As more states pass laws that allow for the responsible sale, purchase, and use of medical or recreational marijuana, cannabis is quickly becoming about way more than just smoking weed. And it’s not just about internal health, either. Face oils, bath salts, lotions, creams, and balms infused with cannabis, CBD, or hemp extract are quickly taking over the beauty and self-care scene. We’re finding that both applying hemp oil topically and taking it internally could benefit our skin health.
But is hemp oil really great for our skin? And if so, what exactly makes it so beneficial? As the health editor here at mindbodygreen—and the author of the forthcoming book CBD Oil: Everyday Secrets—I’ve done my fair share of research on the topic and talked to experts in cannabis science from all over the world. As it turns out, there is a lot of reason to believe that products derived from cannabis—which include both hemp and marijuana—might be just what our skin has been waiting for. Here’s why hemp oil and CBD are great to include in your daily skin care routine:
Hemp oil’s antioxidant properties.
One of the main reasons for hemp oil’s healing properties is its cannabinoid content. Cannabinoids are a group of chemically similar compounds found naturally in the cannabis plant and inside our bodies, and the two well-known ones are CBD and THC. Generally, there are negligible amounts of THC in hemp oil, but other cannabinoids like CBD and CBN—as well as essential-oil-like compounds called terpenes—are present. These ingredients have some pretty diverse healing properties, but one of the most important ones is their ability to act as antioxidants.
If we rewind to high school chemistry for a second, antioxidants are well-known beneficial chemicals that help fight free radical production in the body. Some free radical production is a normal part of life, but things like aging, chronic stress, exposure to toxins, and tobacco or alcohol can cause us to produce too many free radicals and lead to cellular damage, which is not good for our health and has been linked to illnesses like cancer. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and protect your health (and the health and elasticity of your skin) in the long-term.
If you walk through the ground floor of your favorite department store, it’ll be hard to avoid the hundreds of antioxidant-infused skin care products: vitamin C, astaxanthin, turmeric, vitamin E, resveratrol, green tea (I think you get the idea). Well, you can add cannabinoids like CBD to this long list, as they’ve demonstrated strong antioxidant properties. Similar to other antioxidant skin care ingredients, they can help promote skin health and texture, especially when it comes to aging. And that’s just the beginning. Hemp oil has such a wide range of uses and benefitsthat your skin can benefit from it in more ways than one. (Looking for a good hemp-based beauty product? Check out some of my favorite CBD-infused beauty and self-care products.)