Hemp can positively affect your hormone balance through its nutrient density, gamma-linolenic acid, and cannabidiol. Consuming hemp products affects the body’s endocrine system which releases hormones.
Hemp is a nutritious plant, containing a variety of compounds which play different roles in affecting our hormone balance.
Imagine, getting better sleep and reducing your anxiety. While not a cure-all, consuming hemp can trigger helpful hormones.
Luckily for you, I’m going to show you the benefits of hemp on your hormones. You’ll be able to determine if hemp products are right for spot treating problem areas in your life. Not only will your hormones approve, but so will your taste buds!
First Off, Let’s Talk About the Endocrine System
Before anything else, it’s important to understand the system our bodies use to regulate hormones, the endocrine system. Once you understand the endocrine system, you can understand the effects of hemp compounds on our hormones.
The endocrine system is the system of glands in our bodies whose purpose is to create and release hormones. Hormones, on the other hand, are chemical messengers that act on certain bodily functions.
Hormones are secreted into the blood through the endocrine system. The blood then carries hormones to the right organs and tissues to do their jobs.
There’s a myriad of different hormones that have all different kinds of effects on our bodies. Hormones can affect growth and development, reproductive health, cognition, mood, digestion, and maintaining the proper body temperature.
An imbalance of certain hormones in the human body can result in debilitating symptoms or even disease. Therefore, the maintenance of a proper hormone balance is imperative to functioning healthily and properly as a human.
How Does Consuming Hemp Affect Your Hormone Balance?
Consuming hemp as part of a diverse diet helps provide your body with essential nutrients. Hemp products contain a healthy blend of fatty and amino acids, vitamins, and minerals which produce much needed hormones.
A diverse diet helps your body receive all of it’s essential nutrients. A lack of nutrients can result in a hormone imbalance, which causes negative side effects.
So what nutrients can you get from hemp and how does it affect your hormones?
Hemp contains a lot of Vitamin E. Vitamin E possesses hormone-like properties and plays an important role in regulating our reproductive health. Vitamin E interacts with female reproductive hormones and testosterone. Increasing Vitamin E consumption can also improve the problematic symptoms of low estrogen.
Hemp contains a lot of healthy fiber that helps lower insulin (a hormone) levels naturally. Therefore, preventing the absorption of compounds like sugar and insulin into your body. Many doctors support the idea of a diet high in insoluble fiber to lower your risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Hemp products are also particularly rich in the mineral magnesium. Magnesium helps support the healthy production of estrogen and progesterone, which supports our reproductive health. This also allows for a reduction in problematic menstrual symptoms.
Magnesium also helps reduce the amount of cortisol in our bodies. Lower cortisol leads to reduced anxiety and a better ability to manage stress. Reduced levels of cortisol can improve sleep functioning in humans and sleep disorders like insomnia.
The American Physiological Society found that there is a correlation between improper thyroid functioning and iron deficiency in humans. Our thyroid is an important part of our endocrine system. If you aren’t getting enough iron, your thyroid hormone responses can become “compromised.”
Hemp-based products are high in iron. This makes it perfect for people with iron deficiency anemia seeking to improve their thyroid function. Did you know many women suffer from iron deficiency due to blood loss during menstruation?
Many people with iron deficiency struggle with finding good sources of iron; especially vegetarians and vegans, as most people get their iron from meat. Hemp is a good solution to this problem, as it is a plant-based source of iron.
Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA)
If you’ve ever had a period in your life, you’ll want to keep reading this section.
GLA, or gamma-linolenic acid, is an essential fatty acid found in hemp seed products. GLA is relatively hard to find much anywhere else.
If your body lacks a proper amount of GLA, the unpleasant symptoms that accompany menstruation are worsened. Not having enough GLA results in inflammation that exacerbates menstruation symptoms.
GLA also simply supports the production of hormones that regulate reproductive health and mood during menstruation. A healthy amount of GLA will have a noticeable effect on PMS mood swings and decreased breast pain. GLA also cultivates healthy skin, hair, and nails.
CBD Affects Our Stress, Sleep, and Metabolic Hormones
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the stem, flowers, and leaves of a hemp plant (whereas hemp-based foods are mainly made from hemp seeds and do not contain CBD.) CBD, unlike THC, is a non-psychoactive compound and cannot get you “high.”
CBD products directly interact with and are processed by our endocannabinoid system, which works with our endocrine system. Therefore, when we ingest CBD, it has a direct effect on our production and regulation of hormones.
CBD affects a variety of hormones in many different ways, including:
- Cortisol: Many of us know cortisol as our stress hormone. We need cortisol to stimulate our fight or flight response when necessary. Too much cortisol can result in anxiety, mood swings, and more. Because CBD directly inhibits the production of cortisol, many people use CBD for its relaxing, stress-relieving effects.
- Melatonin: CBD is often used to help with symptoms of sleep deprivation and insomnia, and this issue to our cannabinoid receptors in the pineal gland, which regulates the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps promote sleepiness in the body. You’ll find melatonin is most commonly used as a sleep aid in its supplement form.
- Insulin: The exact effect CBD has on insulin production is unknown. However, many studies have shown that CBD has a direct effect on the functioning of the pancreas, which produces insulin. One study showed cases of diabetes in a group of rats treated with CBD went from 86% to 30%. Although, there isn’t enough research to support any scientific claims about their relationship.
Hemp is a plant full of potential benefits on our general and our endocrine health. The diverse nutritional profile helps support a healthy endocrine system, which in turn helps support a healthy hormone balance.
Summary: Does hemp affect your hormone balance?
Consuming hemp products as part of a diverse diet can help improve hormone imbalances. Hemp contains some nutrients which may be hard to find in other foods. These nutrients can help alleviate certain symptoms you may be experiencing as a result of hormone imbalance.