The Seed of Industrial Hemp ( Cannabis sativa L.): Nutritional Quality and Potential Functionality for Human Health and Nutrition

nutrients-logo“Hempseeds, the edible fruits of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, were initially considered a by-product of the hemp technical fibre industry. Nowadays, following the restorationing of the cultivation of C. sativa L. plants containing an amount of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) <0.3% or 0.2% (industrial hemp) there is a growing interest for the hempseeds production due to their high nutritional value and functional features.

The goal of this review is to examine the scientific literature concerning the nutritional and functional properties of hempseeds. Furthermore, we revised the scientific literature regarding the potential use of hempseeds and their derivatives as a dietary supplement for the prevention and treatment of inflammatory and chronic-degenerative diseases on animal models and humans too.

In the first part of the work, we provide information regarding the genetic, biochemical, and legislative aspects of this plant that are, in our opinion essential to understand the difference between “industrial” and “drug-type” hemp. In the final part of the review, the employment of hempseeds by the food industry as livestock feed supplement and as ingredient to enrich or fortify daily foods has also revised.

Overall, this review intends to encourage further and comprehensive investigations about the adoption of hempseeds in the functional foods field.”

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Dietary Supplement Therapies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

“Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are chronic relapsing and remitting chronic diseases for which there is no cure.

The treatment of IBD frequently requires immunosuppressive and biologic therapies which carry an increased risk of infections and possible malignancy.

There is a continued search for safer and more natural therapies in the treatment of IBD.

This review aims to summarize the most current literature on the use of dietary supplements for the treatment of IBD. Specifically, the efficacy and adverse effects of vitamin D, fish oil, probiotics, prebiotics, curcumin, Boswellia serrata, aloe vera and cannabis sativa are reviewed.”

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Effect of dietary hempseed intake on cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology

“Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have significant, cardioprotective effects against ischemia.

Hempseed contains a high proportion of the PUFAs linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA),

Hearts from rats fed a hempseed-supplemented diet exhibited significantly better postischemic recovery of maximal contractile function and enhanced rates of tension development and relaxation during reperfusion than hearts from the other groups.

Our data demonstrate that dietary hempseed can provide significant cardioprotective effects during postischemic reperfusion. This appears to be due to its highly enriched PUFA content.”

“Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have received special research attention because of their antiarrhythmic and cardioprotective effects in hearts challenged by an ischemia-reperfusion insult. There are two major types of PUFAs: omega-3 and omega-6. Linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA) are common examples of an omega-6 and an omega-3 fatty acid, respectively… We have demonstrated for the first time in this study that dietary hempseed represents an effective, unique method to significantly alter the levels of ALA in the heart. We have also demonstrated for the first time that dietary hempseed will confer beneficial cardioprotective effects in hearts subjected to ischemia-reperfusion challenge.”
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Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid

“The psychoactive cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa L. and the arachidonic acid-derived endocannabinoids are nonselective natural ligands for cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB(1)) and CB(2) receptors. Although the CB(1) receptor is responsible for the psychomodulatory effects, activation of the CB(2) receptor is a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of inflammation, pain, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.

 Here, we report that the widespread plant volatile (E)-beta-caryophyllene [(E)-BCP] selectively binds to the CB(2) receptor and that it is a functional CB(2) agonist.

 Intriguingly, (E)-BCP is a common constituent of the essential oils of numerous spice and food plants and a major component in Cannabis.

 …this natural product exerts cannabimimetic effects in vivo. These results identify (E)-BCP as a functional nonpsychoactive CB(2) receptor ligand in foodstuff and as a macrocyclic antiinflammatory cannabinoid in Cannabis…

 Because (E)-BCP is a major constituent in Cannabis essential oil and shows significant cannabimimetic effects, it may also contribute to the overall effect of Cannabis preparations…”

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