Hemp oil is taking over the wellness world. Derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, this light, nutritious oil contains a number of beneficial substances that can improve the quality of your hair, nails, skin, and overall wellbeing. Unlike its cousin plant, hemp contains very little THC – the psychoactive chemical responsible for the “high” of marijuana. Instead, hemp contains higher concentrations of other cannabinoids, vitamins, and essential nutrients.
The benefits of hemp oil have been well-known for centuries. Hemp is one of the earliest cultivated crops, and it hasn’t lost its power. As the global attention on cannabis increases, scientists are discovering more and more the power of hemp-based products to improve our health. In this article, we’ll show you 7 ways that hemp oil can benefit your skin – inside and out!
What is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil is derived from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. Although it is in the same family as marijuana, it is a different species and is non-psychoactive. While hemp does not contain high levels of THC (usually no more than 0.3%), it contains CBD, another substance that has been linked to a number of health benefits.
Some of the other nutrients contained in hemp oil are:
- Hemp contains all of the amino acids, making it a source of complete protein.
- Essential fatty acids. Hemp oil contains high levels of several omega fatty acids, which are necessary for the body to function.
- Polyunsaturated fat. Like most oils, hemp oil is a high-fat substance. However, it contains healthy health ratios of omega 3 & 6 fats and is lower in saturated fat with zero trans fats.
- Hemp contains a number of vitamins including folate, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
- Hemp also contains many minerals, like potassium, iron, calcium, and zinc.
Many scientists are studying hemp for its healing properties. Currently, hemp and the substances it contains have been linked to treatments for conditions ranging from anxiety and sleep issues to epilepsy, chronic pain, and even neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis.
Benefit #1: Moisturizing Properties
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of using hemp oil on your skin is its moisturizing properties. Most people naturally produce fatty acids on the skin that keep it moist and healthy. People with dry skin or those in dryer climates, however, naturally have an essential fatty acid deficiency. In such cases, linoleic acid (omega 6) can be substituted in the sebum with oleic acid (omega 9) or palmitoleic acids. This in turn, could block pores, increase local inflammation and lead to breakouts.
Hemp naturally contains high levels of linoleic acids, the essential fatty acids your skin needs. The extracted oil from hemp seed can help replace lost oils from overuse of soaps and cleansers and harsh weather. Since hemp oil absorbs through the skin, it can be applied as a pure oil or as part of a lotion, balm, or cream.
Benefit #2: Decreased Inflammation
Another important property of hemp oil is its anti-inflammatory effects. Hemp contains a number of important nutrients, including vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids. One of these acids, gamma-linolenic acid, is linked to reducing inflammation.
When used as a supplement, hemp oil can help reduce overall inflammation like redness, puffiness, and even symptoms associated with acne and eczema. As part of a balm or cream, the oil can be absorbed into the skin where it goes to work reducing swelling and redness.
Benefit #3: Improved Healing
Using hemp oil on your skin may help improve healing for minor cuts and scrapes. Rubbing it around injured areas can stimulate blood flow, which speeds up the body’s natural healing process. While you should always seek medical care for major injuries, day-to-day wear and tear can be helped with some of the anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties of hemp oil.
Hemp also contains certain vitamins and minerals like zinc, vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron, which can help you heal more quickly, reduce inflammation, and improve your immunity. When used as a supplement, these vitamins provide a boost to your overall system, as well as your skin.
Benefit #4: Decreased Exposure to Pesticides and Dyes
One of the less obvious benefits of hemp stems from the way its cultivated. Many fabric materials contain harmful chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin. Synthetic materials are often produced using toxic substances that remain after the production process, and even plant fibers can have dangerous leftovers.
For instance, cotton crops are often cultivated using a number of pesticides that are easily absorbed through the skin, including endosulphan, dimethoate, and cypermethrin. Hemp requires few or no pesticides to grow and is often sourced from pesticide-free, organic farms. Switching over your clothing to hemp-based fabrics can reduce allergic reactions to harmful chemicals, reduce redness, and improve your overall health.
Benefit #5: Increased Suppleness
Hemp is an incredibly nutritious food. The seeds and oil contain a high level of omega fatty acids at an ideal ratio for absorption and use by the body. Like soy and animal sources, hemp contains a complete protein, as well as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, zinc, and B vitamins like folate. Hemp also contains a high level of polyunsaturated fats which can help reduce cholesterol.
All of these nutrients go to work in your body to boost your overall health. When your body is healthy on the inside, it shows on the outside. Our skin is one of the best indicators for our health, and well-balanced nutrition will result in full, robust, colorful skin.
In addition, the hydrating properties of hemp oil can improve the suppleness and bounce of your skin. Its delicacy is perfect for the fine skin of the face, and it can be used to reduce under-eye bags, fine wrinkles, and smile lines.
Benefit #6: Cleansing Without Clogging
Hemp oil is a light oil that remains a thin liquid at room temperature. Unlike some other, thicker plant oils, it absorbs through the cell matrix in the skin without leaving a thick layer of residue. This absorption allows your skin to actually hydrate without simply sitting on top of the skin, creating the appearance of moisturization.
The pure oil extracted from hemp seed can also be used as an effective make-up remover. Most make-up products are oil-soluble and won’t come off with only water. Expensive cleansers and soaps are effective but can leave your skin dry and irritated. Hemp oil clears even waterproof makeup without drying skin or leaving a clogged-up mess.
Benefit #7: Anti-Aging Properties
Finally, hemp oil can be used to battle the appearance of aging. As mentioned above, the gamma-linolenic acid in the oil can help reduce puffiness and redness that often accompanies aging skin. The hydrating properties of hemp can help fill out fine wrinkles, crow’s feet, and smile lines, all while giving your skin a boost in firmness and suppleness.
“Cannabidiol has the potential to be lead compounds for the development of novel therapeutics for skin diseases.” – BPS
Hemp is a nutritious, vitamin-rich substance with many uses. It can be used as a topical treatment, either as a straight oil or as part of a cream, balm, lotion, or salve to improve the appearance and health of your skin. It can also be taken as a supplement or as in ingredient in various foods to give your overall health and wellness a boost.
Elisabetta Povoledo has been writing about Italy for nearly three decades and has been working for The New York Times and its affiliates since 1992. She is Italian and grew up in Italy and Canada. She studied history and political science at the University of Winnipeg, and received a master’s degree in art history from McGill University in Montreal, specializing in Roman Baroque art. Ms. Povoledo also has a strong passion for solving health-related issues in the world.
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