Hemp oil is a true superfood with an array of nutrients that are vital to the health of your pet.
Hemp seed oil is what we’re all about. The variety we use we believe is the best available much like the finest wines are produced from regions in the world that use the best grapes. The climate, soil condition, and variety is what makes our hemp oil special.
THE HEMP PLANT
Hemp has been around a really long time. The plant originated in China way back in 2800 BC. They made rope and sacks out of hemp fibre, and the plant provided pain-relieving medicine. Hemp cultivation became popular in Europe by the 16th century. So it’s an ancient plant with a long tradition of medicinal use.
Hemp contains various types of fatty acids, plus antioxidants and phospholipids. Gammalinolenic acid (GLA) is an omega-6 fatty acid in hemp that’s especially valuable. You’ll see why in a bit.
5 REASONS TO USE HEMP OIL FOR ANIMALS
Here are some of the constituents of hemp seed oil and how they can benefit your animals.
#1 GammaLinolenic Acid (GLA)
Your dog can synthesise GLA from linoleic acid (an omega-6 fat), but even healthy dogs and cats can be deficient in it. GLA is an essential building block for prostaglandins in the body. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that help control inflammation and support many body functions. GLA deficiencies can lead to allergies, arthritis, premature ageing, digestive issues, diabetes and cancer as well as skin problems. So your animal needs to get enough of it and hemp seed oil can deliver.
Here are a few of the many health benefits of GLA:
Managing arthritis pain and inflammation: the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism published a study showing that GLA in hemp seeds reduced arthritis symptoms by 25%. The improvement with placebo was 4%.
Reducing skin allergies: GLA is an important nutrient to help manage atopic dermatitis. In humans, a 2005 study showed GLA significantly improved clinical symptoms of atopic dermatitis. GLA also helps keep moisture in the skin, leading to suppler skin and a smoother coat.
Weight management: GLA helps turn on the body’s fat burning mechanism and can rev up your animal’s energy levels. It may also increase serotonin, a brain chemical that contributes to the feeling of fullness.
Anti-cancer: A 2006 study reported that GLA-rich diets modulate inflammation and boost immune function. GLA can inhibit the growth of certain types of tumours. It also stimulates apoptosis (cancer cell death). It can reduce side effects of conventional cancer drugs. The anti-inflammatory properties of GLA may also help prevent cancer by reducing chronic inflammation in the body. Prolonged inflammation weakens cells and tissues, diminishing the immune system.
#2 Omega-3 and Omega 6
Omega-6 and omega-3 fats work together to manage inflammation in the body.
Hemp seed oil contains an ideal 1 to 3 ratio of omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid) to Omega-6 (linoleic acid) fatty acids. A good balance of these fats is vital for health because they work synergistically in the body.
Omega-6 and omega-3 fats work together to manage inflammation in the body. Too much omega-6 turns on the hormones that raise inflammation. Too much omega-3 can cause immune dysfunction.
Inflammation isn’t always bad. It’s an important part of the body’s healing response to injury or disease. Omega-6 fats increase inflammation to help the body recover.
Omega-3s lower inflammation and control chronic inflammation in the body. Long-term chronic inflammation leads to many health problems, including:
Inflammatory bowel disease
Liver or kidney disease
So adding hemp seed oil to your animal’s diet can help prevent these diseases.
Omega-3 fats also benefit the eyes, brain, skin, heart, bone, joints and immune system. They promote good blood flow and improve overall organ function.
Hemp seed oil contains vitamin E and vitamin A (carotene). These are antioxidants that help the immune system by fighting free radical damage. Free radicals occur when your animal absorbs toxins from vaccines, drugs, chemicals, pesticides, processed foods and pollution. They cause oxidative stress in your animal’s body, damaging cells, proteins and DNA. Antioxidants help keep free radicals under control and promote better health. These vitamins can also increase natural killer cells, helping slow the decline of immune response as your animal ages.
Vitamin E can benefit your animal’s skin, eyes, heart, cognitive function and immune system. Vitamin A also supports immunity, the eyes and skin. It can help prevent urinary stones and contains cancer-fighting properties.
Phospholipids are molecules that form part of the outer membrane of cells in the body. They help the cell maintain its internal structure and environment … called homeostasis. A 2012 study in Germany on the effects of dietary phospholipids found these benefits:
Managing inflammation and arthritis pain
Reducing gastric acid
Inhibiting tumour growth in cancer
Lowering cardiovascular disease risks
Improving cognitive disorders and brain health
Boosting immune function
Repairing liver damage
#5 Safer Than Fish Oil
There are no reported side effects from using hemp seed oil for dogs and cats, something you can’t say about fish oil.
They use heat to process fish oil, which makes it unstable. It can become rancid very easily, and that means it can cause inflammation in your animal. Since one of the main reasons to give animals fish oil is to manage inflammation, this is a problem! Hemp seed oil is cold pressed, making it more stable than fish oil … so it’s less likely to oxidise or become rancid. (But you should still refrigerate it for longer shelf life).
Fish oil can contain mercury, radiation and other contaminants. Organic hemp seed oil is grown without pesticides or other toxins. The hemp plant also has a long root system, which helps regenerate healthy soil.
Sustainability is also a major concern with fish oil. Fish in the oceans are getting depleted and using fish oil removes a food source for ocean animals. Hemp is a sustainable crop that’s easy to grow in many different climates and soil types – in fact it’s said to grow like a weed!
WHEN NOT TO USE HEMP SEED OIL FOR ANIMAL
There’s only one reason not to give your animal hemp seed oil and that’s if you’re feeding your animal a lot of chicken. Hemp seed oil with chicken is a bad combination because both are high in polyunsaturated fats. This can cause an imbalance in the fats in your animal’s diet. Instead, use flaxseed oil or whole oily fish like sardines or mackerel to round out the diet when you feed chicken.
But feel free to use hemp seed oil when you feed ruminant meats like beef, bison, lamb, goat, or venison.
One word of caution: if you cook for your animal, don’t cook with hemp oil, because it’s unstable at high temperatures and can become toxic.
HOW MUCH HEMP SEED OIL
If you’re feeding beef or other ruminants, here’s how much hemp seed oil to give your animal:
Under 10kg: 1/2 dropper per day
10 - 25kg: 1 dropper per day
Over 25kg: 1.5 - 2 droppers per day
Try some hemp seed oil for your dogs, cats and other four legged friends and let them reap the rewards of this ancient plant!