Hemp seed oil has been a standard in the beauty world since it got its start as a topical medication in the 18th century. Hemp seed oil, unlike cannabis oil, is legal across the United States. Though hemp is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant, it doesn't contain high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In fact, hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, so it doesn't have the same psychoactive qualities as the variety of marijuana that you typically think of.
Hemp does, however, still contain high levels of other cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), and it’s rich in a number of vitamins and minerals. Hemp is often used for more industrial purposes, such as making fabrics. And its oil, which also contains an optimal balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, has become a hot commodity in beauty products.
A Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology study showed that cannabinoids are responsible for lipid production: “Our preclinical data encourage one to explore whether endocannabinoid system-acting agents can be exploited in the management of common skin disorders,” said Tamás Biró, a scientist who worked on the study. “It is also suggested that these agents can be efficiently applied locally to the skin in the form of a cream.”
This study gives a nod to the idea that hemp seed or cannabis oil could be especially beneficial in regulating dry skin and other conditions such as acne. Hemp seed oil is also full of alpha-linolenic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties. These anti-inflammatory properties make hemp seed oil helpful for easing everything from rashes to sunburns.
Pamela Hadfield, the co-founder of HelloMD, has found that applying hemp seed oil to a sunburn can make it almost disappear by the next day. And it makes for a great moisturizer as well. Hemp seed oil’s healing properties help rebuild and refresh damaged skin. The oil is said to resemble the protein found in human blood, making it very compatible with the body’s natural process of reparation. Hemp seed oil has a smooth application and absorbs quickly, making it ideal for daily cleansing and moisturizing.
Hemp seed oil is also rich in vitamins A and E; it’s also filled with minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and phosphorous. All of these nutrients, along with its high levels of antioxidants help slow and prevent cell damage, giving hemp seed oil its powerful anti-aging properties.
These findings have led to a new boom in the world of hemp seed oil cosmetics. One particular brand, Carun, focuses on various hemp items from food to skin care products. According to Dr. Alexis Granite, Carun’s dermatologist consultant, to the Daily Mail, “Active cannabinoids, such as those found in the Carun product range, have shown promise in improving a variety of skin conditions, including acne and eczema. Cannabinoids are powerful antioxidants that may work by reducing inflammation and especially when combined with hydrating oils may help in maintaining the skin's natural barrier function.”
Recently, beauty destinations such as Elle and The Coveteur have published articles about cannabis beauty products listing myriad hemp products ranging from pure hemp seed oil to lipstick and perfume. All of the buzz around hemp seed oil products is just another step towards gaining a wider understanding of the positive uses of cannabis sativa, including its THC-forward cousin.
Photo credit: The Amazings