Hemp seeds provide one of the most concentrated vegetable oils in essential fatty acids. What is its extraction process? What are its benefits for the skin and hair? What about its biochemical composition? Typology answers your questions!
Everything you need to know about hemp oil.
A bit of history.
The Cultivated Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the Cannabinaceae family. It originates from equatorial regions, more specifically from the foothills of the Himalayas. It was only in 2018 that three subspecies were identified: the Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa) which has a commercial use, the Indian Hemp (Cannabis sativa subsp. indica ) known for its psychotropic effects and the Wild Hemp (Cannabis sativa subsp. ruderalis).
Hemp is none other than one of the first plants domesticated by humans, during the Neolithic period. Over the years, the use of this plant has spread in various fields and across several continents. In Asia, its fibers were used to make clothes, before cotton. Hemp is also believed to have been the paper substrate used by Gutenberg to print the first Bible. Compared to wood paper, the advantage of hemp paper is its durability: it can withstand the test of time without damage. Some hemp papers have been discovered 1500 years after their publication, in excellent condition! In the 19th century, hemp flowers were harvested and used for medical purposes, in homeopathy. In 1854, cannabis was included in the national compendium of medicines in the USA: it was prescribed for a hundred diseases. It is recognized as an antispasmodic, antidepressant, sedative, and analgesic.
Hemp oil in cosmetics.
Firstly, let's clarify that the varieties of hemp used today to produce a vegetable oil marketed in cosmetics are listed in the public health code and thus fall under the legal obligation of a THC (psychoactive substance) rate less than 0.2%. Therefore, there is no prohibition or contraindication to its use. Pregnant women and young children can use it.
The extraction of hemp oil can be accomplished in three different ways (mechanically, via an extraction solvent, or with supercritical fluid), each slightly influencing its composition. At Typology, the hemp oil found in thefortifying oil for beard and hair is derived from the first cold press of hemp seeds.
Regarding its biochemical composition, hemp vegetable oil primarily contains linoleic acid or omega 6 (45 to 65%) as well as alpha-linolenic acid or omega 3 (14 to 30%). Following these are palmitic acid, oleic acid (omega 9), and stearic acid. The unsaponifiable fraction of hemp oil is none other than vitamin E and phytosterols. It presents itself as a clear oily liquid, green in color and with a somewhat dry touch; it penetrates the skin well and imparts a slightly spicy and herbaceous scent.
Why use hemp oil for the skin?
When applied topically, it provides several benefits and is suitable for various skin types.
By regulating sebum production, it is the ally of problematic oily skin.
The fatty acid composition of hemp oil closely mirrors that of human sebum. Therefore, the skin readily absorbs this vegetable oil, which strengthens the hydrolipidic film and regulates sebum flow. Thanks to its dry texture, it also has the advantage of leaving no oily residue.Non-comedogenic (comedogenicity index = 0), it does not clog pores and is an excellent ally for combination to oily skin types. Moreover, studies have demonstrated its effectiveness as an anti-acne agent.
She takes care of dehydrated skin.
Thanks to the omega 9 and omega 6 fatty acids it provides to the skin, it strengthens the hydrolipidic film. This film plays a protective role, in the sense that it maintains the skin's hydration level and fights against external aggressions. Hemp vegetable oil is thus qualified as relipidating, it is recommended for taking care of dry and dehydrated skin.
It prevents oxidative stress and firms up mature skin.
Containing vitamin E and phytosterols, hemp oil is an excellent antioxidant treatment. As a reminder, free radicals are reactive oxygen species naturally produced by the body. However, when cells are subjected to stress, they produce these in excess. The sources of stress are numerous, the main ones being exposure to UVA, pollution, smoking, and a diet too rich in fats and/or sugars. Free radicals are particularly unstable molecules due to their unpaired electron. They tend to react with other molecules to form an electron pair, thereby causing damage to the body's cells, DNA, and proteins. This accelerates aging and causes wrinkles to appear on the skin's surface.
The benefits of hemp oil for hair
Thanks to its content of essential fatty acids, this vegetable oil revitalizes dehydrated and dry hair, providing it with shine. By penetrating the hair fibers, it limits the evaporation of water.
Furthermore, the vitamin E and phytosterols present in hemp oil protect the hair from external aggressions, -pollution, sun, cigarette smoke...- which generate an overproduction of free radicals. This phenomenon, known as oxidative stress, is a factor linked to the deterioration of hair fibers, the appearance of white hair, or even hair loss. Hemp oil and the molecules it contains neutralize free radicals to prevent them from causing harm and maintain good hair quality for as long as possible.
In which Typology skincare product can one find hemp oil?
In ingredient lists, you may find hemp oil under the name of "Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil". This is the main component of our fortifying oil for beard and hair, made up of 100% naturally sourced ingredients and certified organic. This treatment nourishes and softens the hair. When applied to the roots, it stimulates hair growth for a denser and softer beard. For hair, this oil is applied mainly to the mid-lengths and ends to nourish and repair the hair fiber.
Krunoslav Aladic, Cold Pressing and Supercritical CO2 Extraction of Hemp (Cannabis sativa) Seed Oil, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Quarterly, (2015).
Jin S, Lee MY. The ameliorative effect of hemp seed hexane extracts on the propionibacterium acnes-induced inflammation and lipogenesis in sebocytes. PLoS One. (2018).