The benefits that hemp oil can provide to the skin and hair when applied topically are bountiful. Here we discuss a few of the ways hemp oil can enhance the overall health of your skin and hair.
Hemp oil contains many components, including cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), vitamins, and minerals, that have a bevy of health benefits. When hemp oil is applied topically, it is absorbed directly through the skin. Cannabinoid receptors are located throughout the skin, the body’s largest organ, making CBD a potential therapy for a range of conditions, from dry skin to skin cancer. Because it is applied right to trouble areas, the CBD hemp oil works directly where needed most and isn’t absorbed into the bloodstream.
The health and beauty industry has thrived with global estimates of the industry’s value reaching $265 billion for next year. However, many drugstore body products contain chemicals or synthetics. CBD hemp oil, on the other hand, is an all-natural choice when compared to harsher additives.
One of the most overlooked factors when it comes to healthy skin and hair is simple nutrition. Like any other part of the body, skin and hair need the right vitamins and minerals to function at their peak. Besides CBD, hemp oil contains a list of other essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fatty acids.
Vitamins C and E help protect hair from broken or split ends and protect skin and hair against damage from the sun as antioxidants. They also keep free radicals from damaging collagen and elastin, which give skin its tight, youthful appearance.
B complex vitamins are part of the construction process of skin, hair, and nails. Low levels of B vitamins in a diet can lead to dermatitis and hair loss.
Vitamin A and D help with healthy looking skin because they are responsible for skin repair. A lack of these vitamins in a diet can result in dry, flaky skin. Additionally, vitamin A is widely accepted as important for skin cell growth, inhibiting oil production, and promoting skin cell differentiation.
Hemp is particularly ubiquitous in hair care because it is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and, as such, is a great emollient to soften and smooth the hair. Fatty acids also help regenerate skin’s protective outer layer, leaving it smoother and younger looking. Those suffering from acne or dry skin could be lacking omega-3 fatty acids in their diet.
A 2010 study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology revealed that the endocannabinoid system is critical to the life cycle of basal cells, which make up around 90% of the cells in the epidermis. Healthy skin relies on the body’s ability to grow new cells and discard dead ones. Manipulation of the endocannabinoid system can help regulate the life cycle of cells for more radiant, youthful skin.
CBD as an antioxidant is even more powerful than Vitamin C, E, A, or omega 3 fatty acids, which are all also present in hemp oil, making CBD hemp oil a good source for antioxidants. Protecting the skin from free radicals, like UV rays, smoke, and environmental pollutants, is critical in having younger looking skin. Free radicals in the atmosphere cause fine lines and wrinkles; antioxidants protect our bodies from the damage of these free radicals, including fighting the effects of aging.
A 2012 study from Neurobiology of Aging demonstrated that mice bred without CB-1 receptors showed increased skin aging as seen in a loss of skin elasticity, which is associated with aging skin, further hinting at the importance of endocannabinoids for healthy skin.
Acne is frustrating, and among adults, it is surprisingly common. Besides its natural causes, acne can also be brought on by stress, hormone changes, changes in medication, and even current skin care products being used.
Acne involves the overproduction of sebum, an oily substance intended to protect the skin. Glands in our skin, typically near hair follicles, called sebaceous glands produce fatty oils called lipids. These lipids perform a number of functions, such as creating a barrier on our skin to keep out bacteria and viruses and working to lubricate and waterproof the hair and skin. Sebaceous glands and hair follicles both contain endocannabinoid receptors, meaning their functions are affected by cannabinoids.
Lipid production plays a critical role in both acne (over production) and eczema (under production). In acne, oil (along with dirt, dead skin cells, and bacteria) clogs pores, causing an inflamed blemish on the skin.
CBD can be used to affect the output of oils in the skin and hair. Specifically, CBD inhibits the lipid production in skin cells, making it an effective preventative for acne. However, manipulating this system can also be used to increase output of sebum as well to prevent dry skin issues.
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD can also control the other effects of acne because the skin around the zit is intensely inflamed. Pimples are effectively infections, and it is best to treat them as such. CBD can act as an antibacterial agent, decreasing the likelihood of further acne in the future.
Although CBD hemp oil shows effectiveness in beauty products, such as with anti-aging and acne relief, the elements in hemp oil hold promise in the treatment of a number of more severe skin conditions as well.
One study in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that phytocannabinoids, particularly CBD and cannabigerol (CBG), can control cell proliferation and differentiation, indicating they can be used in novel treatments for skin diseases like allergies or cancer. Anecdotally, CBD oil works on warts, moles, and even HPV outbreaks because it can cause cell death in these abnormally growing cell groups, but clinical research in this area is lacking.
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) has been shown to improve after treatment with hemp oil. Although the exact cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown, it is suspected to be a type of allergic response, with the corresponding rash associated with inflammation of the skin.
Like with eczema, researchers are unsure of the exact causes of psoriasis. It is thought to be linked to problems with the immune system, specifically white T cells in the blood. Researchers have seen promise in using cannabinoids to treat psoriasis through immune system regulation and anti-inflammatory effects.
Finally, cannabinoids have been shown to be particularly effective in controlling potential skin cancers like melanoma. Through its ability to control cell growth and death, CBD has been considered as a potential adjunct to current skin cancer treatments.
Written by Jeffrey Stamburger