Can You Use Hemp Oil for Eczema?
Eczema is an inflammatory, immune-related condition characterized by red, rashy, or even broken skin. In recent years, eczema sufferers have started turning to hemp oil for help — which types of hemp oil are useful for eczema, though, and which other variables might you need to take into account when using hemp oil for eczema?
In this guide, learn all the details regarding using hemp oil for eczema: which types of hemp oil you can use, how you should use them, and the overall safety and usefulness of hemp oil in treating eczema. By the end, you’ll know enough to make an informed purchase and start approaching eczema from a new and natural angle.
What is hemp oil?
The term “hemp oil” can refer to any type of oil derived from the hemp plant, which contains oils in various parts. In hemp, the oiliest parts are the seeds and the buds, with each containing very different kinds of oils and other compounds.
Hemp oil derived from the seeds of the plant, for instance, has impressive nutritional properties but limited antioxidant potential. Flower-derived hemp oil, on the other hand, is abundant in cannabinoids and terpenes, both of which are believed to have some degree of antioxidant (and therefore healing) potential.
There are so many different types and grades of hemp oil that it’s certainly worth it to familiarize yourself with this product category ahead of time. Certain types of hemp oil are useful for some purposes but useless or even counterproductive when used for others.
What can hemp oil contain?
Depending on the part of the hemp plant from which it is derived, hemp oil can contain a very wide variety of different substances. Generally speaking, the two types of hemp oil (seed oil and flower oil) can contain the following various constituents:
- Hemp seed oil: Fatty acids, other healthy lipids, minerals, linoleic acid, vitamin B, vitamin D
- Hemp flower oil: Cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, etc.), terpenes, flavonoids, waxes (in undistilled extracts)
Neither hemp seed oil nor hemp flower oil should ever contain any agricultural contaminants or other toxins. As an FDA-regulated substance, hemp seed oil is generally high-quality, but consumers should use third-party lab tests to independently confirm the quality of CBD oil products for themselves.
Hemp oil vs. CBD oil
The terms “hemp oil” and “CBD oil” can be confusing, especially since they are sometimes used interchangeably. The accepted definitions of these terms, though, are:
- Hemp oil: Derived from hemp seeds. Does not contain cannabinoids. Has nutritional value.
- CBD oil: Derived from hemp flower. Contains cannabinoids and terpenes. Has no nutritional value.
Is hemp oil useful for eczema?
Some users believe that hemp oil — meaning oil derived from the seeds of the hemp plant — can be useful for eczema. There’s some research supporting this idea.
In 2020, for instance, a study was published suggesting that the omega fatty acids present in hemp seed oil might be useful against atopic dermatitis (eczema). Omega acids were also found to be useful against psoriasis, acne, and skin ulcers.
Keep in mind that research so far conducted into the use of hemp oil for eczema has mainly centered around oral use. It is not, therefore, necessarily suggested that you use hemp seed oil as a topical treatment for eczema.
Is CBD oil useful for eczema?
Though it hadn’t been a subject of much research prior to this point, studies into using CBD for eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions started appearing in a wave around 2020. In 2021, for instance, a small clinical study was published showing “a 29% average decrease in intensity of pruritus,” a technical term for itching — in this case, caused by eczema.
Then, in 2022, the journal JID Innovations published a research review titled “Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Dermatologic Conditions,” which covered 13 studies into the use of various cannabinoids for an equally varied group of skin diseases. The authors concluded that cannabinoids “may be effective for the treatment of various inflammatory skin disorders.”
In short, there appears to be plenty of reason to believe that CBD might be useful for eczema — along with related inflammatory skin conditions. And, unlike hemp seed oil, there seems to be some evidence that CBD has dermatological benefits when applied topically, not just orally.
Is hemp oil safe to use for eczema?
It’s unclear whether hemp seed oil is safe to use for eczema. While it appears that taking this natural oil orally has significant nutritional and health benefits, it is always wise to practice extreme caution when applying topical products to eczema-affected skin.
Ask a dermatologist if you are considering using hemp oil on your skin for eczema. Keep in mind that a topical CBD formulation designed specifically for use against eczema may be a wiser option to choose.
Topical safety of hemp oil for eczema
The safety of using hemp seed oil topically for eczema has not been established. Hemp seed oil is generally considered to be a relatively benign substance, but the unique sensitivities of eczema-affected the skin must be taken into consideration.
Don’t forget that studies conducted into the usefulness of hemp seed oil for eczema have solely focused on oral use. This is mostly due to the fact that hemp seed oil is not commonly applied topically and is not generally considered to be suitable for such uses.
Internal safety of hemp oil for eczema
Taking hemp seed oil orally as a treatment for eczema is unlikely to cause any negative response. The omega acids present in hemp oil absorb into your gut and disperse throughout your body, providing protection from oxidative stress and relief from inflammation. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about the safety of using hemp seed oil as an oral supplement for eczema.
How do you use hemp seed oil for eczema?
It is generally recommended that if you decide to use hemp seed oil for eczema, you should ingest this substance orally instead of applying it topically. Applying substances to the skin — no matter how benign they may be — can exacerbate the symptoms of eczema unless a specifically formulated topical is selected. Putting average hemp seed oil that is not intended for topical use on eczema-affected skin is likely to do more harm than good.
When it comes to using hemp seed oil orally for eczema, there are no established guidelines regarding dose sizes or frequency of dose. Work with your doctor to establish an appropriate daily internal dosage of hemp seed oil for your particular case of eczema.
How do you use CBD oil for eczema?
Eczema sufferers generally use CBD products either orally or topically as they attempt to treat this painful inflammatory condition. When used orally, CBD users hope to harness the potential anti-inflammatory properties of this cannabinoid, which some experts believe could outstrip those of hemp seed oil when applied via oral ingestion.
CBD is often applied topically as well, though, in the form of products specifically designed to alleviate the symptoms of eczema. These topicals are often light, water-based creams that are designed to absorb quickly and deliver CBD throughout the various layers of your skin without leaving any residue behind.
Hemp oil & eczema FAQ
Learn more about using hemp extracts for eczema below:
1. Can hemp oil be used directly on skin?
It is not generally recommended that you apply hemp seed oil to your skin. Exceptions may apply in the case of remarkably high quality hemp seed oil extracts that are designed to be topically applied.
2. Does hemp lotion help with eczema?
Some lotions with hemp-derived ingredients may be useful against eczema. Your average massive bottle of low-quality lotion emblazoned with a giant pot leaf, though, will most likely exacerbate your eczema rather than alleviate it. Make sure that the hemp topical you’re using is specifically formulated to be used against eczema and that it does not contain any ingredients or contaminants that might inflame your skin.
3. Is hemp oil good for itchy skin?
If your skin is itchy, applying raw hemp seed oil could make it worse. Some hemp-derived products are designed to be applied to your skin, but most aren’t. Read the label carefully before proceeding.
4. Which is better for skin: CBD oil or hemp oil?
Out of the two, CBD oil is most likely better than hemp seed oil for your skin. Hemp seed oil isn’t believed to be very useful when applied topically, but CBD oil may have immense typical benefits.
The bottom line: Can you put hemp oil on your skin for eczema?
As long as you know which kind of hemp oil you’re using, applying a hemp-derived product to your skin may be an excellent approach to take against your eczema. Just keep in mind that a giant bottle of hemp seed oil from Costco or a low-quality hemp lotion picked up from the supermarket are very likely to only make your problem worse. Be a discerning consumer, and choose the approach to fighting eczema that unlocks the hemp plant’s hidden potential the most effectively.