Hemp for skin care - is it possible?

Date: 07.07.2017

''The skin is the largest human organ and should be treated with proper care, but that does not mean it has to be very expensive.''

Hemp with its botanical name Cannabis Sativa L. is a plant with versatile use, which was well known already a few millenniums B.C. Back then they used mainly its fibers for fabrics, sails and ropes. The use of hemp for nutrition happened later.

Hemp food products like cold pressed hemp oil, hemp flour, hemp tea and hemp sediment, as a by-product of oil filtering, are also used for skin care. Hemp oil with more that 75 % of unsaturated fatty acids is ideal for our nutrition because it has a positive influence on our immune system. It is also beneficial for our skin. Gamma linolenic acid (GLA), is a part of hemp oil among other fatty acids, has an anti-inflammatory activity and prevents the skin’s aging processes, itching or even autoimmune dermatitis and psoriasis. It can be said that GLA, omega 3 and other omega fatty acids are the winning combination which helps to preserve the complexion of our skin. Hemp oil also contains  vitamin E, known as an antioxidant, therefore its activity also helps slowing down the aging processes.

Hemp flour and hemp sediment can be used in the mixture with salt (or sugar) as skin peeling. You may be wondering - why flour or sediment from hemp? Because of their composition.  Roughness of hemp particles is suitable for the removal of dead skin cells and the protein composition of the flour provides quicker skin regeneration. Hemp oil in sediment additionally helps in the process of skin regeneration and smooth feeling.

Cannabinoids can be found in the hemp tea (dry flowers and leaves), particularly cannabidiol (CBD), which also has anti-inflammatory and relaxing effects. Since cannabinoids are soluble in fats, tea can be used for skin care. We can prepare massage oil, made of  cold pressed hemp oil as a base oil (or any other oil like almond, olive, jojoba...) and add crushed hemp tea and a few drops of essential oil. As an old proverb says - beauty is in the eye of the beholder – this is also true for our nose.  The smell which is pleasant for one person is not necessary pleasant for someone else. Because of that, the choice of the essential oils is best to be individual. This is one way our body is telling us what we need. If you aim to achieve anti-inflammatory effects and relaxation I personally recommend the use of lavender and/or hemp essential oil. If you want to increase circualtion simply use rosemary or citrus aroma.

Hemp essential oil has a soft sweet scent of the hemp plant and it is well known for its therapeutic effects. Therefore it can be an ingredient of many cosmetic products - from perfumes, repellents, soaps, deodorants, creams and many more. It is produced with steam distillation of hemp leaves and flowers. There are over 140 different mono- and sesquiterpens present in the hemp essential oil, many of them known for their anti-inflammatory and pain relief activities. D-Limonene,  α-Pinene, β-Myrcene, Humulene and β-Caryophyllene are the terpenes most abundantly present in the hemp essential oil, with proven anti-inflammatory effects.  β-Caryophyllene is also known to bind to CB2 receptors - similar as CBD.

So, how to best mix hemp food products with others components to get complete cosmetic products? General knowledge is accessible on many internet sites but you should always pay extra attention to find reliable sources. I strongly recommend participating in practical workshops, where you can get useful knowledge about maintaining skin moisture, reducing inflammatory processes, softening aging effects and increasing skin protection. You will also get additional inspiration to produce own cosmetics with hemp not only for yourself but also for your friends and family. The skin is the largest human organ and should be treated with proper care, but that does not mean it has to be very expensive.

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