Three years ago, I brought a basket full of hemp-infused lip balms to a Christmas family gathering. As I leaned over to hand a bright orange Mango Tango balm to my grandmother, her furrowed eyebrows silently conveyed her concern. I knew this would happen —it always did.
“This isn’t pot, I promise,” I told her softly, expecting the typical look of relief to hijack her expression. On this day, however, I was thrown for a little loop.
I’m used to people not knowing the difference between hemp and marijuana, but I wasn’t prepared when she asked: “What is hemp?”
See, hemp has been a huge part of our lives here at Abinoid Botanicals since we started in early 2013. We became so used to walking people through the difference between species of the cannabis genus, that we didn’t realize how many people don’t know what hemp is.
It makes sense, though! Don’t feel left out of that’s you right now. Hemp was unfortunately lumped together with marijuana due to their similar appearances, and made illegal many years ago. Many of us grew up never hearing about or thinking of hemp.
Let’s change that.
Cannabis has been a hot topic over the past year, sparking several incredible documentaries from CNN and indie filmographers alike.
This plant genus has a few different species, which are classified in today’s world as either marijuana or hemp.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
You’ve likely heard of marijuana —it’s the reason this plant is so misunderstood, so let’s start there.
Marijuana plants are carefully grown to produce a lot of THC, a chemical compound that causes mind-altering side effects typically referred to as a “high” or “stoned” effect. That euphoric effect is truly as simple to understand as this: it’s caused by the chemical THC, and THC alone.
Right, now where does hemp differ from marijuana? Hemp is defined as having 0.3% or less THC. This means it has only teeny tiny amounts of that compound. No matter how much hemp you ingest, it will not pose a risk of getting you high. Instead, you’ll find a compound called Cannabidiol (CBD), which can also be found in marijuana, but with hemp, you get enjoy it without the side effects of THC.
CBD and THC are cannabinoids —a diverse class of chemical compounds. There are over 90 different cannabinoids! However, CBD and THC are found far more prominently in cannabis than the other 88+ trace cannabinoids.
You can find various cannabinoids in other plants as well, including the beloved cocoa. Even we humans produce some within our own bodies, like Anandamide, which is named after a Sanskrit word meaning “joy, bliss delight.” This name was chosen based on the compound’s effects on us.
It’s no wonder cannabinoids have an effect on us —the body is literally designed to need them.
Why Use Hemp for Skin?
Now that you know what hemp is, it may still seem like a far-fetched idea to put it on your face.
Bear with me, it actually makes a lot of sense!
There are two types of hemp oil that have significant differences, but both are amazing for skin care.
Hemp seed oil
This oil comes from cold-pressed hemp seeds, which does not contain any CBD. It’s still absolutely incredible for you since it contains essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6. Hemp seed oil has what’s considered the perfect 3:1 ratio of those EFAs, which is why hemp seeds are often touted as a superfood.
But wait, there’s more. Hemp seed oil also contains trace vitamins and minerals that you don’t often come across, especially in topical products.
Overall, hemp seed oil delivers many important nutrients to your skin and offers a lasting layer of hydration.
Also sometimes called hemp extract or full-spectrum hemp oil (they all mean the same thing), hemp oil refers to CBD-rich hemp oil from aerial parts of the plant —NOT the seeds.
If you see “hemp oil” listed in the ingredients of a drugstore product, don’t get too excited. What a lot of companies actually mean by that is “hemp seed oil.” However, we will always make this distinction clear in our CBD skincare products.
CBD has been the focus of more than 1,800 published PubMed studies. The list of potential benefits is long and exciting.
CBD hemp oil is powerful for your skin in a way that hemp seed oil cannot even compare. Both are considered to be “nutritional,” but CBD is the key ingredient that makes our natural skincare line so powerful.
Protect, rejuvenate and restore your skin with CBD skin care products.