Published : 11/30/2016 11:48:40
Categories : Essential Oils
According to various surveys and studies, a sizable number of people use complementary and alternative medicines, otherwise known as CAM, and the percentage of those who use CAM has been on a steady and general increase. Essential oils are an alternative medicine used not only for treatment but also for prevention.
However, one of the least widely known and used essential oils which can provide tremendous benefit to the user is hemp essential oil. Also known as Cannabis Sativa essential oil, and not to be confused with hemp oil, hemp essential oil is made from the Cannabis plant, which should explain why it is not as popular, since hemp became subject to various states’ poison laws in America in 1906 with cannabis being fully banned in the 1920s.
What led to hemp essential oil’s healing and therapeutic properties being denied as an alternative medicine was a combination of willful ignorance by authorities and their including all forms of hemp in the same category as, say, opium and marijuana. Hemp has been banned in many countries and production had dramatically dropped.
What should, perhaps, now be pointed out is the difference between industrial and recreational hemp. Industrial hemp is used as its name says, for industrial purposes such as clothes, oil, cosmetics, paper, insulation, construction, etc. In most countries it has to have less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Recreational hemp is more famous as cannabis or marijuana. It’s more and more used for medicinal purposes thanks to the amazing healing properties of cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids. It was in the 1970s that the process of how to separate the plants and which plant had the THC and which plant didn’t was discovered.
Volumes have already been written about the Cannabis plant and hemp. But for those who are new to the topic, a brief overview. Cannabis is a flowering plant. There are three species of Cannabis. They are Cannabis indica, Cannabis ruderalis and Cannabis sativa, all of which are indigenous to Central Asia, but are now farmed in many parts of the world. The Cannabis plant that hemp essential oil is steam distilled from contains little or no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or other psychoactive cannabinoids.
The word “hemp” and similarly the word “canvas” both have their etymological roots in the word, “cannabis”. However, hemp is perhaps the more appropriate term to use here to avoid any confusion. Hemp is well known for the quality of its fibers and in its use in rope, canvas and clothing and as a cost-effective and ecologically-friendly wood substitute source for paper.
The hemp plant is very sturdy and can be sown and harvested year in and year out without the need for rotation like many crops. Hemp typically grows to be as tall as six meters or about eighteen feet tall. It is from the stalk of the Cannabis plant that the fibers for clothing, rope and papers are derived. It has a very long and ancient history for various uses throughout most of the world and its many cultures, large and small, going back 10,000 years in Taiwan and China.
We need to distinguish the hemp essential oil from hemp oil. Hemp essential oil is an extract obtained by steam distillation, while hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is extracted from the hemp seeds. It is mainly for food and cosmetics. Hemp oil is a term also used to called Rick Simpson’s hemp oil, which would have helped him to heal from cancer. This oil is obtained thanks to a solvent or supercritical CO2 extraction. It looks more like a thick paste containing cannabinoids. Hemp essential oil is obtained from the hemp plant by low pressure steam distillation. Cannabinoids are not soluble in water, so essential hemp oil contains only traces of CBDs. However, like all essential oils, it contains many beneficial terpenes to human body. Terpenes enable the hemp plants to defend themselves and help provide hemp with its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
We can find on the market two main quality of hemp essential oil. One produced from the flowers, which has a stronger smell and taste. This oil is more for fragrance and flavoring. The second one is produced from the whole plant. This essential oil contains a larger quantity of chemical components and is more suited for aromatherapy and healing recipes.
It takes one ton of hemp to get one liter of essential oil. That is one of the reasons hemp essential oil is so expensive, and why hemp blossoms essential oil is even more expensive.
Hemp essential oil is also known to have many anti-fungal properties. It can be used to treat toenail and fingernail fungal infections, Athlete’s foot, jock itch and others. It is also known for its excellence as an insect repellent.
Thanks to antibacterial properties, hemp essential oil has been shown to slow the growth of various forms of microorganisms and food-borne and gastrointestinal bacteria depending on the type and “sowing time”.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, if used regularly hemp essential oil can eliminate allergic reactions and skin irritations. It also relieves swelling. It is excellent for treating eczema. It is also great for asthma, sinusitis and hay fever. Hemp essential oil can also help regulate hormonal imbalances. Its relaxant and antispasmodic qualities enables it to relieve spasms and various muscle problems. It can also help you to relax and even increase energy.
With its relaxation properties, hemp essential oil provides a general feeling of peace and tranquility, enhances energy, promotes optimism and reduces stress. It mixes well with many oils such as citrus oils, bergamot, lemon, lime and orange. Hemp essential oil is excellent for general relaxation of body and mind. It also improves sleep which also promotes a better sense of well-being and self-esteem which helps fight nervousness, fear and anxiety.
People are rarely allergic to this oil and can easily be used for massage. This oil fits almost all skin types making it a quality component for many beauty products that treat the skin.
Many other applications are recognized with hemp essential oil. It treats hormonal imbalance, regulates the hormonal system of women and reduces the symptoms associated with menstruation.
A good way to make hemp essential oil in aromatherapy is applicable to put a few drops in a diffuser. You can add a few drops of oil of lavender or chamomile to increase the feeling of relaxation. It is also possible to mix the essential oil of hemp candles and alcohol-based perfumes to soften the natural flavor and to strengthen and cleanse the skin.
Another solution is to apply the oil to mix with a cosmetic cream in order to increase the effectiveness of the cream by applying the oil directly on the skin.