Hemp seed oil gets a bad rap. When people think hemp, they often associate it with cannabis and marijuana. Hemp seed does come from the same species of plant that marijuana originates, Cannabis Sativa, but they are not the same plant and have different properties. Hemp seed oil is essentially THC free (less than .3%) and has zero psychoactive properties. Heck, you can go buy it at your local Whole Foods and take it with you on an airplane, so it’s clearly not anything crazy. Hemp seed oil has some great benefits for your body inside and out. Here are a few reasons why it will become your new best friend:

O-my-mega

Hemp seed oil is the only vegetable based oil that contains the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids that you should be looking for, which, FYI, is 3-1. This is important because all of the positive qualities fatty acids have to offer only function properly if there is a good ratio. EFAs are vital for everybody; they speed up your metabolism, lower your cholesterol, improve brain development and help your immune system. They also help your heart function to its highest ability. Hemp oil doesn’t just contain a little bit of these bad boys; it is made up of 80% essential fatty acids. These benefits are crucial for everyone, but especially important to vegetarians. Fish oil is the most common supplement people take as a source of fatty acids, but it is off limits to the vegetarian diet. If you can’t take fish oil or just aren’t a fan, then you should do your body a favor and introduce it to hemp seed. I can already hear it thanking you.

Fellas at the gym, rejoice

When you’re a little kid, getting calcium is no big deal. A glass of milk, grilled cheese for dinner… You’re pretty much taking in calcium left and right. As you get older however, it becomes a lot more difficult to get your daily dose of Ca. Hemp seed oil provides a hefty amount of calcium, which is critical to bone health. Hemp seed also offers weight loss benefits because it is a complete protein while being low in sodium and calories. Protein is huge for your diet because it works wonders for making you feel full. In addition, its fiber will keep your digestive track moving and clear of any issues associated with high protein intake. Another aspect of being a complete protein is that it is pretty dang good at helping the body create new tissue. New tissue equals muscle mass. When you spend some time on the bench press, you want that soreness to mean your body is creating as much muscle mass as possible, and hemp seed oil is great for maximizing that regeneration. Plus, we already mentioned its ability to get your metabolism rocking. Seriously. Stronger bones, weight loss, increased muscle mass and a metabolism kick-start – what more could you want in your gym bag?

Be Healthier and Softer

Whether it is the cold air dehydrating your skin in the winter or some time in the sun giving you the flakes in the summer, dry skin is always a problem. Enter hemp oil. This stuff is a great for giving you softer, smoother skin. Specifically, I like hemp seed oil as a face moisturizer. It won’t clog your pores, and there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re stuck in 100% humidity because you put on face lotion. It also has legitimate medical benefits. Doctors have been giving it to patients with eczema for a while now and are seeing great results. It’s proven to do wonders against acne as well. A lot of acne medicines contain harsh chemicals, smell funky and leave you feeling dry. This seed oil is definitely a nice alternative if acne is a problem you can’t seem to solve. Lastly, it does a pretty nice job as making your hair healthier, shinier and stronger, which at this point is just an added bonus.

Hemp seed oil plays a huge role in healing your body inside and out. It gives you the fatty acids you need and those are called essential for a reason. This seed oil will also give you the best bang for your buck at the gym. It’s pretty awesome that it fixes you up inside and out too. You can buy this guy in either seed form or as a bottle of concentrated oil. The concentrated oil is obviously more expensive than a bag of seeds, but it makes it a lot easier to use. You can use a cotton balls worth on your face at night and then mix a teaspoon into your breakfast. The flavor is a mild, nutty taste. I wouldn’t suggest mixing it with a glass of water, but it blends really well with smoothies and salad dressings. Honestly, the only problem I’ve found with this stuff is where to put it in your house. I can’t decide if it belongs with my lotions in the bathroom or with my protein powder in the kitchen. Anytime that is your number one concern, I think you’ve found a solid addition to your healthy routine.