Hemp soap generally contains hemp oil, either as its base or as one of its main ingredients. The essential fatty acids in hemp are said to be beneficial for the skin. They are said to help support skin health and slow the signs of aging. Hemp oil may also be useful in preventing acne. The oil derived from hemp plants is also considered a powerful moisturizer, and hemp soap is often recommended for dry skin.
Unlike many other types of plant oils, hemp oil is said to contain a high ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids. While both types of essential fatty acids are generally considered beneficial to health, omega-3 fatty acids are considered very valuable for their anti-inflammatory properties. Hemp oil typically contains three times as many omega-3 fatty acids as omega-6 fatty acids. When applied to the skin in the form of hemp soap, these fatty acids can help ease the inflammation of acne. They can also slow the oxidation caused by free radicals, to help skin maintain a youthful appearance.
The oils in hemp plants are considered light enough for daily skin care. Many hemp soap products contain a mixture of plant oils considered beneficial for skin health, such as grapeseed oil or almond oil. Some soap makers believe using hemp oil as a soap base can overwhelm the skin, leaving it oily, so hemp soap typically contains a relatively small amount of the oil.
Hemp plants have been considered valuable for a number of purposes throughout history. Their seeds are generally rich in complete proteins, and are considered easier to digest than some other sources of vegetable protein. Hemp seeds also contain large amounts of vitamin E and other minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. When ingested, the seeds are said to provide a number of health benefits. They may support immune health and cardiac function, as well as helping to prevent inflammatory and age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and arthritis.
The fibers of the hemp plant have long been used to weave durable rope and fabric, and they are still used to make rope today. The seeds have been used as a folk remedy for cancerous lesions. Some believe that hemp may be one of the oldest crops cultivated by humans. The oldest piece of hemp fabric ever discovered is believed to date back to about 8,000 BCE.