Is hemp oil good for the skin?

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Hemp oil, more accurately called hemp seed oil, is a cannabis product most commonly used in local over-the-counter skin care, cosmetics, and cosmeceuticals . Why is hemp seed oil unique and why do so many people use it for skin care?

Get Drug Information / Nusha Ashjai

What is hemp oil?

Hemp seed oil is obtained by pressing the seeds of the cannabis plant ( Cannabis sativa L.) . Unrefined hemp seed oil is dark greenish in color with a slight nutty flavor. Refined hemp seed oil is clear, almost odorless, but not as beneficial for skin health.

Hemp seed oil has become a very popular ingredient for skin care. It is also used in cooking.

Cannabis, hemp and marijuana

Understanding the differences between cannabis, hemp, and marijuana can be confusing because marijuana and hemp come from the same plant: Cannabis sativa . The difference is the variety of the plant.

Cannabis is the name of a family of plants. Hemp is a variation of this family and marijuana is another variation of this family.

Think about the types of tomatoes you can find at the grocery store, such as large tomatoes for meat and small tomatoes for rum. Both come from the same plant (vine tomato), but they are of different varieties and therefore give different results if you cook with them. They will vary in nutrients, flavor, texture, and more.

In the case of cannabis, strains differ in the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) they contain. THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for high levels of cannabis.

Hemp is usually very low in THC and therefore has no psychoactive effects. As a result, hemp seed oil does not contain the slightest amount of THC.

However, this is under some scrutiny, as some studies have shown that some hemp seed oils can have detectable levels of THC. This can be the result of contamination of the oil by other parts of the hemp during production.

Hemp seed oil won't get you high. It can be used and sold in skin care products.

Hemp oil vs CBD oil

Hemp oil and cannabidiol oil (CBD) are also often confused with each other. Although they come from the same plant, hemp oil and CBD oil are very different.

CBD is a chemical found in the cannabis plant (both marijuana and hemp). You might be surprised to learn that hemp seed oil is naturally rich in CBD.

Hemp seed oil is made up of many different compounds, and CBD is only a small fraction. CBD is present throughout the plant, including the stems, seeds, leaves, and flowers.

While hemp seed oil is made by simply pressing the seeds of the hemp plant, CBD oil is created by extracting and isolating a CBD compound. This compound is then mixed with various ingredients to create a CBD product. Olive oil is most commonly used as a base for making CBD oil.

CBD itself has no psychoactive effects, but can be formulated with THC for a high potency product. CBD oil is often used for medicinal purposes .

Hemp-derived CBD oil is also used in over-the-counter skin care products, but it is not as common as a cosmetic ingredient as hemp seed oil.

It is also important to know that hemp oil is not the same as marijuana oil or cannabis oil. Cannabis oil is extracted from the whole plant and contains CBD and THC. Cannabis oil is legal only in states where marijuana is legal.

Skin care benefits

Hemp oil is widely used in many skin care and cosmeceutical products. In fact, it has become quite a fashionable ingredient. Hemp oil is not only in fashion, it is also good for the skin.

  • Moisturizing : This is the biggest and best-proven benefit that hemp seed oil can provide. Hemp oil softens and makes the skin soft and elastic.
  • Antioxidant qualities : Hemp seed oil is rich in antioxidant compounds: fatty acids like gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) , as well as vitamins A, C, and E. Antioxidant skin care products can help protect your skin against premature aging .
  • Anti-inflammatory : Hemp oil contains ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties and current research suggests that it can help reduce skin inflammation. However , more research is needed here to fully understand how this works on the skin.
  • Possible antibacterial properties : Research also shows that hemp oil has antibacterial properties. What effect, if any, it has on the skin is still being studied.

Hemp oil, CBD oil, and other cannabinoids are being studied as potential treatments for a wide range of skin conditions including acne, eczema, psoriasis , rosacea , and skin cancer .

Side effects

Hemp seed oil itself has no side effects, although it can be sensitive to this ingredient.

When using any new skincare product for the first time, watch out for any signs of irritation: redness, itching, burning, or a rash. If you notice any of this, stop using the offending product and call your doctor if irritation persists after a few days.

Choosing a hemp oil product

Hemp oil is found in many beauty products, including soaps, lotions, balms and ointments, facials, and bath products.

  • Take a look at the ingredient list . Sometimes manufacturers only add small amounts of hemp oil to a product simply to market their product as a trendy "hemp" product. Hemp oil doesn't have to be the first ingredient, but it doesn't have to be the last .
  • Consider your skincare goals . Don't choose a skin care product simply because it contains hemp oil. Think about what the product is for and see if it suits your skin's needs. For example, if you have dry skin, you may find it better to use a more emollient cream than a light lotion.
  • Take a look at the other ingredients . Other ingredients in the product will also have a lot to do with its function. For example, if you are looking for a highly hydrating product, the best option would be one that also contains hyaluronic acid . For anti-aging, retinol or glycolic acid are good supplements .
  • Experiment . All hemp oil skincare products will feel differently on your skin. If you don't like one, feel free to swap it out for another brand that you like better.

How to use hemp oil for skin.

You can skip store-bought products and apply unrefined hemp seed oil directly to your skin. Hemp oil is considered non- comedogenic , which means it doesn't clog pores.

Hemp seed oil is considered a "dry" oil. This means that it absorbs fairly quickly and does not leave a greasy feel in relation to lipid oils.

Some ideas for using hemp seed oil:

  • Apply a few drops to a clean, hydrated face for a homemade facial serum.
  • Apply after bath or shower as body oil.
  • Use it as a carrier oil in aromatherapy.

Unrefined hemp seed oil is brittle and can go rancid quickly. To extend the shelf life, store your hemp oil in the refrigerator.

Get the word of drug information

More research is currently being done to find out how hemp oil works on the skin. While the preliminary results are intriguing, much more research is needed. Overall, you should like the way the product makes your skin feel and you should be happy with the results (and the price).

However, you should not rely on hemp-based skin care products to treat skin problems. Many skin problems can be treated with a healthcare professional. If necessary, your doctor can also refer you to a dermatologist.

Remember, hemp oil is a unique addition to your daily skincare routine, but it is not a miracle cure. It should not be used as a substitute for medical care.

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