Using Hemp as Sunscreen: Natural Sun Protection?

Cannabis leaves and a woman with hat and sun-shaped trace of sunscreen on her shoulder

No matter what time of year it is, protecting skin from UV rays is always important. But some commercial sunscreens aren’t very good for skin. Using hemp oil sunscreen provides not only natural protection, but a host of other skin benefits, too.

Moderation of sun exposure is the key to UV protection, but there’s more that can be done to make sure the fun outdoorsy times don’t end with a sun burn – the use of hemp! This plant offers a lot of sun-screening benefits, alongside many other benefits for healthy skin.

A bird’s eye view of cannabis plants

Hemp: An incredibly versatile plant

The hemp plant is one of the most versatile plants in the world in regard to what it can be used for.

The entire plant can be used in one way or the other… Hemp seeds can be hulled, pressed or crushed and used in flour, a wide variety of food products, cooking oil, beer, personal hygiene products and even paint. The stalks are an amazing (natural) source of very strong fibre that can be used in clothing, carpeting, insulation, boards and more. And hemp hurds from the stalks can be used in mortar, compost or even (cleanly) converted into gasoline.

Stacked hemp seeds and a wooden spoon

The yield from hemp is nothing short of impressive, either. Per acre, it produces more fibre than cotton, more pulp for paper than trees, and hemp grown for biomass fuel can be used in place of gas, furnace and coal.

And considering how easy it is to grow (without needing chemicals, herbicides and pesticides might we add), it could provide not only an amazing amount of materials, but maybe helps restore depleted farming soil.

Benefits to using hemp seed oil as a sunscreen

What SPF does hemp have?

Hemp seed oil has an SPF of 6. Because the plant is capable of developing its own UV protection (just like other plants do), its extracts form a natural protection from the sun.

Hemp seed oil helps deflect some of the UV rays without affecting the very important absorption of vitamin D. This is important, because vitamin D plays an important role in the human body. It’s essential for bone growth and for the healthy maintenance of several organ systems, as well as the immune system. Because of its important functions, severe vitamin D deficiency can lead to some health problems.

Beach and written ‘spf 30’ in the sand

As sun protection, hemp seed oil is easily absorbed by the skin and makes it protective, moisturising and rejuvenating skin care product. But keep in mind its SPF value is only a 6. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends at least SPF 30, so it’s a good idea to use this as a base in conjunction with other products that also offer protection.

A few good oils to consider using alongside hemp oil are red raspberry oil or carrot seed oil, both which have a very good SPF rating. Again, supplement with commercial sunscreens to get to the appropriate level of SPF protection.


Hemp seed oil is also very beneficial for skin, because the gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) and essential fatty acids (EFA) promote the production of keratin. Keratin is a key structural material in the outer layer of human skin, but it’s also important for healthy hair and nails.

It is said that hemp oil’s essential fatty acids closely resemble the body’s natural lipids, which are used to transport vitamins essential in breaking down cholesterol, and used for body insulation.

Beach and sea with Sun in the sky

Cell repair and antibacterial properties

Hemp seed oil assists with cell repair. It helps to heal damaged skin and is an excellent emollient for dry skin. The oil may have natural antibacterial qualities as well.

Considering its many benefits, including being safe for humans and the environment, hemp seed oil seems to be the perfect fit for outdoor activities while enjoying the sun.

  • Disclaimer:
    This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your doctor or other licensed medical professional. Do not delay seeking medical advice or disregard medical advice due to something you have read on this website.


13 thoughts on “Using Hemp as Sunscreen: Natural Sun Protection?”

  1. Love this article! Is there a particular process or type/brand you recommend? When I started my search there ae so many types, i.e. cold pressed, etc. I wasn’t sure if there could be a breakdown in the molecular structure that could change the efficacy of sun protection.

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Tara,

      Sensi Seeds has cold-pressed hempseed oil which you can find here. In honesty I don’t know about breakdowns in the molecular structure other than that it starts to degrade at 180 degrees centigrade, which isn’t going to be a problem for sunbathing! The suggestion from Aria in the comments below about mixing hemp oil with other natural ingredients is also a really good idea. I hope this is helpful 🙂

      With best wishes


    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Sammy,

      Thank you for your question. Hempseed oil is safe to use on babies, but do not rely on it for protection from the sun as the SPF is only 6, and babies and young children need an SPF of at least 30. I hope this helps 🙂

      With best wishes,


    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Linda,

      Yes it does 🙂 The thicker the fabric, the more protection it offers.

      With best wishes,


  2. i wouldn’t use hemp oil alone for sun protection. mix it with carrot seed oil, raspberry seed oil, zinc oxide powder and some raw shea and you are looking at the best all natural homemade sun protection around. carrot and raspberry oil have the highest spf factor for natural oils

  3. Cannabis hash oil has sunscreen properties as well and it’s said that Cannabinoids block UVB and have anti-aging properties…
    So hash oil mixed with hemp seed oil may be a great sunscreen and cancer preventative.

  4. How might we compare the salves and lotions being made by way of whole-extracts – which we commonly find in dispensaries here in Colorado – with hemp seed oil?

    Are the protective and reparative functions found in plant extracts/oils made from cannabis flower equal to those of hemp seed oil?


    1. Stefanie - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Oren,
      Thanks a lot for your reply. Moderate sun exposure and hemp seed oil with a natural SPF of 6 should prevent the skin from burning.
      Best –

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    Sensi Seeds

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