• Cannabis sativa oil is a cannabinoid-rich substance extracted from the cannabis plant. Research shows its potential in treating acne vulgaris, dermatitis, pruritus, psoriasis, and skin cancer(1)
  • Results of a study suggest that CBD (cannabidiol) may reduce the risk for heart diseases by reducing vascular tension in the arteries(2). CBD is a compound in the Cannabis sativa plant, which can be hemp or marijuana (also called cannabis).
  • A 2020 research(3) on lung cancer patients showed the vasodilatory effects of CBD, which may benefit people suffering from constricted arteries that result in high blood pressure. 
  • The use of cannabis sativa oil without medical supervision is not advisable, despite many therapeutic claims. All unapproved CBD-based products are still in clinical trials.

Understanding Cannabis sativa

Cannabis sativa L., a herbaceous plant from Central Asia, has been known for its psychoactive properties(4). However, further studies are needed despite the cannabis plant’s purported medicinal benefits. 

Cannabis is the genus to which hemp (the Cannabis sativa plant) belongs(5). In the United States, cannabis has become synonymous with the plant itself and is sometimes used as an alternative name for Cannabis sativa

Marijuana is the popular name for Cannabis sativa, and the terms are often used interchangeably(6). However, strictly speaking, marijuana is a term used to refer to the parts of the plant with high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Some cannabis plants contain only trace amounts of THC. Under U.S. law, these plants are considered industrial hemp, not marijuana.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), cannabis is under the family Cannabaceae, composed of 80 biochemical compounds, of which two compounds, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), are the most popular(7)

Many products stem from cannabis. One is Cannabis sativa oil, which has received positive feedback from medical research and consumers. 

What Is Cannabis sativa Oil?

Cannabis sativa oil is an extract from the cannabis plant mixed with a base or carrier oil. Cannabis oil is rich in cannabinoids which have many claims of therapeutic use.

The interest in cannabinoids stems from the continued discoveries on the importance of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Studies show links between the ECS and many crucial physiological processes associated with blood pressure, memory, learning, energy balance, and immune response(8)

Further studies also show the connection of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to endocannabinoids used by the ECS(9). Research suggests that omega-3 endocannabinoids (cannabinoids made by the human body) can control physiological and pathophysiological processes.

Phytocannabinoids (plant cannabinoids) are present in the Cannabis sativa plant. While there are more than 100 phytocannabinoids, researchers are more interested in CBD and other nonpsychoactive cannabinoids.

The effects of Cannabis sativa oil depend on the amounts of THC and CBD and how people use this product. 

Types of CBD Used for Medical Purposes

The main types of CBD(10) are the following:

  1. Full-spectrum CBD – This type contains a full spectrum of substances found in Cannabis sativa extract like terpenes, essential fatty acids, and flavonoids, including THC at less than 0.3% concentration.  
  2. Broad-spectrum CBD – It is similar to full-spectrum CBD. However, this type contains little to almost no amount of THC.
  3. CBD isolates – Isolates are pure CBD extracted typically from Cannabis sativa

Where Does Cannabis sativa Oil Come From?

Locked inside the cannabis plant are cannabinoids that make up the essential oils needed to make cannabis-based products. 

Examples of extracting methods for Cannabis sativa seed oils and oils from trichomes are hydrocarbon, supercritical fluid, microwave-assisted, and pressurized liquid extraction(11)

Meanwhile, cold-pressing hemp flowers using an age-old mechanical process is considered a natural extraction process. Extraction is done using a press at high pressures and low temperatures.

These methods often have three main steps: drying, extraction, and post-extraction phases(12). The extraction objective is to isolate the cannabinoids and remove other chemicals that may affect the oils. 

The Difference Between Cannabis sativa Oil and Other Extracts

The main difference between Cannabis sativa oil that sets it apart from other extracts is the levels of cannabinoids present in the substance. These cannabinoids are mainly CBD or regulated levels of THC

Cannabinoids are compounds that have piqued the interest of researchers due to their similar structure to endocannabinoids produced by the human body. 

Cannabidiol is of interest due to its nonpsychotropic or nonpsychoactive properties and therapeutical benefits observed over decades of limited research(13)

Other CBD-rich extracts come from the hemp plant under the Cannabis sativa species but contain lower amounts of THC compounds. 

Industrial hemp is commonly used for hempseed oil, a CBD-rich extract, and is also used for skin care product formulation(14).

Benefits of Using Cannabis sativa Oil

It is worth noting that any benefits or therapeutical claims of Cannabis sativa and CBD oil are under clinical or medical trials. Medical supervision is advisable when using cannabis-based products

Research into the benefits of cannabinoids is still limited. However, there are growing claims about CBD oil’s effectiveness in different illnesses and conditions. 

Listed below are further research updates on using CBD in human health. 

Cannabis sativa Oil for the Skin

The decriminalization of cannabis use under certain conditions in many U.S. states has opened the doors for further research on its potential medical properties. Current studies have shown that cannabinoid use for skincare products may promise positive results(15)

Research into Cannabis sativa L. and its effect on the skin has shown positive results in treating skin conditions such as acne vulgaris, dermatitis, pruritus, psoriasis, and skin cancer(16)

Meanwhile, CBD research shows anti-itch, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties when applied to the skin(17).

The skin is an organ subjected to continued stress caused by the environment. It is necessary to prevent dryness, irritation, and other conditions that may affect the health of the body’s biggest organ. 

Studies and observations of the effects Cannabis sativa oil and other CBD-rich supplements such as hempseed oil have on the skin showed the following results: 

Cannabis sativa Oil May Naturally Moisturize, Heal, and Soothe the Skin

Studies have shown that cannabinoids have regenerative properties, which may help protect and moisturize the skin(18).

Cannabinoids are lipophilic compounds that interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors. Hemp is one primary source of phytocannabinoids.

Cannabis sativa Oil May Be a Natural Antioxidant

Cannabinoids may act as a natural antioxidant(19), preventing dryness and irritation that can hamper wound healing and skin regeneration.

Cannabis sativa Oil May Naturally Moderate Oil Production

Cannabis-based oil helps moderate the skin’s sebum (like face oil) production(20). Sebum, a waxy substance generated by the body’s sebaceous glands, coats, moisturizes, and protects the skin.

Cannabis sativa Oil May Help Hydrate the Skin and Replenish Moisture

Authors of a study(21) believe that one positive effect of Cannabis sativa is skin hydration. Data suggests that Cannabis sativa oil hydrates the skin and replenishes moisture through hydrogels found in cannabinoids.

Cannabis sativa Oil May Be Suitable for All Skin Types

Cannabis sativa oil may be used for all skin types. Some hemp products like a combination of Cannabis sativa oil and other therapeutic herbal oils may be a good skin cleanser, especially for problem skin prone to visible redness and discomfort.

However, using CBD-based products, such as face creams to treat excessive facial oil, dry skin, or sensitive skin treatments, should be on the advice of a doctor and under medical supervision.

Best Ways to Reap the Beauty Benefits of Cannabis sativa Oil

Studies show that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may have a role in many skin functions, including oil secretions and skin repair and growth(22)

The ECS is a physiological network of transmitters and receptors that regulate body functions and maintain balance (homeostasis)(23). It is a vital part of the body and uses endocannabinoids to function. 

Endocannabinoids are remarkably similar to phytocannabinoids extracted from plants like Cannabis sativa and similar species of the same genus(24)

If the connection between the ECS and skin function is finally established in future research, the cannabinoid CBD may be at the forefront of the next dermatological breakthrough.  

Is Cannabis sativa Oil Good for the Skin?

Advocates of cannabis-related skin care products claim that CBD may help protect the skin barrier, decrease inflammation, treat itch, and relieve pain(25). Still, all topical use of CBD must be done with caution, and any reactions must be noted.  

Cannabis sativa oil may also offer treatment to blemish-prone skin and acne. The causes of acne are mainly the oversecretion of sebum, and CBD may normalize lipid synthesis in human sebocytes due to pro-acne agents(26)

Cannabis sativa Oil for Cardiovascular Diseases

Studies into CBD uses show potential treatment for various cardiovascular diseases. However, data on CBD effects on resting blood pressure is limited. 

Still, research shows possibilities that CBD may help prevent the development of severe cardiovascular diseases(27)

Cannabis sativa Oil May Help Regulate Blood Pressure

CBD research through the years has resulted in positive results. A study published by the American Society for Clinical Investigation(28) showed that CBD positively affects blood pressure, especially during stress.

Meanwhile, a study conducted in 2020(29) on lung cancer patients showed that CBD has potential vasodilatory or dilating properties in individuals with medical concerns such as hypertension and obesity. 

Cannabis sativa Oil May Help Promote Heart Health

The positive effects of CBD on heart conditions have long been part of the discussion about the compound’s therapeutic potential. However, actual concrete evidence for these health benefits is still limited. 

In a study done in 2013(30), researchers showed that CBD may reduce vascular tension in constricted arteries reducing the risk of cardiovascular mishaps. 

In 2017(31), another study about the effects of CBD on cardiovascular health was released. Although promising, the research only showed significant effects of CBD in animal models.

Cannabis sativa Oil May Provide Natural Pain Relief and Help Reduce Inflammation

Research into CBD as painkillers is limited. Still, studies on animal test models have yielded promising results on CBD’s potential in pain relief(32). However, there is genuine concern about the potential abuse of cannabis-related pain relievers, which can hamper research progress. 

Meanwhile, studies on medical cannabis show possible pain-relieving effects from THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and some cannabinoids(33). The study authors also noted healthcare concerns over addiction and abuse of the psychoactive compound. 

Does Cannabis sativa Support a Healthy Pregnancy?

The FDA(34) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)(35) have both released statements that there are no approved cannabis-related drugs that promote healthy pregnancies. 

The FDA also stated in their publications that impurities like pesticides and unspecified amounts of THC may pose health hazards for the mother and the fetus(36)

The amount of Cannabis sativa oil an individual takes varies, depending on how they use it and what health benefits they would like to achieve.

Dosage also depends on the disease or health condition one wants to address. A doctor’s prescription and recommendation should be based on several factors, including an individual’s body weight, metabolism, lifestyle, and family medical history. 

Still, studies have shown dosage ceilings for using cannabis derivatives in humans. For example, research has shown that the highest dosage of CBD given to a person without any adverse effects was 1,500mg per day(37).

It is crucial to reiterate that people should not use CBD without medical supervision, as many therapeutic claims of CBD are still in clinical trials.


  1. Cannabinoids in dermatology: a scoping review
    https://escholarship.org/uc/item/7pn8c0sb
  2. Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579247/
  3. Vasodilatory effects of cannabidiol in human pulmonary and rat small mesenteric arteries: modification by hypertension and the potential pharmacological opportunities
    https://journals.lww.com/jhypertension/Fulltext/2020/05000/Vasodilatory_effects_of_cannabidiol_in_human.16.aspx
  4. Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740396/
  5. Cannabis
    https://www.britannica.com/plant/cannabis-plant
  6. Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids: What You Need To Know
    https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/cannabis-marijuana-and-cannabinoids-what-you-need-to-know
  7. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
    https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiolcbd#whatare
  8. Medical Use of Cannabinoids
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30374797/
  9. Emerging Class of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Endocannabinoids & Their Derivatives
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6685292/
  10. Cannabidiol primer for healthcare professionals
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7340472/
  11. Processing and extraction methods of medicinal cannabis: a narrative review
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8290527/
  12. Ibid
  13. From Phytocannabinoids to Cannabinoid Receptors and Endocannabinoids: Pleiotropic Physiological and Pathological Roles Through Complex Pharmacology
    https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/physrev.00002.2016
  14. A Review of Hemp as Food and Nutritional Supplement
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33614949/
  15. Cannabinoids in dermatology: a scoping review
    https://escholarship.org/uc/item/7pn8c0sb 
  16. Ibid
  17. Topical cannabidiol (CBD) in skin pathology – A comprehensive review and prospects for new therapeutic opportunities
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35695447/
  18. Positive Effect of Cannabis sativa L. Herb Extracts on Skin Cells and Assessment of Cannabinoid-Based Hydrogels Properties
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7913911/ 
  19. Ibid
  20. Ibid
  21. Ibid.
  22. The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2757311/
  23. The endocannabinoid system: Essential and mysterious
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-endocannabinoid-system-essential-and-mysterious-202108112569
  24. Ibid.
  25. Get the Facts: CBD
    https://nationaleczema.org/blog/get-the-facts-cbd/
  26. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4151231/  
  27. Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579247/
  28. A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879/
  29. Vasodilatory effects of cannabidiol in human pulmonary and rat small mesenteric arteries: modification by hypertension and the potential pharmacological opportunities
    https://journals.lww.com/jhypertension/Fulltext/2020/05000/Vasodilatory_effects_of_cannabidiol_in_human.16.aspx   
  30. Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579247/
  31. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Haemodynamic Effects of Cannabidiol
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2017.00081/full
  32. CBD for chronic pain: The science doesn’t match the marketing –
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cbd-for-chronic-pain-the-science-doesnt-match-the-marketing-2020092321003
  33. Medical cannabis for chronic pain: can it make a difference in pain management?
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31535218/
  34. What You Should Know About Using Cannabis, Including CBD, When Pregnant or Breastfeeding – https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-should-know-about-using-cannabis-including-cbd-when-pregnant-or-breastfeeding 
  35. Pregnancy: What You Need to Know About Marijuana Use and Pregnancy
    https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/health-effects/pregnancy.html 
  36. What You Should Know About Using Cannabis, Including CBD, When Pregnant or Breastfeeding
    https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-should-know-about-using-cannabis-including-cbd-when-pregnant-or-breastfeeding
  37. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/ 

 

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