Acne. Fine lines. Irritation. Whatever your skin issues, experts say the power plant can help. How are hemp and other Cannabis sativa L. extracts used in cosmetics? Specific European and national legislation as well as international conventions apply to establish which type of extracts Consumers often ask us if Cannabis sativa seed oil is the same as hemp seed oil. First of all, what is Cannabis sativa? Cannabis sativa is a plant species that describes both the plant that contains high levels of THC commonly know as marijuana, and also the low THC variety commonly known as hemp. While there are ov
Cannabis Oil is the New Trendy Ingredient in Skin Care—Here’s Why
There are buzzy skin-care ingredients (turmeric! probiotics!). And then there are skin-care ingredients with buzz. In the beautysphere right now, there’s nothing buzzier than hemp-derived ingredients, such as cannabis sativa seed oil. This type of oil is loaded with plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory, next-level skin moisturizers.
It’s no surprise, then, that skin-care brands are betting big on ingredients from the hemp plant. Case in point: The new Green Releaf collection from Peter Thomas Roth, which includes the Therapeutic Sleep Cream and Calming Face Oil, both of which are infused with hemp-derived cannabis sativa seed oil.
With the recent passing of the Farm Bill, which legalized the production of industrial hemp, more products will flood the market, making it more difficult to weed out the highs from the lows. And, you might be teeming with Qs: Will slathering it on give me the munchies? Is it even legal in all 50 states? What’s the best way to add hemp-oil into your skin regimen? Quick answers: No, yes, and glad you asked.
So. what is Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil?
We know, the science surrounding Cannabis in all of its many forms can get confusing. Here are the basics: There are more than 80 different cannabinoid compounds that can be extracted from the cannabis sativa plant (otherwise known as weed). Of these, the two compounds that are the most well-known are CBD and THC—the latter being the one that produces a high when you eat or smoke it (a.k.a. it makes you stoned). Although Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil is derived from the hemp plant—hemp oil comes from the seeds, while CBD is derived from the leaves—it doesn’t contain any CBD or THC compounds, but it is naturally rich in many skin-smoothing, calming, and moisturizing properties.
“Hemp seed oil is oil extracted from the hemp plant,” explains Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “Hemp seed oil is an outstanding natural oil for the skin,” Zeichner adds, which is precisely what makes it such a powerful skin care ingredient.
How does it work?
While the exact mechanisms by which hemp-derived oils work on the skin (and in the body) are still being sorted out by scientists, here’s the gist: “Hemp seed oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful in treating a variety of skin conditions,” Zeichner explains. “The compounds on hemp seed oil have a soothing effect.” Why is this important? “Inflammation is the root of all evil, whether that’s acne or the signs of aging,” explains New York City dermatologist Dendy Engelman. So, if you’re prone to redness, chronically dry skin, or you’ve started to notice the formation of fine lines, inflammation is likely a contributing factor, and hemp oil can help.
How are hemp and other Cannabis sativa L. extracts used in cosmetics?
Specific European and national legislation as well as international conventions apply to establish which type of extracts and derivates of the Cannabis sativa L. plant may be used in products, including food and cosmetics. Keep reading to find out more about hemp, an incresingly popular ingredient in cosmetics, and the differences in the extracts and derivates of the Cannabis sativa L. plant.
What is hemp?
Hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa L. Hemp is a dioecious plant, which means that it can be separated into male and female plants. In hemp fields, there is usually a concentration of female hemp and sporadic placed males to pollinate the females and produce nutrient-rich seeds. Hemp has been used for over 10,000 years to make paper and fibres for clothing and fabric, but also in cosmetic products, particularly as an oil but also as other extracts and derivatives.
What is the difference between hemp, CBD and marijuana?
The Cannabis plant contains over 80 biologically active chemical compounds (cannabinoids). However, the most known ones are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Different taxonomic classifications of the genus Cannabis vary in their THC and CBD content. For example, Cannabis indica originally from India contains a high THC content associated with marijuana hashish production, whereas Cannabis sativa L. from Europe and western Eurasia has a high CBD content, traditionally associated with the textile industry, and more recently to applications within the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical sectors. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects.
Marijuana and CBD are not the same even if they both come from the same plant. CBD is a single, isolated compound in the cannabis plant, while marijuana contains many naturally occurring compounds, including THC and CBD. Hemp seed oil, extracted from the seeds of Cannabis sativa L., Cannabaceae, has next to no THC or CBD.
How is hemp used in cosmetics and what are its properties?
There are several types of extract from hemp used in cosmetics:
- Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil (Hemp seed oil): it is extracted by cold-pressing hemp seeds. Hemp oil is rich in properties that makes it a very effective moisturizer functioning as an emollient to soften and smoothen the skin. Hemp seed oil is high in essential fatty acids (omegas 3 and 6), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and other nutrients that keep the skin in a good condition. Due to its cosmetic properties, hemp seed oil can be found in products such as soaps, shampoos, lip balms, hand creams and massage oils.
- Cannabis Sativa Seed Water: it is the aromatic water resulting from the steam distillation from hemp seeds. Hemp hydrosols are used as a base ingredient for face creams due to their moisturizing effect. Aside from skin conditioning, they can be used as well in hair products to condition the appearance and feel of the hair.
Other raw materials from hemp include by-products from production of hemp seed oil such as Cannabis Sativa Seedcake powder and Cannabis Sativa Seedcake, which may be used as abrasives, as well as derivatives such as Potassium Hempseedate, which can be found in soaps and handwashes, and Ethyl Cannabis Seedate, which may be used as a naturally derived Cyclopentasiloxane (D5) substitute.
Can cannabidiol (CBD) be used in cosmetics?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of cannabinoid that can be synthetically produced or isolated from Cannabis plants and used as a single ingredient. In cosmetics, CBD can function as an antioxidant and facilitate anti-aging properties.
To this date, cosmetic regulatory compliance of CBD as an ingredient itself relies on the part of the plant from which it is extracted. For instance, seeds when not accompanied by tops are acceptable, although these do not contain CBD, whereas CBD prepared from Cannabis extracts or tinctures from flower/fruiting tops where the resin has not been separated, as well as the separated resin, are not allowed for use. Indeed, the UN 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs defines controlled cannabis as “the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant”, but does not consider Cannabis sativa seeds or leaves as controlled substances (as long as they are not accompanied by the tops).
In this context, Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 for cosmetics bans the use of CBD derived from resin, tinctures and extracts of Cannabis, as well as cannabinoids, resin and various extracts (e.g. Cannabis Sativa flower extract, Cannabis Sativa flower/leaf/stem extract) from cosmetic use (Annex II). Synthetically produced CBD is acceptable for end use.
How about detectable THC levels in cosmetics?
Under Regulation (EU) No. 1308/2013, Cannabis sativa L. is considered as an agricultural product and as an “industrial plant” that may be grown legally as long as their THC content does not exceed 0.2%. However, for cosmetics, national legislations from EU Member States on controlled substances may apply. For instance, in France no THC is allowed, while in Luxembourg a THC concentration up to 0.3% is permitted.
How does regulation work outside the EU?
In the USA, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not prohibit or restrict the use of cannabis or cannabis-derived ingredients in cosmetics, and considers the possibility that a product containing these substances can have both a cosmetic and a drug use (for instance, creams to treat dermatitis or acne). Unlike in the USA, however, no therapeutic or medical claim should be asserted for cosmetics in Europe. This applies as well to products containing permitted cosmetic raw materials extracted from Cannabis sativa.
Transparency and traceability
Following baseline regulatory compliance, for the formulation and subsequent claims made about natural and organic cosmetics, transparency and traceability are key to ensure that any substance extracted or derived from hemp used in a product ensures certain verifiable qualities. When using raw materials from Cannabis in cosmetics, brands should choose reliable supply chains that give proof of the traceability of these plant extracts from crop-to-shop. This is a key aspect for regulatory compliance but also for end consumers because it reassures them about the origin and qualities of these substances when used in a cosmetic product.
Article written by Ana Ledesma, Communications Officer at NATRUE
benefits of Cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil for the skin
Consumers often ask us if Cannabis sativa seed oil is the same as hemp seed oil. First of all, what is Cannabis sativa? Cannabis sativa is a plant species that describes both the plant that contains high levels of THC commonly know as marijuana, and also the low THC variety commonly known as hemp. While there are over 100 known cannabinoids within the cannabis plant, CBD and THC are the two cannabinoids that have stolen the show. It’s pretty much common knowledge by now that THC causes psychoactive effects within the body, and that Cannabidiol aka CBD is known for its non-psychoactive effects within the body. They both work within the body’s endocannabinoid system. A different type ingredient entirely, Cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil is not a chemical compound – it’s a nutrient-dense oil containing many vitamins, proteins and amino acids that come from cold pressing the seeds of this powerful plant.
Now, you may be thinking, “There are hundreds of oils on the market. Why should I care about Cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil?” You are correct, currently there is a lot of talk about hemp seed oil, but let’s talk about its skin care benefits and why High Beauty has chosen to formulate with this exceptional oil.
Cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil has numerous health benefits, including those that improve your skin health. Cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil is nutrient-dense, containing Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 essential fatty acids, vitamins, beta carotene, phospholipids, minerals and twenty amino acids. Here are some of the benefits of this oil:
Comedogenic Rating of 0 (zero)
Will not clog pores.
Moisturizes and Soothes Inflammation
Omega-6 also known as gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory, while encouraging skin growth and new cell generation. This powerful essential fatty acid can help calm inflammation and irritation in all skin types – including blemished skin.
Helps Control Oil Production
Cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil is beneficial for all skin types as it will moisturize without clogging pores. It will help regulate an oily skin, while keeping it moisturized, balanced and acne-causing bacteria at bay. Did you know that dryness can cause your skin to over-produce oil? Hemp oil will soothe dry skin and moderate oil production.
Linoleic and oleic acids are essential fatty acids contained in hemp seed oil. Neither are produced in our bodies, but are very beneficial to the health of our skin. Linoleic and oleic acids provide anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and healing support, as well as fight acne and keep skin supple and youthful looking. These essential fatty acids found in hemp seed oil will also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and fight early signs of aging.
Rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil will help protect skin from environmental damage.
Restores Tone and Texture
The phytosterols in hemp seed oil will help boost collagen production to help restore and rejuvenate skin’s tone and texture.
Why Not CBD?
It’s really pretty simple, while CBD has lots of practical applications for well-being, high skincare is created to help you reach your skin’s highest potential.
We aren’t afraid of a stigma or believe using CBD is taboo. It just simply is not the most potent part of the plant for skincare. We’re not here to chase a fad or ride a bandwagon. We’re here because there is a part of the cannabis sativa plant that is truly revolutionary for skin care. – the oil from the plant’s seeds.
Want additional information on Cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil? Head to our science page here. If you have any questions regarding this topic, please reach out to me at [email protected]