Benefits of Hemp Oil for Skin Hemp seed oil comes from the hemp seed, but it contains no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), unlike oil derived from the cannabis flower, called CBD oil. Some people confuse hemp seed oil and CBD oil, but hemp seed oil has no psychoactive properties because, unlike CBD oil, it contains no tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The least processed form of hemp seed oil is made by pressing the seeds to extract the oil without heat. The result is a pale green oil that has many health benefits. Some people use hemp seed oil in culinary applications, but hemp seed oil also has some health benefits when you apply it to your skin. Let’s look at those benefits.
Fights Inflammation Many skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, are marked by inflammation. Hemp seed oil is rich in fatty acids called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a family of fatty acids called omega-6s. Unlike other omega-6 fatty acids, GLA has strong anti-inflammatory activity. It also contains an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha- linolenic acid (ALA) that helps ease inflammation. In one study of people with atopic dermatitis, those who applied hemp seed oil to their skin for 20 weeks experienced less itching and dryness. Atopic dermatitis is a skin condition that usually starts in childhood. People who have it suffer from bouts of intense itching and redness and, sometimes, lumps caused by repeated scratching. No one knows the exact cause of atopic dermatitis, but certain cosmetic products or stress can trigger it. In the study, subjects who used hemp seed oil required less medication to relieve the itch. Another skin condition that has an inflammatory component is psoriasis. Because hemp seed oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, it may help reduce the skin inflammation that people with psoriasis experience.
Possible Anti-Aging Benefits Hemp seed oil helps calm inflammation, a contributor to skin aging. Plus, it contains antioxidants called polyphenols as well as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta- carotene that fight oxidative damage, another major contributor to skin aging. Oxidative stress and inflammation break down collagen and elastin, two proteins that give skin its support and resistance to wrinkling and sagging. If you can supply the deeper layers of the skin with enough antioxidants, it can reduce the breakdown of these proteins that keep your skin looking youthful. Hemp seed oil also contains vitamin C, which your skin uses to build new collagen. The antioxidants in hemp seed oil also help protect against oxidative damage from sun exposure, the leading cause of premature aging. However, it’s not a replacement for sunscreen. Your best form of protection against sun damage is a sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of at last 30.
Moisturizing Properties The fatty acids, including GLA and ALA, in hemp seed oil form a barrier over the skin that helps it retain moisture. Therefore, hemp seed oil has moisturizing benefits. It’s also a humectant, a substance that draws water to the skin from the environment. That’s why some moisturizers contain hemp seed oil. Helps Normalize Oil Production. If you have acne, you know the problems excess oil production can cause. Some studies show that people who have acne have lower than normal levels of the fatty acid GLA. Being a good source of GLA, hemp seed oil supplies acne-prone skin with this fatty acid that may help reduce the stickiness of sebum, the secretions that oil glands produce. In turn, this may lower the risk of pores clogging and forming blackheads or pimples. Hemp seed oil itself doesn’t seem to clog pores either. Therefore, it’s a good choice if you have acne. Despite the fact that it’s an oil, it’s light and non-greasy.
Healthy for Your Nails Too The fatty acids in hemp seed oil help to moisturize dry, brittle nails. Some sources say that hemp seed oil strengthens nails. There’s no study to prove this, although keeping your nails moisturized may reduce breakage. So, don’t think of hemp seed oil as only beneficial for your skin; it can be an asset to your fingernails and toenails too.
The Bottom Line You can buy products made with hemp seed oil, such as moisturizers, or buy the oil and apply a thick layer to your skin or nails. Choose unrefined or raw hemp seed oil to maximize the benefits to your skin and nails.