Proven Benefits of Hemp Oil and CBD Oil: For Skin, Pain and More (Science Based)

Proven Benefits of Hemp Oil: For Skin, Pain and More

Hemp oil is a healthy oil that can help to soothe pain, reduce inflammation, alleviate stress, and promote good heart health. Although hemp oil is derived from the cannabis plant, it should not be confused with marijuana or cannabis oil. Most of the health benefits of hemp oil come from the cannabis compound cannabidiol (CBD). Sometimes, hemp oil is referred to as CBD oil.

Hemp oil that is produced for its health benefits doesn’t have the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is because, even though hemp and marijuana are both from the cannabis family, they are distinct varieties. You can safely use hemp oil for its therapeutic benefits without fear of getting “high.”

In this article, you will find out what science has revealed as to the reasons why hemp oil is good for you. You will also learn about any side effects of taking hemp oil for its medicinal uses.

What Is Hemp?

Hemp is a flowering plant with thin green leaves that is a member of the Cannabis sativa family. Hemp and marijuana look similar because they are both species of the cannabis plant. Hemp leaves are longer and thinner than marijuana leaves.

Researchers say that hemp has been cultivated for centuries because of its therapeutic, pain-relieving properties. Industrial hemp uses hemp fibers, hemp seeds, hemp stalks, and hemp leaves to produce medicinal and industrial products. (1)

The cannabis plant contains more than 100 different cannabinoids. The benefits of hemp come mostly from cannabidiol (CBD) which is the most abundant cannabinoid in hemp. (2)

Because hemp and marijuana are related plants, there are some similarities in the chemical makeup of these cannabis plants. However, there are some important differences to consider when using hemp for its medicinal benefits.

Cannabis vs. Hemp (vs. Marijuana)

It is important to remember that hemp and marijuana are not one and the same thing.

The journal PLoS One reports that marijuana and hemp are significantly different when it comes to their gene structure. (3)

Extracts from marijuana plants contain high levels of the psychoactive compound delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There are also a number of medicinal uses of THC, however, many countries legislate against products containing this cannabis compound because of its psychoactive effects. (3)

Hemp also contains levels of THC, but in much smaller amounts. Most governments stipulate that THC levels in legally-produced industrial hemp products should not exceed 0.3%. (2)

Unlike marijuana, hemp contains low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. Research has shown that CBD has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have a neuroprotective effect. Some of the conditions that CBD oil could be good for include anxiety, epilepsy, movement disorders, and multiple sclerosis. (2)

Because hemp contains strong fibers, it is generally cultivated for industrial use. However, in countries where growing marijuana is restricted, hemp is also grown for its therapeutic value.

Using hemp oil or CBD oil does not cause you to get high and can be used for a wide range of medical conditions.

Hemp oil is also extracted from marijuana plants where the THC levels are lowered to be less than 0.3% of the dry weight of the leaves.

Hemp and the Cannabis Sativa Family

Hemp and the Cannabis Sativa Family

The Types of Hemp Oil

Oil can be extracted from various parts of the Cannabis sativa plant that can be used for its nutritional and medicinal properties.

Let’s look briefly at some of the different ways the types of hemp oil are good for.

Hempseed Oil

Hempseed oil (or, hemp seed oil) is pressed from the seeds or nuts from the hemp plant.

Research into the nutritional value of hemp seed oil has shown that the oil is an excellent source of healthy fats. Hemp seed oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and has a good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. (4)

The best way to use hempseed oil for its heart benefits is to use it in a salad dressing or consume a tablespoon every day. Researchers also say that consuming hempseed oil is good for strengthening your hair and nails. (4)

The high content of fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties means that hempseed oil is excellent for your skin.

For example, some studies show that hempseed oil benefits your skin by alleviating dry skin conditions. Hempseed oil could also be good for wrinkles and reducing the visible signs of aging. Hemp seed oil also contains vitamin E which is an important antioxidant for your skin. (34)

You can also benefit from hempseed oil by purchasing capsules that contain it.

Hempseed oil only comes from the hemp plant, not from the marijuana varieties.

Good quality hempseed oil tastes like walnut oil or sunflower oil.


CBD oil is extracted from C. sativa leaves and stalks and can be produced from both the hemp plant and marijuana plant.

CBD oil (also referred to as hemp oil) contains many powerful antioxidants that are good for your health. Research into the benefits of CBD oil has shown that hemp oil helps to reduce anxiety, inflammation, and feelings of nausea. CBD oil is also good for protecting your cognitive function and may even help in treating some neurological disorders. (5)

Research has also shown that hemp oil with high cannabidiol properties is also good for your skin and reducing joint inflammation. (6)

Some studies indicate that the long-term use of CBD oil up to 1,500 mg per day is well tolerated without any adverse effects. (5)

Hemp Flower Oil

Oil extracted from hemp flowers is hemp essential oil which also has many therapeutic benefits.

Researchers have found that essential oil extracted from industrial hemp has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. (7)

You can use hemp flower oil to improve your mood by also putting some drops of hemp essential oil in your vaporizer and breathing in deeply.

What is Hemp Oil? Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil

Hemp oil contains high levels of the cannabinoid compound CBD, and many people refer to both of these products interchangeably.

Many types of hemp oil are a combination of hemp oil and hemp extract. However, all hemp oils contain CBD and therefore are sometimes referred to as CBD oil. Some large online retailers sell hemp oil but restrict any reference to CBD.

What is cannabis oil?

Cannabis oil is not the same as hemp oil because cannabis oil is extracted from the marijuana plant and contains high levels of THC. Cannabis oil is legalized in some countries where it is sold for recreational and medicinal purposes.

Hemp Oil Extraction Methods

The journal Molecules says that the best quality hemp oil (CBD oil) is extracted using the CO2 method to ensure that it contains CBD. That helps to keep all the other benefits of hemp oil such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and cannabinoids. (8)

Uses of Hemp Oil (CBD Oil)

There are many ways to use CBD oil to help improve your sleep, lower stress levels, boost your cardiovascular health, and reduce inflammation.

You can use hemp oil drops by placing a few drops of the hemp oil under your tongue for pain, insomnia, stress, or other health benefits.

Hemp oil is also available in capsules or pills that can be a good vegan alternative to taking omega-3 fish oil for your heart health.

You can also massage a few drops of CBD oil into inflamed, sore joints to help get rid of pain or inflammation.

What Hemp Oil Is Used For: Hemp Oil Benefits

Let’s look in more detail at scientific research as to the many uses of hemp oil and how CBD-rich oil can help to address many health concerns.

Hemp Oil Can Help to Alleviate Pain

One of the most popular uses of CBD oil is to help manage pain and conditions that result in chronic pain.

A study from 2017 found that CBD in hemp oil has pain-relieving properties without producing psychotropic effects. Cannabidiols target pain pathway signaling and can help to soothe painful sensations. (9)

Other studies have found that hemp oil containing CBD has an analgesic effect. Hemp oil acts to affect certain chemicals in the body (adenosines) that are connected with pain. Research has also revealed that CBD may have a more potent pain-relieving effect than THC. (10)

Some studies have shown that cannabis compounds such as CBD have the potential for treating chronic pain conditions. Administering CBD oil can help to treat symptoms of neuropathic pain and other types of chronic pain. (11)

To use CBD oil for pain, you usually put a few drops of hemp oil under your tongue. To learn about more ways of dealing with chronic pain, please read my article about the fibromyalgia diet.

Hemp Oil Reduces Inflammation

Another benefit of CBD-rich hemp oil is its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory in the body.

One study found that CBD helps to reduce inflammatory responses in the body and can help block compounds in the body that cause inflammation. (12)

Taking hemp oil daily could also benefit you if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers found that taking CBD oil daily can help to reduce the severity of inflammation in arthritic rats. (13)

CBD also helped to reduce inflammation caused by diabetes. (13)

Learn about which foods you should eat to help reduce chronic inflammation in your body.

Hemp Oil Contains Powerful Antioxidants

CBD in hemp oil is also useful for helping to protect your body from the effects of oxidative stress due to its levels of antioxidants.

Research into the benefits of the compound cannabidiol has found that it has a free radical scavenging effect. In fact, hemp oil is so good for your health because its antioxidant activity is better than vitamin C or vitamin E. (10)

Most scientists agree that vitamins C and E are essential for good health and helping to boost your body’s immune system. (14)

Learn more about what other natural ingredients help to rid your body of the effects of oxidative stress.

Hemp Oil Promotes Good Heart Health

Because CBD oil contains high levels of omega-3 and omega-6, hemp oil is good for your cardiovascular health.

The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reported that CBD helps to relax tension in your blood vessel walls. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of CBD help to protect your heart from tissue damage and can lessen the severity of a heart attack. Cannabidiols can also help prevent blood cells from clumping together that can lead to clots. (15)

Research has also shown the cardio-protective effect on humans using CBD-rich hemp oil. Regularly consuming hemp oil can help to improve heart function, prevent damage to heart tissue, and reduce cardiovascular stress. (16)

Find out what else you can do to help keep your heart in good shape and lower your risk of a heart attack.

Hemp oil can help lower blood pressure

One small trial on 9 people with high blood pressure found that taking 600 mg of CBD helped to lower blood pressure. Researchers noted that taking CBD especially helped reduce blood pressure when stress was the underlying cause. (17)

Please see this article for more advice on lowering hypertension naturally.

Hemp Oil Can Benefit People with Diabetes

CBD oil could be good for you if you suffer from diabetes because it helps lower substances that cause inflammation.

For example, the journal Autoimmunity reported on a study of the anti-diabetic effect of Cannabidiol (CBD) on mice. Scientists found that treating mice with CBD helps to both prevent diabetes and also lessen some of its complications. (18)

Other studies into what hemp is good for have found that CBD may protect against cardiovascular disorders in people with diabetes. (16)

Learn how to lower your risk of diabetes and its complications by adding some of these foods to your diet.

Hemp Oil Can Help Treat Anxiety and Stress

Hemp oil containing CBD can also be good for you if you suffer from psychological or emotional stress or from anxiety disorders.

Many studies point to the fact that CBD benefits your brain and helps to improve mental function.

For example, a 2015 review of the benefits of cannabidiol found that CBD is a good natural treatment for anxiety-related disorders. Studies have shown that doses of hemp oil with CBD between 300 mg and 600 mg taken orally have an anti-anxiety effect. (17)

Taking hemp oil can be beneficial if you need to treat panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or chronic stress. (17)

One study found that taking 600 mg of CBD can help to reduce social anxiety disorder. Participants reported that their stress levels were reduced when taking a dose of CBD 1 and a half hours before having to speak publicly. (18)

You can also use hemp oil for anxiety that results in panic disorder. (19)

Some studies also show that inhaling hemp essential oil relaxes the brain and can help to reduce stress. This means that hemp essential oil can also help you if you suffer from anxiety, unresolved stress, or depression. (20)

Find out about other natural home remedies to help deal with long-term stress and anxiety.

Hemp Oil Has an Anti-Depressant Effect

The non-psychoactive compound CBD in hemp oil can also help to lift your mood if you suffer from depression.

Studies involving animal subject have found that CBD stimulates neuroreceptors in the brain that are connected with mood and anxiety. CBD interacts with the neuroreceptor 5-HT1A which can help to protect against depressive disorders. (21, 22)

Research published in 2018 also found that CBD has an anti-depressant effect and is connected with serotonin levels in the brain. (23) Serotonin is a powerful neurotransmitter necessary for emotional processing, and imbalances are connected with depression and panic disorders. (24)

Learn about other natural serotonin supplements that you can take to help fight depression naturally.

Hemp Oil Protects Cognitive Function

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD and its positive benefit on your mind mean that hemp oil can help to improve brain health.

Research published in 2017 found that the ability of CBD to boost cognition has a neurological protective effect on the brain. Treatments involving CBD can help to reduce cognitive impairment and have a therapeutic effect on some neurological disorders. (25)

The results of some studies into the positive effects of CBD on brain function have found that CBD treatment could help people with Alzheimer’s disease. (26)

As well as avoiding habits that can damage your brain, you can learn about many herbs and foods that help to improve your brain function.

Hemp Oil May Help Relieve Migraines and Headaches

One of the health benefits of CBD oil is to reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches and migraines.

Your brain has cannabinoid receptors that are involved in thought processes, mood, and dealing with stress. (27)

Some scientists theorize that some types of migraines are due to clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD). Cannabinoids such as CBD can help to affect receptors in the brain that help to reduce pain, inflammation, and feelings of nausea. Researchers concluded that CBD could be a novel and effective way to treat some types of migraine. (28)

Doctors from WebMD also report that CBD oil may have potential benefit in easing headache pain and migraines. One study found that taking CBD oil helps around 40% of migraine sufferers to experience fewer migraines. (29)

Learn about other natural ways to treat a migraine naturally and how a nutritional deficiency could be the cause of your migraines.

Hemp Oil Has an Anti-Epilepsy Effect

Hemp oil with its CBD content may be good for people who suffer from seizures because of its anticonvulsant properties.

The Journal of Epilepsy Research reported on the result of 3 trials on the efficacy of purified CBD in epilepsy treatment. It was found that CBD can help to reduce the frequency of seizures. Researchers are unsure if it was the effect of CBD alone or using CBD in conjunction with anti-seizure medication that made it a potential therapeutic option of people with epilepsy. (30)

A review of 36 studies on the effects of CBD found that taking doses of 20 mg per kg of body weight could help to reduce epilepsy symptoms in up to 50% of patients. Trials have shown that CBD can be an effective anti-seizure treatment for epilepsy when traditional medication is ineffective. (31)

Other studies have also shown that CBD has a positive effect on cannabinoid receptors with potential use as an anti-epileptic treatment. (32)

In 2017, the United State Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a highly purified form of CBD for the treatment of seizures. (28)

Hemp Oil Has Anticancer Properties

Cannabinoid compounds such as CBD in hemp oil have potential use in treating various types of cancer and tumors.

The journal Cancer Medicine reports that oils containing cannabinoids are used to help manage pain in cancer treatment. However, CBD also has a therapeutic effect on some cancer cells. For example, some lab trials have shown that CBD and other cannabis compounds may have a toxic effect on cancer cells. (33)

CBD has been linked to helping reduce the number of cancer cells in prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal cancer, as well as melanoma and leukemia. (33)

More research needs to be done to see exactly how hemp oil with its high levels of CBD can help treat cancer.

Learn about how your diet could play a role in helping lower your risk of developing some types of cancer.

Hemp Oil for Acne

Topical CBD oil is also good for skin care and helps to treat blackheads, pimples, pustules, and other signs of an acne breakout.

You can use hemp oil for acne because it is anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce the production of sebum. Research has shown that CBD is a highly effective agent that helps to regulate sebum. Scientists found that CBD has a potential use as a natural acne vulgaris treatment. (35)

Cannabinoids in hemp oil can also help to reduce skin inflammation and get rid of redness, swelling, and skin bumps that are characteristic of acne. (36)

Other studies into the benefits of hemp oil for acne have found that CBD is more effective than vitamin C or E in treating acne skin conditions. (5)

You can apply a little hemp oil to your face, neck, or back to help reduce the number of acne lesions.

You can also try some of these natural acne treatments for pimples and find out how to use tea tree oil for acne.

Use Hemp Oil for Eczema

You can also use CBD oil on your skin to reduce pain and inflammation associated with contact dermatitis (eczema).

Research published in 2018 on cannabis compounds found that CBD helps to reduce inflammatory responses in eczema. CBD helped to inhibit cytokines that are often present in skin inflammation. (37)

Other studies have shown that taking hempseed oil capsules for eczema can also help to manage symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Hempseed oil helps relieve eczema because it is rich in omega-6 and omega-3. (38)

Learn about other ways to soothe skin that is sore, dry, and cracked that is the result of eczema.

Hemp Oil as a Topical Pain Reliever for Joint Pain

The high levels of CBD in hemp oil mean that you can massage the oil into sore joints to help manage chronic pain.

One study on animal models found that the pain-relieving compounds in hemp oil easily permeate the skin. The study found that massaging a CBD gel helped to relieve arthritic pain in joints in a 4-day period. Researchers found that the hemp cream reduced joint swelling and alleviated pain. (39)

Other studies have shown that CBD oil can help get rid of joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. (40)

You may also be able to use CBD oil for chronic back pain.

Apart from massaging hemp oil into sore joints, find out what other essential oils are effective for joint pain.

Side Effects of Hemp Oil

Hemp oil doesn’t cause any of the side effects that marijuana causes. CBD oil is classed as a nonintoxicating oil with pharmacological effects.

Researchers have reported that the most common side effects of taking hemp oil are fatigue, diarrhea, and changes to appetite. (5)

Doctors from WebMD also report that taking hemp oil as directed by the manufacturer could cause some lightheadedness, a dry mouth, and possibly low blood pressure. (41)

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