Hemp is increasingly being found in beauty products and supplements, praised for its ability to help manage stress, support healthy immune function, soothe aching joints, and more.(Heck, it even has its own national holiday.) If the science-backed benefits of hemp have you curious, but you don’t know how to start incorporating the product into your routine, you’re in the right place.
What are hemp oil and hemp seed oil, and how are they different from CBD?
People often confuse hemp seed oil and hemp oil (also known as hemp oil extract) for CBD and vice versa, but there are a few key differences between them. All are members of the Cannabis family but come from different parts of the Cannabis plant: Hemp seed oil is cold-pressed from the seeds of the plant and does not contain CBD. Hemp oil can come from all parts of the plant except the roots, and CBD can be found in all parts except the roots and seed.
What’s more, hemp oil contains over 140 cannabinoids—chemicals found in cannabis plants—including CBD as well as THC, CBN, and CBG. It also contains terpenes and flavonoids, both of which are organic compounds that give plants their specific odor and flavor profiles. These different compounds work together synergistically and are thought to be more beneficial for the body than isolated CBD compounds. Researchers have dubbed this phenomenon “the entourage effect.”
“The entourage effect describes a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts,” explains Jessica Knox, M.D., MPH, co-founder of the American Cannabinoid Clinics and a preventive medicine physician. “We know that phytocannabinoids are more effective and better tolerated when taken together and in concert with their co-occurring terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals than when they are taken in isolation.”
How to use hemp oil and hemp seed oil in your life.
Here are some of the most common ways you can start using cannabinoid-rich hemp oil extract and the less medicinal hemp seed oil in your everyday life:
Take it as a daily supplement to promote a sense of calm.
If you’re looking for a holistic remedy for stress, hemp oil supplements may help.A 2011 clinical review study found that oral doses of CBD cannabinoids specifically have been shown to help manage feelings of stress and anxiousness, while a 2004 neuroimaging study found that they promoted activity in the region of the brain associated with resolving stress.Be sure to look for a full-spectrum supplement (it’ll either come in a dropper or gelcap form) and follow the dose instructions on the package.
As functional medicine expert Robert Rountree, M.D., reminds us, stress is the root cause of many illnesses, so keeping it in check is important. “Stress is the great amplifier,” Rountree said on the mindbodygreen podcast. “Pick your disease and stress is always there, which means to me, whatever illness a person comes in with, at some point I’m going to talk to them about how they manage stress.”
Massage it onto the skin to soothe aching muscles after a workout.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice in the gym or a pro athlete—sometimes a good workout can leave your muscles feeling hellishly sore. This type of stress can cause your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to hinder its production of CBD receptors, but supplementing with hemp oil could help.
Take it as a supplement before bed for a good night’s sleep.
Since hemp oils contain cannabinoids like CBD and CBN, as well as terpenes, its antioxidant properties help support a glowy complexion.Plus, research shows cannabinoids help manage oil production in acne-prone individuals and promote healthier skin.You can incorporate hemp oil into your skin care routine by taking an oral supplement or applying hemp-infused beauty products topically.
Use it on your face to help manage inflammation and acne.
Oftentimes, those who regularly experience symptoms of stress also struggle to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, upward of 40 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder like insomnia.
At this time, it is unclear whether or not hemp oil can help with insomnia, but research shows it might be able to help short-term sleep problems by helping manage stress and pain, therefore making it easier to relax and fall asleep.Try taking a full-spectrum hemp oil supplement before bed for snooze support and sweet dreams.
Take as a dietary supplement to promote a healthy gut.
Upset stomach? Hemp oil has been shown to help manage inflammatory bowel conditions in mice, so it could be worth a try if you suffer from symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and cramping.*
Hemp seed oil (remember: no cannabinoids here!):
Massage it onto the scalp for hair health.
Hemp seed oil is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which promote hair density and protect against hair loss when taken orally.If you have dandruff, very preliminary research also shows that topically applying hemp seed oil strengthens the skin and makes it more resistant to bacteria and infections.Start by massaging a few drops onto the scalp, or make a DIY mask by mixing up your own hair care elixir with hemp seed oil and ingredients like coconut or avocado oil.
Run it through hair strands to promote hair growth and strength.
Hemp seed oil’s omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to promote hair growth.To reap these benefits, you could take a hemp oil supplement, or give hemp-oil-infused hair products, like shampoos and hair drops, a try.
Apply to your nails for stronger cuticles and growth.
Because of its antifungal properties, hemp seed oil can be an excellent addition to DIY salon treatments.Try rolling the oil directly onto your nail and cuticles to support nail strength and stimulate growth.
There are many different uses for hemp products, and the only way to find out what works for you is to give it a try!
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
And are you ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.