Hemp oil has been getting much more attention in recent years, thanks to a dedicated group of people wanting the right to legally grow industrial hemp, but there’s still some confusion between the various products available from this plant genus. Let’s look at the differences.
Hemp Oil vs CBD oil vs Marijuana
Hemp & marijuana both come from the Cannabis Sativa plant, however they are different varieties with differing levels of chemical compounds. Marijuana used for psychoactive properties is higher in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which when heated (through smoking or cooking) is what gives the “high” normally associated with this plant species. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 113 cannabinoids found in this plant and CBD oil is what most people are talking about when they refer to “medicinal marijuana”, which is used to alleviate anxiety, pain & depression. Some cancer patients also find it useful. It is generally made using the whole plant, utilising a solvent such as alcohol to extract the CBD, with the alcohol mostly removed through heating. This results in a thick, resinous oil that is higher in CBD & low in THC. Hemp, on the other hand, contains lower amounts of THC and other cannabinoids, so does not produce psychoactive effects. Hemp oil is pressed from the seeds, resulting in a clear green oil with a distinctive grassy aroma & taste that contains no THC, CBD or other psychoactive compounds.
Benefits of Hemp Oil
Hemp seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids that our body needs to maintain cell wall structure, maintain an effective skin barrier, regulate cholesterol production and maintain hormonal balance. Hemp seed oil has the perfect balance of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids to modulate inflammation in the body. Hemp oil can be used both internally and externally, although there are different laws around the world regarding the ingestion of hemp products. In fact, eating hemp foods has only been legal in Australia since November 12th, 2017, whereas previously hemp was covered by the same prohibitive laws as marijuana. The range of hemp foods on the market now includes not only hemp seed oil, but hemp seeds, hemp powder, vegan protein powder with reishi mushroom & hemp protein, even a kombucha homebrew kit with hemp seed oil.
Benefits are skin deep
As a woman in her mid-40’s that has lived with eczema & sensitive skin for most of those years, I just want to share the benefits hemp oil has on the skin and the experiences I’ve had using it.
Taken internally, hemp seed oil has been shown to both reduce skin dryness & itching in atopic dermatitis (eczema) and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, dryness & atrophy (thinning) of skin. I’ve also been using hemp oil products externally & have found them to be non-irritating (YAY!), deeply moisturising and effective in soothing breakouts of eczema quickly. The skin on my face has a dewiness I hadn’t seen in years.
I had the pleasure of visiting Teresa McDowell from Hemp Hemp Hooray when I visited her shop in the Adelaide Hills earlier this year. She has been involved in lobbying governments and educating people on the benefits industrial hemp for many years. After her first child was born, she worked in aromatherapy before going on to study therapeutic massage. As someone who is passionate about the environment, she learnt about the many benefits of hemp as a crop and after the birth of her third child, opened a shop in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia 12 years ago, blending hemp oil with essential oils to complement her massage business. Upon moving back to South Australia, she learnt to make emulsions and her business has grown from there. She still blends all of her products in small batches in a specially designed room at the back of her store which visitors can view through a large window, so she has total control over the quality of the products. There are no artificial ingredients, no petroleum oils, no allergens & no synthetic fragrance. Just beautiful, effective natural ingredients combining the therapeutic effects of organic hemp oil and pure essential oils.
Her range is simple but effective, utilising a 2-step process to care for skin. First, there is a Cleansing Cream that reminds me a little of the cold cream I remember my Mum and Grandmother using when I was young – albeit in a pump bottle and made without the mineral oil and synthetic fragrance. It easily removes make-up and can be used in combination with the hemp fibre face washer to gently exfoliate the skin. The face washer is also great to use all over the body when showering.
Step 2 is your choice of moisturiser. The Night Cream is a really rich moisturiser that gives you an extra boost of skin nourishment at night, or it can be used in the day if you have super-dry skin, which is what Teresa does. With jasmine, frankincense and palmarosa essential oils, it is also balances your skin, so is equally suited to those with irritated or greasy skin. The Vitamins A, D, E & F are particularly helpful for sun damaged skin. Because it is so rich, you only need a tiny amount, so a jar lasts for ages.
The Daily Moisturiser is great for normal/dry/aging skin, combining hemp oil, almond oil and shea butter with the therapeutic benefits of rose and patchouli essential oils. This is the one I like to use best and it’s great under mineral make-up, ensuring there are no dry patches of skin. Finally, there’s the Skin Soothe cream. This has a witch hazel base, so is great for oily and combination skin, as well as those prone to acne (check out the Natural Acne Care Pack). The astringent properties of the witch hazel also make this cream a great aftershave moisturiser and many people (including myself) have found it fantastic on eczema, burns, skin ulcers, chicken pox and other compromised skin conditions. It’s one of those multi-purpose creams that is a must-have in your home first aid kit.
If you want a specific eye cream, Teresa has just released her Precious Eye Emulsion with hemp seed oil, shea butter, aloe vera & chamomile to refresh & revitalise tired eyes (you can read more about it HERE). She’s also created her ‘Floral Fire’ Body Lotion with a nurturing blend of organic hemp oil, jojoba, apricot kernel oils, shea and cocoa butters, along with certified essential oils of lavender, geranium & patchouli to relax the body, balance hormones & soothe dry, itchy skin.
I’m one of those “canaries in the coal mine”, often reacting to “hypoallergenic” products that other people seem fine with, but this range has been brilliant & I can’t recommend them highly enough. As a bonus, you can get them HERE at 20% off RRP until the end of November 2018. Just click ‘Log In’ on the page to create your free account before you add products to your cart, and check your emails after signing up as you’ll receive a message with a discount code for Free Shipping if you spend $99+ on your first order. With Christmas only a couple of months away, these products also make beautiful gifts for teens through to great grandparents. Be sure to have a look at some of the other things available in-store while you’re there.
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