The ancient hemp plant has been used as a form of currency, prevents acne, and has a comedogenic rating of zero. Don't worry, we'll explain exactly what a comedogenic rating is. We'll also go over the awesome skincare benefits of hemp seed oil for people with acne or dry skin. But let's start off with a brief history of the hemp plant.
Brief History of the Hemp Plant
The Hemp plant has been around forever. Or close to it. The first documented writings on the medicinal properties of hemp date back to 5000 B.C in China. Hemp cultivation was common in Europe and the Middle East for millennia.In the USA, hemp was recognized as legal tender for a temporary period from the1600s until the 1800s. In fact, the cultivation of hemp was commonplace in the United States until the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 which levied a tax on anyone dealing in hemp, cannabis, or marijuana.
Aside from being a literal “cash crop”, hemp is also a natural weed killer. Farmers have long used hemp crops to kill weeds without using a herbicide. The Hemp plant is resilient to natural predators and doesn’t require excessive pesticides like many other crops. Hemp is even classified as a carbon negative raw material. That means its growing process contributes to the permanent removal of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from Earth's atmosphere. Overall, the hemp plant is one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly crops around.
Psychoactive Properties of Hemp and Hemp Seed Oil
Many people are confused about the distinction between hemp and marijuana. Marijuana and hemp both come from the same species of plant,Cannabis sativa, but from different varieties. Hemp seed oil DOES NOT contain a significant amount of THC, which is the psychoactive compound in marijuana. First,hemp seed oil is processed from varieties of Cannabis sativa which have minimal amounts of THC. The manufacturing process removes up to 99.9% of the remaining THC which generally result in THC levels of no more than 5 ppm (parts per million). The amount of THC in hemp seed oil is also regulated and capped by most countries. So relax, you won't be getting “high”from hemp seed oil. For topical applications of hemp seed oil, even with frequent use there is virtually no likelihood of testing positive for THC. Hemp seed oil should not be confused with hash oil which does contain a significant amount of THC.
What is Hemp Seed Oil?
Cold pressed hemp seed oil has a rich, nutty flavor and a green tint. Refined hemp seed oil is colorless with no flavor at all. The refinement process extends the shelf life of the hemp seed oil but removes many of the nutrients found in unrefined cold pressed hemp seed oil.
As we mentioned, hemp seed oil contains practically none of the psychoactive THC which is found in cannabis. However, hemp seed oil DOES contain essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. One unique quality of hemp seed oil is its 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids. This ratio very closely matches the balance required by the human body. Hemp seed oil also contains 50%-60% linoleic acid. The essential fatty acids omega-3 linoleic acid and omega-6 linoleic acid aid in tissue repair and growth. These fatty acids contain glycerides, sterols and phospholipids which occur naturally in the skin and protect against Oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is linked to different types of cancer, vitiligo,heart failure and many other diseases. Oxidative stress also speeds up the skin’s aging process.
Uses and Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil
There plenty of hemp seed benefits to talk about but we're going to focus on what it does for your skin. Hemp seed oil invigorates your skin. It is a first-class moisturizer,partly because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Due to its high content of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, hemp oil has a composition similar to skin lipids. This allows it to thoroughly nourish your skin. Plus, it increases your skin’s elasticity and improves water retention capacity in tissues. This means that a cream with added hemp seed oil is the perfect moisturizing remedy for dry, tired or dehydrated skin.
As a moisturizer, hemp seed oil penetrates deeply into the skin and lubricates pores. This makes it a great solution for acne ridden skin. Let’s look at how acne works. Basically, there are pores all over your body which secrete sweat and sebum. Sebum is produced by your sebaceous glands. These glands are located below your pores. When your pores aren’t able to handle the flow of sebum, they get clogged up. This clogging of your pores leads to acne, pimples and break outs. Hemp seed oil keeps these pores lubricated. This lessens the likelihood of acne breakouts and other skin conditions. Using an exfoliant with added hemp seed oil is a smart way to prevent future acne problems. The added benefit of an exfoliant is that it scrubs away the dead skin cells which accumulate on the surface of your skin. These skin cells can get mixed up with your body's natural sweat and sebum to clog your pores.
With a comedogenic rating of 0, hemp seed oil is very unlikely to cause an acne break out. A comedogenic rating is a way of understanding whether a compound will cause you to break out. A rating of 0 basically means that the compound will not clog your pores. A rating of 5 (the highest) means there is a high probability of your pores becoming clogged. Essentially, a higher comedogenic rating signals that a compound is more likely to cause an acne breakout. Hempseed oil’s low comedogenic rating means that there is practically no chance of it causing an acne break out.
Acne prevention and dry skin repair aren't the only benefits of hemp seed oil. Unrefined hemp seed oil can be used to treat eczema, psoriasis,and rashes. Topical application of hemp seed oil relieves redness,itchiness, and inflammation. The ideal balance of omega-6 and omega- 3 fatty acids in hemp seed oil aids in alleviating the symptoms of dermatitis too. Last but not least, it even has been linked to reduced inflammation, itchiness, and skin dryness among people who are experiencing dermatitis.
Side Effects of Hemp Seed Oil
There are some potential side effects when taking hemp seed oil as a nutritional supplement. If eaten it may cause minor digestive problems or diarrhea. People with blood clotting issues should also avoid consuming hemp seed oil as it can affect how your body’s anticoagulants and blood platelets work.These side effects only apply to a minority of people - specifically those who have recurring blood clotting or bowel issues.
Hemp seed oil is also susceptible to extreme heat, which alters its chemical composition. Heating hemp seed oil above 121 degrees Fahrenheit breaks down the polyunsaturated fat in the hemp oil into harmful peroxides.This shouldn’t be a problem as long as you aren’t heating your hemp seed oil up and you store it in a dark and cool place.
Overall, hemp seed oil is still safer than most other cosmetics and skincare products but there are still potential side effects to be aware of.
Hemp seed oil is different from the marijuana plant and offers a number of benefits for your skin. It is an excellent moisturizer, super effective acne treatment, and can be used to alleviate the symptoms of skin conditions such as eczema. Hemp seed oil’s low comedogenic rating means that it won’t cause you to experience a break out. The hemp plant is also an amazingly environmentally friendly and sustainable crop. Hemp is extremely versatile, eco-friendly and definitely worth adding to your skincare routine. If you've experienced problems with acne or dry skin, you should look into adding a hemp seed oil based product to your personal grooming routine.