The CBD oil buzz: Why it’s used in beauty products
By Helena Biggs | 18 April 2019 | Expert Advice, Feature
Cannabis plant oils are growing in popularity in the beauty sector – but are you clear on their strains and benefits? From hemp seed oil to CBD, let’s clear things up.
Cannabis is a plant family with two primary classifications; indica and sativa, and cannabis plants contain a variety of different compounds called ‘cannabinoids’. The two most dominant cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), and they both have effects on the human body.
THC is the compound that induces psychoactive effects, otherwise known as a ‘high’, while CBD does not contain any psychoactive properties.
Marijuana and hemp are both members of the cannabis sativa family, thus contain both THC and CBD compounds – but in different levels. Marijuana contains a 15 to 40% concentration of THC, while hemp has a very low concentration (0.3% or less) and so is legal in most parts of the world.
Owing to the THC concentration, marijuana is grown largely for recreational or medicinal use, while hemp is used within a number of products; from food to biofuels and beauty items.
Hemp oil, or hemp seed oil, is pressed from the seeds of the hemp plant and has high levels of omegas, while CBD oil is extracted from the rest of the plant; stalks, leaves and flowers.
While oils from the hemp strain of the cannabis plant have been used in beauty products for some time, increasing awareness of CBD is driving demand for products featuring the oil, as well as treatments that incorporate its benefits.
Hemp seed oil has high levels of vitamins; ideal for protecting the skin against ageing and inflammation. Rich in fatty acids, it aids hydration and could be helpful for skin issues including eczema and psoriasis – thus is used within a number of face and body care products.
CBD oil provides anti-inflammatory effects and a study by the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that it reduces the production of sebum; ideal for those with acne. It can also help to relieve muscle tension, thus is a popular addition to massage oils. CBD and hemp seed oils are often mixed to provide a full spectrum of benefits.
There is some confusion surrounding the legality of CBD oil. Cannabis is ‘a controlled drug’, as classified by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, and while the majority of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant fit this classification, CBD oil does not, so it can be sold and used in the UK legally.
However, the CBD oil must have a measure of 0.2% THC or under to be legal in the UK, and the Home Office says that anyone wishing to grow the hemp plant in the UK must have a licence.
We hope that’s a little less hazy (sorry). Check out our product picks featuring hemp seed and CBD oils, below.