Hemp Oil: Benefits, Myths and Misunderstandings

hemp oil drop next to a cannabis nug

Cannabis isn’t always about getting high, sometimes you want to reap its benefits without being stuck to your couch. This has led a lot of consumers on a path of research about cannabis products they can use.

Many are surprised by hemp oil’s benefits and by the pure amount of conflicting information on the web. Here we set the record straight.

What is Hemp Oil?

Hemp oil derived from hemp, a plant typically grown for industrial uses such as fabric, building materials, biofuels, and more.

CBD oil pouring

Hemp oil is made by cold pressing or refining hemp seeds. When unrefined it appears dark to light green in color and when refined it’s clear and colorless.

According to Euhphytica Vol. 140,  it’s comprised of “30% oil and 25% protein with considerable amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.”

CBD and Hemp Oil Are Different

Many will come across “CBD” or “hemp” in their online searches and be confused about the differences. It doesn’t help that many of the top search results use “hemp oil” and “CBD oil” interchangeably.

While hemp oil uses seeds, CBD oil takes hemp buds and extracts the CBD so that the result is an oil with little-to-no THC (the component of cannabis that makes you high). It should be noted that hemp oil might have CBD or THC in it, but since hemp oil production doesn’t use buds, there should be trace quantities.

Consumers typically use CBD for medicinal purposes (as a pain reliever, anti-anxiety, etc) while hemp oil is used as a dietary supplement or as a beauty product.

During our research we found no studies on the medicinal benefits of hemp oil. Medicinal users should be aware of the potential for a placebo effect.

Hemp Oil’s Benefits

As a Dietary Supplement

Hemp oil is rich in gamma-linoelic acid, a compound that is said to reduce  inflammation and promote cell growth. It also contains two easily digestable amino-acid rich proteins: edestin and albumin. These nutrients are why hemp oil is targeted as a dietary supplement.

More scientific research needs to be conducted to determine the benefits of hemp as a functional food, but according to Euphytica Vol. 140, studies in the early 2000s “identified hempseed oil as a functional food, and animal feeding studies demonstrate the long-standing utility of hempseed as an important food resource.”

Be warned, many consumers like or hate the taste of hemp oil. This is why it’s usually added to shakes, smoothies, or, who knows, bags of sugar.

As a Beauty Product

Hemp Oil’s benefits extend to the cosmetic industry as well. With a comedogenic rating of 0 (meaning it is unlikely to clog your pores), Hemp Oil could be great for your oil cleansing routine.

pumping cleanser in hand

The linoelic acid content’s anti-inflammatory properties is thought to be good for your skin. Unrefined hemp oil contains two vitamins: Vitamin E and Vitamin C. Vitamin E is thought to improve skin healing (although science disagrees), while Vitamin C is used to treat hyper-pigmentation and changes associated with photoaging (and there is actually science behind this one).

Anecdotally, Reddit user DdoesKeto incorporated hemp oil into her skincare routine and saw dramatic results.

oil cleansing reddit post by DdoesKeto

After reading a post on here about oil cleansing & a suggestion from a Sephora employee, I cut out all ‘harsh’ products and focused on moisturizing/healing my skin. Three months of oil cleansing and moisture have completely changed my face.

Hemp Oil’s Legal Status

Hemp oil, like CBD oil, isn’t illegal in the US: you can buy it on Amazon. It’s available as a supplement over the counter, providing an easy-to-swallow option of ingestion.

The FDA does not regulate dietary supplements (they’re considered special foods), so don’t worry about them stopping you anytime soon.

Hemp, in a nutshell, is a healthy, versatile element to add to your dinner, or your beauty routine. The confusion around it is because of the wealth of misinformation on the web and the growing interest in non-cannabis users who want to use a derivative for their health.

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