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Household and Aromatherapy Benefits of Cannabis or Hemp Flower Essential Oil

Cannabis flower oil is steam distilled from the flowers and upper leaves of certain types of hemp plants; it is intentionally created to be low in THC, so it is not a psychoactive drug.

Do not confuse cannabis flower oil with hemp seed oil, which is taken from the actual seeds of certain low-THC hemp plants and which has different healing qualities. Hemp oil is also used by some as a vegetable cooking oil. However, and confusingly, cannabis flower oil is also known as hemp essential oil, without the "seed".

Cannabis flower oil was commonly used in ancient Egypt, and much of this oil is still produced there.

Although it has many healing properties, cannabis flower essential oil is most noted for its scent and flavour. It is also sometimes used as a base oil for other aromatherapy oil blends.

Cannabis flower botanical drawing, from 1887.

Cannabis flower botanical drawing, from 1887.

General properties of cannabis flower oil

It is often used in commercial perfumes and cosmetics and is added to many sweets and hard candies.

The use of cannabis flower or hemp essential oil in hard candies has been vilified by some, but the way cannabis flower oil is produced and the part of the plant from which it is taken leaves it very low in the more dangerous components of hemp.

The warm, sweet scent and flavor of cannabis flower oil act as an accent to many other essential oils, including citrus oils such as bergamot oil, lemon oil, lime oil, and orange oil.

In perfumes, it will take the role of a delicate topnote, and hemp essential oil will add sweetness to baked goods and hard candies.

Cannabis flower oil / hemp essential oil aromatherapy

Hemp essential oil  is often used as a base or carrier oil. It is suitable for almost all skin types, has a delicate scent that doesn't over-power other essential oils, and is not too expensive.

It's therefore a common oil used in aromatherapy massage, blended with other oils.

It can also be used in an aromatherapy oil diffuser to give a room a light, floral scent.

The aromatherapy properties associated with cannabis flower oil or hemp essential oil  include calming, relaxing, and uplifting. The oil is therefore used in aromatherapy blends designed to encourage these emotions.

Hemp essential oil is also thought to encourage clear thought and concentration, and using it in an aromatherapy diffuser if you have work to do might well encourage deep and concentrated thought.

Drawing from 1890 book, "American Medicinal Plants"

Drawing from 1890 book, "American Medicinal Plants"

A field of cannabis flower plants (low THC) growing in the UK. This image is in the public domain.

A field of cannabis flower plants (low THC) growing in the UK. This image is in the public domain.

Cannabis flower perfume - make your own!

Even though cannabis flower essential oil is often used in chemically prepared perfumes, you can use it as a delicate perfume all by itself to avoid the harsh chemicals and alcohol involved in commercially prepared scents.

Mixed with lavender oil, cannabis flower essential oil forms a calming, refreshing perfume that can help relieve the stress of a long day or even combat stress throughout the work day.

Cannabis flower oil is generally considered safe for use on skin, but before applying it directly to your skin, test the cannabis oil on a small patch of skin to be sure that you will not have an adverse reaction, as some sensitive skinned people sometimes do.

It is, however, one of the most gentle oils and very few people suffer any reaction.

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If your skin doesn't react to the oil, you can dab just a little cannabis flower essential oil onto your neck and wrists and end up smelling non-chemically delicious.

To create a perfume mixture, blend a few drops of cannabis oil, a few drops of lavender, and a few drops of a citrus scent, such as bergamot oil or grapefruit, with a tablespoon of base oil, such as jojoba or sunflower seed oil.

The let the bottle sit in a dark place for a few days to allow the scents to blend, and then use the blend as your own personal perfume.

A single cannabis flower plant growing in the UK. This photo is in the public domain.

A single cannabis flower plant growing in the UK. This photo is in the public domain.

Household uses of cannabis flower essential oil

Cannabis flower essential oil is also a good replacement for chemical-laden insect repellants that involve nature- and human-harming elements like DEET.

Some of the components of cannabis flower plant oil, such as limonene, are similar to those in citronella and will repel a variety of insects, including mosquitoes, gnats. and other summer time nuisances. After testing a patch of skin for negative reactions, apply cannabis flower essential oil directly to the skin as a personal insect repellant.

For an all-natural insect repellant that you can take anywhere, fill a battery-operated aromatherapy oil diffuser full of cannabis flower oil and use it on your deck, at your campsite, or anywhere else that is outdoors.

The best part is that cannabis flower essential oil works to actually repel insects, but its ingredients, unlike those of conventional insect repellants, aren't harmful to humans, animals, or the environment.

Scientists are currently conducting research that shows that the fungicidal properties of cannabis flower oil are effective in treating plant fungi that might kill houseplants and garden flora.

No one is positive yet which ingredients in cannabis flower essential oil actually kill the fungi, nor is there a proven method to using the oil to protect and heal houseplants and garden flowers. But if you find yourself struggling to fix the problems of some of your plants, you can avoid using harsh chemical fungicides by mixing up a bottle of cannabis flower oil and water and spraying your plants down.

Be sure that each time you spray your plants, you shake the bottle vigorously, as the oil and water will separate in a matter of minutes. The oil certainly won't hurt your plants, but you might have to experiment to find the concentration of cannabis flower oil that will actually get rid of fungus and help your houseplants heal.

Cautions and warnings

Although there are not many side effects to cannabis flower essential oil, it, like any other essential oil, can negatively effect sensitive skin.

Also, be aware of the quality of any cannabis flower essential oil you purchase, as not all cannabis flower oil is food-grade.

Keep in mind, as well, that cannabis flower oil is a volatile compound which should be stored in a proper dark glass essential oil vial.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Aaron on September 02, 2013:

Rick from gives a pretty irresponsible recipe calling for benzene as a wash solution. He gives no warning about the importance of using a full face respirator and impermeable gloves during the handling of the chemical. As for putting it into a metal container to "cook off" the remaining benzene that is irresponsible and can lead to heavy metals being leached into your medicine from the reactivity of the two materials. I was in the tank cleaning industry for the navy. Benzene is a left over Hazardous Material from the diesel fuel tanks and causes cancer. Use Pyrex glassware to mix your stuff and cook it off. Always use your respirator and gloves if you are going to follow Ricks recipe. I appreciate that he is intent on helping the sick cure themselves naturally with the herb of the gods, but he should have included this important safety info. Aloha

Aharon on October 05, 2010:

Where is a good source of the flower essential oil?

Phrenism on January 25, 2010:

Agreed! Cannabis is natures finest medicine

OLDAWGMAN on January 03, 2010:

AMEN Kaabi!! Keep spreading the word, more folks need to know.

Kaabi from Maryland on October 11, 2009:

But realize that more powerful cannabis extracts are much more useful. Visit to learn how concentrated hemp oil, which is high in THC, can cure cancer and other diseases. Also, search "THC and cancer" on Google, and you will find a ton of research studies showing THC kills cancer cells. Logical that concentrated THC could cure cancer, right? Not to mention I personally know several terminal cancer survivors, thanks to this oil. It is simply miraculous!

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