07 Nov Q&A: How do you Use Hemp Oil?
Since getting involved in the hemp and CBD landscape we have gotten a ton of questions from readers, friends, and family and we figured the best way to field all of these is at the same time. You might be wondering, just like many others, how do you use hemp oil properly to get the anticipated effects? This is actually a much more complex question that you might expect, as there are a ton of different ways you might want to use hemp oil depending on what you are looking to treat. Here are some of the most common questions – and hopefully the answers you are looking for – about hemp oil and its variety of uses.
Question: Can you use hemp oil topically?
Answer: This depends on what you might be trying to treat. Since hemp oil commonly contains CBD, which can be absorbed through your skin, the simple answer here is yes, hemp oil can be used topically. Since your skin contains a large number of cannabinoid receptors (which CBD interacts with in every affected organ) hemp oil will absorb freely into skin and is often contained within many therapy and beauty products. This means that the hemp oil will interact with the cannabinoid receptors in your skin, but will not find its way into your bloodstream if you decide to apply it topically unless you use a transdermal product designed to do exactly that.
That being said, if you are looking to treat inflammation, regulate pain, itching, skin redness, and even acne, you may wish to use products containing hemp oil topically to see if they work for you. There have even been some very promising studies showing positive impacts of topical CBD application to treat arthritis – crazy, right? Have you ever heard of A5-35 or Tiger Balm? Both of these products treat soreness, muscle aches, pain, and transdermal issues by numbing the affected area.
Hemp and CBD balms are now available which actually work with the natural receptors in your body to potentially alleviate symptoms at the source. While more human testing is required, these products are about as safe to use as any beauty products might be, and in our opinion are absolutely worth a try. The interaction that CBD has with your cannabinoid receptors in your skin could be part of the solution to your skin problems. However, if you are looking to treat mental health issues or deeper medical issues that affect bodily organs other than your skin, and wondering can you use hemp oil topically, you can – but this will not be a viable solution for you as the important chemical in hemp oil will never enter your bloodstream.
Question: Can you use hemp oil on your face?
Answer: Absolutely! Hemp oil, contained within beauty products as discussed above, can be just as safe as any other beauty products available on the market. There are actually two options here – cbd-containing hemp oil beauty products, and hemp seed oil itself, which will not contain any CBD. Both can be used on your face, but will work slightly differently. Hemp seed oil products contain more linoleic acid than most beauty products, which is good for acne and dry skin, will not clog your pores, and contains a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids which will nourish your skin and keep your face glowing naturally.
CBD and Hemp oil-containing beauty products will work more like we have discussed above, by interacting with natural processes within your skin and promoting skin health through these interactions. They can reduce swelling and inflammation, help with redness and itching, and naturally moisturize your skin. You might as well ask, how do you use hemp oil to treat acne – because all of these things will work together to reduce breakouts since acne itself is inflammation!
Question: Can you put hemp oil in a diffuser?
This is a really odd question, but worth answering either way. My counter question would be, what are you hoping to gain? Technically speaking, can you put hemp oil in a diffuser? Absolutely. Diffusers work most commonly by either heating essential oils or using ultrasonic waves to evaporate the oils, creating steam that is dispersed into the air around you.
While technically hemp oil can be vaporized and inhaled to receive medicinal effects, the fact that a diffuser is dispersing the particles throughout an entire room would mean that you may never inhale enough of these particles to ever generate an effect that you can feel. Plus, it will be a massive waste of money – most hemp oil is not cheap – unless you really love the smell and want that fragrance throughout your room, apartment, or house at all times. This is one of the ways you definitely want to avoid using hemp oil even though it’s technically possible. Anything you get from this method would be psychosomatic at best.
Question: Can you use hemp oil for cooking?
Answer: There are again two different answers here, depending on what you’re looking to achieve.
Cooking with hemp seed oil is actually quite common – this substance is high in accessible proteins and is considered more health-conscious than most common cooking oils. It can be substituted for butter or any other common cooking oil, has plenty of flavor, and contains plenty of good fats and protein for that added boost to anything you might be planning to cook. Personally I enjoy frying eggs in hemp seed oil and adding it to cookies and other baked goods – the flavor is great, and the oil itself is very versatile and easy to use and can actually be heated to a higher temperature than olive oil (up to 475 degrees, making it better than olive oil for pan frying!). Hemp seed oil has a slightly nutty flavor which contributes well especially in baking, but you will love it in plenty of delicious stovetop breakfasts and dinners as well.
Cooking with full spectrum hemp oil or hemp oil containing CBD, however, is not as highly recommended but can still be done effectively. Think of this type of oil more as an additive once your meal, smoothie, or snack has already been cooked, or as something that must be combined with something fatty at a fairly low temperature before beginning the cooking process.
Cooking with hemp oil over direct heat will not only cause a terrible smell reminiscent of a 1970’s garage party gone wrong, it will also reduce the overall potential medical effects that CBD can have on your brain and body, as it boils after reaching about 325F and will start to release many of the terpenes and other particles that will have positive medicinal effects. That being said, hemp oil can be quite effective when blended into your morning smoothie, or added to a sandwich, cold snacks like fruit salad or yogurt, mixed with your favorite salad dressing or combined with any oil-based substance to amplify your meal. You can also bake with it (at low temperatures) by combining it with cooking oils or fats that you would be mixing into cookie dough or other delicious baked goods before cooking. Just be cautious of the overall temperature of the oven when you are baking as those extra-high temperatures can act to diminish the medicinal effects of hemp oil.
Question: Can I put hemp oil in my coffee?
Answer: This question is pretty similar to the previous one, can you use hemp oil for cooking. The difference is, you would never want to add hemp seed oil to your coffee – this is the equivalent of adding any other cooking oil (or butter) to your coffee. Not water soluble, any oil like this would simply sit on top of your coffee and taste 100% different than the beverage you would otherwise be enjoying first thing in the morning. Would I put olive oil in my coffee? Probably not, but I could if I wanted. Can I put hemp oil in my coffee? I could, but oh boy would I ever regret it.
Hemp oil containing CBD is pretty much the same story. Since this is not water soluble, the result is basically that the few drops of oil you would use would just sit on the top of your cup of coffee and taste terrible. You’re better off taking the hemp oil on it’s own, enduring the flavor, then washing it down with your cup of coffee afterwards unless you want to mix it ahead of time with some very heavy, very fatty cream over a bit of heat. Simply heat the cream almost to a boil, add a drop or two of CBD oil, mix well, then add it immediately to your morning cup of coffee..
There are some really cool ways that people have managed to blend hemp and cbd oil with their favorite hot beverages. Some coffee shops have started to serve up CBD lattes, and there are even a few companies that make water-soluble CBD teas, so you can get all the medical benefits with your delicious morning (or afternoon, or evening) beverage. If you are interested in CBD containing teas, I would recommend checking out Buddha Teas or cbdteas.net for a bunch of glorious options.
I just don’t see the hemp oil coffee as a DIY endeavor unless you mix the oil with some heated, high fat cream before adding it to your coffee – since high fat cream will mix well with CBD, you should be able to create a blended barista experience at home for low cost and hopefully enjoy it sweetened with a bit of cane sugar or honey to mask the earthy flavor of the CBD oil.
Question: Can you take hemp oil orally?
Answer: Absolutely – in fact, this is one of the most common ways to take hemp oil. The most popular way to take hemp oil is sublingually, which is a complicated word that simply means, putting a drop or two under your tongue and waiting for it to absorb through the thin layer of skin under there. This is one of the fastest absorption methods which means you should also start to notice the results of the treatment within ten or fifteen minutes.
You can also consume hemp oil by mixing it into your favorite drink, salad dressing, or other type of food (see above), however, the medication will take much longer to take effect and may actually be less effective because it flows through your gastrointestinal system before starting to take effect on your brain and body. Can you take hemp oil orally even though it tastes bad is another question which doesn’t get asked nearly often enough. We know that taking hemp oil sublingually is difficult because of the foul, earthy taste that accompanies it, so we have actually already prepared some tips for you about how to make hemp oil taste better even when you have to hold a drop of it under your tongue for an uncomfortable period of time.
Question: Can you take hemp oil with other medications?
Answer: While hemp oil may offer you relief for a variety of symptoms for many different ailments, and you may already swear by it, you should exercise caution when combining it with other medications. As always, if you are concerned about treatment interactions, especially drug and pharmaceutical interactions, you should always consult your doctor before combining medications.
Hemp oil contains CBD which is an inhibitor of two receptors in your brain, CYP3A4 and CYP2D6. Don’t get thrown off by these terms that you have probably never heard before – let’s just call them R1 and R2. R1 is a common metabolizer, or activator, for about 25% of all medications including popular allergy medicines, blood thinners, and pain killers and since CBD inhibits this receptor it can cause adverse effects when taking these types of medications – and can even cause them to work too well or to increase the concentration of these medications in your bloodstream.
The same can be said for R2 – this receptor interacts with most antidepressants, treatments for psychosis and treatments for bipolar disorder. These are not medications to be taken lightly – if you are already on one of these prescription medications and you are planning on taking hemp oil (or really any other medication) you should absolutely seek medical advice before experimenting.
Question: Can you give hemp oil to dogs?
Answer: One of the biggest problems with hemp oil treatments for dogs is the surprising lack of guidance on the dosage required and ultimately what you can expect to see after treating your furry family member with hemp oil. It’s not like your dog can speak to you and tell you whether they are feeling better or whether they are experiencing any side effects from the treatment. You cannot simply expect your dog to have the same interaction with hemp oil as you would – just like you would never read an animal study and think “it will definitely do the same thing to me”.
However, CBD is becoming a popular treatment option for dogs for things like anxiety, pain, depression, and epilepsy even without fully fleshed out research studies and double-blind tests. There have, however, been a few studies done which show the potential for hemp oil treatment in dogs. One such study from Cornell University tests the impact of CBD on dogs suffering from chronic pain. The results from this test were very positive, indicating that after treatment the dogs were “perceived to be more comfortable and active” and even that they experienced no observable or notable side effects.
Another study conducted in Colorado shows the impact of industrial hemp products on dogs suffering from epilepsy with equally positive results, showing a reduction of seizures in 90% of puppy patients tested that were suffering from epilepsy. While this study was on a very small test group, it is still a positive message for CBD pet products. Just like with humans, you should always consult your veterinarian before administering CBD oil to your pet, especially to get advice on dosage and on potential side effects about which you should be wary.
Question: Can you give hemp oil to cats?
Obviously this can be treated in much the same way as the above question about dogs, but surprisingly there has been a huge lack of medical or scientific studies conducted with respect to the interaction between felines and hemp oil CBD products. In the absence of studies there have been testimonials from many pet owners swearing that hemp oil helps their cats sleep better, behave better, or deal with chronic pain or pain from injuries, and advice from vets and pet experts to exercise extreme caution with CBD products in a “buyer-beware” marketplace where the treatment overall is still very poorly understood for pets on a whole.
Effectiveness notwithstanding, there is even disagreement in the medical community as to whether CBD treatments for cats and dogs can even be considered safe, with a general attitude that there are far too many knowledge gaps to properly recommend these treatment methods. Our advice – can you give hemp oil to cats? Can you give hemp oil to dogs? While your heart might melt when you hear stories like this one about Zaphod, an old cat who was given CBD oil to assist in a graceful decline at the end of his life, this doesn’t mean that you should be giving CBD oil to your pets.
There is a huge shortage of information on the subject, and without more clear direction from the medical and scientific community, it is difficult to have any confidence in these treatment methods from a scientific standpoint. At the end of the day, as a responsible pet owner, it is up to you whether you want to try hemp oil for your pets, especially if you’ve noticed that other treatment methods just aren’t doing the trick. After all, hemp oil treatments for humans are still very much in the experimental phase for a lot of ailments, yet people continue to swear by CBD products and the buzz continues to escalate globally.
How do you use hemp oil traditionally?
We have addressed some of the different ways of using hemp oil which contains CBD and hemp seed oil. This is a very versatile substance that can have different effects depending on the method of use and even the imagination of the user. The applications are widespread, and ultimately people can achieve a variety of benefits that differ based on the application method! We would like to invite you, as always, to engage in dialogue with us. If you are using hemp oil currently, or have tried it on your pets, we would love to hear your story.