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what does hemp oil do

Omega-3 and omega-6s have been shown to help treat conditions like atopic dermatitis (a.k.a. eczema), which can leave your skin dry and itchy. GLA in particular has been shown to improve dry skin and eczema. One 2005 study even found people who consumed hempseed oil for 20 weeks had a reduction in oil and reduced the symptoms and appearance of eczema after 20 weeks. But that research is preliminary, Tishler points out.

Fatty acids and GLA may also help curb the physical and emotional pain linked to PMS. Here’s why: One of the causes of PMS is a hormonal imbalance that leads to a lack of GLA in the body. Research on GLA has shown to help alleviate the symptoms of PMS by bringing hormone levels back into balance. But so far, studies haven’t found ingesting or slathering on hemp oil itself will have this effect.

What is hemp oil—and is it different from CBD oil?

CBD is a compound called a cannabinoid, says Jordan Tishler, MD, a Harvard-trained doc who is an expert on using cannabis as medical treatment. It can be extracted from hemp or marijuana, two different plants from the Cannabis sativa L. (“cannabis”) species. The big difference between the two: Marijuana contains higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), the compound responsible for the psychoactive properties of pot (a.k.a., the stuff that makes you high). Hemp, on the other hand, is naturally very low in THC (0.3 percent), says Tishler.

Oh, and that ideal ratio of omegas? Researchers in Spain say that composition makes hemp oil high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). A high ratio of PUFAs to saturated fats has been linked to reductions in cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). That suggests hemp oil may have the potential to help prevent heart disease, according to the study authors. But again, none of this has been tested in people.

“It probably should be called snake oil,” says Tishler. (So. save your cash.) Not only does hemp oil not have any real health benefits, but it may contain stuff that’s actually bad for you. “At the moment what you can buy is less regulated than the potato at the supermarket,” says Tishler. When hemp oil is extracted, there’s a risk that pesticides, plastics, and heavy metals could make their way in, says Tishler.

Instead, CBD is thought to influence other receptors, including opioid receptors that regulate pain and glycine receptors involved in the regulation of the “feel-good” hormone and neurotransmitter serotonin.

To determine an exact dose of CBD, remember that each drop of oil equals 0.05 mL of fluid. This means that a 30-mL bottle of CBD oil will have roughly 600 drops. If the concentration of the tincture is 1,500 mg/mL, one drop would contain 2.5 mg of CBD (1,500 mg ÷ 600 drops = 2.5 mg).

Health Benefits

Here is just some of what the current evidence says.

CBD shows promise in the treatment of anxiety disorders, suggests a 2015 review of studies in the journal Neurotherapeutics.   According to the investigators, CBD demonstrated potent anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) effects in animal research, albeit with counterintuitive results.

There is some evidence that CBD interacts with seizure medications such as Onfi (clobazam) and boosts their concentration in the blood. Further research is needed.