The rise of Cannabidiol (CBD) products has drawn a great deal of attention to the hemp plant, but hemp offers much more than just this phytocannabinoid. Hemp is an incredibly versatile and useful plant; it has applications in a wide range of industries from textiles to biofuel, as well as personal uses entirely independent of CBD.
One of the most widespread uses of the hemp plant is hemp oil. Also often called hemp seed oil, this culinary ingredient and nutritional supplement is celebrated as a vegetarian source of fatty acids. Here’s what you should know about hemp oil.
What is hemp oil?
Hemp oil is made from the seeds of a hemp plant. This cold-pressed, unrefined oil is commonly used in cooking, as a nutritional supplement, and as an ingredient in many household products, including soaps and skincare products. It’s high in polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats, and is widely regarded as one of the best vegan sources of omega-6 fatty acids. In personal care, hemp oil is known for its ability to leave skin feeling soft and hydrated, thanks to its high essential fatty acid content.
A note on a name
The term “hemp oil” has been used interchangeably to refer to CBD oil and hemp seed oil, but the two products are not the same.
Some CBD oil manufacturers will use the term “hemp oil” to circumvent the strict parameters for marketing and advertising the phytocannabinoid. Some hemp seed oil manufacturers may do the same to attract customers searching for CBD. No matter its nametag, the two products are distinct. Hemp seed oil does not contain any cannabinoid content, nor is CBD oil used in the kitchen like cooking oil. When we refer to hemp oil in this Magazine, we are discussing hemp seed oil, the phytocannabinoid-free nutritional supplement and skincare ingredient. When we refer to hemp extract, that’s the ingredient that contains CBD, as well as other cannabinoids, terpenes, polyphenols and other beneficial compounds.
How is hemp oil made?
Hemp seeds are harvested from hemp plants and then cold-pressed to separate the cells of the hemp seeds from the fibers. Cold pressing requires the use of a hydraulic press, which applies thousands of pounds of pressure to the seeds to extract the oil. The result is an unrefined oil that is light or dark green and translucent.
Unlike CBD oil (otherwise known as hemp extract), hemp oil does not contain significant levels of cannabinoids. Cannabinoids, like CBD, are primarily located in and around the flowers of the plant. This is because the resin glands of a mature plant, known as trichomes, contain most of the cannabinoids and terpenes. Since hemp oil is produced from the seeds of a hemp plant, and not the flowers, there are little to no cannabinoids in hemp oil.
What is hemp oil's nutritional value?
Hemp oil is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, including linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). This nutritional value is in large part responsible for the benefits hemp oil offers, both for skincare and general health and wellness.
Hemp seed oil contains many nutrients, including Vitamin E. It also contains carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A, and boasts a wide array of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.
Eight potential hemp oil benefits
Hemp oil’s rich nutritional profile lends itself naturally to a healthy diet. In addition to its impact on healthy and vibrant skin, research suggests that this oil’s nutrient profile can support your long-term health and wellness goals. Here's a look at five potential benefits of hemp oil and the promising research that supports those benefits:
- 1. Hemp oil can return balance to dry or flaky skin. Hemp oil's significant concentration of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as the GLA found in hemp oil, can right your skin’s imbalance in moisture content.
- 2. Hemp oil can reduce redness. This oil’s calming properties can help tone down the appearance of visibly-irritated skin.
- 3. Hemp oil won’t clog pores. Its high levels of essential fatty acids keep skin moisturized, keeping out the dry skin and buildup that triggers pore clogging and acne.
- 4. Hemp oil can help improve skin appearance. High levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid, derived from omega 6s and omega 3s, keep your skin appearing vibrant and youthful.
- 5. Hemp oil can support cardiovascular health.
- 6. Hemp oil could reduce menstrual discomfort: A 2011 study published in Reproductive Health found that polyunsaturated fatty acids may alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The study found that essential fatty acids can address prolactin levels, which are elevated in those who experience PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness and bloating.
- 7. Hemp oil can be good for mental health: Our brains need healthy fats to operate properly.
- 8. Hemp oil contains antioxidants: A study published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science in 2008 concluded that antioxidant therapy “represents a promising avenue for treatment” and called for more research into this important benefit.
Finding space for hemp oil in your routine
Just like the hemp plant itself, hemp oil is extremely versatile. It offers you a wide range of applications and effective uses, which is why this nutritious oil is found in so many products, from a kitchen staple to a skincare wonder.
At Prima, we're harnessing the power of hemp for happy skin. Our diverse line of CBD-infused skincare pairs phytocannabinoids with the hydrating power of hemp seed oil and other ingredients blended perfectly for soft and glowing skin. Our fast-absorbing Skin Therapy body butter unites hemp seed oil with jojoba oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and other nourishing compounds. The Soak It In bath gem introduces hemp seed oil and CBD into regular self-care routines, while the Night Magic facial oil works its charm overnight, so you wake up to glowing skin. If radiant skin is your primary goal, one of our skincare products may be the match you’ve been looking for.