Have you ever passed by hemp seeds, hemp protein or CBD products when you are trying to find a healthy shake to supplement your nutrition? It may have piqued your interest with some skepticism. These products are Everywhere!
What’s all this hype about hemp and CBD? Are they safe? Are they right for you? Will they get you high?
Here’s some information you need to know.
Hemp Protein And Pregnancy
Pregnant moms often suffer from hormonal changes, constipation and food cravings.
I’m a mom of two awesome boys and when I was pregnant I was very vigilant about what I ate. In retrospect, I could have done this better. OK – maybe I had pepperoni pizza… a few times! But one thing I did do right was eating hemp – and lots of it.
Whether you’re an expecting mom dealing with morning sickness or a busy mom-on-the-go, it can be difficult to eat well. Besides alleviating morning sickness, hemp protein is the one food I truly feel satisfied from. I find that it turns off my cravings and hunger signaling for hours to come.
When I was pregnant, making a hemp smoothie for breakfast or for an afternoon snack kept me going without the sugar crashes I would get from other protein shakes, some of which were packed with sweeteners and a form of protein that wasn’t very bioavailable - meaning my body couldn’t really utilize the nutrition coming from the protein.
In a nutshell, hemp is a superfood. Hemp protein is very similar to the protein made in the human body, which means the body doesn’t waste energy breaking it down. Instead, the body can readily break down and utilize this protein leaving you feeling satiated for hours.
Hemp is a complete protein with 20 amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids. It’s also full of healthy fats. It has the perfect ratio of omega-3 and omega-6. This fat helps to maintain homeostasis in the body, reducing inflammation and positively impacting the brain, heart and hormones.
You may already be supplementing your diet with omega-3 by taking fish oil, but with hemp you don’t have to worry about the mercury that often comes along with it.
Hemp is a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber which can assist in not just improving bowel function, but also in pulling out toxins – environmental or hormonal. It’s packed with tons of minerals and vitamins. Hemp can help improve blood circulation and blood pressure and reduce inflammation caused by aches, pains and other chronic issues.
Hemp For Moms Of Newborns
If delivering a baby wasn't hard enough, a mom of a newborn faces many more obstacles: postpartum mood shifts, recovery from C-section and/or other unavoidable incisions and breast-feeding challenges. Keeping your body fueled with healthy fats can help you handle all of these. Without proper nutrition, you may feel depleted and defeated.
Did you know that your body naturally produces endocannabinoids - counterparts to cannabinoids like CBD found in the hemp plant? CBD is getting lots of attention for its health benefits and non-psychoactive nature. Like the effects of CBD, levels of endocannabinoids increase during acupuncture, yoga and massage.
Endocannabinoids are also present in breast milk and seem to play a role in a baby’s feeding. These endocannabinoids are your body’s own way of doing what hemp does.
Unfortunately, moms are up against lack of sleep or other stressors that can inhibit the production endocannabinoids in the body. We could all use a mother’s little helper – not a magic pill but a nutritional bullet.
Hemp fuels the body and brain without making you feel you have been drugged. It is hypoallergenic and a great source of healthy fats that the kids can enjoy too! Sprinkle it on cereal, yogurt and even ice cream!
In fact, as my children grow and as I grow as a mother, hemp is a staple in my home. It’s a sustainable form of nutrition for the whole family and offers a preventive edge that I believe will keep us healthy for years to come.
What is hemp oil?
Everyone is oh-so curious about hemp oil.
First, let me clarify that when people refer to CBD oil, some are actually referring to a full-spectrum hemp oil with naturally occurring CBD (cannabidiol) and other cannabinoids along with naturally occurring terpenes - essential oils. CBD is one of over 110 cannabinoids of the hemp plant. THC – the psychoactive component is also one. However, hemp oil that is legal in the US contains less than 0.3% THC – a negligible amount.
Others may be referring to CBD oil as in a CBD isolate, which is sometimes made in order to make sure there is 0% THC, but at the same time it eliminates the presence of other cannabinoids and terpenes. Remember that things are best in their whole, natural form. Isolated CBD is not the best form of hemp oil.
Is CBD Safe?
Research shows that CBD is well-tolerated and safe for most people. The research on pregnant and breastfeeding moms – however – is limited.
Anecdotally, you will find that many women have found relief from taking hemp oil for postpartum depression, sleep, stress, pain, etc. CBD works by promoting the body’s own endocannabinoid called anandamide aka AEA.
Some women have found breastfeeding their baby got better after using CBD products. It’s possible, though difficult to know for sure, that the levels of AEA in these women were low due to stress. And this is a big reason why women turn to CBD – to reduce stress. Once stress is addressed, breastfeeding should come more effortlessly.
The best advice is to start low and go slow – a recommended serving is 15mg to start once, maybe twice a day. If you choose to try CBD or hemp oil, always discuss it with your health provider first. Unfortunately, many doctors may be unfamiliar with these products. As a hemp educator, I provide curious consumers with information on precautions and interactions.
When considering if hemp is right for you, it’s important to know that there are various ways to get the benefits of hemp. The body is equipped with an endocannabinoid system and this is what makes hemp so remarkable. So whether you choose to opt for seeds, oil, or some daily meditation, the key is finding a balance that works for you!
By Alicia Salazar. NY State Board Certified Health Coach from Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Stay up-to-date with this mom and health coach, benefits of hemp and ways to balance the endocannabinoid system at Stay Balanced.