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Exactly What is Hemp Seed Oil, Is It Really Marijuana and Is It Good for My Skin?

Posted by Sharon Gnatt Epel on

There's been a lot of buzz recently about hempseed oil, CBD and the use of cannabis in skincare. Hempseed oil has been an ingredient in our best-selling Breast SOS since the very first day we introduced it, 'way back in 2010! Surprised? Here's everything you need to know about the benefits of using hempseed oil, and the difference between hempseed oil and psychoactive cannabinoid-infused oils.

Hemp seed oil is an oil extracted from the seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Although this is the same plant species that marijuana is derived from, hempseed oil is not to be confused with the cannabinoid-infused oil that is extracted from cannabis and includes the plant’s flowers and leaves. Those oils are known as CBD or THC oil, and are taken either to experience a recreational “high” or to benefit specific medical conditions like seizures, pain or extreme nausea. The hemp seed oil we use for skincare is not psychoactive and contains no THC. It is an unrefined oil, dark green in color, and its nutritional content is beautifully preserved by the cold press extraction process. What separates both CBD oil and hemp seed oil from marijuana is a combination of the manufacturing method used and the origin plant. CBD oil can be made from hemp plants and marijuana plants, but hempseed oil is only made from hemp plants. 

Hemp seed oil is both a food supplement and a nutritional oil. It has many benefits for skin health because it contains vitamins whose properties can moisturize and heal the skin. Some of these nutritional heroes are:

  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B2
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats
  • Vitamin E


1. Hemp seed oil regenerates the skin’s protective or hydrolipidic layer. This layer is responsible for keeping the skin's pH (or acid mantle) at around 5.5 and protecting it from unwanted bacterial invasion. Hempseed oil forms a barrier that keeps the water molecules that hydrate the skin close to the surface and protects it from dirt, toxins, allergens and a host of environmental irritants that can wreak havoc on skin health. It actually heals the weak spots in the protective layer that can cause your skin to dry out and become irritated.

2. Hempseed oil is compatible with most skin types. In oily skin it moderates the body’s production of sebum and moisturizes without clogging pores. Regulating the natural oils produced by the body can be helpful in preventing the kind of acne caused by excessive oil production.

3. Hempseed oil hydrates dry skin and soothes inflammation. One of the omega-6 fatty acids in hempseed oil is GLA (gamma-linoleic acid). This is a powerful anti-inflammatory that encourages the growth of new cells while keeping the skin moist and well-nourished. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce swelling and skin tightness, making it ideal for treating skin rashes, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

4. Hempseed oil is both a hydrator and a moisturizer. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a significant difference between the two. A hydrator puts hydration into the skin, while a moisturizer forms a protective layer or barrier on the surface of the skin to stop the moisture you just put in from evaporating. Hempseed oil actually does both of these functions simultaneously. This is one of the reasons we put it in our award-winning BreastSOS serum.

5. Reduces Fine Lines & Wrinkles. It accomplishes this by plumping up skin cells and stimulating the body's natural production of collagen. It also provides a little bit of protection against sun damage but it is not enough to make it a viable substitute for sunscreen.

How is hempseed oil used?

Hempseed oil can be used both topically and internally. Topical use of hempseed oil is generally regarded as safe, but if you are very sensitive or prone to having allergic reactions we always recommend doing a patch test first.

Oral use of hempseed oil must be cleared with a medical doctor before you try it and should never be combined with essential oils as many eo's are toxic. Ingesting hempseed oil can cause temporary digestive upset and loose stools. It can also interact with blood thinners so please consult your doctor before taking it orally.

Copyright 5-10-19 by Sharon Gnatt Epel for La Ishá Inc.

Photo credit: Rick Proctor

cannabinoid-infused oils Cannabis in skincare CBD CBD oil hemp hemp seed oil hempseed oil marijuana THC

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