Hemp ~ The Natural Way To Reduce Cortisol

Physical and emotional stress cause cortisol levels to rise in the body. It is an important hormone and helps regulate insulin, blood pressure, immune function, inflammatory responses, and glucose metabolism.

Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, and is often known as the ‘stress hormone.’ It is beneficial when a sudden burst of energy is needed (for example, in a ‘fight or flight’ situation), helping memory, or giving the immune system a boost.

Constant high levels of cortisol, however, are NOT beneficial. When cortisol secretions remain at unsafe levels they can cause many complications (for example, in situations of chronic stress):

  • High blood pressure
  • Increased abdominal fat
  • Loss of bone density
  • Loss of collagen
  • Increased gastric acid
  • Counteracts insulin and elevates blood glucose levels (excess cortisol may be a factor in appearance of diabetes)
  • Blocks cells from producing chemicals that regulate immunity
  • Suppressed thyroid function
  • Impaired cognition
  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Inhibits reproductive system

In the case of chronic stress, the body is not allowed to go back to the normal, relaxed stage; this results in constant high levels of cortisol.

There are many stress management techniques that can be implemented:

Removing the stressors

Learning to adapt to the stressors

Spend more time in nature

Adopt a healthy lifestyle – this includes exercise, sufficient sleep, avoiding excessive caffeine/sugar and intake of sufficient nutrients.

Nutrition has been known to play a large part in helping the body stay at optimum healthy levels – physically, emotionally, and mentally. Some of the most important nutrients are Omega Fatty Acids.

Omega fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. They also help the central nervous system. One way they do that is by ‘feeding’ the myelin sheaths that protect the nerves (myelin sheaths are high in fatty acids), and Omega fatty acids are known to, to some extent, repair the myelin sheaths. Myelin sheath damage and degeneration is what causes MS, or Multiple Sclerosis.

Omega fatty acids also aid with those suffering from depressions and Alzheimers. Omega fatty acids nourish and soothe the cells, and because they are anti-inflammatory, they may help decrease the effects from chronic stress.

Hempseed and hempseed oil are one of the best sources of Omega fatty acids. Hemp has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids needed by the human body. Hemp has a high concentration of fats, but they are GOOD fats. Not only is it rich in Omega fatty acids, it is also very nutrient dense – hemp is a complete protein and has vitamins and minerals needed by the body.

Hemp, combined with a healthy lifestyle and diet, is a great way to reduce cortisol…and avoid the problems that arise with elevated cortisol levels.

Eating Hempseed Products To Treat Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome is an inherited neuropsychiatric disorder that often comes on in childhood, characterized by multiple physical (motor) tics and at least one vocal tic. These characteristics wax and wane, can be suppressed temporarily, and are preceded by a premonitory urge. Tourette’s is defined as a part of a spectrum of tic disorders. Genetic and environmental factors play a role in the etiology of Tourette’s, but the exact causes are unknown. In most cases, medication is unnecessary. There is no effective treatment for every case of tics, but certain medications and therapies can help when their use is warranted.

Tics are sudden, repetitive, nonrhythmic movements (motor tics) and utterances (phonic tics) that involve discrete muscle groups. Motor tics are movement-based tics, while phonic tics are involuntary sounds produced by moving air through the nose, mouth, or throat.

Motor tics are movement-based tics affecting discrete muscle groups.

Phonic tics are involuntary sounds produced by moving air through the nose, mouth, or throat. They may be alternately referred to as verbal tics or vocal tics, but most diagnosticians prefer the term phonic tics to reflect the notion that the vocal cords are not involved in all tics that produce sound.

Tics may increase as a result of stress, fatigue, boredom, or high-energy emotions, which can include negative emotions, such as anxiety, but positive emotions as well, such as excitement or anticipation. (Wikipedia)

Treatment of Tourette’s does not always indicate the use of medication; often therapy and education are enough.

It has been proven that a proper diet high in nutrients can treat many illness and disorders, and Tourette’s may also be treated with diet (along with behavioral therapy).

Tourette’s may be the result of imbalance, particularly in the brain, and it may also be the result of emotional factors, as well as environmental factors. Emotional distress causes an imbalance in the brain as well.

The brain is mainly comprised of fatty acids. Insufficient fatty acids can cause brain related disorders (depression, inability to process emotions, bipolar, Alzheimers, to name a few). Eating a diet rich in unprocessed, chemical-laden foods is also important. Fresh, raw foods will help the body balance and heal. Hempseed is very rich in protein and other nutrients as well.

Getting enough essential fatty acids (Omega fatty acids) is very important, and because hemp has the perfect ratio of fatty acids for the body, it may be a good way to help treat Tourette’s.

The recommended daily serving of hempseed is 2-5 Tablespoons per day. That will give the perfect amount of fatty acids; hemp is also an excellent source of protein, amino acids, vitamins, and phytosterols.

Treating Diabetic Neuropathy With Hemp

Diabetes is a condition that affections over 25 million Americans.

Diabetes is the body’s inability to convert sugar (glucose) into energy. With diabetes, the pancreas creates little or no insulin, or the body cannot process the sugar well; this causes glucose to build up too high in the blood. If the blood glucose remains at high levels it can damage nerves, the heart, eyes, and the kidneys.

High blood glucose levels can damage the nerves by irritating the nerve sheath (myelin). When the sheath is injured or damaged, the nerve is laid bare. The exposed nerve can cause severe pain. Over time, the nerve sensation could completely stop.

The other possible reason for the nerve damage is poor blood supply to the nerves. When the blood vessels that supply nutrients to the nerve sheath are destroyed or not working properly, this will cause the nerve sheath to become insufficient and damaged as well.

The resulting pain from the damaged nerves is called neuropathy.

Neuropathy can be treated with essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids). Hemp seed and hemp seed oil are perfect foods for adding EFAs to the diet because they have the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids for optimum human health.

GLA (Omega 6) has proven anti-inflammatory properties, and it helps with the pain of neuropathy.

Omega 3 fatty acids are also anti-inflammatory. Omega 3s help the nerve cells by improving nerve impulse transmission. In addition, Omega 3s are excellent for cardiovascular health and improving circulation.

Because hemp has the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids, it is the perfect choice for helping to reduce diabetic neuropathy, as well as being a good choice for those who prefer to treat their pain naturally.

*The above article has information based on my own personal research and is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be professional medical advice.

Industrial Hemp For The Prevention And Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

According to the PTSD Alliance, more than 13 million Americans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (approximately 5 percent of the population).

PTSD (also known as ‘battle fatigue’ or ‘shellshock’) is a severe anxiety disorder. One definition describes PTSD as the invasive recall of the traumatic event/s.

It is characterized by numerous symptoms :

  • Flashbacks of the experience
  • Nightmares/night terrors
  • Phobias
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anger
  • Hypervigilance
  • Easily startled
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Disconnection
  • Avoiding things that are reminders of the trauma
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Guilt/shame
  • Feeling alienated
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

PTSD can be caused by many factors, such as experiencing or witnessing :

  • Combat/military warfare
  • Death
  • Threat of death
  • Car accidents
  • Sexual/physical/emotional abuse
  • Natural disasters

PTSD has to do with the way the memory stores information, especially traumatic information that is experienced, witnessed, or heard. It also had to do with the overactive adrenalin response to the situation, in turn creating a chemical imbalance in the brain. According to Japanese researcher Yutaka Matsuoka,

“Under the current view, recent memories are temporarily stored in the hippocampus before being consolidated into parts of the prefrontal cortex. An important distinction is that the hippocampus seems to be sensitive to fear responses while the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with executive function and higher reasoning, is not.

If stress-hyped memories in the hippocampus could be toned down before consolidation, chances of developing PTSD might also go down.”

PTSD may alter 3 areas of the brain : the hippocampus, the amygdala, and pre-frontal cortex. The amygdala are deep in the temporal lobes of the brain and are vital in processing emotions with memory. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is continuously creating new brain cells (neurogenesis), and it’s function is memory retention and processing of memories. Because the hippocampus is constantly growing new cells, it is understood that it is the ‘clearinghouse’, by replacing the old ‘memory’ cells with the new ones.

It has been shown that Omega fatty acids (specifically Omega 3) are important in brain health. This is where the hemp comes into play. Hemp has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids needed by the human body, AND the brain. The brain has a high concentration of Omega 3 fatty acids, and when there is a deficiency in the Omega 3 fatty acids, brain-related disorders may occur. In the case of PTSD, the Omega 3 fatty acids help aid the hippocampus by increasing neurogenesis (creation of new cells). Omega 3s also help strengthen and protect the cells.

~ On a personal note : having been diagnosed as having severe PTSD in the past, I do notice that when I am eating hemp and hemp-based products I sleep better, am less anxious, and tend to startle less easily, as well as have lower incidences of migraines and flashbacks. ~

It is possible that a diet rich hemp and Omega fatty acids may decrease the incidence of PTSD, as well as help in the treatment of PTSD.

*Nutrition is only ONE aspect of treatment for PTSD and in no way is it intended to completely replace other treatments, (especially in severe cases of PTSD), including prescribed medications and counseling. While some may be hesitant to take medication, it is sometimes needed, even temporarily, to help get the the brain chemicals back in balance.

**The information in this article is from my own personal reading and research and is NOT intended to be medical advice. It is for informational purposes only. I do NOT  recommend going off prescribed medications and using hemp products to replace them. If you have any questions, please contact your health care provider.

Industrial Hemp ~ A Healthy Way To Treat Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease which affects the brain and spinal cord; specifically, it is damage to the myelin sheaths around the axons (an axon is a protrusion that extends from the cell body; its main function is to conduct electrical impulses away from the cell body). It is estimated that approximately 400,000 people in the U.S. have MS, but that number could be higher.

Myelin is the insulating material that is comprised of fatty substances and protein, particularly it is the cell insulator in the spinal cord and the brain. The myelin sheath increases the electrical and nerve impulses released from the cells.

Damage to or loss of the myelin sheath is called demyelation. Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative autoimmune disease that can result from demyelation. When the myelin sheath is damaged, the nerve impulses slow down or can even stop. In the instance of multiple sclerosis, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath and damages it. This causes lesions and scars in the myelin layer.

Some symptoms of multiple sclerosis include muscle weakness, slowing of cognitive ability, numbness, tingling, chronic pain, vision weakness, difficulty speaking or swallowing, fatigue, and bladder difficulties.

The causes of multiple sclerosis are not 100% certain, but viral infections and environmental factors may have a part in the onset of the disease.  According to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America,

“Additionally, researchers are now looking at a vitamin D deficiency (vitamin D may be derived from both sunshine and diet), along with the types and amounts of fat intake in one’s diet, as possible contributing factors of MS.”

It seems to appear more frequently in nations that are industrialized, and in nations where there is a lower intake of unsaturated fatty acids. Low levels of Omega 3 fatty acids and low levels of vitamin D were found in patients who were diagnosed with MS.

Currently there is no cure for MS. There are, however, treatments available. Treatment of MS may include prescription medication (there are now 6 drugs available for MS), however, there are adverse side affects from those drugs.

Another way that people are managing their MS is by diet. Adequate intake of vitamin D and essential fatty acids (Omega fatty acids) will help.

Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil have a 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids, the perfect ratio for the human body. They are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and edestin protein.

Hemp is a known anti-inflammatory; the Omega 3 fatty acids in hemp reduce inflammation. Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil also help with vision, cognitive ability (the brain is mainly composed of Omega 3 fatty acids), cellular repair, depression (which can stem from MS), and strengthening the immune system.

Introducing industrial hemp into the daily diet is an excellent way to treat symptoms arising from multiple sclerosis.

*I am not a physician and everything in this article is from my own personal reading and research and for information only. If you are currently on medication for MS DO NOT STOP TAKING IT. Please talk with your personal care provider before stopping or changing any of your medications.*