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 Hemp : The Treatment and Prevention of Glaucoma


Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve. Generally, the damage is due to increased pressure on the nerve (intraocular pressure). It is the second-most common cause of blindness in the U.S.  According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, there are over 60,000,000 people worldwide who suffer from glaucoma.

There are 4 types of glaucoma: chronic, acute, congenital, and secondary glaucoma. The most common type of glaucoma is open-angle (chronic) glaucoma.

The front part of the eye is filled with a clear fluid called aqueous humor. This fluid is always being made behind the colored part of the eye (the iris). It leaves the eye through channels in the front of the eye in an area called the anterior chamber angle, or simply the angle.

Anything that slows or blocks the flow of this fluid out of the eye will cause pressure to build up in the eye. This pressure is called intraocular pressure (IOP). In most cases of glaucoma, this pressure is high and causes damage to the optic nerve.

Open-angle (chronic) glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma.

  • The cause is unknown. An increase in eye pressure occurs slowly over time. The pressure pushes on the optic nerve. (Genetics and ethnicity may be factors in the incidence of glaucoma.)
  • Open-angle glaucoma tends to run in families. Your risk is higher if you have a parent or grandparent with open-angle glaucoma. People of African descent are at particularly high risk for this disease.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

As is often the case, with open-angle (chronic) glaucoma, most people have no symptoms. The damage is already severe when the vision starts to deteriorate. One of the signs that there may be glaucoma is when the person develops tunnel vision or problems with peripheral vision.

Chronic glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can be treated.

The general treatment for those suffering from chronic glaucoma is eye drops or some type of medication (pills) to lower the pressure in the eyes. Other treatments may include laser therapy or surgery.

There are some factors that may contribute to ‘secondary glaucoma’ – long-term use of steroids, restricted blood flow due to diabetic retinopathy, and ocular trauma.

Natural compounds of research interest in glaucoma prevention or treatment include: fish oil, omega 3 fatty acids (found in hempseed), alpha lipoic acid, vitamin E (found in hempseed), cannabinoids,  carnitine, coenzyme Q10, curcurmin, dark chocolate, folic acid, L-glutathione, magnesium, melatonin, and resveratrol.” (wikipedia)

One nutrient that has shown promise in treating (and preventing glaucoma) is Omega 3 fatty acid. Hempseed has the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids needed by the human body.  Omega 3 fatty acids reduce ocular pressure. Omega 3 increases the flow of the aqueous humor (the fluid behind the iris), thus decreasing blockage and pressure on the optical nerve.

Omega 3 fatty acid (DHA) is also a major structural lipid (fat) of the retina.

Omega 3 fatty acid just may be the nutrient you need to prevent glaucoma.

Hemp – How It Is Helping Me Recuperate


My self-imposed blogging break has come to an end, and now that my neurons are firing at rapid speed it is time to let the words flow again!

It’s been a challenging month, with a few weeks of health issues – along with that came the emotional and mental turmoil as well. I am now admitting to the world that I allowed myself to get carried away with stress and anxiety which appeared when I was dealing with some significant pain from an injury.

Because I wasn’t feeling well (yes, I know, poor excuse) I did not eat well, both in proportion and quality of foods. So, I’ve jumped back on the bandwagon – more fresh, unprocessed foods, veggies, fruits, and yes…hemp seeds. In fact, at this moment while I am writing I’ve got my bag of Nutiva hemp seeds right next to me.

Yes, I know that I’ve preached about hempseed being anti-inflammatory and good for mental health – for a few weeks I didn’t practice what I preached, and what a mistake THAT was!

I’ll tell you a little of what I’ve been going through, and then will follow that with WHY hemp is so good for that condition. (No, it won’t be a novel, I promise!)

I took a slip in the shower a few weeks ago and wrenched my neck and back. And I did a very good job it it! (I don’t do things half-assed, as a rule.) What followed were daily migraines, cluster headaches, neck and back pain, stiffness, leg pain, and inability to get comfortable, thus resulting in very poor sleep and exhaustion.

Hemp, as I said before, is anti-inflammatory. The Omega 3 fatty acids in hemp (which has the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids for the human body) are the components which work to reduce inflammation by soothing, protecting, and healing the cells.

In addition to the headaches and pain and difficulty moving around, I was also experiencing great amounts of stress and anxiety – resulting in panic attacks almost daily, dizziness, and heart palpitations. I have generally (ok, all my life) been an anxious person. Stress could be my middle name. Now, diet alone will not eradicate stress, but it does HELP, in addition to participating in stress-relieving activities (meditation, yoga, exercise). I had gotten to the point where my mind would NOT SHUT UP. It was a lot of fear-based lack thinking, worrying, and fretting. I was jumpy, emotional, impatient, and just plain frazzled. I would wake several times during the night, either from panic or worry.

Last Friday I was feeling so unwell that I went to the local fire department to get my blood pressure checked. It was 190/110. Yes, I know. Not good. The EMT checked the pressure in my other arm – the result was the same. His partner asked, “Ma’am, are you feeling ok?” I paused, thinking, If I felt ok I wouldn’t be here, right? but I kindly said, “I am not needing an ambulance ride to the emergency room, but I am not feeling really well. I just wanted to try to find a reason for all the stuff that is going on with my body and my head.” They both encouraged me to get to a doctor, but I told them I did not have insurance. I was then sternly lectured. “You do NOT want to wait until this is an emergency and the have to call us, ride in the ambulance, then have a more serious problem to deal with.” They then proceeded to tell me all the signs I needed to pay attention to or look for that would be cause for greater concern.

By this time I was in a panic again and the chest pains and headache had worsened. I drove home; halfway there I decided I’d call my son and have him drive me to the emergency room.

They checked my vitals, blood pressure was still high but not quite as high as when I was at the fire department. They did an EKG, monitored my blood pressure for 30 minutes, gave me Valium, Vicodin, and anti-nausea meds along with Motrin. After a bit they asked me how I was feeling. “The same, no change.”

The doctor came in and checked my neck and back, asked a lot of questions, and then looked at me and said, “Your EKG is fine. I want you to go to the chiropractor as soon as possible, that will help with the pain, and I want you to RELAX. You are fine, you are not having a heart attack, you are not having a serious medical emergency.” They prescribed Valium and Vicodin (which I have NOT had filled) and sent me on my way.

I left feeling somewhat better, because in reality, knowing is half the cure. It was also a reminder to get back on my relaxation exercises and EAT HEALTHIER again.

The brain is composed mainly of fatty acids, and when there is a deficiency it can cause depression, headaches, dizziness, and a reduced ability to handle stress and anxiety.  Hemp’s Omega fatty acids help restore balance in the brain, bringing about calmer thinking and improved sleep.

So, as I sit here writing and munching, I realize that I am feeling better, more rested, in less pain – and I am again reminded of the wonderful plant that really IS an amazing medicine.

Increase Your Dopamine Levels Naturally – With Hemp!


Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that is a neurotransmitter (a chemical in the nerve cells that sends messages to other nerve cells). The functions that dopamine control are memory, learning, sleep, moods, cognition, motivation, and movement.

Insufficient levels of dopamine are linked to:

* Parkinson’s – Parkinson’s is an inflammatory, degenerative disease. Low dopamine levels can cause tremors and difficulty with movements.

* ADD/ADHD – PET Scans (Positron Emission Tomography) have shown that people suffering from ADHD/ADD have lower levels of dopamine.

* Chronic Fatigue Syndrome  and Fibromyalgia – Most studies of brain transmitters have shown that people suffering from CFS and Fibromyalgia have significantly lower levels of dopamine.

* Depression – Depression is one of the most common conditions due to low dopamine.

* Weight Gain – “In a 2008 article in Nutrition & Metabolism, German doctors reported that low dopamine levels cause weight gain in many obese people. Obesity is thought to be a symptom of reduced dopamine production that leads to overcompensation by eating more food. The researchers found that weight gain was particularly evident in patients who ceased another form of dopamine stimulation, such as taking drugs, smoking or drinking alcohol. Dopamine addiction also can be set off by certain foods that create pleasure zones for some people, so that once they start eating a certain food they cannot stop.”  (Livestrong.com)

* Restless Leg Syndrome – Restless Leg Syndrome is an indicator of low dopamine levels – dopamine is the chemical that is connected to voluntary/involuntary movement.

* Addiction – “It has been said that people with addictions are low on dopamine.  A low dopamine level causes us to unconsciously seek out dopamine raising drugs and behaviors and get addicted to them.” (www.nursenrecovery.com)

One way to increase dopamine levels is to add hemp to the diet. Hemp has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) needed by the human body.

Omega 3 is the fatty acid that aids in dopamine production in the brain. Tyrosine, an amino acid, is also found in hempseed. The body uses enzymes to convert Tyrosine to dopamine.

Because hempseed has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids and is a complete protein (it has all essential amino acids), it is an excellent supplement choice for increasing dopamine levels and decreasing symptoms that occur due to low dopamine.

*This post is for information only, and is not intended to replace advice from a medical doctor.

Hemp – The Natural Remedy for Parkinson’s Disease


Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system. It is a brain disorder that leads to tremors and difficulty with coordination and movement.

The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain; the cause of this cell death is unknown. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related; these include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, cognitive and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems. PD is more common in the elderly, with most cases occurring after the age of 50.” (Wikipedia)

Parkinson’s disease is caused by the progressive death of the neurons responsible for producing dopamine, a neurotransmitter closely linked with movement control. The disease is usually diagnosed when 50 to 80% of these neurons are already dead.” (sciencedaily.com)

Parkinson’s may result from environmental toxin exposure or injury; it may be genetic, although that percentage is quite slim; Parkinson’s can also be the result of poor nutrition. Parkinson’s most commonly, though, is the result of low dopamine levels. It is characterized by the accumulation of alpha-synuclein, a protein that aggregates into inclusions, or bodies (called Lewy bodies) and also from reduced levels of dopamine in parts of the midbrain.

Lower dopamine levels are caused by stress, sugars, caffeine, insufficient sleep, medications, and drug and alcohol use.

The natural way to increase dopamine levels, and remedy Parkinson’s symptoms, is the intake of Omega fatty acids. The brain is composed mainly of fats, and when there is a low level of Omega fatty acids, Parkinson’s may occur.

A 6-year study conducted by the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Neurology at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, monitored 51 patients’ intake of essential fatty acids and discovered that those with the highest levels of EFAs had the lowest incidences of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia.” (ehow.com/health)

Hempseed is the perfect source for Omega fatty acids, having the perfect 3:1 ratio required by the human body and brain. Studies have shown that an increased intake of Omega fatty acids may reduce or delay the effects of Parkinson’s Disease.

This demonstrates both the importance of diet on the brain’s fatty acid composition and the brain’s natural inclination for omega-3 fatty acids,” observes Calon…researchers suggest that the protective effect against Parkinson’s comes essentially from DHA.” (sciencedaily.com)

Parkinson’s Disease is usually not diagnosed until well after the onset of the disease. This is why it is so important to get enough Omega fatty acids daily, and practicing good nutrition from an early age.

Treating Addiction With Hempseed


Addiction is a physical or psychological dependance on a substance or behavior, despite the negative circumstances. (I should clarify right here, habit is something done by choice; addiction is not having control over the choices.)

Addiction is a brain disorder, and it doesn’t just pertain to drugs or alcohol. Addiction can include ANY substance or behavior – food, sex, tobacco, shopping, hoarding, chocolate – the list can be quite extensive.

“Addiction is Habitual psychological or physiologic dependence on a substance or practice that is beyond voluntary control.” (medicalnewstoday.com)

Now, I am sure you are asking, “So, what does hemp have to do with addiction?”

Addiction, being a brain disorder, can be helped by substances that ‘feed’ the brain, in this case – Omega fatty acids from hemp. When addiction is the result of psychological imbalance, hempseed or hempseed oil can help.

The brain is composed mainly of fatty acids. When we have a deficiency of Omega fatty acids we can experience addiction, depression, bipolar disorder, even Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

So, let’s get back to the addiction aspect. When the brain has an imbalance or deficiency in Omega fatty acids, it can wreak havoc on our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Nobel Prize nominee Dr. Johanna Budwig suggests that EFAs have been helpful in treating addictions to alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and sex-and-violence patterns. EFAs enable a person to manage stress better: nerve and brain functions stabilize, and the electric currents across the brain’s cell membranes increase, inducing a person to feel calmer and more focused.” (innvista.com)

Better brain function – in this case, stabilized brain function – can help with addictive behaviors.

Hempseed has the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids needed by the human body. It is also an excellent source for other important nutrients. It is, in fact, one of the most nutrient rich and nutrient dense plant sources available to us.  The Omega fatty acids are in the hempseed as well as the hempseed oil. Daily intake of hempseed is a super way to get the daily recommended amount of essential fatty acids.

*This post is strictly for information. I do not (and cannot) recommend anyone stopping their prescribed medications, if they are on them. If you DO have questions, or want to discontinue your meds, please contact your health care provider.

Migraines? Be Sure To Eat Your Hemp!


Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from migraines.

Migraine headaches are a chronic neurological disorder accompanied by severe headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Some migraine sufferers also experience flashing lights or auras, sensitivity to light, and vomiting. They can last anywhere from a few hours to several days.

There are several causes, or triggers, of migraines. These include fatigue, stress, hormone changes, hunger, medications, and highly processed foods (canned foods and foods with chemical additives).

The pain from the migraine happens when the trigeminal nerve (located in the head, eyes and face) releases chemicals (due to the above triggers) that cause the blood veins to swell on the brain surface.

Treatment of migraines sometimes include analgesics and/or prescription medications. Prophylactic measures include getting sufficient sleep, reducing stressors, and proper nutrition.

Including hempseed and hempseed oil into the diet as part of preventive measures against migraines may help. The Omega 3 fatty acids in hempseed are anti-inflammatory. Omega 3 fatty acids in hempseed also support brain function, emotional health, and cardiovascular health.

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that is lacking in much of the American diet, and must be supplemented. The Omega fatty acids in hemp have the perfect ratio for human health, and are an excellent choice for supplementing the much needed fatty acids.

Getting proper exercise, enough sleep, and a nutritious diet rich in essential Omega fatty acids is an excellent step toward treating migraines, reducing the symptoms, or even preventing their occurrence.

With Hemp – The ‘Eyes’ Have It!


We focus so often on the health of our body that we forget our eyes are PART of our body. Proper nutrition helps all of our body, including our eyes.

During the time when infants and children are rapidly growing, ensuring they receive sufficient EFAs (essential fatty acids, including Omega fatty acids) is crucial.

Adequate amounts of DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids in the diet of pregnant women also appears to be important in normal infant vision development.” (allaboutvision.com)

Studies have also shown that sufficient intake of Omega fatty acids during adulthood may aid in protecting and/or preventing age-related macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome. Essential fatty acids help with circulation and helping to drain intraocular fluid, which reduces eye pressure and may help lower the risk of glaucoma.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an Omega 3 acid. It has been found that the retina has the highest concentration of DHA. Deprivation of DHA may contribute to failing eye health, such as degradation of the retina and visual impairment.

The Omega fatty acids in hempseed and hempseed oil are in the perfect ratio needed by the human body. Because hemp is so nutrient dense, it is the perfect food for the body, AND the eyes.

How Hemp Seeds May Prevent or Treat Cancer


It is estimated that nearly 1 1/2 million Americans have some type of cancer, and that about 500,000 people will die of cancer in a given year.

Developed countries and nations have the highest rates of cancer, but undeveloped countries are seeing an increase in cancers as well.

Cancer is defined as the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body, creating tumors and invading nearby organs and tissues. There are many known causes of cancer – Tobacco, UV rays, chemical exposure, radiation exposure, and poor nutrition, to name a few.

There has been some research that has suggested that proper diet and nutrition can have a hand in preventing and/or treating some types of cancer.

Cancer cells have been found to be low in delta-6-desaturase, which is a critical enzyme needed to convert Lineoleic Acid (LA, and essential fatty acid, and an unsaturated n-6 fatty acid) to Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). Numerous studies have shown that GLA will kill certain cancer cells. There are some other studies that have shown that GLA can slow the progress of some cancers.

LA is processed by the body and made into GLA. GLA is then used by the body to create prostaglandins, which are not hormones but SIMILAR to hormones. Prostaglandins are found in most organs and tissues, and are believed to help regulate the immune system.

Some cancer patients were found to be lacking in Essential Fatty Acids (Omega fatty acids). These polyunsaturated fatty acids, found in hemp seed,  have been shown to help treat cancer by improving cellular utilization of oxygen (hemp seed is a natural antioxidant) and necessary nutrients.

Because hemp has the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids for human consumption, it is an excellent choice for adding EFAs to the diet. The edestin protein in hemp, which is closest to human globulin, makes it easily digested and assimilated into the body.

It is not known if this will cure all cancers, but hemp has shown to help with some types of cancers.

*This information is from my own personal research and is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed medical professional. If you have any questions, please contact your health provider.

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.