Products made from hemp oil are a huge part of the wellness industry, but are they safe?
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What is hemp oil?
Hemp oil is the naturally occurring botanical oil extracted from the cannabis plant. Humans discovered hemp oil’s therapeutic properties centuries ago and have been using it as a medicinal plant ever since. While its therapeutic properties have been known for a long time, only recently has hemp oil been rediscovered and embraced by the wellness community to such a degree.
When the industrial strain of the cannabis plant is pressed it extracts a pale green botanical oil. Hemp oil is full of beneficial organic compounds that benefit the body in multiple ways, and it does not contain THC – the chemical associated with the marijuana strain of the cannabis plant. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized the THC-free strains are safe to use, and approved hemp seed oil for over-the-counter use, which means it can be bought by anyone without special restrictions or a prescription.
Hemp oil and the products made from it are classified as nutritional supplements and contains a unique mixture of natural plant-based compounds that combine to produce multiple therapeutic benefits. Today, thousands of wellness products contain hemp oil, and millions of people are using them which raises the questions – what are the side effects of using hemp oil regularly?
What are the benefits of hemp oil?
The therapeutic and health benefits of the hemp plant have been known for hundreds of years among cultures across the world. Cannabis has been used for generations as an ingredient in remedies, nutritional supplements, and topical ointments. Recently its popularity has exploded as the wellness community embraced hemp oil as a holistic remedy used in everything from pain relief creams to beauty products.
Hemp oil is unique among botanical oils in how many naturally occurring wellness compounds it contains. Hemp extract and hemp seed oil are full of beneficial compounds like amino acids, vitamins, antioxidants, omega 3s, moisturizers, and anti-inflammatories. These supplements combine to offer an amazing array of health and wellness benefits to various parts of your body. Some of the major areas of hemp-based therapy are:
Hemp-based topical pain relievers contain numerous anti-inflammatory compounds that may reduce inflammation. When rubbed on the skin the compounds penetrate the skin to reach the muscles and joints below, reducing inflammation, relieving the pain associated with arthritis, backaches, muscle, and joint pain.
Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, Hemp oil is full of skin rejuvenating compounds that deeply moisturize and benefit the skin. It cleanses, hydrates, and nourishes your skin. It’s full of nourishing vitamins as well as omega-6 fatty acids which can help reduce signs of aging. Because of its abundant skin-benefiting properties, hemp oil is used in an entire family of hemp-based beauty products for the skin.
While Hemp oil acts as a therapy on specific body parts like the skin, it’s also a holistic supplement that promotes overall bodily wellness, balance, and equilibrium. Hemp oil contains an abundance of nutrients that are internally beneficial and may help overall health. Sublingual is a popular oral supplement with a wide range of benefits.
What products use hemp oil?
The wellness industry today is dominated by a growing family of products that use hemp and hemp oil as their base ingredient. One branch of products contains a specific compound called CBD, short for Cannabidiol. CBD and Hemp Oil have abundant therapeutic properties, making them a perfect foundation for countless wellness products. Their popularity is fueled by people seeking a more natural counterpart to the health and beauty products they use every day.
Hemp Lotions and Skin Creams maximize the moisturizing and skin-rejuvenating properties of hemp oil to treat, soften and hydrate dry skin, replenish moisture, help reduce wrinkles, and the effect of dry, damaged skin.
Hemp Balms and butter offer deep moisturizing beyond that of lotions. Hemp balms easily penetrate the top layer of skin for the absorption of nutrients and are safe for sensitive skin areas such as the lips, making it perfect for Lip Balms.
The gentle moisturizing therapy of hemp oil makes it ideal for Face Creams as well as special creams for other body parts including Hand Creams, Foot Creams, and Massage Oil.
Hemp oil is a natural, non-irritating cleanser free from artificial detergents that won’t dry the skin. This makes it a perfect base ingredient for skin cleansers of every king including Soap, Body wash, Hand Sanitizer, Face Cleanser, Makeup Remover, and Shampoo.
Hemp oil has an SPF of 6 making it the perfect Sunscreen ingredient offering a degree of UV protection and its extracts to form a protection from the sun.
Topical Creams made from hemp oil are an over-the-counter solution that helps to treat various sorts of pain such as muscle, joint, back, neck, and arthritis. The anti-inflammatory properties of hemp oil make them a more natural alternative to artificial over-the-counter pain remedies.
Sublingual is an oral therapy usually taken by applying drops of a flavored tincture under the tongue. They also utilize hemp’s therapeutic properties and often contain CBD. Users of sublingual treatments prefer them as an alternative to artificial over-the-counter supplements.
What are the side-effects of hemp oil?
With so many beneficial effects on hemp oil and products that use it, are there any negative side effects associated with long-term or regular use of hemp oil? While no product, supplement, or therapy can claim to be completely side-effect-free for all people, the evidence suggests that using hemp oil as properly directed is virtually side-effect free, and that has everything to do with where it comes from.
Hemp oil isn’t synthesized in a lab or created from artificial chemicals, it’s a natural plant-based oil found in nature. The human body mostly reacts negatively to foreign chemicals that are chemically different from its own, especially artificial and inorganic substances. Natural oils, especially those obtained from plants, are similar to the body’s own tissues and the body has an easier time absorbing and gaining nourishment from them. Plus, after thousands of years, the human body and immune system have evolved to efficiently digest and use substances that come from plants such as food, medicines, vitamins, and therapies.
Not all-natural, plant-based substances are safe without side effects, but hemp oil is quite unique in how few negative known side effects it has. Remember it has no THC, and it’s non-addictive and non-intoxicating. Hemp oil is low in allergens and unlikely to cause allergic reactions when used on the skin, though some users have reported it irritates their skin. Anyone who uses hemp-based products topically should first test a small patch on their skin.
Topical hemp products, like lotions and anti-inflammatory rubs, are not associated with any particular side effects. When the rare side effects from hemp use do occur, they are usually from ingestible supplements (like sublingual) and not topicals. However, even with ingestible supplements, the rare side effects are mostly digestive reactions and not any long-term side effects. With both internal and topical use, negative reactions are usually remedied by adjusting the dosage until you find the right balance – very rarely do users report repeated negative reactions, though it can occur for people who are allergic or otherwise intolerant to something within the hemp oil.
Like every remedy, there are both positive and potential negative side effects to Hemp oil, and there’s no guarantee that using hemp will never result in a negative reaction or side effect. However, both clinical research and widespread use shows that there are far more benefits than risks when using this natural supplement that has revolutionized the health and wellness community.
A 2017 review of 25 studies conducted over the last two decades on the safety and efficiency of Hemp and CBD oil did not identify any significant side effects across a wide range of doses, using various modes of administration.
Are there long-term effects of using hemp oil?
Clinical research on the long-term effects of hemp and CBD oil has not shown any negative side effects from regular or prolonged use. This does not mean there are no long-term effects, only that the research available hasn’t found anything. This, combined with hemp’s long history of therapeutic use by humans, is an encouraging sign that hemp oil has almost no long-term negative side effects from regular use. This has much to do with hemp oil being a native botanical supplement found in nature. Natural remedies from plants are mostly free from long term negative side effects. With hemp, long-term use may actually carry benefits for human health and wellness.
Hemp is completely different from synthetic medications and artificial treatments that have a cumulative negative side effect from long-term use. Hemp is the antithesis of synthetics. Regular use of hemp and CBD oil can increase its therapeutic effect as the body adapts to the infusion of beneficial compounds, much the same way it becomes more efficient at absorbing nutrients from plants, fruits and vegetables, and other botanical sources.
Ultimately the concept of modern wellness takes a holistic approach to nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, and supplement use. People are turning away to one drug or medicine to treat one condition or illness and synthetic treatments, both over-the-counter and doctor-prescribed, are viewed with skepticism as their long term consequences become better understood. Natural, herbal, and organic supplements and therapies are favored alternatives to synthetic drugs and medicines. The negative effects of opioids are at the forefront of the national health conversation, but all pharmaceuticals are part of the discussion of artificial versus natural remedies and the consequences of prolonged medication use. If you’ve ever seen a commercial for pharmaceutical drugs, then you are no doubt familiar with the comically long list of side effects that are often quickly repeated at the end of the ad.
Hemp has no such list, and that’s why it’s become somewhat of a poster child for the natural wellness movement. For people concerned about side-effects and long-term consequences, the choice between a natural remedy like hemp oil and an artificial drug or over-the-counter medication is an easy one. Hemp and CBD oil offer many benefits combined with so few side-effects and come from a natural source, that their explosion in popularity isn’t surprising.
Hemp products should not be considered a treatment for serious medical conditions and nobody should view hemp therapy as a substitute for professional medical advice, but in today’s over-medicated society the shift in philosophy from reactive treatment to proactive wellness has caused us to change the way we think. The health and wellness community has been abandoning overuse of medication in favor of more natural treatments in a holistic approach to wellness. The new approach doesn’t treat symptoms, it instead seeks to achieve balance, overall health, and whole wellness of body, mind, and lifestyle, and hemp is at the forefront of this movement. Astonishing when you consider it’s all because of an unassuming hemp plant whose therapeutic properties have been known for centuries.
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