Health & Wellness

Hemp Oil Benefits and Uses

By Melena Gurganus

Hemp oil is sometimes used as an alternative name for cannabidiol (CBD) oil, although hemp oil typically is a shortened term for hemp seed oil. Hemp seeds are packed with nutrients and are a member of the cannabis plants. Hemp seed oil is created by cold pressing hemp seeds into an unrefined oil that is commonly light or dark green in appearance. This oil can be used in a variety of ways and may work to improve overall health. Some people choose to eat hemp seeds whole, while others prefer taking hemp seed oil in order to gain its possible health benefits.

Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil

One of the most common advantages associated with hemp seed oil is its skin benefits. Hemp seeds contain an abundance of essential fatty acids that may help alleviate dry skin, eczema, and other skin irritations by offering certain benefits, including:

  • Moisturization
  • Anti-inflammation
  • Skin cell repair
  • Balanced oil production
  • Anti-aging properties

Hemp seed oil works to reduce irritation when applied topically to the skin because of nutrients like linoleic acid that enable skin cell generation and repair. These nourishing components are also responsible for the ability of hemp oil to moisturize the skin without clogging pores. Because of this, hemp seed oil can be used to alleviate acne prone skin by moderating its oil production and reducing the chance of clogged pores. Hemp oil can also be ingested for skin health benefits thanks to the gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that aids with inflammation and skin growth.

In addition to the many skin redeeming qualities of hemp oil, there are other heart health and immune system benefits that this oil may have to offer. The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids within hemp seeds are still present when they are cold pressed into hemp seed oil, where they may offer some cardioprotective effects, including:

  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Improved arrhythmias and resting heart rate
  • Decreased chance of heart disease

Hemp seed oil can also boost the immune system with the valuable nutrients it provides to our bodies. Humans need essential fatty acids to maintain good health, but cannot produce these on their own and must find other ways to ingest them.

How to Use Hemp Seed Oil

It’s clear that hemp oil has many uses, but how can you reap the benefits? Take a look at some of the ways you can incorporate hemp seed oil into your everyday life.

Hemp Seed Oil for Skin

If you’re looking to improve the health of your skin, we recommend using unrefined hemp seed oil or skin care products infused with hemp oil. Refined hemp oil has had many of the beneficial nutrients stripped away from the oil, and may not be as favorable when trying to moisturize and repair the skin. Similar to coconut oil, hemp seed oil also works as a great carrier when diluting essential oils that you want to apply to your skin.

Cooking with Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil has many uses in the kitchen, although it’s better to avoid heat exposure when incorporating this oil into a dish. A little bit if heat is fine, but too much may take away some of its beneficial nutrients and change the consistency or flavor. Hemp seed oil has a flavor profile similar to olive oil, meaning it’s not overpowering but has a distinct taste. This makes for a great addition to salad dressing, pesto sauce, smoothies, or other beverages.

Hemp Seed Oil for Hair

Just as hemp seed oil benefits the skin, it can also moisturize the scalp and hair follicles for healthier, shinier hair. The rich fatty acids within hemp oil can promote hair growth and strengthen hair strands, which reduces the appearance of dry, split ends and prevents against future breakage.

What’s the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil?

Hemp CBD oil is quite different than hemp seed oil, as they are often extracted from different parts of the plant. CBD oil is typically made by using an ethanol or CO2 extraction process to obtain cannabinoid-rich oil from industrial hemp plants, which produces very different effects when compared to a traditional hemp oil.

CBD oil is more commonly used as a dietary supplement for its anti-inflammatory properties to alleviate chronic pain, anxiety, sleep issues, and other ailments that are difficult to treat without the use of heavy medication. CBD products have been a rather hot topic as of late due to the large amount of people who use them with little information to go off of.

CBD oil is legal since it contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or the psychoactive component in cannabis. This means that hemp derived CBD products won’t make you high, but there are still many reservations from the FDA and consumers alike when it comes to this cannabis extract. Hemp seed oil on the other hand is less controversial, can be found in many local health food stores, and offers small health advantages rather than healing expectations.

[Learn more about the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil]

Is it safe to consume hemp oil?

While there is a lack of regulations surrounding CBD oil, hemp seeds and hemp seed oil have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who deemed these products safe for the general public to consume. Because of this, the cost of hemp oil is much less than that of CBD oil, and it’s also easier to purchase hemp oil across all 50 states.

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