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How Hemp Oil Skincare Works

How hemp oil skincare works is what we’ll be covering in today’s article so you can learn more about the benefits of cannabis rich in omega oils from the hemp seeds, along with cannabinoids that interact with the largest organ in the body, the skin.

In order to better understand how hemp oil skincare works, we first need to learn about the body’s endocannabinoid system that forms before 14-weeks gestation and it’s activation, an integral part in human development.


The endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered in mid-1990 by researcher Dr. Ralph Mechoulam. It was found that the ECS is an integral part of our physiologies responsible for maintaining order and balance across all other systems of the body from the circulatory, digestive and reproductive, to the nervous system.

The ECS is kinda like the conductor of an orchestra, conducting the organs of the body to play together, to the right notes, so a beautiful symphony is created. When the ECS is inactive, disorder and chaos ensue. This is one reason hemp oil for skin works so well, it activates the cannabinoid receptors on the skin to bring more order and balance to the body’s largest organ.


There are various types of hemp products available on the market. There’s hempseed oil which is often a light green in color, and used mainly in salads and warm dishes. There's full spectrum hemp oil which contains a full spectrum of cannabinoids, fatty acids and terpenes (a powerfully blended product), and there’s isolated products such as CBD oil which contain only one cannabinoid of the 120+ cannabinoids found in the hemp plant.

What is the best hemp oil for skin?

When it comes to using hemp, would you rather treat your skin to a delicious array of nourishing ingredients, or just one single ingredient on it’s own? In the case hemp, it’s advantageous to use a full spectrum blend of cannabinoids, fatty acids and terpenes, making full spectrum hemp oil the best choice for most people.


The oil hemp is made from is mostly with the seeds from the cannabis plant. But we're not just limited to the oil being applied directly to the skin, but in a variety of forms which we’ll cover briefly.

Ingestion is a common form of administering hemp, as most of the vitamins and minerals are taken by this method. Oil and Capsules can be useful this option, and due to the low THC content, there's no psychoactive effect (or "high").

Sublingually is another option, where you can just put some drops of the oil under your tongue and keep it there for 30-seconds or so, then swallow it. This allows for the mucous membrane to absorb the oils active ingredients quickly.

Is hemp oil good for your skin?

Applying hemp oil topically is the obvious option, but this doesn’t mean the other options aren’t of value, because skincare runs deeper than just what we see on the surface. Our skin often reflects our internal health, so naturally taking care of our health by drinking plenty of water, eating a wholefood plant-based diet, meditating and investing in quality relationships all plays a part in skin health, among many others. You can get hemp oil for skin from reputable suppliers in New Zealand, you just need to do your research, and read the reviews.

Hemp soil products can be applied directly onto the skin, face for easier and better absorption and body care. The ingredients in these products get absorbed via your skin and interact with the cells without having to enter the bloodstream.


The newly discovered ECS has been implicated in multiple regulatory functions both in health and disease. Recent studies have intriguingly suggested the existence of a functional ECS in the skin and implicated it in various biological processes.

One study mentioned this about the ECS and skin,

“Proliferation, growth, differentiation, apoptosis and cytokine, mediator or hormone production of various cell types of the skin and appendages, such as the hair follicle and sebaceous gland”

Before we get into more details, we’ll be covering what researchers meant in the above quote about hemp oil for skin…

  • Proliferation; the process that results in an increase of the number of cells, and is defined by the balance between cell divisions and cell loss through cell death.
  • Growth; the process of reproduction 
  • Differentiation; the process by which a cell becomes specialised in order to perform a specific function, as in the case of a liver cell, a blood cell, or a neuron. There are more than 250 general types of cells in the human body.
  • Apoptosis; a form of cell death, which leads to the elimination of cells without releasing harmful substances into the surrounding area.
  • Cytokine; cell to cell communication in immune responses and stimulate the movement of cells towards sites of inflammation, infection and trauma.
  • Mediator or hormone; production of various cell types of the skin and appendages, such as the hair follicle and sebaceous gland.

Next, we’ll be covering what the science tells us about how hemp oil skincare works for various symptoms and skin conditions such as pain and itching, psoriasis, acne, skin dryness and more.


In using hemp for painful skin and itching, in one study researchers had this to say about the ECS,

“The ECS has a crucial role in central and peripheral processing, and in the control of such skin-derived sensory phenomena as pain and itch. Synthetic CB agonists and/or endocannabinoids exert potent analgesic effects in both humans and animals by activation of CB1 and/or CB2 and possibly other receptors”

What they're saying is that the ECS plays a crucial role in pain management related to skin (and other conditions).

They went on to say this about psoriasis,

“Data showing that the cutaneous ECS tonically inhibits cell growth and angiogenesis and induces apoptosis in most of the skin cell types, and that both human non-melanoma and melanoma tumors express considerable amounts of CB1 and CB2… Furthermore, these interventions might also suppress skin inflammation seen in psoriasis.”

Meaning, they’re seeing extremely positive results in the management of non-melanoma skin tumors using cannabinoids along with reducing the inflammation typically found in conditions such as psoriasis. Hemp shows powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

And this about acne and seborrhea,

“Acne and seborrhea, the most common dermatological diseases, are characterized by highly elevated lipid (sebum) production of the SGs. In light of the aforementioned data that CB2 activation in the SG by locally produced endocannabinoids markedly enhances lipid synthesis, it is envisaged that those agents that suppress the local production of endocannabinoids (NAPE-PLD and/or DAGL inhibitors) in the diseased SG and/or inhibit CB2 on the sebocytes (CB2 antagonists) might have therapeutic values. Furthermore, transdermal penetration of cannabinoids is well established, raising the possibility that these agents could be efficiently applied topically to the skin in the form of a cream.”

In other words, cannabinoids exert powerful effects when it comes to resolving skin issues such as acne and seborrhea. 

And dry skin conditions could benefit,

“applications of formulations containing cannabinoids that stimulate CB2 (CB2 agonists)... might act as novel therapeutic tools in excessively dry skin by enhancing fat production (and, hence, might attract the interest of the cosmetics industry)... these topical medications should contain such phyto- and/or synthetic ECS-acting substances that, on absorption to the blood, do not penetrate the brain and hence do not exert psychoactive effects. It is also noteworthy that skin dryness is a leading cause of and/or accompanied by other skin diseases and symptoms such as itching and dermatitis. Therefore, such cannabinoid-containing creams could also be beneficial under these conditions

Does Hemp oil tighten skin?

And as we know, cannabinoids show very good analgesic effects, especially when combined in a full spectrum blend. Researchers are suggesting cannabinoids could be used to treat a range of skin conditions to tighten skin, but that any psychoactive cannabinoids should be limited (such as THC).


If you're looking in the shop for a hemp seed oil toothpaste, you may be surprised to know that several leading brands such as Colgate are now producing a hemp seed oil toothpaste blended with mint to provide a refreshing herbal taste and to work with hemp's stellar omega 3 to 6 ratio. If you haven't tried a hemp seed oil toothpaste, perhaps give it a try with your hemp oil skincare routine.

The positive news about how hemp oil skincare works in the body through activating the ECS is that when you look into hemp, you quickly realize it has zero psychoactive effect through it’s extremely low THC levels of less than 0.3% (the legal limit).

For more information, read our article on psoriasis and eczema

And, our article on skin bacterial infections like Staph (MRSA)

You can read our blog for more of the latest research on cannabinoids, hemp and the endocannabinoid system.

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