In This Article

Hemp Oil Overview

In August 2017, the Brightfield Group published a report which estimates that hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) will be a billion-dollar market by 2020. [1]

Amazing Benefits And Uses Of Hemp Oil
Benefits And Uses Of Hemp Oil

According to the report, hemp CBD sales have reached $170 million in 2016 and 55% compound annual rate over the next five years will help this market make an outstanding profit.

The increased growth of CBD market is a result of the popularity of hemp-derived CBD among people from all walks of life. Hemp oil plays a big role in the use of CBD-related products.

What makes hemp oil so good for you? What are the major benefits and uses of this oil? Keep reading to find out.

What Is Hemp Oil?

Hemp oil is a type of oil extracted from stalks and seeds of hemp plants. The plant belongs to the Cannabis sativa family and poses as one of the oldest domesticated crops in the world. Hemp has been used for thousands of years in medicinal, industrial, and culinary purposes.

We are inclined to believe that hemp is just like marijuana, but although they come from the same family, numerous differences set them apart. The biggest point of difference is THC content. [2]

As you’re already aware, THC is the most notable cannabinoid and a reason why marijuana induces psychoactive effects. Unlike marijuana, hemp has a very low THC content. Many countries have set a maximum THC content in hemp at 0.3% and everything above that number is classified as marijuana.

Cultivation of hemp and marijuana is different, too. Hemp plants are primarily male, without representing flower buds, and they are fast-growing. As a result, hemp is usually grown indoors to maximize its size.

On the other hand, marijuana requires grow-room conditions with stable light, temperature, humidity, and CO2 and oxygen levels to achieve optimal THC levels.

Due to the fact that hemp is low in THC, the oil extracted from this plant is abundant in another important cannabinoid called CBD which is responsible for the tremendous health potential that hemp provides. [3]

THC Vs. CBD: What’s The Difference?

THC And CBD Difference

THC And CBD Difference

There are more than 100 identified cannabinoids, but THC and CBD are considered two most important compounds found in Cannabis sativa plants. Although chances are high you’ve heard about CBD and THC, their differences remain a mystery to most people.

In order to truly understand the health potential of hemp oil, it is important to discuss how CBD found in this oil differs from THC found in marijuana.

As mentioned above, THC is responsible for psychoactive effects of cannabis i.e. it gets you high while CBD doesn’t have this property.

The reason why CBD isn’t psychoactive is due to the fact it doesn’t bind to CB1 (cannabinoid 1) receptors like THC. This means that neither hemp nor hemp oil can make you feel high.

What’s more, CBD has antipsychotic properties and protects the user from getting too high by decreasing psychotic impact associated with THC. While THC is found in marijuana plants primarily, CBD is found in both hemp and marijuana plants.

Their mechanism of action differs, too. While THC activates both CB1 and CB2 receptors directly, CBD doesn’t have any direct effect on these receptors. Instead, CBD indirectly influences the receptors and boosts levels of endocannabinoids in a person’s body. [4]

Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors. Speaking of receptors, CB1 is present in brain primarily while CB2 is found in the immune system.

Why Using Whole-Plant Hemp Oil Is Important?

If you’re considering hemp oil, then you should opt for whole-plant kind. The term whole-plant hemp oil doesn’t indicate the oil is made from the entire hemp. As previously mentioned, this type of oil is extracted from the stem, seeds, and stalk.

Instead, whole-plant hemp oil refers to the product which delivers all the amazing compounds found in hemp plant.

Besides CBD, this oil also contains up to 500 other important constituents that work together to improve your health and wellbeing in many ways. This is particularly important because hemp doesn’t have some specific active ingredient.

Yes, we all know about CBD but many other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and other compounds are equally important. Hemp oil wouldn’t be able to exhibit its marvelous effects without the synergistic action of all these constituents.

Products that aren’t whole-plant hemp oils fail to provide good health and management of some specific medical condition because many of these important compounds are missing.

After all, it’s not just about buying hemp oil and getting it over with. The quality of product matters and whole-plant hemp oil is superior in terms of quality compared to its counterparts.

Hemp Oil Extraction Techniques

Oil Extraction Techniques

Hemp Oil Extraction Techniques

The extraction of hemp oil plays a big role in the quality of some product. Different extraction methods are used, including: [5]

  • Cold Pressing – The oil is obtained by pressing or grinding the seeds at a temperature lower than 120°F in order to retain its flavor and nutritional value.
  • The Rick Simpson Method – Involves the use of petroleum or naphtha as solvents. Despite the efficiency, this technique usually causes lower concentration of CBD and terpenes, and higher level of THC in hemp oil.
  • Extraction With Ethanol Or Olive Oil – Both olive oil and ethanol are used to extract numerous cannabinoids and terpenes. That being said, ethanol extracts chlorophyll which can be removed by filtering the extract but this could remove a significant portion of CBD from the oil.
  • CO2 Extraction – Requires complex equipment and expertise as well as safe solvents that provide pure extract.

CBD Oil For PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is defined as a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event. A person can develop PTSD after experiencing or witnessing some traumatic event in their lives.

Numbers show that at least 70% of adults in the US have experienced some traumatic event at least once in their lives. In other words, 223.4 million people in the US have dealt with some tragic or traumatic situation. [6]

Of the total number of people who experienced a traumatic event, 20% develop PTSD. At this point, there are more than 31.3 million people are struggling with this mental health problem.

More precisely, at least 24.4 million people or 8% of the US adult population have PTSD at any given time.

Figures also show that women are more prone to PTSD than men. About one out of ten women develop PTSD. Furthermore, among people who were victims of some traumatic event 60-80% of them develop PTSD and almost 50% of all outpatient mental health patients have this condition.

Thanks to the high CBD concentration, hemp oil is a natural and effective treatment for PTSD and science confirms it. A review of studies whose findings were published in the Neurotherapeutics revealed that CBD has a great potential to address a generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and OCD. While studies confirmed the efficacy of CBD for management of PTSD and other anxiety disorders, they only evaluated the acute effects. More research is necessary to determine whether long-term use induces positive impact on these patients. [7]

The journal Molecular Psychiatry published a study which found that individuals with PTSD have a lower concentration of anandamide, a neurotransmitter that binds to the CB1 receptor. [8]

Although CBD doesn’t have a direct impact on cannabinoid receptors, it still boosts levels of anandamide which could explain how this compound helps PTSD patients manage their condition.

CBD And Addictions

Cannabis Oil CBD

CBD And Addictions

Addiction to drugs and other substances is a major problem today across the globe. A growing body of evidence confirms that CBD, found in abundance in hemp oil, can help with addictions too.

The Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment published a review which evaluated 14 studies on this subject (nine conducted on animals and remaining five on human participants). These studies found that CBD has therapeutic properties on cocaine, opioid, and psychostimulant addiction. [9]

Some of these studies also found that CBD has a positive effect on persons with cannabis and tobacco addictions, too. [10]

The CBD in hemp oil seems to influence specific phases of addiction and appears to have an impact on the intoxication phase of opioid addiction by reducing the reward-facilitating effect of morphine on ICSS threshold. ICSS, or intracranial self-stimulation, is a behavioral procedure wherein the effect of the drug on reward threshold is inspected.

Arthritis Pain Relief

Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints in your body. It’s not a single condition, more than 100 types of arthritis have been identified so far.

Arthritis is a common problem, according to the CDC more than 54.4 million US adults or 22.7% people in this country have some form of arthritis, but the number could be even higher due to undiagnosed cases in people who didn’t see their doctor for persistent joint pain. [11]

The same report states that 78 million or 26% of US adults will have some type of arthritis by 2040. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, followed by rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, and others.

Causes of arthritis are numerous ranging from age-related wear and tear to autoimmune conditions. While everyone can develop arthritis, some people are at a higher risk.

Common risk factors include overweight/obesity, advancing age, family history, previous joint injury, smoking, and gender as women are more likely to develop arthritis than men.

At this point, there is no cure that could eliminate arthritis instantly and prevent pain, discomfort, swelling, stiffness, and redness from coming back. That being said, you can manage your symptoms and reduce their intensity in order to alleviate pain and improve quality of life. Guess what, CBD plays a huge role here.

The European Journal of Pain published a study where scientists applied CBD topically to rats with knee arthritis for four days in a row. Results showed that 6.2 and 62 mg/day were effective doses for reduced inflammation and overall pain in the rats’ affected joints. [12]

The best thing of all is that CBD provided relief without inducing side effects.

Depression Management

depression management

Depression Management

Depression is a mental health disorder indicated by persistently low mood and feeling of sadness and loss of interest.

Both physical and emotional symptoms are associated with depression which only shows it is a persistent problem, not an issue that comes and goes so fast. The CDC reports that 7.9% of people aged 12 years and over have depression. [13]

To a patient who struggles with depression it may seem like everything is against them, they can’t catch a break, and nothing good will ever happen again. Depression is a serious, but manageable problem which requires the intake of antidepressants and therapy sessions.

Nowadays, people are trying out different holistic methods to mental wellbeing, and hemp oil is a great option. After all, CBD shows strong antidepressant effects according to the study from the CNS and Neurological Disorders Drug Targets. [14]

Epilepsy Management

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder indicated by abnormal activity of brain which makes a patient experience seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and other symptoms.

The exact cause of epilepsy is unknown, but scientists theorize a combination of different factors plays a role, such as genetics, head trauma, infectious diseases, brain conditions, developmental disorders, and prenatal injuries.

CBD from hemp oil shows tremendous potential in the management of epilepsy, especially when it comes to Dravet syndrome which is a severe form of epilepsy of infancy with seizures triggered by hot temperatures or fever.

A study from the New England Journal of Medicine found that CBD led to a greater reduction in seizures than placebo. [15]

Migraine Relief


Migraine Relief

A migraine is a severe headache indicated by throbbing pain, pulsing sensation and other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Figures show that more than 37 million people in the US have a migraine and 5 million people experience at least one migraine attack per month. In addition, 11 million people blame migraines for causing moderate to severe disability. [16]

Hemp oil is a great migraine management option for all people who want to alleviate pain in a natural manner. CBD is an endocannabinoid modulator i.e. it increases the activity of the entire endocannabinoid system which is important because persons with migraines are deficient in endocannabinoids. [17]

It is also important to mention that CBD inhibits production of an enzyme that breaks down anandamide in the body. As a result, it produces higher levels of the pain-relieving endocannabinoids that decrease intensity and frequency of migraines.

Skin Benefits

As seen throughout this post, thanks to the high CBD content hemp oil can help manage a number of health problems, but its benefits don’t stop there.

Did you know hemp oil is also used to treat skin? Here are some of many benefits of hemp oil for the largest organ of your body:

  • Moisturizer – Use the hemp oil as face moisturizer. Hemp oil contains lipids that are similar to those found in your skin. That’s why it’s incredibly effective at nourishing and moisturizing, especially if you have dry skin problems. Dry skin is associated with dull, lifeless complexion and is usually rough to the touch. Thanks to moisturizing properties of hemp oil, the skin will appear youthful, radiant, and silky smooth.
  • Rejuvenation – Thanks to its ability to nourish your skin, hemp oil increases its elasticity which is important for all men and women who want to appear younger.In addition, hemp oil protects your skin from environmental factors thus reducing appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Oily Skin Benefits – Persons with oily skin usually struggle due to the fact that many hemp oil skin care products and home remedies clog their pores and only increase oiliness and lead to acne breakouts. Hemp oil doesn’t clog your pores and it nourishes your skin without causing the unwanted effects.
  • Suitable For All Skin Types – What makes hemp oil particularly beneficial is that it’s equally effective for all people regardless of their skin type, even if you have sensitive skin. [18]
  • Dermatitis Relief – Hemp oil has anti-inflammatory effects that allow you to manage dermatitis successfully. The oil alleviates inflammation thanks to the balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Varicose Veins – Not only they are unsightly and affect your confidence, but varicose veins can also be painful. When used as a supplement, hemp oil can thin the blood and prevent or reduce appearance of varicose veins. For skin-related benefits, hemp oil can be used as a moisturizer, cleanser, or nutritional supplement. [19]


Spa Treatment

Benefits of Massage

Hemp oil is truly versatile and can be used for massage too. Benefits of massage are numerous including:

  • Management of anxiety and depression due to relaxing and soothing effects
  • Stress relief thanks to its ability to reduce levels of stress-hormone cortisol
  • Pain relief
  • Improved blood flow
  • Better sleep
  • Immunity boost
  • Headache relief

Now you’re probably wondering why to use hemp oil for massage. Despite its silky smooth texture, hemp oil has a good absorption rate and it spreads nicely.

Hemp oil isn’t sticky, greasy, and feels more natural to the skin. Moreover, hemp oil doesn’t stain your sheets and it won’t ruin any fabric and it is versatile so you can combine it with jojoba and almond oils.

Body Care Use


Body Care Use

Everybody needs a little bit of pampering and hemp oil can help you make it happen. Hemp oil uses in body care are numerous including:

  • Stronger Nails And Heals Cuticles – Use the healing potential of hemp oil to get rid of brittle and weak nails and unappealing, frustrating cuticles. All you have to do is to massage a small amount of the oil directly into nails and cuticles. You can use hemp oils for both fingernails and toenails
  • Makeup Remover – You should never go to bed with your makeup on because your skin cells can’t do their “job” and recover properly. Going to bed without removing your makeup leads to skin irritation, clogged pores, and the complexion becomes dull, lifeless, and older. Hemp oil is a wonderful makeup remover even with stubborn eye makeup. Just rub gently a small amount of hemp oil into the makeup and wipe with a cotton ball
  • Face Mask – Above in the article we mentioned that hemp oil is amazing skin moisturizer which is why it works as a face mask too. Just massage it into the cleansed facial skin before bedtime and rinse it in the morning.
  • Steam Facial Skin – Want to get a brighter, radiant complexion instantly? Then all you have to do is to massage a tablespoon of hemp oil on face skin on the dry, clean face.. Keep massaging for several minutes. Then, proceed to lay a warm (not too hot) damp washcloth over your face and let it sit until the washcloth cools off. Then, wipe your face with the washcloth and repeat the process with another washcloth until the oil is entirely wiped off
  • Hair Conditioner – Massage a tablespoon of hemp oil into your hair before shampooing and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, proceed to shampoo and wash your hair as normal

Kitchen Use


Kitchen Use

Yes, you can use hemp oil in the kitchen too. In fact, it is one of the healthiest oils you can find. Generally, hemp oil has a somewhat nutty and earthy flavor, which is why you can use it in salad dressings, bread dips, salads, and other meals.

The oil has a low smoking point i.e. when used on heat above 330°F it starts producing harmful peroxides. That’s why you should use hemp oil to prepare raw foods or meals that do not require high heat.

Regardless of hemp oil use, strive to stick to the recommended amounts.

Read More: What Are The Health Benefits Of CBD Oil?

Final Verdict

The use of hemp isn’t reserved for industrial purposes anymore, its health potential is amazing due to a high level of CBD.

Hemp oil provides a wide array of benefits ranging from a for migraine headaches and arthritis relief to management of more severe conditions.

Remember, it’s important to pay attention to the quality of the product and stick to the recommended use.

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19 Sources

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[2] Hemp & Marijuana:
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[4] CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference Between the Two?:
[5] How to Extract CBD Oil: Different Methods That Works Best :
[6] Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
[7] Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders:
[8] Hill MN, Campolongo P, Yehuda R, Patel S. Integrating Endocannabinoid Signaling and Cannabinoids into the Biology and Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018;43(1):80-102. doi:10.1038/npp.2017.162
[9] Elevated brain cannabinoid CB1 receptor availability in post-traumatic stress disorder: a positron emission tomography study:
[10] Prud'homme M, Cata R, Jutras-Aswad D. Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence. Subst Abuse. 2015;9:33-38. Published 2015 May 21. doi:10.4137/SART.S25081
[11] Arthritis Related Statistics:
[12] Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis:
[13] Depression:
[14] Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa:
[15] Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome:
[16] How Common is Migraine?:
[17] Manzanares J, Julian M, Carrascosa A. Role of the cannabinoid system in pain control and therapeutic implications for the management of acute and chronic pain episodes. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2006;4(3):239-257. doi:10.2174/157015906778019527
[18] The skin you're in: topical applications of hemp seed oil for skin:
[19] Tabassum N, Hamdani M. Plants used to treat skin diseases. Pharmacogn Rev. 2014;8(15):52-60. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.125531


Sam Kramer is a Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist, Six Sigma Green Belt Certified, and Certified Sports Nutritionis