged and accepted the therapeutic properties of cannabinoids.
Accordingly to a study published in 2012 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, CBD has the capacity to suppress chronic inflammatory pain in rodents. According to various testimonies issued by therapeutic Cannabis users, CBD-based food supplements are very effective in reducing inflammatory symptoms associated with chronic pain.
Cannabinoids, such as CBD, can reduce pain thanks to their action on the endocannabinoid system present in the human organism. Cannabinoids are tied to our receptors and stimulate responses in various parts of the body, encouraging various beneficial neurological mechanisms.
Some laboratory tests have confirmed how CBD acts on CB1 receptor, generating analgesic effects.
3. PTS AND COD
It has been demonstrated over the last few years that CBD mitigates the symptoms associated with two forms of anxiety: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (COD). According to various researches, PTSD is generated by a lack of anandamide in the human endocannabinoid system. There exists, therefore, a close relationship between cannabinoids and symptoms tied to anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety. Patients affected by COD can alleviate and cure mental and physical compulsions thanks to the taking of a variety of Cannabis with high CBD and low THC contents.
Besides alleviating anxiety disorders, CBD also acts as an antipsychotic. Some scientific tests suggest that the cannabidiol could help in treating schizophrenia and other mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder. Although the THC itself is not able to generate mental diseases, it can simulate acute psychotic symptoms in some people. This shows how important the action of the CBD is when high concentrations of THC are taken. Although the THC has beneficial properties for our health, its therapeutic effectiveness is greatly amplified in the presence of CBD that reduces the possible onset of side effects tied to the psychotropic effects of psychoactive cannabinoid.
Nausea is one of the worst sensations that one can experience, which often degenerates into vomit. No fear, the CBD oils can help in reducing this disorder, effectively treating regurgitation symptoms. CBD oils are easily digestible, they do not contain chemical compounds and do not release unpleasant flavours like normal antiemetic drugs that are rich in antacids and bismuth.
A study published in 2012 in the British Journal of Pharmacology, confirms that the CBD has effective antiemetic properties on rats. Furthermore, when taken with THC, CBD better reduces nausea, given that THC and CBD can reduce the sensation of nausea either separately or together.
Recently, various documents have been reported on the anticonvulsant properties of CBD. According to data collected, this cannabinoid could be very effective in treating some forms of infantile epilepsy, including Dravet syndrome. Although limited to various anecdotal evidence, progress made in this field appears to be rather promising. The varieties of marijuana with high CBD and low THC contents seem to be very effective in reducing convulsions.
Charlotte Fiji, a six year old girl affected with a debilitating form of epilepsy, was forced to tackle repeated crises, around 1200 per day. Her parents were desperate and not knowing any longer how to alleviate her problems, tried cannabidiol. The results? Today, her epileptic crises have gone down to three per month. It would seem almost like a miracle, but the stories on the effectiveness of CBD against epilepsy are an ever increasing reality.
Try taking a look at the product department for the care of the skin and you will find that many of the natural creams and ointments contain industrial cannabis. Cannabis and CBD contain different and very beneficial anti-inflammatory compounds that help to inhibit lipid synthesis. CBD in fact acts on the human sebaceous glands, producing a triple anti-acne action on the skin cells. The cannabidiol has the capacity to eliminate naturally the proliferation of the cells.
Although CBD is noted for its calming effects, it also has energising properties able to regenerate energies and restores strength. This is due to the ability of the cannabidiol to strengthen the cells of the human body, contributing to their correct regeneration. Furthermore, CBD is also an excellent anti-oxidant that promotes the sense of wake not inhibited by the presence of free radicals. According to a study published in 2008, cannabidiol has powerful anti-oxidant properties, even higher than those of Vitamins C and E.
One of the more interesting and encouraging fields of research on CBD regard the effectiveness of CBD in the reduction of cancers and the inhibition of the proliferation of tumour cells. The cannabinoids are tied to the receptors in our endocannabinoid system to hinder the formation of cancer metastases inhibiting the possible growth of the cancer and limiting the migration of the cancer cells in the organism.
The potential applications of Cannabis for those suffering from cancer are scientifically acknowledged and proven. Furthermore, the cannabinoids have the capacity of alleviating the side effects of chemotherapy, reducing pain and vomit and inducing a pleasant sensation of euphoria.
10. LEGAL: IT DOES NOT REQUIRE A MEDICAL PRESCRIPTION
Medical prescriptions can be difficult to obtain, regardless of the medication required. Nevertheless, CBD is legal in almost all of Europe and can be bought under the form of CBD oil, cream for topical use and much more. Instead of queuing up at the chemist, order your products on line. The CBD oils are very easy to take and to dose. Make sure to buy only products that have been correctly purified and are devoid of chemical substances. The CBD oils are extracted from the cannabis flower without using solvents, through careful processes that remove vegetable impurities, additives and any other contaminating agent.
Besides these 10 benefits of the CBD, there exist many other properties that have been studied with interest by researches, in order to fully understand the therapeutic properties of the cannabidiol and of all the other cannabinoids.