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.
The truth about skin care products with CBD
Skin care products with CBD
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is added to added to soaps, serums, creams, and other skin care products for its purported health benefits.
It’s said that skin care products infused with cannabidiol (CBD) can do everything from clear acne to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Before you spend your hard-earned money on one of these products, here’s what you should know.
Misleading health claims appear on CBD-infused skin care products
None of the claims that CBD can treat conditions such as acne, rosacea, or psoriasis have been proven. Research on using CBD is still in the early stages.
Until there is enough research to support these health claims, making such claims is considered misleading. In the United States, such claims are also illegal. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent warning letters to companies making such claims.
This may seem like a hard stance for the FDA to take. It’s doing this to protect people’s health. More research is needed to know whether CBD can treat these conditions. More research is needed to know whether CBD is safe.
People often mistakenly believe that CBD is harmless
CBD-containing skin care products may seem harmless. These products are widely available. You don’t need a prescription. You may even pick up a product and notice that it says it can treat acne or another skin problem.
The FDA warns that CBD comes with possible health risks. On its website, the FDA says, “CBD has the potential to harm you, and harm can happen even before you become aware of it.”
Woman who are pregnant or breastfeeding
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use any product that contains CBD, the FDA warns.
Research shows that taking CBD oil can damage your liver. This finding comes from clinical trials.
These clinical trials were run to find out whether taking CBD oil can reduce seizures in children who have rare forms of epilepsy. It can. To date, nothing else has been found to reduce or prevent these seizures. For this reason, the FDA approved a medication that contains CBD oil in 2018.
Doctors watch patients taking this medication, Epidiolex®, carefully. Patients get their blood tested often because only a blood test can find early signs of liver damage.
You cannot feel early signs of liver damage. Without blood tests, the damage can build up and cause end-stage liver disease. The only cure for end-stage liver disease is a liver transplant.
While it’s unlikely that applying a product containing CBD to your skin will damage your liver, the fact is it’s too early to tell.
We do know that some people who use CBD skin care products develop a rash. What we don’t know is whether the CBD or another ingredient in the product that causes the rash.
And that’s the point. More research is needed.
Findings suggests CBD holds promise for treating some skin conditions
Small studies have looked at CBD as a possible treatment for skin conditions, such as acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. Findings from these small studies suggest CBD may be an effective treatment for some skin conditions.
Before CBD becomes a treatment option for any condition, dermatologists say it’s essential to answer many questions, including:
What is the proper dosage of CBD for treating each condition?
How does CBD interact with other medications that a patient may be taking?
What are the possible side effects of applying CBD to the skin?
CBD products can be mislabeled
Findings from CBD studies indicate that some products may not actually contain the amount of CBD listed on the package.
In one study, researchers bought 84 products containing CBD from 31 different online companies. When they analyzed the amount of CBD in each product, they discovered that only 26 of the 84 products contained the amount of CBD stated on the package.
Even more concerning, some products contained a good amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that causes people to get high.
While you cannot get high from applying a lotion or lip balm, this finding suggests it can be difficult to know exactly what you’re getting when you buy a product that contains CBD.
It also suggests that manufacturers may be mixing up their plants. CBD comes from the hemp plant, which contain very little THC. You get THC from marijuana plants.
How do you feel about using CBD?
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) would like to know how you feel about using CBD-infused skin care products.
Baumann LS, “Dermatologic research on cannabinoids well underway.” Dermatol News. 2019;50(6):1+.
Eagleston LRM, Kalani NK, et al. “Cannabinoids in dermatology: a scoping review.” Dermatol Online J. 2018 Jun 15;24(6).
Herbst J, Musgrave G. “Respiratory depression following an accidental overdose of a CBD-labeled product: A pediatric case report.” J Am Pharm Assoc. 2020;60(1):248-52.
Mounessa JS, Siegel JA, et al. “Commentary: The role of cannabinoids in dermatology.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017;2017;77(1):188-90.
Palmer WJ. “CBD penetrates skincare: Patient interest high despite need for more data.” Dermatol Times. 2020;41(1):1+.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
Wesley NO, Talakoub L. “CBD in beauty products.” Dermatol News. 2019;50(10):44.
You’ll find plenty of skin care products that contain CBD. Before you try one, here’s what you should know.