Is hempseed oil helpful to adults with eczema

Image Credit: Rubyran / Flickr

Is hempseed oil beneficial to adults with eczema?

I’d be interested in your opinion of this study I found online at http://www.finola.com/FinolaOilandAtopy.pdf. This is regarding hempseed oil, not necessarily for children but for adults with eczema. Have you seen other studies looking at hempseed oil and eczema? Is it ok to take so much oil every day for a month?

Berryman / Originally posted in Preventing childhood allergies

Answer:

I was surprised to find so few articles published in the human medical literature on hempseeds, but maybe I shouldn’t be given the lack of much of an industry lobby and the stigma attached to the plant. Only 4 popped up in a pubmed search (excluding articles written by a “Dr. Ian D. Hempseed.”).

The latest (available full-text) was a double-blind placebo-controlled comparison of fish, flax and hempseed oil supplementation that lasted 3 months and found no significant effects of any of them on lipid profile, LDL oxidation or measures of inflammation. This result is similar to what was found in my video Is Distilled Fish Oil Toxin-Free?

Before that a study comparing daily tablespoons of flaxseed to hempseed oil similarly didn’t find much effect.

The third was the study you cited, which found that 2 daily tablespoons of hempseed oil improved atopic dermatitis (an itchy skin rash) better than the same amount of olive oil. The researchers suggest it may be because of the gamma linoleic acid content of hempseeds, an omega 6 fatty acid that paradoxically appears to have an overall anti-inflammatory effect.

Instead of downing the oil, as always I’d suggest eating the whole food–hempseeds–directly (same with flaxseeds, see my video Just the Flax Ma’am). And the final study, “Anaphylaxis to ingestion of hempseed” soundly debunks the wikipedia claim that “In fact, there are no known allergies to hemp foods.”

Image Credit: Rubyran / Flickr

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


24 responses to “Is hempseed oil beneficial to adults with eczema?

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        1. Exactly bill, just because there aren’t studies on something, doesn’t make it irrelevant, it’s just that no one found a way to profit and patent the information.

    1. Yes, cannabis oil made with thc/cbn oils from the female plants flowers have been shown over and over to cure skin cancer as well as a full gambit of other illnesses. The answers your going to get from a bunch of medical Dr’s is a bunch of quackery in itself. Since when are medical Dr.’s chemists or real scientists??? All they do is take the words of big pharma companies research and write you a prescription because of what they are ‘TOLD’ .. not even ‘shown’. Some day people will wake up and realize that the number 3 cause of deaths in the united states are because of medical Dr.’s prescribing medicins that kill people and more often than not only put a bandaid on the symptoms and do nothing for the cure. I hope this country wakes up! If you look back in history cannabis used to be on every pharmacy shelf in many different forms. Why don’t you look up ‘WHY’ its off the shelf now and ‘WHO’ got it pulled. William R. Hurst, Harry Anslinger and DuPont.

      1. I guess that would be a simpleton way of explaining it, but such conjecture, speculation, and immature name-calling (classifying medical knowledge as “quackery” and blaming everything on “big pharma”) is probably better suited for children than for adults.

        You erroneously assume that advice dispensed by an MD is “a bunch of quackery in itself,” citing as your supporting premise “since when are MD’s chemists or real scientists?” Of course, one could just as easily ask about your own qualifications to speak on the subject at all, but that would amount to insulting you rather than focusing on the evidence.

        It is simple enough to verify an MD’s claim by asking if they are stating their opinion or a fact supported by clinical guidelines. With regard to the latter, PubMed can direct you to scholarly sources to verify such claims. In case you’re simply unaware, as opposed to purposefully negligent, most research studies involving drugs or biological changes are conducted with at least one chemist and/or microbiologist on staff.

        If you want credibility (with me or any other fact-oriented reader), you may want to cite a litany (long compendium) of peer-reviewed reproducible independent studies in support of your claims. That’s the same standard I hold MD’s to. Failing to do so, I’d say your claims amount to pure conjecture and hearsay, with no sound scientific foundation.

  1. Unfortunately, Dr. Greger did not read carefully enough (or simply did not understand) the results of our two clinical trial on hempseed oil. So far, these are still the only published clinical trials with this oil. Yes, we did find significant differences in the lipid profiles between the flaxseed oil and hempseed oil, and yes (again) we did find significant benefit in atopic (eczema) patients who took hempseed oil when compared to absolutely no benefit from olive. No, I would not suggest that anyone try to get these oils from eating either whole flaxseed or whole hempseed. Chewing is not a effective way to break open the shell of either seed to obtain the oil.

    1. Dr. Greger was not specific enough concerning using the whole seed to get the oil. Time and time again, he suggests grinding the whole (flax) seeds and storing in the fridge until they are eaten as opposed to consuming the oil. I imagine he meant the same in this answer as he has previously said.

    2. Also, what you stated about your study is what Dr. Greger stated in his answer, that ” 2 daily tablespoons of hempseed oil improved atopic dermatitis (an itchy skin rash) better than the same amount of olive oil”. I don’t see how that is different from what your study concluded. I just wanted to clarify my take from both your and Dr. Greger’s answers.

    3. I think your rebuttal merits consideration.
      Question: is a home hydraulic press (I use for vegetable juice) sufficient to extra hemp seed oil?

  2. I have recently started eating hemp seeds for their omega-3, easily digested plant protein and other minerals. My skin seems to benefit from it, it’s less dry now. They tastes like pine nuts to me, very smooth and mild. I like to sprinkle them over bread spread or over cereal, yoghurt, stir-fry etc. Have yet to try hemp oil but will do so soon. I buy organic raw shelled hemp seeds, in fact almost all the natural products my family consume and use at iherb.com. iherb prices are much lower than what the local health stores charge! A bonus is international shipping all the way to downunder is only $4 flat!  New customers can also get $10 off purchase of over $40 when you use discount code EJE156.

    1. I think I found a good general answer to my own question:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22336810 which is a review/meta-analysis article of all the available typical supplements used for atopic eczema.

      “There is no convincing evidence of the benefit of dietary supplements in eczema, and they cannot be recommended for the public or for clinical practice at present.”

      So vit. E and vit. D in pill form, not a good idea.

    2. Another study which I found interesting was this one:
      “Prevalence of eczema and food allergy is associated with latitude in Australia.”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22305679

      There seems to be double the risk of eczema for those living furthest from the equator. The authors don’t think there are major confounding factors like with sociocultural status: “yet with similar social gradients” .

      But yet also, Australia has a high occurence of allergies and eczema overall: “It has among the highest prevalences of challenge-proved food allergy, eczema, and asthma”. So why should a country consisting in large parts of fair-skinned people who overall get more sunshine than many other industrialized nations have such high prevalence, if vitamin D is as important in these chronic conditions as many seem to think.

      I think your video “Preventing childhood allergies” makes some important connections, and that people shouldn’t totally jump overboard on the ‘vitamin-D hypothesis’.

  3. One important caveat that Dr. Greger fails to note, but that he has been cautionary about in other studies: this study was funded by an interested party — in this case the hemp manufacturers. So unfortunately, we must take the results with a grain of… ah… salt… or hemp.

  4. I have heard hemp seeds have a better omega 3 to omega 6 ratio than flax seeds … is that worth trying out since I don’t particularly like flax seeds?

    How do they compare with other foods such a chia? For getting good fats and fatty acids, what is the best thing to eat?

    1. It’s said to have the perfect ratio. There’s actually more omega-6 in hemp than 3, but the ratio is 1:4 or something like that, which is said to be ideal. I don’t pay much attention to ever-changing ratios, though, and simply trust in nature. Flax is awesome for getting a ton of omega-3’s, so I would say since it’s so easy to get omega-6, if you’re using a food to boost your omega-3 levels, go for flax and/or chia. But use hemp too! All of the above are great and have extraordinary nutritional profiles. Homemade hemp milk is easy to make, too–it comes out creamy and smooth (makes awesome smoothies) and is less messy than making nut milk. One great thing hemp has though, is GLA (a type of omega-6 that is anti-inflammatory) and SDA (this is a chemical that our bodies naturally create out of some of the ALA we consume so it can then convert some of that ALA into EPA/DHA, and it’s found in hemp!). SDA and GLA are also found in ahiflower oil in even greater amounts. But hemp is an awesome source of protein and other nutrients, too.

  5. Please revisit this work on hemp oil.
    In short:
    Hemp worked for my skin cracking.
    The wall of words:
    I’ve had a chronic skin problem (dry cracking in some fingers only, not others) which baffled two doctors and three “elite” dermatologists working at large, impressive local universities with world renown medical facilities … then I happened to run out of their $99/oz magic chemical, which was helping, but not _curing_ let alone enabling me to heal naturally and be healthy … heal … heal-thy … doctors don’t seem to see that … : )
    Anyway, looong story short, I bought CBD oil (no noticeable impact with two doses, sublingual per day for two weeks) and then I “gave up” and, with a spare 30ml of hemp seed claiming to be in an important ratio (?) of 1:3 omega 3 and omega 6 (I understand a little better now, but then it sounded like an important claim) applied topically, well, it was a bit smelly, very oily (surprise…) and very inconvenient (as a software developer … typing …) so I wore plastic gloves and limited the application to overnight. After a prolonged period of … three nights! … my fingers were exhibiting healing and no progression of the usual drying and cracking … the apparently “diseased” areas of skin on my fingers were no longer visibly distressed and another three days later and it would take a keen observer to even locate any lingering evidence of previous illness.
    So, I’m keen to know more about CBD — it’s many claims rival or even exceed the versatility and near panacea powers of Kale or the medicinal qualities of cannabis (in its many product forms.)

  6. Been using the hemp seed oil (make sure it is hemp seed) taking a tsp with each meal and before bed and after about four or five days my itch is under control. Today is about my seventh day. And my skin is really healing. Yesterday, forgot to use my chemical cream because there was no itch. This morning woke up with a bit of an itch, squirted about a tsp in my mouth; ten or so minutes later itch gone. I have to use it four times a day. I slept in this AM which is why the itch started, I think.
    My sores seem to be healing, amazingly; even the hard knotty bits that never seem to heal.
    I did try this a few years ago, but I am not always consistent with my habits/protocols.
    Google hemp oil / hemp seed oil + eczema and there are lots of entries.
    I sure hope this works on the children.
    Namaste and care,
    mhikl

    1. I’m going to start using it topically on my legs and arms today.
      Taking a tsp 4x a day and application to skin a couple of times a day may be the shot gun method that finally gives me peace. I’ve saved this site and will come back later if I have or have not been able to heal this horror or if at least it really controls the beast.
      Consistency seems to be the key. (Me and consistency don’t always get along.)
      N/C
      mhikl

  7. Hemp is so incredibly nutritious, is the easiest to make plant milk, and is sooooo sustainable!!!! I hear however, it’s hard to grow due to laws and restrictions which is a shame. It’s also a shame that there isn’t more focus on hemp for nutrition as well as the many other things hemp can sustainably accomplish from making clothing to paper products.

  8. Hi Shaylen ,
    The chickenpox skin disease can be removed easily if you can use the skin treatment weapon heap oil after concerning the skin care specialist and understanding all the steps of applying hemp oil on the body daily according to the time table and also go to the doctor of skin care one time in a week for the proper treatment of removing chickenpox skin disease permanently ,my suggestion is to avoid going in a street of a market during the sun light because the rays of a sun damaged the upper layer of skin ,if you move in a market street during a sun light then you notice your skin becomes dry and cracks are appeared on the skin ,So take care of skin .
    Thanks.

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