The other day, I was casually boasting about how I am so close to making my own eye drops without the usual burning side effects of previous recipes. My friend nodded proudly on Skype, as I confidently dubbed myself Crown Height's Homeopathic Doctor of Beauty. "Is that a rash on your chest? What's happening to you?" My friend interrupted. I looked down — indeed it was a rash. Although one can never be too sure where it came from when you have, oh I don't know, 100,000 allergies to nature yet ONLY use natural products. After suggesting my good pal clean off his laptop, because CLEARLY, I don't have a rash, I abruptly said goodbye and went to investigate my latest allergic reaction. Sighing heavily, I placed a dab of hemp oil and tea tree oil on top of my rash and went to have a stress beer. After only a few sips, my hives had deflated. True freakin' story.
To be fair, this idea came to me not from extensive research or any logic based on the oils I had on hand. No, this idea came from the movie How High which starred Method Man and Redman. Method Man, gets accepted into Harvard after smoking his best friend's ashes. Since his best friend has died, he's got access to all the SAT answers and is able to come back to life after the M-E-T-H-O-D man and Red take a puff of him. The sexy Wu-Tang members shred the SATs, therefore Method Man is able to be an aspiring botanist, and tests out THC on a rash. I assumed, since this movie was incredibly realistic that this tip would work. Turns out, the anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties are exactly what my rash needed.
Hemp, been used world-wide for a number of conditions for centuries. Recently, with hemp bans being lifted and a slow-growing acceptance of cannabis, cannabis oil has been incorporated into beauty products. Hemp seeds are also from the stavia cannabis plant, but don't get it twisted — the resin held in these seeds will not get you high, nor will they seep into your pores, causing you to fail your next job-related drug test.
Cannabis oil contains Omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids which are key components in maintaining healthy skin. The linolenic acid present has amaze anti-inflammatory properties that we know are necessary to treat acne. When the seeds are pressed, they produce a natural moisturizer that is slightly thick, but not as greasy as one would expect, making it great for psoriasis and a plethora of other skin conditions. The oil produced is said to resemble the protein found in human blood, which is amazing. The closest you can get to what your body already produces the better.
Due to the politics surrounding one of my fave plants, cannabis oil has been named as one of the most expensive oils, costing around $946 an ounce of unrefined oil, according to Essential Oil Benefit's website. Now...let us just marvel in the ridiculousness of that cost please. The casual pot smoker might pay about 40 bucks for an 8th of weed. Now, let's do some basic math and say you were a daily smoker and bought an ounce at a time: You will most likely not be paying more than $400 AND you are going to get high. That's how cray the politics surrounding hemp and cannabis are right now, that the cost more than doubles street cost. Don't even get me started.
Cannabis flower oil and hemp oil are both from the same dank plant — of course, you can definitely make your own oil by extracted directly from the seeds of Mary Jane at your own risk. Sadly, cannabis and hemp oil are both illegal to states that haven't passed progressive weed laws. If you live in Massachusetts, you should def DIY your own oil. If you live in NYC? Purchase the almost as healthy alternative. Hemp seed oil can be found at any health or vitamin store. The recipes below will aid you in your quest for clear, healthy skin AND it's the best legal alternative for now!
1. Skin Reactions
For eczema, psoriasis, and rashes, simply dab unrefined, hemp oil on the location throughout the day. If your skin condition spreads or is not healing, check in with your doctor and make sure the problem isn't more severe.
2. Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin
This is my take on an amaze recipe for DIY moisturizers from Crunchy Betty's site. Hemp seed is great for acne-prone skin due to its light consistency. I use this as my carrier oil, which is the 'meat' of the moisturizer. Then I add a few drops of neem oil, which can be found at any vitamin store, for its ability to heal and restore dark spots left from acne. Of course, I also add a bit of my trusty lavender oil. This moisturizer doesn't stir up any hormonal acne by clogging up my pores and it also has a low SPF that I helps protect me from that glaring sun. Of course, if you burn easily, you'll still need to apply a sunscreen.
3. Oil Cleansing
About a year ago, I got into oil cleansing as an acne treatment. I will be totally upfront, this was my first natural beauty regimen and my skin FREAKED out. I'm sure that it was partially because it was ridding itself from all the gnarly chemicals I had been applying on my face for decades, but it was also because those pores were stayin' all types of clogged. I've adjusted my recipe for weekly oil treatments, because it has been great at decreasing the amount of excess oil my skin produces. My new weekly oil cleanse is one part hemp oil, one part tea tree oil, a few drops of lavender oil, and jojoba oil. This is def my oil cleansing jam now, and my skin is super soft afterwards.
Image: Giphy; Kristin Collins Jackson