Hemp Oil for Skin
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Hempseed oil is often referred to as “hemp oil,” and it’s harvested by cold-pressing hemp seeds. Hemp oil is often unrefined. It’s a clear green oil and can have a nutty flavor.
It’s different from cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which is an extract of the cannabis plant and utilizes hemp flowers and leaves for its production.
Hempseed oil is made from the hemp seed itself and usually doesn’t contain any THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component, although this seems to be widely disputed . According to 2017 research , CBD oil may also have very low and insignificant levels of THC.
Hemp oil has numerous health benefits, including those that improve skin health. It’s so beneficial for skin health thanks to its nourishing vitamins and moisturizing qualities.
There are a number of skin care benefits that you can get from using hempseed oil, either topically or by consuming it.
Moderates oil production
Hemp oil is perfect for most skin types as it can moisturize without clogging your pores. It can even help to balance out oily skin, hydrating it and regulating the skin’s oil production.
Dryness can also cause your skin to overproduce oil, which in turn, can stimulate acne. Hemp oil can prevent dry skin without clogging pores. This helps reduce acne that’s caused by excess oil.
Moisturizes and soothes inflammation
One of the omega-6 fatty acids that hemp oil contains is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory while simultaneously encouraging skin growth and new cell generation.
This can help to calm inflammation and irritation on the skin, including acne and some conditions like psoriasis, while keeping the skin nourished and moisturized.
Treats atopic dermatitis
Part of what makes hempseed oil so beneficial to the skin is that it’s rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming these nutrients can help to treat skin conditions like atopic dermatitis.
One randomized, single-blind crossover study found evidence that dietary hempseed oil reduced the symptoms and appearance of clinical atopic dermatitis after 20 weeks.
Has anti-aging properties
In addition to moisturizing and soothing the skin, hemp oil has anti-aging properties. Hemp oil can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as prevent signs of aging from developing.
The linoleic acid and oleic acids found in hemp oil can’t be produced by the body but can play a crucial role in skin health and anti-aging, so they’re important nutrients to add to the diet.
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There are several methods you can use to get the skin benefits from hemp oil.
Topical use of hemp oil
The first method is to apply the hemp oil directly to your skin. This can work if you have immediate irritation or dry patches of skin that you want to soothe quickly.
Before using the oil, try a patch test to make sure you won’t get an unwanted reaction:
- Wash and dry a small area of your upper arm (such as the crook of your elbow).
- Apply a small amount of the pure hemp oil. (If using the hemp and essential oil mixture described below, test in a separate spot from the pure oil and at a different time.)
- Cover the spot with a bandage and leave it in place for 24 hours, being careful not to get the bandage wet.
- If any redness, burning, itching, or other irritation occurs, you can assume you’re sensitive to the oil and shouldn’t use it. If you have a reaction, remove the bandage immediately and wash the spot with soap and water.
- If you don’t see or feel any reaction, then the oil is probably safe to use.
If you’re using the hemp oil to treat acne and want to apply it topically, apply the oil directly to clean skin and leave it on for one to two minutes before washing it away with warm water.
Hemp oil and essential oil mixture. You can also combine hemp oil and other anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredients with a recipe like the following, which can be applied directly to the skin:
- 1/4 cup hemp oil
- 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil (can be melted in the microwave; place desired amount in a microwaveable container and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until completely melted)
- 4 to 5 drops skin-boosting essential oil, like lavender or rosemary oil
Note: Essential oils, like lavender or rosemary oil, should only be used topically and in a diluted mixture. Do not take essential oils internally. Many are toxic.
Oral use of hemp oil
The second method is to ingest hemp oil, which can provide the same skin benefits and additional overall health benefits as using the oil topically. If you take hemp oil orally, there’s less risk of any skin irritation or break outs, although it may cause some temporary digestive upset.
Talk to your doctor before taking hemp oil orally.
If you do take it orally, you can have 1 to 2 teaspoons daily — either all at one time or divided into two doses.
If you don’t like the taste or consuming the hemp oil straight, you can also use it in different recipes. One option is to mix it into foods, like smoothies, salad dressings, or soup. Or you can use it for cooking.
Hempseed oil is often referred to as “hemp oil,” and it’s harvested by cold-pressing hemp seeds. Hemp oil is often unrefined. It’s a clear green oil and can have a nutty flavor. Learn about the benefits of hemp oil for skin and how to implement it into your skincare routine.
Hemp oil benefits list
Hemp oil can refer to a full-spectrum oil from the Cannabis sativa plant or hemp seed oil, which is oil that comes from just the seeds of the hemp plant.
There is very little risk of intoxication from hemp oil as all forms of hemp oil come from food-grain strains of hemp. The authors of a study in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research note that food-grain strains of hemp must contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the compound that causes the so-called “high” of marijuana.
Hemp oil is not the same as cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The production of CBD oil uses the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant, which contain a higher concentration of CBD, another potentially beneficial compound in the plant.
Hemp seed oil comes from the small seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The seeds do not contain the same levels of compounds as the plant itself, but they still have a rich profile of nutrients, fatty acids, and useful bioactive compounds.
Full-spectrum hemp oil that also contains plant matter may add other effective compounds, which may help with certain health issues, such as inflammation.
Share on Pinterest Hemp oil contains fatty acids that can benefit skin health.
The oil from the hemp seed is highly nutritious and may be especially helpful for the skin.
The vitamins and fatty acids in this oil may help keep the skin healthy and prevent breakouts.
A 2014 study looking at the lipid profile of hemp seed oil found that it is rich in healthful oils and fatty acids.
The abundance of fatty acids may make the oil an excellent choice for nourishing the skin and protecting it from inflammation, oxidation, and other causes of aging.
The authors of a 2014 review note that the topical application of hemp seed oil strengthens the skin and makes it better able to resist infection. The authors also suggest that hemp seed oil may be a helpful treatment for a range of skin issues, including:
- varicose eczema
- lichen planus, an inflammatory skin condition
- acne rosacea
These benefits are likely to be due to the high quantity of beneficial fats and other helpful compounds in the oil.
The fatty acid content of hemp seed oil may also be good for the brain, which requires plenty of healthful fats to operate properly. Hemp seed oil is also rich in other compounds that may help protect the brain.
A recent study in mice found that a hemp seed extract containing these active compounds was able to help protect the brain against inflammation. The authors note that hemp seed oil contains polyphenols, which may play a role in protecting the brain.
Although these initial results look promising, scientists need to carry out studies in humans to confirm the benefits of this oil.
The comprehensive nutrient profile of hemp seed oil means that it may also be good for the heart. However, much of the information that is currently available comes from older studies or research that uses animal models.
An older study in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism highlights the nutrient profile of hemp seeds and notes that they might have a positive effect on various health issues, such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and cholesterol levels.
A 2014 review concludes that an increase in alpha-linolenic acid, one of the fatty acids in hemp oil, appears to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This fatty acid, which doctors call linolenic acid, is also present in fish oils and flaxseed oil. However, the researchers call for more clinical trials to confirm these results.
Full-spectrum hemp oil also includes plant matter, which adds additional compounds, such as CBD.
Although hemp seeds contain small amounts of these compounds, a higher concentration may bring some additional benefits to the body.
Natural pain relief
Many people use hemp or CBD oil as a form of natural pain relief, especially if the pain is a result of inflammation.
Those who do not want to take over-the-counter or prescription pain medications may turn to a high-quality hemp oil for relief.
A 2018 review notes that CBD, one of the main compounds in full-spectrum hemp oil, and other cannabinoids show promise for the treatment of many types of pain.
However, most of the research to date is on mice.
While the current research suggests that CBD may be a helpful natural treatment for pain, more human studies could give these results more credibility.
The fatty acids in hemp seed oil may help balance the skin and prevent inflammation that can result in acne. The addition of CBD from the plant matter may also help clear acne.
A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigationfound that CBD may affect the sebum glands in people with chronic acne, leading to reduced sebum production and potentially helping clear or prevent acne breakouts.
Full-spectrum hemp oil that contains CBD may also help with general stress and tension in the muscles.
Like fatty acids, CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, which may help relieve the tension that many people carry from stress and promote recovery from exercise.
Rubbing a bit of hemp seed oil or full-spectrum hemp oil into tight muscles may help release tension and relax them.
The research on hemp oil is still relatively new, particularly in the United States and other places where restrictive laws have prevented researchers from fully exploring the potential of cannabis plants until recently.
As CBD comes into more common use in an increasing number of areas, research into the potential benefits of full-spectrum hemp oil may expand. As a result, scientists may find more evidence to support the potential benefits of the plant or even reveal new benefits. In any case, the future of research on hemp oil looks promising.
There is also still a small risk of THC getting into the system, even from hemp seeds, which normally contain no THC. The THC could be present as a result of contamination with other plant matter. The results of a 2017 study show that some commercial brands of food-grade hemp seeds can have a THC concentration that is as much as 1,250 percent higher than the legal limit.
It is essential to ensure that hemp seed oil comes from a reliable manufacturer. The seeds and oil should be free of plant matter that may add additional compounds, such as THC.
Last medically reviewed on February 14, 2019
The potential benefits of hemp oil include improved heart, skin, and brain health. Research is ongoing, and it might uncover additional benefits. Learn more about the benefits of hemp oil here.