Let me start by saying that CBD oil (cannabidiol) is not the same thing as hempseed oil. They both come from cannabis sativa, but they are different types of the same plant. Nonetheless, there is confusion about these two. The names are very often used interchangeably by brands and beauty journalists, but they are not the same.
Hempseed oil comes from an industrial type of cannabis sativa, and CBD oil doesn’t. The difference in the plants gives distinct cannabinoid properties. Hempseed oil comes from the seeds only; it doesn’t have the same functions as CBD oil. You can use hemp seed oil as a moisturiser, in your salads or whatever else you do with your oils. It’s an excellent oil to use. Whereas CBD oil is extracted from the stalks and seeds, it is a therapeutic oil. Its status varies in different countries – medicine or supplement, or illegal altogether. Don’t worry, neither will get you high, because they contain low percentages of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which causes psychoactive effects.
CBD oil (or rather hempseed oil) became a hit in skincare, last year. I have been using CBD oil orally to help with migraines and insomnia for a couple of years now. I use oil with 2.5% concentration of CBD, and I must admit that it aids me a lot with migraines. It helps with stress, anxiety, and insomnia. People tend to use it to heal various diseases like epilepsy, and many others. You simply take two drops (up to 15 a day) and keep it under your tongue for a minute or two. It’s a relatively new thing and is not well researched, yet.
In the Netherlands, you can get CBD oils at any chemist’s shop easily. Though, you will be advised not to use it for longer than two weeks without consulting a doctor. Usually, the person that sells you the product will mention this to you, and you can find the same information on the leaflet that comes with the product. Using CBD oil can be beneficial for a short period, but if you are self-medicating and overuse it, you may get side effects. For this reason, in Denmark, for instance, CBD oil is available on prescription only, and it’s illegal to possess the oil without a prescription. In Germany, which connects the Netherlands and Denmark, CBD oil is prohibited As you can see not too many countries are on board with CBD oil. Hence companies wouldn’t be able to sell skincare with real CBD oil everywhere (hempseed oil is legal everywhere).
As for skincare benefits, there is literature discussing CBD oil and its properties when applied on the skin. Though, most of the information you will find is on websites promoting the oil or healthy lifestyle websites. The features that are attributed to this oil in skincare include anti-inflammatory function (that’s also why people use it orally); it supposedly helps with acne, mainly blemishes; it may also decrease sebum production. Moreover, it can act as an oxidant, hence some anti-wrinkle action. I have also found some information claiming that it can alleviate psoriasis and eczema symptoms. However, take it with a grain of salt; it will take years before there will be thorough research on CBD oil.
Looking at a few of ‘CBD’ skincare products, I noticed that many of them don’t include CBD oil. Few companies market their hempseed products as CBD products, despite the lack of actual CBD oil. CBD oil is made from stalks and seeds, and a different variety of the plant. Companies try to make money out the hype. Though, many label their products as ‘hemp’, and it’s perfectly fine, but don’t think you get CBD oil in those products. Let me show you why you will not get CBD oil in a regular skincare product that doesn’t cost a fortune. A small 15ml bottle of 2.5% CBD oil costs about €20 or more, depending on where you acquire it. Whereas, a 500ml bottle of organic hempseed oil costs €6 or more. Let me tell you, if someone puts real CBD oil into a moisturiser, the price tag will be steep.
I use both oils, like hemp seed oil as a body oil or in my food. It’s rich in omegas and fatty acids, which are beneficial so I try to use it often. I wouldn’t reach for hempseed skincare available on the market, because they often contain coconut oil which doesn’t work for me. However, I had not used CBD oil before on my face, so I did it just for seeing what all the craze was about. To test how CBD oil works on skin, I basically mixed a drop or two of my CBD oil into creams or oils for about two weeks, as I didn’t want to overdo it.
There is a big difference between how the oils act on the skin. Hempseed oil is oily just like regular oil; it moisturises skin. CBD oil, instead, isn’t as fatty and if you apply it on its own; it can make skin feel tight and a bit dry, at least in my experience. But, CBD oil is lovely if you mix it with a facial oil or cream. While using it, I observed that it was calming my skin. Whenever my skin was looking aggravated, when I applied CBD oil it was looking calm and without redness the next day. Perhaps a moisturiser with niacinamide could do the same, just saying… I would say that it’s mainly soothing, there wasn’t anything else that the oil would do for me, like limiting sebum production or keeping spots at bay. I used it for two weeks, and I don’t think it will remain in my routine. I would instead apply hempseed oil on my face over CBD oil, I can mix it into something sometimes, but that’s all.
I do not want to discourage you from using ‘CBD’ oil or hempseed oil products, because for sure they can bring benefits. Hempseed oil contains a lot of good fatty acids, and it’s moisturising. Plus the other ingredients that are present in those products render a good nourishing product, especially for dry skin. If you want to try CBD oil for anything else, read online, do your research and see if it’s something you need. As with all medications and supplements, please make sure you get it from a trusted source. Lastly, please do remember that if you buy CBD oil skincare, it most likely contains a tiny amount of it or none at all – CBD oil is expensive, and companies wouldn’t be able to sell it in all markets.