Anxiety disorders are characterized by a sensation of severe, unreasonable fear and worry that interfere with daily activities. Irregular heart beats, sweating, dizziness, weakness and headaches may also occur in individuals suffering from anxiety. An estimated 40 million Americans age 18 or older are suffering from anxiety disorders, according to National Institutes of Health. Based on current research, hemp seed oil, a natural supplement derived from hemp, may be used to improve symptoms of anxiety, but it should not replace conventional anti-anxiety therapy. If you suffer from anxiety and consider taking hemp seed oil, you should first talk to your doctor.
Hemp is the non-drug form of Cannabis sativa. The oil extracted from hemp seeds has balanced amounts of essential fatty acids oils, according to researchers at University of Kuopio, Finland, in 2004. These essential fatty acids are also an important part of the brain’s structure and function. Thus, hemp seed oil may be beneficial for psychological conditions like anxiety, although research is needed to confirm this hypothesis, suggest the Finnish scientists. The chemical composition of hemp seed oil shows more than 80 percent fatty acids like linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. Hemp seed oil has both omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids at a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1, which is an ideal ration for the human body.
In the 2010 issue of “Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology,” the effects of hemp seed oil on various menopausal symptoms were studied in animal subjects. Amongst other findings, the authors found that hemp seed oil decreased anxiety in those subjects.
The advantage of hemp seed oil in anxiety is also suggested, based on the facts that it contains significant amount of omega-3 essential fatty acids, and individuals with deficient fatty acids tend to be anxious. Dr. B.M. Ross from Lakehead University, Ontario, indicates that anxiety symptoms may improve by increasing the intake of omega-3. His article was published in November 2009 issue of “Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, Essential Fatty Acids.” Larger studies are needed to confirm his hypothesis.
Consult a qualified health care provider to find out optimal dosage of hemp seed oil and possible side effects and drug or herb interactions. Keep in mind that hemp seed oil does not replace any anti-anxiety drugs you are currently taking. Hemp seed oil is not approved by FDA to treat anxiety or any other medical condition.
- National Institute of Mental Health: Anxiety Disorders
- Euphytica: Hempseed as a Nutritional Resource: An Overview ; J. Callaway;
- Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology; The Effects of Cannabis Sativa L. Seed (hempseed) in the Ovariectomized Rat Model of Menopause; I. Karimi
- Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, Essential Fatty Acids: Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids And Anxiety Disorders; B.M .Ross
- hemp image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.