In our ever-increasing healthy world, we’re undoubtedly becoming more familiar with hemp, embracing it in milled powder form, seed form or as flakes, adding them to breakfast cereals and baked goods or incorporating them into healthy shakes and smoothies. Indeed, hemp is nutritionally beneficial, containing high levels of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that can aid in lowering cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure and supporting a healthy immune system function. Hemp is also a great source of iron, manganese, magnesium, B-vitamins, Zinc and Vitamin E. And, if all that wasn’t enough boasting, there are companies making clothes from the fibres of hemp stalks, producing ethical and sustainable clothing. All in all, hemp is a pretty amazing plant!
Origins of Hemp
The hemp plant, also known scientifically as Cannabis sativa, is native to Central Asia and was first cultivated for fibre in what is now China as early as 2800 BCE. It spread through Europe during the Middle Ages, arriving in North America in 1545, thanks to the Spanish introducing the plant to Chile in the early 1500s. The plant’s fibres were commonly used for clothing, paper, rope, and sails, with the seeds for food. And apparently, Abraham Lincoln used hemp seed oil to fuel household lamps in the 1840s.
What is Hemp Seed Oil?
This natural essential oil is obtained by pressing hemp seeds and turning them into hemp seed oil or hemp oil. The seeds are first cold-pressed and then processed into refined or unrefined hemp seed oil. Refined hemp seed oil doesn’t contain the nutritional benefits that unrefined hemp oil delivers, so choosing unrefined hemp oil is always the better choice. The oil is usually dark to clear green in colour and has a nutty flavour, and the darker it is, the grassier it will taste. However, you shouldn’t confuse hemp oil with CBD oil.
So, what's the difference between Hemp Oil and CBD (Cannabidiol) Oil?
Although the two oils come from the same plant, they offer different benefits. CBD oil uses the hemp plant’s leaves, flowers and stalks containing higher amounts of CBD or Cannabidiol to aid certain medical conditions. On the flip side, hemp oil comes from the plant’s seeds and offers a nutritional benefit that CBD oil is missing.
Hemp Seed Oil Skincare: Balmy Fox
Balmy Fox loves essential oils, so it’s a no-brainer to incorporate this nourishing hemp oil into our skincare range to work as a rich hemp seed oil moisturiser. It delivers high omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids such as linoleic acid, γ-linolenic acid, and α-linolenic acid that our bodies can’t produce. These fatty acids play an essential role in anti-ageing and overall skin health by working together to hydrate and help soothe inflamed skin, redness and irritation, delivering intensive hydration and moisturisation that excessively dry skin needs.
Hemp oil in skincare helps to rejuvenate and nourish dry skin that can often feel tight and itchy by restoring the skin barrier and allowing it to retain moisture. That’s why we use this skin-quenching essential oil here at Balmy Fox in many of our sports skincare, including our super intensive hemp seed oil hand cream that comes in a moisturising balm. Similarly, we developed our hemp chafing cream, especially for skin irritations caused by friction and repetitive motion, and Balmy Fox’s best hemp foot cream for dry and hard skin also has a dose of hemp oil too. In fact, we value hemp oil so much that we also include it in our water-resistant SPF sunscreen—everything you need for protected, healthy, hydrated skin.
Is Hemp Oil Good for Eczema and Psoriasis?
More than 75% of hemp oil is omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, and it’s these very high levels in this hero oil that can help soothe inflamed skin, reducing itching and irritation. Indeed, a 2014 study found the benefits of hemp seed oil on skin were particularly favourable for treating eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and acne rosacea. In addition, it showed hemp seed oil, for eczema and other skin conditions, assists in strengthening the skin, making it more resistive to bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
Undoubtedly, this champion hemp oil is an ingredient that’s super beneficial for sensitive, irritated skin. It’s the perfect essential oil in a rich emollient moisturiser, especially as a hemp cream for eczema or as a nourishing ingredient in an intensively hydrating hemp cream for psoriasis. Remember, though, to always perform a patch test before introducing any new skincare product or ingredient to your skin!