hemp oil for psoriasis

Can Hempseed Oil Help My Psoriasis?

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  • Hempseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which could help ease inflammation and promote a healthy immune response.
  • Ingesting hempseed oil or applying it to your skin might be beneficial for soothing psoriasis symptoms, but there’s little evidence proving its efficacy.
  • Hempseed oil is generally considered safe, but it does have some side effects, especially for those taking blood-thinners.

The itching, the cracking, the soreness, the redness — ugh. When your psoriasis gets bad, you’ll try almost anything to ease the discomfort and get some relief. So what about hempseed oil?

Derived from the seeds of the hemp plant, hempseed oil is rich in beneficial fatty acids that could play a role in fighting inflammation, bolstering your immune system, and fortifying your skin’s barrier.

On the other hand, the science on hempseed oil and psoriasis is far from conclusive. Still, the potential benefits plus the low risk for side effects might make it worth trying. Here’s what you should know.

Hempseed oil isn’t a proven psoriasis treatment. But it does contain properties that research suggests could be helpful for easing psoriasis symptoms.

Hempseed oil is rich in essential fatty acids including omega-3s and omega-6s, which could play a valuable role in easing psoriasis-related inflammation and promoting a healthy immune response.

Most of the research on omega-3s and 6s and psoriasis has looked at supplementing with omega-3s from fish oil, not hempseed oil.

One small study, though, did compare oral use of hempseed oil to olive oil for atopic dermatitis. After 20 weeks, people who took hempseed oil daily had less skin itching, irritation, and dryness compared to those who took olive oil. Atopic dermatitis isn’t psoriasis (obviously), but the skin-soothing benefits of hempseed oil may translate.

Findings have also shown that applying fish oil directly to the skin can reduce scaling, when used in combination with UVB therapy. And since hempseed oil contains a similar fatty acid profile, it has the potential to deliver similar benefits.

In a review of plants used to treat skin diseases it is stated that that hempseed oil can strengthen the barrier of psoriatic skin, helping it to better resist bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.

The current science isn’t enough to definitively say whether hempseed oil will keep your psoriasis symptoms in check. But the findings, combined with the knowledge that omega-3s overall have been shown to be helpful for skin problems, could be enough to convince you that the oil is worth trying.

If you’re gonna try hempseed oil to soothe your psoriasis, you’ve got two options: Swallow it or slather it directly on your skin. One option isn’t definitively better than the other, so the route you choose might depend on where your symptoms are flaring.

Down the hatch: Ingestion

Hempseed oil is safe to consume, either straight up by itself or added to food. And taking it on the regular just might play a part in helping to keep your symptoms in check.

Since the oral route of hempseed oil to treat psoriasis is meant to have a systemic effect, ingesting it could be a good option if you’re dealing with scaling and redness over large areas of your skin.

As for how much to take? While there’s no official dosing recommendations, this previously mentioned study that compared hempseed oil to olive oil for managing atopic dermatitis found that subjects saw improvements after taking 2 tablespoons of hempseed oil daily for 20 weeks.

Drinking the oil by the spoonful is certainly one option — so if you can tolerate it, go for it. But you could also add the oil to smoothies, use it in salad dressing, or drizzle it over things like grain bowls, roasted veggies, or cooked proteins.

Should you actually cook with it? Probably not. Hempseed oil’s smoke point is 330°F (165.5°C), which is too low for things like sautéing, stir-frying, or baking.

When an oil reaches its smoke point, some of its nutrient compounds can start to break down and produce harmful free radicals. So you’ll reap the biggest benefits by using hempseed oil without any heat.

Apply generously: Topical

You can also apply hempseed oil directly to your skin, like a lotion. This can be a good option if you’re dealing with a smaller flare-up on just one part of your body, like your scalp.

Research hasn’t proven that applying hempseed oil to your scalp or other parts of your skin will definitely clear your psoriasis. But there’s some reason to think it might be helpful.

Regular moisturizing in general is a key part of psoriasis management, and oils lock in more hydration than lotions or creams. And since omega-3-rich oils seem to be particularly good at fighting inflammation, using hempseed oil as a moisturizer could be helpful.

To apply hempseed oil to your skin, use it just like you would any other moisturizer: Massage into your skin several times throughout the day, including after you take a shower or bath.

If you’ve got stubborn plaque on your scalp, you could use hempseed oil to safely and gently remove some of it. Soak your scalp in warm (not hot) water, apply the oil, then comb your scalp using light, circular motions to break up the plaque.

Hemp seed oil isn’t a proven psoriasis treatment. But it does contain properties that research suggests could be helpful for easing psoriasis symptoms.

Can Hemp Oil Help My Psoriasis?

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Yes, hemp seed oil can help your psoriasis. According to several studies , this is largely due to the oil being made almost entirely of essential fatty acids — more than 75 percent omega-3 and omega-6.

Additionally, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in hemp seed oil is 3:1, which is considered to be the optimal nutrition ratio for humans and tissue creation. Hemp seed oil also contains gamma linolenic acid, making it more nutrient-rich than many other seed and fish oils.

Omega-3 has been known to have anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Outside of psoriasis, hemp oil is also useful in the treatment of acne , eczema , and lichen planus (an inflammatory skin condition). Other benefits of using hemp seed oil include:

  • stronger skin that is more resistant to bacterial, fungal, and viral infections
  • antimicrobial properties that prevent the growth of yeast
  • increased metabolism
  • decreased cholesterol levels

Psoriasis is a chronic disease that causes extra cells to build up on the surface of your skin as a result of increased cell production. It is a fairly common condition, often identified by:

  • dry, red areas of skin (commonly covered with scale-like patches)
  • swollen or stiff joints
  • itching or soreness

Psoriasis often becomes an ongoing cycle of new cells moving to the surface in a few days (instead of weeks), creating scaly patches that don’t disappear until treated.

While there is no cure, many medical professionals treat psoriasis with the primary goal of preventing skin cells from growing too quickly.

There are several options for treating your psoriasis with hemp seed oil, but the primary methods are by taking the seeds or oil orally or applying oil topically. Natural health advocates recommend unrefined, cold-pressed oil, as some other processes can destroy important nutrients.


Hemp seeds tend to have a mild and nutty flavor, and can be consumed straight out of the bottle. Food and beverage applications include adding the oil or seeds to:

  • smoothies
  • salad dressing
  • oatmeal
  • dips and sauces
  • tofu

The Food and Drug Administration considers hemp seed oil as generally recognized as safe (GRAS).

As when you start any new supplement, after getting approval from your doctor, consider beginning with a small amount and then gradually increasing it based on your body’s reaction.

The amount you should consume varies depending on how your body handles the hemp seed oil. Avoid overheating the oil (above 120°F/49°C) as this can result in a loss of nutrients.


Hemp seed oil is a natural humectant, meaning it helps reduce dryness and strengthen skin by drawing water from nearby sources.

If your doctor agrees that hemp seed oil is appropriate for you try, start by testing the oil on a small patch of skin prior to full treatment to ensure it doesn’t irritate you or cause an allergic reaction.

Hemp seed oil is a suitable option for treating psoriasis symptoms, primarily due to its high composition of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.