Society is constantly searching for a product that can potentially provide not only pain relief but also comes with skin benefits. If you’ve found yourself searching for this type of combo-product, then you probably want to look into hemp cream.
Hemp cream is a small, but rapidly growing sub-category of skincare products. The majority are oil-based; however, this doesn’t mean that they’re the same as CBD oil. Although the cannabis plant is a common denominator for some of the active ingredients in both hemp cream and CBD oil, there are notable differences.
One of the most recognizable differences between the two is the absence of THC in hemp cream (unless the label explicitly states that THC has been added). Although CBD oil typically only contains small amounts of THC, hemp cream is a topical, making it nearly impossible for whatever THC that may exist to enter the bloodstream.
Manufacturers begin the process of making hemp cream by extracting hemp seed oil from hemp seeds using a method referred to as cold press extraction. This type of extraction is commonly used for skincare products because, unlike heat extraction, cold press preserves many of the nutritional properties of hemp seeds.
The next steps vary from brand to brand but, at minimum, will involve a lab setting where the extracted hemp seed oil is mixed with other compounds depending on the type of hemp cream being produced. At this stage, brands may add in things like essential oils, emulsifiers, and other skin-friendly additives.
Once this stage of production is complete, the products are typically ready for retail shelves. In most cases, the lack of unnatural additives or synthetic agents adds to its appeal.
According to the CDC, about 24 million Americans are limited by pain caused by arthritis, and an additional 50 million adults in the US experience a form of chronic pain. Given this, it should be no surprise that topical pain relief products are sought after by many.
When it comes to pain relief, countless anecdotal reports describe pain subsiding as a result of using hemp cream. That said, researchers worldwide are conducting clinical trials to better understand if and how hemp cream may provide clinical relief.
A 2020 study published in the Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology explored pain relief as a result of peripheral neuropathy. Although this was a small study (29 test subjects), the findings were promising.
The researchers reported that the treatment product was “well tolerated and may provide a more effective alternative compared to other current therapies in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy.”
Although we can’t definitively say whether hemp cream will ultimately prove to be a natural pain reliever in clinical settings, early research certainly paints a promising picture.
The primary active ingredient in most hemp cream is hemp seed oil. One of the many beneficial compounds naturally found in hemp seed oil is polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).
According to researchers in the department of dermatology at the University of California – Davis, these healthy PUFAs may assist our skin’s anti-inflammatory response. Their research shows that PUFAs appear to generate additional anti-inflammatory metabolites that our skin uses to reduce inflammation.
PUFAs aren’t the only component of hemp seed oil that our bodies can take advantage of. In 2019, the Mayo Clinic conducted a deep-dive look into hemp oils. Researchers reported hemp oils were loaded with omega-3 and omega-6 acids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and more.
Of course, more research needs to be conducted to determine how well the body can absorb nutrients found in products like hemp cream. However, the recent rise in popularity of ingestible hemp products like hemp protein is a testament to hemp’s nutritious value.
In almost all situations, hemp cream is a legal product.
Unless your product’s label states that it contains THC, the majority are THC-free. In fact, many brands take the extra step in reassuring users that their product doesn’t contain THC by clearly stating so on the product’s packaging.
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, if your hemp cream contains CBD, it is still considered legal in most states. If you’re unsure about your product, we recommend researching your state’s current laws or reaching out to your product’s brand for clarification.
Finding the perfect hemp cream for your needs can be daunting, which is why it is important to arm yourself with information to help you narrow the options.
When considering a hemp cream, the first thing that you should do is verify that the product has appropriate labeling. Your product’s label should never make vague claims or leave you feeling confused about its intended purpose. Additionally, it is important to ensure your product’s label clearly states a website or way to contact the brand’s customer service department in the event that you have questions.
If your hemp cream contains CBD, the product’s packaging should always provide a method to view third-party lab results. This type of testing gives users peace of mind in knowing that their product is made of exactly what the brand claims. These third-party lab results are commonly referred to as a certificate of analysis or COA.
It seems that new hemp and CBD product brands are appearing on a daily basis. That is why it is so important to research the reputation of a brand that you’re interested in. Online forums and unbiased brand summary resources are an excellent place to check out the public perception of a brand.
As with most other topicals, a bit of trial and error can go a long way to determine what works best for your needs. If you take this approach, be sure to give each product a few weeks before switching to another. Keep notes of the pros and cons of each hemp cream that you try.
Hemp cream has quickly found a spot in medicine cabinets and bathroom vanities across the nation. Although in its early stages, data from clinical research is emerging more frequently now than ever.
The potential pain-alleviating properties have resulted in a wide gamut of Americans trying it out for themselves. If you think that hemp cream may help ease your aches and pains or are interested in trying it simply for its skin benefits, we recommend speaking with your dermatologist or healthcare provider and trying it out.
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