Skip to Main Content

What is Hemp Oil?

*This article is purely informational and does not constitute medical advice. Consult your healthcare provider about CBD.

 

What is hemp oil? Hemp oil is part of an ever-expanding list of Hemp-derived products that are becoming a staple in today’s market. In 2020 alone, the global hemp market was estimated at $3.6 billion and expected to grow well. 

Hemp oil is one of the famous hemp-related products consumers are vouching for. So what makes hemp oil promising? What is hemp oil used for? What is hemp oil good for?

Let’s find out. 

 

What is hemp oil?

 

Hemp oil, short for hemp seed oil, is made from the small seeds of Cannabis sativa. It is harvested through cold-pressed hemp seeds and has a clear green appearance that may yield a nutty flavor. 

A stand-out feature of hemp oil from the sea of cannabis products is the little to no presence of THC in it. To those unaware, hemp cultivated in the US must follow a strict set of rules mandated by the 2018 Farm Bill. 

One of the important rules is that the hemp plant used to produce products such as hemp oil must not surpass a THC content of 0.3%. 

That 0.3% content is completely negligible – similar to non-alcoholic beers at 0.5% alcohol.

 

RELATED: Does CBD only come from hemp?

 

Hemp oil nutrition

Hemp seeds are also edible and nutritious as they are high in fiber, alongside those precious essential fatty acids. Hemp oil contains precious omega-3 and omega-6. It also contains large amounts of iron, which is known to help with iron deficiency or anemia. 

Omega-3 and 6 are essential but are not produced by the body and are primarily acquired through diet. This is why doctors and nutritionists call them essential fatty acids. 

What is hemp oil used for, or what are the other benefits hemp oil is marketed for? 

 

Disclaimer: 

The information presented here is not meant as a substitute or alternative to information from healthcare professionals and in some case is still subject to studies and research. Consult your healthcare provider about hemp seed oil before use.

 

Hemp oil uses

 

  • Skin health: Hemp oil is currently being studied deeply as the presence of various essential oils and fats are providing potential benefits for skin health. 

According to a study, patients were given hemp oil in an attempt to treat Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis. The study concluded after 20 weeks that the patients’ conditions dramatically improved thanks to the nutritional contents of hemp oil.

In another study, a nutritional supplement of omega-3 links to a lower prevalence of psoriasis in West African regions. Simply put, omega-3 in the diet helps the skin combat the effects that lead to the body having psoriasis.

One study looked at the contents of hemp oil, especially the proteins and fatty acids on the brain functions of aging mice. The researchers found that hemp oil provided a host of positive effects, including increased antioxidant effects, and better blood regulation

Another stand-out effect of hemp oil being rich in omega-3 is the ability to relieve inflammation. In this study, the addition of omega-3 in the diet can help lower the presence of inflammation in the body that leads to other complications.

  • Muscle pain: One source of muscle pain is the associated effects of muscle inflammation. After exerting work or effort on the muscles, they typically inflame due to repair mechanisms done by our cells. But of course, pain is a side-effect we want to avoid.

According to a study, the presence of omega-3 and omega-6 in hemp oil is beneficial to the body. By adding hemp oil to the diet, a nutritional balance is achieved in the body. That balance provides benefits such as the increased function of cells that prevent inflammation, blood clots, and immune regulation.

  • Reduces the risk of heart diseases: One of the leading causes of death in the US is heart-related illnesses. According to the CDC, it is the leading cause of death regardless of sex, race, or ethnic group. Heart diseases account for 659,000 deaths annually in the US and cost the country $363 billion.

Although the research progress is preliminary and still poorly understood, one component of hemp oil is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). According to research, alpha-linolenic acid plays a vital role in preventing heart diseases such as coronary heart disease. Therefore, the study concludes that ALA can be a potential protective agent of the heart.

 

RELATED: Can CBD oil lower blood pressure?

 

Hemp oil vs CBD oil: Difference of CBD oil and hemp oil

 

To begin with, contrary to popular belief, hemp oil is not CBD oil. That is because of the nature from where both these oils are extracted from.

Technically speaking, hemp oil is shortened from hemp seed oil. As the name implies, the oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant through the cold press method.

Botanically speaking, CBD or cannabidiol (and by extension THC) exists in hemp seeds in minute amounts – ranging from nanograms to micrograms per every gram of hemp seed oil. That’s 5 to 8 zeroes after the decimal point.

 

RELATED: CBD vs. THC: What you need to know

 

But that’s not a knock on hemp oil’s capabilities for wellness. Instead, it serves as a benefit to those who want hemp goodness but not the effects of cannabinoids. Remember, mentioned earlier, hemp oil exerts its effects through proteins, iron, and essential fatty acids.

On the other hand, CBD oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. Where hemp oil benefits from fatty acids, CBD exerts its effects through its qualities as a phytocannabinoid.

What does it mean for CBD as a phytocannabinoid? CBD affects the human body through the endocannabinoid system. A wholly different pathway that affects inflammation, mood, appetite, pain, and more.

RELATED: Why different cannabinoids work better together?

 

How to use hemp seed oil?

Topical use

 

The topical application of hemp oil works best for skin-related purposes. 

Before applying hemp oil on the skin, do a patch test first for noting any signs of allergic reaction to the product. 

  • How is a patch test done?
  1. Wash and dry a small patch of skin, preferably the forearm.
  2. Apply a small drop of hemp oil on your skin.
  3. Observe any adverse reactions such as reddening, itchiness, or marks over the course of a few hours. If symptoms escalate, call for medical help.
  4. If symptoms do not appear, hemp oil is likely safe for you to use.

 

  • Applying topically
  1. Apply a few drops of oil directly to the skin and let sit for one or two minutes.
  2. Wash with warm water afterwards.

 

RELATED: Why use hemp beauty products?

Oral use

 

Oral Supplements or Food Ingredients/Additive

 

You also have the option to include hemp oil in your daily supplements. If you don’t like taking hemp oil directly, mix it with other foods, drinks or recipes. 

According to the FDA, hemp oil is considered safe so long as they are prepared following food industry standards. So rest assured that you can be creative with hemp oil and your favorite recipes.

 

The Sublingual Way

 

Another common way of taking hemp oil is to take it sublingually. That is, to drop hemp oil underneath (sub) your tongue (lingual) and let it sit there for 30 seconds to a minute.

Taking hemp oil sublingually can be a faster way for it to take effect compared to other oral methods. Why? That’s because the area beneath your tongue and near the cheeks have capillaries that can readily absorb nutrients. Ergo, faster access to the bloodstream for hemp oil.

Unlike other oral methods such as eating, hemp oil has to be absorbed through the stomach. Next, it has to pass through the liver before finally entering the bloodstream. 

 

Don’t forget to consult your doctor

It’s best to consult with your doctor regarding the oral intake of hemp oil, especially if it’s your first time. The oral intake of hemp oil may also cause digestive problems like diarrhea, depending on the person’s tolerance.

 

Side effects of hemp oil

 

Hemp oil, alongside CBD oil, has been deemed as having a “good safety profile” by the WHO. Likewise, the FDA has also stated that hemp oil is safe for different uses.

According to some studies, hemp oil has no predefined adverse effects. In fact, in this particular study, no patient experienced any side effects for the duration of the treatment.

However, every product has its possible side effects. But across the statements from the FDA and WHO mentioned earlier, and the various other studies, the side effects tend to come from the potential accumulation of CBD and THC from prolonged or improper use.

As stated earlier, there technically is a very small amount of CBD and THC in hemp oil. Normally, average use should not have side effects associated with CBD and THC. However, poor quality products or abnormally high consumption can possibly lead to some adverse effects.

 

RELATED: How to find reliable CBD products

 

Some of the associated side effects can include:

  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Loose stools

 

We also cannot discount the fact that people can be allergic to hemp-related products. If allergic-like symptoms appear while using hemp oil, stop immediately and seek the help of medical professionals.

Most importantly, even before using hemp oil, consider seeking the advice of a doctor or health professionals. They understand your health and body the best and would have great insight regarding your use of hemp oil.

 

Is hemp oil legal?

Cannabis has been under debate under the eyes of the law in the United States for a long time now. Since hemp is a plant relative to cannabis, it no doubt has fallen under the same scrutiny.

However, recently in 2018, the Farm Bill was passed, which allowed hemp to be cultivated in the US by following a strict set of rules. Likewise, this set of regulations has allowed hemp-related products to be produced.

 

RELATED: What the passing of the Farm Bill means for CBD?

 

In simpler terms, as long as the hemp product follows the 2018 Farm Bill, it is deemed legal.

But, it also has to follow State-specific laws as well. Even though hemp oil is legal federally under the Farm Bill, if State laws specifically outlaw the product, it can overrule its legality.

So it is important to be aware of local laws when purchasing and using hemp oil

Mentioned earlier as well in this article is the FDA stating that it allows hemp oil to be used as a food ingredient. Likewise, in the same statement, they also allow the marketing of hemp oil as a food ingredient.

All in all, if you are unsure of the legality of hemp oil in your area, it is in your best interest to contact your local government. However, it’s better to err on the side of caution, especially with your health and the law.

 

The Wrap

Although many are in the early stages, research and science seem to give merit to the wellness benefits that hemp oil can provide. 

At the same time, the positive light the FDA and WHO shine on hemp oil further solidifies this stance. Still, even though hemp oil is looking good to use, don’t forget to first talk with a health professional – your health is, of course, the top priority.

*For more tips, CBD product breakdowns, current events on anything CBD and hemp, explore Restorative Review’s complete collection of blogs and reviews.

 

“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”