The extensive growth of the cannabis culture has expanded to include hemp use in its scope. Medicating patients averse to cannabis’ psychedelic effects often turn to hemp plants due to its high CBD content and minimal THC levels. Furthermore, unlike marijuana, hemp plants face no legal restrictions, so it is more commercially available. Its seeds are converted into oils that deliver a myriad of health benefits. The oil is also versatile as it can be used in a variety of ways.
Due to centuries-worth of misinformation about cannabis, the distinction between its species is often obscured. Marijuana and hemp are even mistakenly used interchangeably despite their differences.
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that can be classified into three species: indica, sativa, and ruderalis. The Cannabis sativa plant can then be further categorized into two: marijuana and hemp. The critical difference that sets hemp apart from other cannabis species lies in its negligible THC content. It contains ≤0.3% of the compound which makes it very unlikely to induce psychoactive effects.
On average, hemp seeds contain 30% oil by weight. It is often unrefined and is tightly packed with compounds such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are beneficial to the body.
9 Benefits Of Using Hemp Oil
The richness of fatty acids and cannabidiol (CBD) found in hemp oil have profound benefits on various health aspects.
Maintaining a moisturized skin entails resolving multiple skin issues that impede sufficient production of oils. Instead of slathering products that are thought to alter skin conditions, hemp oil works from within to restore cellular health.
Antioxidant properties. The body naturally releases considerable amounts of free radicals as a byproduct of cellular processes. Increased levels of free radicals result in oxidative stress which damages cell DNA and inhibits cell repair. Consequently, the skin appears older and the sebaceous glands shrink in size. Thus, oil production decreases and the skin becomes dry and flaky.
Fortunately, hemp seed oil contains high levels of vitamin E and CBD which neutralizes free radicals. These antioxidants protect the cell DNA and prevent further impairment. It also helps slow down cell aging and degradation. Eventually, the skin reverts to its youthful glow with improved sebum release.
Acne solution. Acne is caused by the infection of sebaceous glands and the inflammation of skin pores. The excessive oil production, coupled with dead skin cells and bacteria, clog the pores – thereby resulting in swollen pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads.
Hemp oil contains phytocannabinoids such as CBD which interact with the sebaceous glands’ endocannabinoid receptors. These cannabinoids halt excessive sebum production; therefore limiting the tendency of having breakouts and accumulating dirt in the pores. Moreover, anti-inflammatory properties of the compound sooth the swelling and redness of the spots within the affected area. The smooth skin then produces a healthy glow free from the plague of acne.
Several skincare products use hemp seed oil for its ceramides and other essential fatty acids. The profiles of these components closely resemble the skin’s natural lipids. Therefore, it organically neutralizes the effects of dehydration and drying of the scalp.
Ceramides are naturally-occurring lipid found in the cuticles designed to protect and strengthen hair shafts. The component binds the ‘scales’ located at the base of the strands which results into smooth and silky hair. It also promotes elasticity and moisture retention for added strength. Without it, the mane becomes dull, coarse and dry.
Meanwhile, linoleic acid is an unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid found in the lipids of cell membranes of the skin. An increased level of the compound stimulates hair growth, maintains healthy scalp conditions, and controls water loss in the hair. Thus, applying hair products with hemp seed oil reintroduces the hair to essential lipids and fatty acids necessary for healthier tresses.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are popularly used for non-surgical pain therapy in the neck and back areas. However, these synthetic drugs are often riddled with adverse side effects such as gastric ulcer, bleeding, and even heart attacks. Fortunately, hemp seed oil proves to be a safer alternative because of its less severe side effects.
Hemp seed oils owe their anti-inflammatory properties to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids. The polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) found in the oil curb inflammation symptoms of pain and discomfort in localized areas. Until recently, it was discovered that omega-3 acids are converted into compounds like resolvins that are more powerful than original fatty acids. Research reveals that resolvin and other mediators found in the converted compound controls the body’s inflammatory reaction in the presence of infections.
Immune System Booster
Although more supporting studies are required to make a decisive claim, promising research suggests that hemp seeds may be a potential treatment for cancer. The cannabinoids found in hemp oils inhibit the proliferation of glioma and induces apoptosis of carcinogenic cells. Thus, eliminating carcinogenic cells and preventing it from spreading.
On another note, the intake of fatty acids contained in hemp oil enhances the function of immune B cells and selected antibody production. This suggests that the lipids help clear pathogens by aiding the immune system function better.
Hormonal imbalances may occur especially to women during menstrual periods. During this time of the month, specific hormones like prolactin contribute to PMS symptoms like breast tenderness and swelling, anxiety, as well as irritability. Fortunately, an essential fatty acid called Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) found in hemp oil can be used to counter heightened prolactin levels during menstruation.
The omega-6 fatty acid GLA is suggested to be an effective treatment to PMS symptoms. During the luteal and follicular phases, PMS was linked to lower levels of GLA and higher levels of prolactin. However, the introduction of oils rich in the said fatty acids caused the suppression of prolactin and decreased the irritability and other symptoms.
Ischemic stroke – or strokes caused by blood clots in the brain – affects millions of people but up to date, sufficient and effective treatments are still scarce. However, omega-3 fatty acids found in hemp oils may attenuate cerebral injury by activating the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2, also known as Nrf2.
A laboratory study showed that rats treated with DHA found in omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduced brain death after oxygen and glucose deprivation. The resistance to brain damage was linked to the activation of the Nrf2 pathway in the brain coupled with the neuroprotective properties of fatty acids.
Another study also suggests that the polyunsaturated fatty acids from hemp seed oils prevented the loss of myelin basic protein (MBP). The hemp’s omega-3 content, thereby, preserves the myelin sheath’s structural integrity. As a result, neurons transmit information across the network of neurons more efficiently.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Cardiovascular protection and postischemic recovery can be boosted by the intake of hemp seed oil rich in linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) or omega 3 fatty acid. These polyunsaturated fatty acids protect the heart by preventing platelets and bad cholesterol from forming a clump in blood vessels which could obstruct blood flow. Linolic acid also normalizes triglyceride concentrations, therefore reducing the risk of myocardial infarction. Furthermore, LA and ALA were proven to lower blood pressure and raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as good cholesterol.
The wealth of cannabidiol found in hemp seed oil helps to regulate the mood by increasing serotonin levels through its interaction with the 5-HT1A neuro-receptors in the body. CBD was proven to have potent anti-depressant and anxiolytic effects with no reported side effects as opposed to synthetic drugs. This compound exerts these beneficial effects by stimulating the release of serotonin – a neurotransmitter that inhibits both anxiety and depression.
Hemp oil contains beneficial terpenes called beta-caryophyllene (BCP) and myrcene which are known for its pain-relieving effects.
Aside from its delicious aroma, BCP also binds to CB2 receptors to exert painkilling effects, especially in cases of inflammation. Therefore, this compound is regarded to be a potential cure for arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Hemp oil also contains the terpene myrcene. It influences the body’s endogenous opioid system with its antinociception properties. Furthermore, myrcene also facilitates the entourage effect and increases the permeability of the blood-brain barrier. In turn, the rate and efficiency of cannabinoid absorption are significantly boosted which speeds up the analgesic effects of the compounds.
Potential Side Effects
As with all things good, hemp seed oil also comes with possible adverse effects, especially when overconsumed. But on the bright side, the said side effects can be easily prevented through moderated intake.
Increased Susceptibility to Bacterial Infections. Excessive intakes of hemp seed oil may adversely impact immune system functions that protect the body from bacterial infections. Hemp oil is a rich source of cannabidiol – a well-known cannabinoid that impedes the body’s inflammatory responses. This is beneficial in conditions where there is excessive inflammation such as in arthritis. But under normal circumstances, this is detrimental as it lowers the body’s defense against pathogens. Thus, it may increase the host’s vulnerability to microbial infections.
Digestive Issues. Gastrointestinal sensitivities may not pair well with the addition of fats from hemp oil. Large intakes of oils coupled with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may lead to diarrhea. An individual’s inability to absorb fatty molecules may cause the intestines to secrete more water and fluids. This, in turn, contribute to the fatty and watery consistency of stools.
How It Is Made
Hemp oil is produced by pressing hemp seeds, akin to how olive oil is made. And since hemp seed oil production is not restricted by the law, this product is widely available in dispensaries. However, creating it from scratch is more inexpensive as it yields larger volumes. Thus, medicating patients who need high doses of CBD can save by making DIY hemp oil as opposed to buying store-bought ones.
- 1 ounce of hemp plant
- ~500mL isopropyl alcohol (per 1 ounce of plant material)
- 1 teaspoon water
- 2 buckets
- 1 stirring stick (untreated/unvarnished)
- 1 coffee filter
- Rice cooker
- Oven mitts
- 1 stainless steel container
- Coffee warmer
- 1 plastic glass or bottle
- Dry out the hemp under direct sunlight.
- Place the dried hemp inside a container. Pour isopropyl alcohol solvent into the bucket – just enough to dampen the herb.
- Grind the material inside the container with a sterile stick or pole. Continue doing the process until all the leaves are crushed.
- Use the stick to stir the mixture for about three minutes or until it becomes completely saturated with the solvent.
- Drain the solvent into an empty bucket and add fresh alcohol to the hemp. Continue stirring the mixture for another three minutes.
- Drain off the solvent again into the bucket where the first batch was poured into. Leave the hemp material in the original container and discard it afterward.
- Strain the solution from the second bucket into another clean container with the use of a coffee filter.
- Pour the filtered solvent-oil mixture into a rice cooker until reaching about 3/4 full. Turn the temperature setting to high.
- Keep an eye on the solution as it boils. Gradually add the remaining filtered mixture into the rice cooker until all the liquid is inside.
- Add about 1 teaspoon of water to the concoction as it finishes cooking or when it has boiled down to about 1 inch in the rice cooker.
- Turn off the rice cooker and pick it up using the oven mittens. Gradually swill the liquid to release any alcohol from the mix.
- Pour the hemp oil into a stainless-steel container and let it sit on a coffee warmer for a couple of hours until the bubbling stops.
- Transfer the oil into a bottle and let it cool.
7 Ways Of Using Hemp Oil
Hemp oil is a versatile product that has a wide array of application techniques suitable for different needs and preferences. It may be consumed in its purest form or by infusing it in other products such as lotion, hair mask, food, and beverage.
Vaping with hemp-infused e-juices is a healthier alternative compared to smoking canna-cigarettes. Inhaling the cannabinoid-rich vapor is an instant way of delivering the effects of hemp seed oil. The compounds immediately enter the bloodstream through the oxygen exchange in the thin membranes of the lungs’ alveoli. Thus, the results manifest in a matter of minutes.
- 6 ml Premade vape e-juice such as Vapeur extract
- 6 ml Hemp seed oil
- Microwave-safe bowl
- Stainless or silicone spatula
- Melt the hemp seed oil in the microwave for 90 seconds under the lowest available temperature setting.
- Using the spatula, mix the heated oil and the premade e-juice until well incorporated. The hemp seed oil-infused e-liquid is ready for use.
Topical applications transform hemp oil into portable remedies for relieving external and localized pain. Salves and lotions immediately provide hemp oil’s benefits by directly contacting the affected skin tissues. Thus, the pain can be quelled in a matter of minutes.
- 1/2 cup Shea butter or cocoa butter
- 1/3 cup hemp seed oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 3-5 drops essential oil (optional)
- Mixing bowl
- Hand mixer or spatula
- 8-ounce jar or container
- Whip the shea/cocoa butter in a bowl until soft.
- Add the hemp seed oil in small amounts while mixing in between.
- Incorporate the essential oils to the mixture then add the cornstarch. The powder will eliminate the grease in the lotion.
- Scoop the finished product into a jar or container.
- If the lotion has a thicker consistency than desired, gradually add more hemp seed oil.
- When using unrefined hemp seed oil, keep the concoction away from sunlight to prolong shelf life.
Adding hemp seed oil to bland beverages elevates the refreshment experience to a whole new level. Aside from warm drinks, the oil may also be incorporated in cool thirst quenchers that are perfect for humid days.
Mixed Berry Hemp Smoothie Recipe
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
- 1 and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond-coconut milk blend (or other non-dairy milk)
- 2 tablespoon pumpkin seed protein powder
- 5 pieces Hemp Heart Bites; chopped
- 1 teaspoon hemp oil
- 5-8 drops liquid vanilla (to taste)
- Small blender
- Chop the Hemp Heart Bites into tiny bits. Set some aside for garnish.
- Place frozen mixed berries, almond-coconut milk, protein powder, hemp hearts, hemp oil, and vanilla into a small blender.
- Blend everything until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- Pour into a glass and top with some chopped heart bites.
Hemp Oil Hair Mask
The use of organic hair care products eventually results in a voluminous and salon-gorgeous mane. Moreover, incorporating hemp oil in hair masks helps lock in moisture in the scalp, thereby preventing hair breakage and dandruff. Frequent application of the product also significantly boosts hair strand and scalp health.
- 5 tablespoons hemp seed oil
- 3 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
- 5 tablespoons avocado oil
- 5 drops Argan oil
- 1 whole banana
- 5-10 drops of Rosemary or Eucalyptus essential oils
- Apple cider vinegar
- Leave-in conditioner (optional)
- Disposable shower cap
- Cut the banana into small pieces and pour into a blender.
- Add the hemp seed oil, honey or agave nectar, avocado oil, and essential oils. Deep conditioners may be used in place of honey or agave nectar.
- Blend the ingredients until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- Evenly apply the mixture to damp hair. Work through the strands and focus on the ends.
- Cover hair with a disposable cap and leave it on for 30-45 minutes.
- Rinse hair with lukewarm water then with apple cider vinegar.
- Apply leave-in conditioners and other hair care products for a more fragrant hair.
Hemp-infused meals have more nutritional value due to the addition of healthy polyunsaturated fats such as linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acid. These oils can be used as a substitute in meals calling for oil. It can be used in pesto, salad, and the likes.
Basil Hemp Seed Pesto Recipe
- 3 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup hemp seed oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pepper (to taste)
- Nutritional yeast (optional)
- Pasta of choice
- Food processor/high-speed blender
- Place all ingredients except the hemp seed oil and salt in a food processor or high-speed blender.
- Turn on the food processor and gradually pour the oil into the feed tube until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the pesto together with the pasta of choice.
- Store the remaining mixture in a tightly sealed container. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
The surface underneath the tongue is covered by a thin membrane lined with tiny capillaries. Administering a few drops of hemp seed oil or hemp tinctures in the area saturates the membranes and allows the blood vessels to absorb the compounds. Consequently, the active ingredients quickly enter the bloodstream. After holding it in for 60 seconds, the oil may be swallowed for absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.
Commercially produced oils may contain saturated fats with little to no nutritional value. Fortunately, hemp seed oils can be used instead of the unhealthy oils required in cooking recipes. However, it must be noted that hemp oil has a low boiling point, so it must not be used for deep frying.
Sautéed Vegetable Medley Recipe
- 1 tablespoon hemp seed oil
- 1/2 head cauliflower, broken into florets
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)
- Large skillet
- Wooden spoon
- Heat hemp seed oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add and sauté cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots in the skillet.
- Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Stir the vegetables to coat.
- Cook the vegetable medley for about 8-10 minutes or when they begin to tender and turn to golden brown.
- Serve and garnish with sesame seeds.
Versatile Oil For Various Needs
Similar to its cannabis counterparts, hemp oil possesses great potentials in remedying various health conditions – from mild ones to even grave issues such as cancer. The numerous benefits derived from the consumption of this product proves that the cannabis plant, as well as its derivative species and phytocannabinoids, knows no bounds when it comes to providing holistic wellness to the human body. Thus, it deserves further attention from the medical and legal sectors of society.
Hemp oil’s versatility in terms of intake methods also makes it a sustainable and practical alternative to commercially-produced remedies. Its multiple ways of use allow the exploration and tailoring of methods that suit specific needs and requirements. From edibles to vapors and tinctures, each possible hemp oil application provides nature’s healing capabilities without compromising convenience and comfort.