Chances are, you’ve noticed the plethora of “420-inspired” businesses that have been sprouting up ever since more and more states (including my home state of California) have been legalizing the “devil’s lettuce.”
This has also lead to an explosion in the popularity of its relatives, like cannabidiol (CBD).
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: your skin will love it!
You don’t have to smoke it, ingest it, or get “high” at all for your skin to appreciate the benefits of CBD, otherwise known as “full spectrum hemp” or “industrial hemp.”
Because full spectrum hemp is not the same thing as marijuana and is not psychoactive, you don’t have to worry about “getting high” or altering your state of mind at all.
Additionally, full spectrum hemp is legal in all 50 states, so you don’t have to live in California to appreciate the beauty benefits of this byproduct!
I know this may still seem a little confusing, but don’t worry, we’re just getting started!
Come along and learn more about the history of industrial hemp, how it’s used, its benefits, and most importantly: what it can do for your skin!
When you’re finished with this article, you’ll wish you gave it a second glance sooner!
Where Did Industrial Hemp Come From?
While industrial hemp is what we’re going to want to use on our skin, hemp itself is used in a ton of ways — from hemp plastic to hemp protein powder to hemp fuel.
But, who invented it? And who makes it?
Essentially, hemp is the fiber and seed part of the Cannabis Sativa L. plant.
The “flower” part of the Cannabis Sativa L. plant is what we legally consider marijuana.
Carbon tests have suggested that the use of wild hemp dates as far back as 8000 B.C., but we know for sure that hemp was cultivated in Great Britain back in 800 AD.
The notorious Henry VIII actually urged farmers to plant tons of hemp so that the British Naval Fleet could use hemp fiber and oil to build their battleships, not to mention the hemp paper that was used for maps.
In 17th century America, farmers in certain states were required by law to grow hemp, and could be sent to jail if they didn’t do so!
In colonial America, hemp was sometimes used as currency that settlers could pay their taxes with!
Hemp is traditionally known as a “cash crop,” and grows quickly in a variety of soil and weather conditions.
It’s typically ready to harvest in four months and is meant to be grown on a large scale for low costs.
Fun fact: Per acre, it produces four times as much paper as trees!
While hemp was once harvested by hand, by 1920 all hemp production was handled by machinery due to a breakthrough in machinery that could harvest 1000 pounds of hemp fiber per hour.
China is currently the lead producer of hemp, but Australia and Canada are starting to catch up!
Agricultural hemp is the official title for this plant that is extremely low in THC and won’t result in an altered mental state when ingested by humans.
While it’s technically legal to purchase throughout the U.S. (more on this later), farmers still need a special permit from the DEA to grow hemp themselves.
This brings me to my next point…
Why Has Industrial Hemp Suddenly Become So Popular?
I know what you’re thinking: If hemp has been used for thousands of years, why am I just hearing about it now? And why is it suddenly everywhere?
Well, here’s where things get kind of complicated (and legal).
It has to do with how the oil is made.
Here’s where things get tricky.
Up until the late 1960s, the US government recognized that full spectrum hemp and marijuana were two different varieties of the cannabis plant (one could get you high, and one could not).
Unfortunately, after the Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1970, the US government no longer recognized the distinction between the two.
Therefore, growing hemp actually became illegal after the 1970s, and is only now beginning to once again become legal in states such as Colorado that are changing their laws.
Keep in mind that while it’s illegal to grow hemp, it’s not illegal to own products with hemp in them, so regardless of where you live, you can go crazy on the hemp-oil bath bombs and moisturizers!
Still skeptical? Then keep reading – I’ll get into the nitty-gritty of legal jargon, but try to keep it somewhat simple.
The “illegal” part of the Cannabis Sativa plant is the THC (which is the stuff that will get you high).
As we know, CBD does not get you high, but it still can contain a small amount of THC.
If the plant contains less than 0.3% of THC, it’s considered hemp according to the Agricultural Act of 2014.
If it contains more than 0.3% THC, it’s considered cannabis, therefore making it illegal in states that haven’t legalized marijuana.
Unfortunately, there are three government agencies who aren’t on the same page when it comes to where they draw the line on cannabis-derived products: the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and the DOA (Department of Agriculture).
Without getting into each agencies’ exact position on full-spectrum hemp, I’ll just sum it up by saying that the agencies currently “agree to disagree” and have accepted that products are on the market in all 50 states.
However, the FDA did just approve Epidiolex, a medication made with full-spectrum hemp to treat seizures this past July, so it seems like they may be softening their position on the Cannabis-derived substance.
If the DEA was to change its position to be against full-spectrum hemp and start enforcing it, they would go after manufacturers and distributors, not innocent skincare-loving beauties like you and I — so don’t you worry!
And if you’re worried about transporting these beauty products during your travels, don’t be!
It’s legal to bring into all 50 states, and it’s very unlikely anyone would notice your products had full-spectrum hemp in them unless you pointed it out.
Long story short (well, not really that short now, was it?), the reason we haven’t heard about its benefits previously is because scientists, dermatologists, and the like didn’t bother researching the potential of a plant that wasn’t legal to use.
Now that more states have been legalizing marijuana (whether medically or recreationally), people have started seeing everything that the Cannabis Sativa plant can do.
So, what can industrial hemp do for you?
Can it help you sleep? Can it help with anxiety? And most importantly, how can it (sometimes called the “fountain of youth”) make your skin look amazing?
Keep on reading!
What Are Some of the Benefits of Using Industrial Hemp?
It’s not just for your cosmetic bag (although I have a feeling it’ll find a home there real fast).
At this point, you may be wondering exactly how it helps pain.
Without getting too science-y on you, one of the reasons full-spectrum hemp oil has so many beneficial effects on our body is due to the human body’s endocannabinoid system.
Essentially, our endocannabinoid system is located within our central nervous system and peripheral nervous system and helps to maintain homeostasis within our body (AKA keeping our body in equilibrium).
Naturally, something derived from the Cannabis plant effects something called the endocannabinoid system since their names are so similar.
Some people liken industrial hemp’s effects on our bodies to the effects we feel from something like acupuncture, both have homeostatic effects that work to keep our body feeling balanced.
Human bodies aren’t the only ones who can benefit from it.
If you’re a fellow animal lover, your favorite furry friend may be interested in full-spectrum hemp oil as well!
While there is still lots of research to be done, preliminary studies have shown that it can be a great tool for the veterinary industry — helping your pooches to eradicate their pain.
What Can Industrial Hemp Oil Do For My Skin?
With all these scientific explanations, medical studies, and legal jargon, you may be wondering what industrial hemp oil can actually do for your skin.
To that, I say great question! And I’m so excited to answer it for you!
Let’s start with one of the most widely-beneficial perks: it’s super moisturizing!
Some of the ladies I know that live in dryer climates (think California, Colorado, and Nevada) swear by hemp skin salves to keep their hands and lips from becoming chapped and cracked.
Because industrial hemp oil is all-natural, it won’t clog your pores and result in any acne or blemishes.
In addition to its moisturizing properties, it’s also anti-inflammatory and has analgesic properties, which means not only can it help your skin heal, it’ll also combat any pain or discomfort you may currently be feeling.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Reach for your industrial hemp-infused lotion the next time you accidentally get a little sunburnt for some quick relief!
Similarly, this analgesic effect is why you may have seen it in rubs made for sore muscles or achy joints.
How Else Can Industrial Hemp Be Used?
Maybe you tried a lip balm and suddenly want to get your hands on all things industrial hemp, or maybe you’ve already got your skincare routine down pat and want to explore other ways to incorporate hemp into your home.
Whatever your reasoning, never fear, there are lots of fun ways to sprinkle it on your life!
- Take It In a Capsule
If you’re not keen on dabbing a drop of oil on your tongue, don’t you worry!
You can get industrial hemp oil in capsule form from tons of places, including Amazon!
Keep in mind that taking the oil under your tongue has been proven to be the best absorbed, but I totally understand that method can be a pain when you’re on the go.
Of course, as you should with any supplement, consult your doctor first before adding industrial hemp oil to your daily routine.
Doctors also recommend taking your supplements with something fatty or oily for optimal absorption (think a handful of nuts or a bowl of yogurt).
- Stock It In Your Pantry
You may have heard of pot brownies, and while cooking with full-spectrum hemp oil won’t leave your guests with any unwanted surprises, it can provide a host of benefits and added deliciousness to your favorite recipes.
Some food bloggers are even touting it as the new coconut oil!
The benefits involved in cooking with hemp oil — such as helping to reduce cholesterol plus the host of benefits mentioned previously — might explain why.
The flavor of hemp oil is similar to olive oil in that it has a flavor (it’s a bit nutty and earthy), but won’t overpower the other ingredients.
This food blogger recommends adding full-spectrum hemp oil to chocolate chip cookies, guacamole, and more!
I’m getting a bit hungry just thinking about it!
- Pamper Yourself On Your Period
Many women say that full-spectrum hemp oil helps them relieve cramps and other period symptoms.
When you think about its natural properties, it makes perfect sense!
After all, full-spectrum hemp oil naturally promotes muscle relaxation, reduces stress, and combats inflammation.
If you’re eager to try some the next time Aunt Flo pays you a visit, you can try an infused topical solution rubbed on your lower back and lower stomach, you can also ingest the oil in a capsule form.
- Soak It Up In The Spa
Who says you need a reason (or a “problem”) to try these products for yourself? Not me!
Why not treat yourself to a luxurious full-spectrum hemp oil bath bomb while you spend the evening soaking away all your worries?
Or, sip on some warm turmeric ginger tea that’s blended with it?
If you’re a fan of essential oils, you may want to try industrial hemp essential oils.
Try massaging them into your temples for added relaxation before you get some shut-eye.
How Can I Ensure I’m Buying Quality Products?
As is the case with many beauty products (especially newly trendy ones), it’s important to do your research to ensure what you’re buying is the real deal and not an imitation or blended with fillers.
Ideally, you want to be sure that the company you’re purchasing products from manufactures its own products, sources its own ingredients, and has its own extraction process.
Because of this, you’ll have to do your own sleuthing to ensure you’re getting the real deal.
But don’t worry, I have some tips!
If you plan on ingesting the industrial hemp oil as is or using it in cooking, you want to make sure it is cold-processed and unrefined.
This means that the oil hasn’t been messed with and still contains all of its nutrients.
You may also want to see exactly where the plant was grown.
Many experts recommend looking for brands who source their cannabinoids from organic-certified, hemp-grown farms in countries where hemp has been legal for generations, such as European countries.
In particular, Germany has a very strict regulation of agriculture, and the EU has strict organic standards, so you’ll know to trust their seals of approvals.
You’ll also always want to make sure the products you’re buying are certified organic and wildcrafted.
Lastly, you may want to try to find out how industrial hemp oil is extracted in the product you’re considering purchasing.
You’ll want to look for oil that was extracted using the supercritical (or subcritical) CO2 extraction.
This method preserves the most nutrients and keeps the hemp oil in its purest form.
While it’s the most expensive method, it ensures quality.
Another method that’s a-okay is extraction by ethanol.
This method may not be as pure as the Supercritical method but is still completely safe to ingest.
And of course, as with everything else you purchase on the Internet, be sure to check reviews!
While everybody is different and everyone has their own preferences, usually the bad seeds will be sorted by someone else before you do!
Hopefully, more and more states begin legalizing the production of hemp, and then these products will be more formally regulated and less work for the ladies likes us who are simply looking to keep ourselves (and our skin) healthy and beautiful.
Is There Anyone Who Shouldn’t Use Full-Spectrum Hemp?
There aren’t many known side effects to using industrial hemp oil, but some medical-users (who take it orally and regularly) have reported dry mouth, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, changes in appetite, and drowsiness.
Like with any supplement or new product, you should speak with your doctor first, especially because it’s possible for the oil to affect your body’s ability to metabolize certain medications.
For this reason, you should not take industrial hemp oil orally if you are currently taking blood thinners.
There hasn’t been enough research done on the effects in pregnant or breastfeeding women, so if you have a newborn baby (or hope to soon), you should refrain from using it.
Additionally, there hasn’t been enough research to show if it is safe for use in children at this point, so better to stay on the safe side!
Lastly, some early research has also shown that industrial hemp can have a negative effect on those with Parkinson’s Disease.
Keep in mind that these side effects and studies have been done on orally ingested oil, not on topical application.
It’s very unlikely that you will experience any negative side effects from using a nice industrial hemp lip balm or lotion, but it’s good to know in case you notice something is off!
Just like any beauty product you’d use, there’s a very small chance you’ll have any negative side effects unless you are allergic or have purchased a knock-off product that’s filled with artificial ingredients.
You might be wondering – can industrial hemp cause itching?
Only if you’re allergic!
Otherwise, it has actually been shown to be a great treatment for itchiness and pain (think psoriasis).
If you’ve never had any contact with industrial hemp before, I would recommend testing yourself like you would with any new beauty product — by rubbing a small amount on a patch of your skin — before going to town on it!
There you have it, lovelies! I hope I’ve debunked for you some of the common misconceptions about full-spectrum hemp and that you are going to try incorporating it into your very own skincare routine! Have more questions about it? Or stories about your own experience with it? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!