We had a great question from Allan last week. Allan asked “I’m interested in using Hemp seed oil for pain relief for my osteoarthritis. Do you have a recommended product for this?”, so here’s what you need to know about how Hemp Seeds and Osteoarthritis work together!
We get this question all the time and we thought it would be a great opportunity to explain to you what osteoarthritis is and how hemp seed oil may help.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition that can affect the whole joint including bone, muscles, cartilage & ligaments (connective tissue). It is often described as a ‘wear and tear’ condition, however it is now thought that osteoarthritis may be the result of a joint working overtime to repair itself. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, however is most common in the knee, hips, joints of the fingers, and big toe. Osteoarthritis can develop at any age, but is typically more common in people over the age of 40 or individuals who have had previous joint injuries.
What are the signs of Osteoarthritis?
The most common sign of OA is inflammation around a joint. Other common signs include damage to joint cartilage (protective cushion on the ends of your bones), growth of bony spurs around the edge of the joint, and the deterioration of ligaments (bands that hold your joints together) and tendons (cords that attach muscles to bones).
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain and stiffness of the joints and this can affect your ability to perform everyday tasks such as walking, climbing, stairs, and even opening jars. Loss of mobility is also common in osteoarthritis. Symptoms of osteoarthritis can vary from person to person and are dependent on which joints are affected. It is a degenerative disease, meaning symptoms will have a slow onset, sometimes over months or even years.
What does the diet have to do with osteoarthritis?
Despite the fact that osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition. Increased inflammation may be a result of an imbalance of omega 3:omega 6 fatty acids (essential fatty acids) in the western diet. What’s interesting is that we need both omega 3 and omega 6 in the diet as they both have various functions. A diet with a ratio of 1:4 (omega 3:omega 6) is believed to be beneficial in reducing inflammation and improving our health, however current western diets are believed to be around 1:30 (omega 3:omega 6).
How can hemp seed oil support osteoarthritis?
Consuming hemp seed oil may help to support OA. The reason why is that hemp seed oil is rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids that can’t be made in the body and are required from the diet. Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are required to produce a group of chemicals called 'eicosanoids', that regulate inflammation and bone health.
Hemp seeds contain the perfect ratio of omega 3:omega 6 fatty acids and by consuming hemp seed oil on a regular basis we can help to restore a balance of essential fatty acids. This can help to support anti-inflammation and promote bone health making hemp seed oil a great addition to the diet.