Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the very first CBD-based drug, hemp and CBD oil have risen in popularity due to the public’s fascination with the potential benefits these oils may provide.
Hemp oil advocates claim that there is evidence that the oil has curative properties, such as the ability to soothe acne, improve sleep, alleviate pain, and reduce inflammation. However, this anecdotal evidence is not concrete and clinical research is yet to prove it.
So far, the FDA has only approved one cannabis-derived drug product which is Epidiolex. Epidiolex contains pure CBD for treating seizures associated with the Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, the Dravet Syndrome, and the Tuberous Sclerosis complex in patients above the age of 1. The FDA has concluded that Epidiolex is safe and effective. It is only available with a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider.
Regarding other potential benefits of hemp seed and CBD oil, before any concrete claims can be made more research is needed. Currently, the claims are purely anecdotal.
Difference Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil
Hemp seed oil is a clear green oil produced by cold-pressing ripened seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The oil contains a range of nutrients, fatty acids, and other valuable compounds that can have potential health benefits. It usually doesn’t contain any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component.
CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant and uses the flowers, stalks, and leaves for its production. These parts contain a higher concentration of CBD, a compound that may have a number of potential health benefits. CBD oil may also contain very low and insignificant levels of THC.
Read our related blog on: Difference Between Hemp & Marijuana
What Is Hemp Oil Used For?
Hemp oil is not for recreational use. The levels of THC in hemp oil are either very low or absent. Instead, it is used for the potential benefits it may have.
These potential benefits are likely to be due to the high quantity of beneficial fats and other helpful compounds in the oil.
Improves Skin Health
The authors of a 2014 review suggest that hemp seed oil may help treat various skin issues, such as:
Some people suggest that hemp oil can improve skin health by either applying it topically or consuming it.
Helps Regulate Oil Production
Hemp seed oil can be used on any skin type, as it is said to moisturize the skin without clogging pores. It can also regulate oil production, balancing oily skin without drying it out.
And for those with dry skin, hemp oil can be used to keep skin hydrated and prevent the overproduction of oil caused by dry skin, leading to acne.
Contains Anti-Ageing Properties
Hemp seed oil doesn’t just moisturise and soothe the skin. Some studies suggest hemp oil contains anti-ageing properties that can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles and prevent signs of ageing, thanks to the linoleic and oleic acids found in the oil.
A fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties can be found in hemp oil. GLA also encourages skin growth and cell regeneration.
Improves Common Symptoms Associated with PMS and Menopause
A study done in 2011 suggests that the unpleasant symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may be caused by low levels of the hormone prostaglandin E1 (PGE1).
The study showed that the GLA found in hemp oil assists in producing PGE1. When women experiencing PMS took 1 g of fatty acids that contained 210 mg of GLA, they experienced a noticeable decrease in their symptoms.
Furthermore, a 2010 study found that hemp seed oil helps protect against complications related to menopause due to the high levels of GLA in hemp oil.
Acts as an Antibacterial
In 2017 a study done on hemp oil concluded that hemp oil’s antibacterial properties inhibit the bacterial activity of many types of bacteria. One of them is Staphylococcus aureus, a dangerous bacterium that can lead to pneumonia and several other serious infections.
Used in Supplements
Hemp oil has a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acid, omega-6 fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid, and other nutrients, which is why many nutritional supplements contain it.
A 2011 study suggests that adding omega-3 acids, such as those found in hemp oil, can reduce inflammation.
Furthermore, a recent study discovered that the healthy fats in hemp oil might be good for the brain, which requires these fats to operate correctly. The study found that hemp oil containing these active compounds can protect the brain from inflammation
While these results look promising, scientists admit they need to carry out more studies on humans to confirm the benefits.
Increases Heart Health
Some studies suggest hemp oil may be good for the heart. One study done in 2010 notes that hemp oil may positively affect many health issues, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Another study from 2014 suggests that an increase in a fatty acid found in hemp oil known as alpha-linolenic acid (linolenic acid) seems to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the researchers admit more clinical trials need to be done to confirm these results.
What are the Potential Side Effects?
Hemp oil contains no THC, so it is safe for most people to use, and no significant side effects have been reported.
Some people who use it topically may experience slight skin irritation. This is why it is essential to do a patch test before applying it to the necessary area.
Oral use can also lead to mild adverse side effects in some people, such as:
Diarrhoea: Can occur due to the fatty nature of the oil. Start by taking a small amount daily before increasing the dosage to avoid this.
Interact with blood thinners by inhibiting platelets: This is why it is essential to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
While studies show hempseed oil has the potential to offer numerous benefits and is considered safe for most people, much more research is needed for conclusive evidence to be found as there is simply not enough proof for anecdotal claims to be verified clinically.
Although hemp seed oil is very popular, please consult your doctor before using it to see how it might react to any medication you are on or any conditions you may have.
It is essential to ensure that any hemp seed oil you use comes from a reliable source and is free of any plant matter that could add additional compounds such as THC.
If you liked reading this, be sure to check our other blog: The Ultimate Guide To CBD