Education Feb 24, 2020

Using hemp lotion in your skin care routine: Your ultimate guide

by Taylor Hogan

woman applying hemp lotion

You probably know the hemp plant produces the popular CBD cannabinoid — but did you also know that it can be an important ingredient to help keep your skin moisturized and refreshed? Hemp oil can be extracted from the plant or its seeds and combined with other ingredients to create all-natural hemp lotion. When hemp lotion is created from full spectrum hemp oil that contains CBD, it can be a powerful skin care solution.

Like most matters related to hemp, hemp lotion research is often incomplete or outdated. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement acknowledging its “significant interest” in the potential of hemp products but still hasn’t officially approved any outside of medical use.

Medical studies and consumer experience both show that hemp lotion containing CBD and other essential oils can act as a moisturizer by hydrating the skin.

Full-spectrum hemp skin care products rich in CBD can also provide relief for sore muscles and joints. Some research indicates topical CBD products may have anti-inflammatory properties as well.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of hemp lotion, what they’re used for, and how to select and use the right hemp body lotion or face cream for your healthy skin regimen.

Hemp seed oil vs. full-spectrum hemp oil

Hemp body lotion and similar products are made using oil extracted from the hemp plant, a form of cannabis grown strictly for industrial purposes. There are two different kinds of oil used for hemp skin care products:

  • Hemp seed oil doesn’t contain traceable amounts of CBD, THC, or any other cannabinoids associated with the management of physical symptoms.
  • Full-spectrum hemp oil comes from the entire hemp plant, which contains many different cannabinoids including CBD and cannabigerol (CBG).

Before diving into the specifics of hemp lotion, we should discuss its relationship with cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD. Both come from hemp, a form of the cannabis plant grown for industrial purposes. CBD is mostly found in hemp’s leaves and flowers but not at significant levels in the seeds.

Moisturizing lotion made from organic hemp seed oil is great if you’re looking to incorporate it into a skin care routine, but full-spectrum hemp body lotion is best if you’re looking to take advantage of the synergy of CBD with hemp’s other cannabinoids and terpenes, often called the entourage effect.

What are the uses of hemp products for skin care?

woman holding bottle of Populum hemp lotion rub

Full-spectrum hemp lotion contains CBD and other ingredients to soothe and hydrate the skin. The science around topical applications of CBD isn’t concrete, but some studies indicate that the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for reacting with cannabinoids to provide CBD’s effects, is also present in your skin. This is why full-spectrum hemp lotion is often a choice for people dealing with acne or dry skin.

Another reason both full-spectrum and hemp seed body lotion are popular with today’s consumers is the presence of omega–3 and omega–6 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids play a role in moisturizing your skin. Research indicates these long-chain acids can help manage skin conditions including eczema, acne and dry skin.

And aside from medical studies, there are dozens of stories of people who’ve benefited from using hemp body moisturizers and other CBD products, from athletes to office workers.

How do I find the right hemp moisturizer?

The lack of official guidance from the FDA and other regulatory bodies, combined with the massive influx in interest in CBD and hemp products over the last few years, can make it a bit tricky to find a reliable provider.

The first thing to look for is the company’s clear, concise explanation of what’s in the product and whether it contains hemp seed oil or full-spectrum hemp extract. If the description and list of side effects seem unclear or inconsistent, it’s probably a sign the vendor doesn’t really understand the hemp body lotion they offer. Be on the lookout for other vague and unexplained terms like "fast-absorbing" or "cruelty-free."

You’ll also want to find a hemp body lotion or pain cream that comes with certified lab results. This ensures the product contains what the manufacturer says it does. The popularity of CBD oil combined with the uncertainty of science around hemp has unfortunately led to fake and misleading products sold to unaware buyers. Reviewing lab results is one way to protect yourself from inferior-quality CBD and hemp.

Also, look for hemp lotion formulated for the right part of your body with other ingredients that help your skin. For facial care products, you want something gentle enough that you can use on a daily basis, to build up your CBD levels faster than with products that are used only occasionally. Facial soaps and creams might have thicker additives like honey or minerals. Chamomile, for example, is a popular additive in hemp lotions and body creams and washes. Other common ingredients you might find in hemp lotion or body washes include:

  • Shea butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Aloe
  • Vitamin E
  • Beeswax

If you can’t find the exact combination you’re looking for in your next moisturizer, or you want a vegan or gluten-free blend, you can always combine one or more lotions with these extracts. And if you’re not sure which is best for you, experiment with different varieties until you find one that leaves your skin feeling great.

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Using hemp lotion as an herbal body moisturizer

Once you’re ready for your first application of hemp lotion for muscle pain or general skin care, start with a small amount to ensure it’s safe for you to use. Try a dab of it on your arm or wrist and wait 15-20 minutes, and then observe the affected area to make sure you don’t have any kind of adverse reaction.

Beyond that, follow all manufacturer instructions until applying it feels like a normal part of your skin care routine and you understand the lotion’s effects.

Will hemp oil lotion show up on a drug test?

One of the most common questions related to any kind of hemp-derived product is whether it’ll appear on a drug screening. Most common drug tests look for tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the psychoactive compound in the cannabis sativa flower responsible for the “high.” Under federal law, THC can be present in industrial hemp and its leaf extracts at a concentration of 0.3% or below.

That means if you use full-spectrum CBD oil or products, there’s a slight chance that trace amounts of THC could enter your system. Even if you use a lotion or salve that claims to be from hemp seeds or contains only CBD isolate, current methods for extracting CBD are not regulated by any medical or government body. This means there’s no way to guarantee a moisturizer is effective at isolating other cannabinoids from THC.

If you may soon face a drug test, it’s probably best to generally abstain from CBD or hemp products. It’s unlikely that you’ll fail a test because of hemp body lotion, but current science doesn’t definitively say you will pass.

The final word on hemp lotion for your skin

We’re still in the early stages of understanding the full benefits of all the natural compounds produced by the hemp plant. We do know, however, that hemp oil derived from the plant and its seeds contain helpful ingredients that can nourish and moisturize sensitive skin.

Hemp lotion can be a great option for people looking to soothe their muscles after physical activity, whether from exercise or a labor-intensive job. But before you decide to use hemp lotion or CBD cream to relax sore joints or moisturize dry skin, take some time to understand the difference between common types of hemp oil and lotions and their effects on the body.

By arming yourself with this knowledge, you stand a better chance at choosing the best CBD and hemp lotions, hand creams, and other body moisturizers that leave your skin feeling great.

Get started with our FAQ page for answers to some common questions about hemp and CBD.

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