The use of different plant parts for their therapeutic effects is as old as human civilization. However, with dramatic improvements in the modern western medicine system in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the rich body of ancient wisdom about herbal medicines got relegated to the backseat.
It became customary to disregard the rich body of ancient medical wisdom as ignorant and superstitious – unworthy of serious attention. However, the last 30 years have seen the emergence of renewed interest in traditional herbal medicines.
In July 2019, reputed market analyst firm Market Research Future reported that the global market value of herbal medicines would cross $129 billion by 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.88%. The four major product categories are herbal pharmaceuticals, herbal functional foods, herbal dietary supplements, and herbal beauty products.
One of the plants with a history of thousands of years of human use that has resurfaced in this era of resurgent interest in herbal medicine is hemp. Also known as industrial hemp, this non-drug variety of cannabis belongs to the plant species Cannabis Sativa L.
Hemp contains very little tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychotropic chemical that causes the “high” in narcotic cannabis. Overlooking this vital difference had led to hemp being marked a contraband narcotic across much of the globe. Only recently have different countries started removing that stamp of stigma from hemp.
Hemp is an amazingly versatile plant that human beings have been cultivating and using since ancient times. Among its many benefits is the positive impact that hemp seed oil can have on the human skin.
As the name suggests, hemp seed oil gets extracted from the seeds of the industrial hemp plant through cold-pressing. Hemp seeds are nuts. Hemp seed oil has a nutty taste and a grassy flavor. Unrefined, it varies between light to dark green in color. Refined hemp oil is colorless.
Suitable for use both in the edible form and for topical application, hemp seed oil can improve skin health in several different ways. It generally improves skin quality. There is enough evidence to reflect that hemp seed oil has therapeutic effects on many skin disorders as well.
About 49% of hemp seeds is oil. When extracted through cold-pressing, the oil retains much of the extraordinary nutritional profile of the seeds. This nutrient-rich feature of hemp seed oil makes it effective in improving general skin health. The chemical composition of the oil makes it therapeutic for several skin disorders.
Hemp seed oil is rich in several vitamins including vitamins A. C. and E, all of which are beneficial for the skin. Another remarkable feature of hemp seed oil is that it contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in just the proportions that the human body needs. That gives the oil its healing powers.
Omega 3 and omega 6 are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that the human body needs. However, they interact with each other in a variety of ways, so that their presence in a particular ratio is of optimal benefit for human beings.
Three portions of omega 6 to one portion of omega 3: this 1:3 ratio is what is ideal for human beings, experts say. That is the exact ratio in which these two PUFAs are present in hemp seeds. Hemp seed oil retains that. Hence its healing powers.
Whether you consume hemp seed oil as a dietary supplement or apply it on your skin, or the affected part of your skin in case there is a problem – its benefits will be the same. The important point is, these are not empty claims. Evidence generated by scientific research and experiments backs them.
Among all the vitamins, vitamin E is particularly helpful for the skin. Apart from nourishing the skin, vitamin E has the capacity to reverse the damage done to the skin by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Every 100 grams of hemp seed oil contains 100 to 150 milligrams of vitamin E.
Vitamin A is also necessary for firm and healthy skin as it stimulates the growth of fibroblasts. These are the cells that function in the deep layers of the tissue to maintain our skin health. Vitamin C, on the other hand, helps skin regeneration. Both these vitamins are present in hemp seed oil.
This oil is good for all skin types as it can moisturize the skin without clogging the pores. It benefits oily skin just as it soothes dry skin. The topical application of hemp seed oil on dry and chapped skin helps restore skin smoothness by hydrating it.
Hemp seed oil also regulates oil production in the body, which makes it suitable for oily skin. Skin dehydration is one of the reasons behind the body producing excess oil. Oral consumption or topical application of hemp seed oil reduces the production of extra oil by hydrating the skin.
In the case of oily skin, applying the oil on the body may not be a preferred mode. It doesn’t really matter as oral consumption will have the same effect of regulating oil production.
Hemp seed oil contains linoleic acid and oleic acid, both of which have important anti-aging properties, That is why hemp seed oil can help prevent the fine lines and wrinkles that come with age. Even when used after such lines and wrinkles have started to appear, this oil has the capacity to reduce them.
Intake of hemp seed oil as a dietary supplement will help prevent your skin from aging. However, if you intend to apply it on your face, it is best to do an allergy test first. Clean up the crook of your elbow, apply a little bit of hemp seed oil, and cover it with a bandage. Let it remain for 24 hours.
Be careful not to get the bandage wet. If you feel no irritation, you can safely use hemp seed oil for topical application. In case there is any itching or burning sensation, remove the bandage immediately and wash the crook of your elbow with soap and water.
Apply some soothing lotion or an antiseptic ointment after that. In that case, of course, this oil is not for you. However, such an event is unlikely as hemp seed oil generally does not produce any allergic reactions.
In addition to helping human beings have a glowing and healthy skin, there is evidence that hemp seed oil has healing effects on several skin problems. ,
Both oral consumption and topical application on the face is helpful for dealing with acne. Excess oil production is what is responsible for acne. Hemp seed oil helps get rid of acne by hydrating the skin and regulating the body’s oil production.
Please do remember the allergy test in case you want to apply it on your face.
A 2018 article in PLoS One reports that hexane extracts from hemp seed oil is effective in treating inflammation caused by severe acne, known as acne vulgaris. It is a chronic disease caused by inflammation, fueled by several factors.
However, a detailed understanding of how these factors cause the inflammation is not yet known to medical science. That makes this experiment considerably valuable for developing therapeutic drugs for treating acne vulgaris. The experiment specifically points out that hexane extracts can overcome the antibiotic resistance of this disease.
A 2005 article in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment reports that dietary intake of hemp seed oil has a therapeutic impact on those suffering from atopic dermatitis. The topical application of hemp seed oil can also help those suffering from psoriasis.
Atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, is a condition that causes itchiness and redness of the skin. Usually occurring in children, eczema can strike at any edge. It is a chronic condition that flares up from time to time.
Several triggers such as allergic reaction to certain kinds of fabric, peanuts, pollen, etc, can trigger an onset of eczema. Dry skin and external infections are also factors responsible for a flare-up.
In the 20-week study mentioned above, the researchers discovered that adding hemp seed oil in the diet changed the PUFA profile in the plasma. That is how the clinical symptoms of atopic dermatitis got reduced.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition where extra skin cells build up on the surface of the skin and form scaly red patches. There is scientific evidence that fish oil as a dietary supplement helps control this skin condition.
Hemp seed oil is comparable to fish oil in its PUFA profile. In fact, the omega3: omega 6 ratio is not as good as in hemp seed oil. By extension, then, it is reasonable to infer that hemp seed oil will also have beneficial effects for psoriasis patients.
Vishal Vivek, Co-founded Hemp foundation to increase awareness about hempseed oil
usage. He believes that we can fight climate change, water crisis, and plastic pollution
with Hemp. Times Group recognized him as a legendary entrepreneur and published his
biography “I Did IT- Vol 2” at the age of just 30!
Author Email id – info.hempfoundation.net