Growing naturally in the southwestern United States, the jojoba plant is known by many other names like wild hazel or coffeeberry. Commercially it is grown to produce oil that is extracted from its seed. In general the plants grow to be 3-6 feet tall, although some have been known to grow as tall as 9 feet. Like most healing botanicals, it has been used for generations to treat a number of various health and skin conditions.
Technically jojoba oil is not an oil, but rather a liquid wax that is derived from the seeds of the jojoba plant. Besides being used to health and healing purposes, Native American tribes also used the ground up seeds of the jojoba plant to make hot beverages, or if food was scarce, they would eat the jojoba nuts to survive. It was also believed that eating the jojoba nuts would allow pregnant women to have an easier childbirth. The jojoba nut is actually made up of 50% wax which is not usually digested by the human body, meaning that after consuming a jojoba nut the wax would remain undigested in the intestinal tract, thereby functioning as a sort of laxative.
Ever the versatile plant, 18th century indigenous people also used ground up jojoba nuts to create a sort of salve that was then used to to supplement and condition their skin and hair, while also being used as an effective way to soften and preserve animal hides.
For jojoba oil as we know it now, the extraction process requires a cold pressing of the seeds. They are placed in a machine that uses a special screw to press the oil. Using this particular method makes it possible for the oil to be extracted without any added heat. Adding heat to the extraction process can result in some beneficial properties being removed, making the jojoba oil less effective.
In modern times, jojoba oil is known for its powerful skin healing abilities and hypoallergenic benefits. Jojoba oil contains almost all of the vitamins and minerals required for the healthy growth of skin, hair, and nails and is safe for even the most sensitive of skin.
At its core, jojoba oil is a humectant meaning it works to seal moisture into the skin, giving it a protective barrier that helps protect it from moisture loss. This alone can help prevent bacterial infections and other skin conditions.
Jojoba oil has powerful antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It does not kill all bacterial or fungal species, but it does have the ability to kill certain varieties, specifically the variety that can cause salmonella, E.coli, and candida.
Jojoba oil contains natural vitamin E, which works well with the skin’s natural oils to act as an antioxidant. It can actually help your skin fight oxidative stress that is caused by our daily exposure to pollutants.
Funnily enough, jojoba oil is structurally built very similar to our naturally occurring skin oil, called sebum. It’s so close that our skin can’t tell the difference between the jojoba oil and its own sebum. Because of this, using jojoba oil on the skin leads to fewer breakouts because it doesn’t clog the pores.
Since molecularly jojoba oil is a wax, its structure allows it to naturally create a protective seal on the surface of skin. While it can be partially absorbed into the skin, it’s this ability to sit on the surface of the skin that makes it more hypoallergenic than most other botanical oils.
Because of its powerful antioxidant properties, jojoba oil can help the body produce more collagen naturally. As we get older, we start producing less collagen which ultimately results in wrinkles and painful joints. More collagen can help slow these effects of the aging process.
Jojoba oil is a naturally healing oil and has been used as such for centuries. It has the ability to stimulate wound healing and encourage skin cells to bind together after they’ve been separated by a scratch or related trauma. The natural vitamin E that is found in jojoba oil is extremely helpful in this healing process.
Eczema and Psoriasis
The natural anti-inflammatory and healing properties found in jojoba oil give it the ability to help treat and relieve drying skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It can help relieve the dryness, itching, and flaking usually associated with these types of conditions.
Because jojoba oil is almost identical to sebum, using it to keep the skin moisturized sends a signal to the body that it doesn’t need to produce as much sebum. This helps keep acne in check since the body will stop overproduction of the compound, which is what generally causes most acne issues.
Best Way to Use
Jojoba oil can be used by itself, in combination with other products, or as an added ingredient to other healing products. How you choose to use it is based solely on your intended purpose or what your doctor has recommended for your treatment.
Unlike many other oils, jojoba oil does not need to be diluted and is safe to apply directly to the skin. However, like any other topical treatment, it’s important to do a patch test of any new products to make sure it doesn’t cause a reaction. To test for jojoba oil allergy it is recommended to do the following:
- Apply 3-4 drops of jojoba oil on the inner forearm.
- Cover that area with a bandage for approximately 24 hours.
- After the time has passed, remove the bandage and check the skin for any sign of redness, hives, or other skin irritation. If none are present, you can go ahead and apply the oil to a larger area of skin.
Jojoba oil is wonderfully hypoallergenic so there are very few, if any, known complications or side effects of using this product topically. There have been rare cases where jojoba oil caused an allergic reaction, so make sure to do a patch test (as referenced above) before adding jojoba to your daily routine. Of these rare cases, the most common usually involves hives and itching.
Jojoba Oil and CBD
Jojoba oil acts as an effective stabilizer for other carrier oils, like CBD. When added to CBD oil, jojoba oil can increase the CBD’s stability and lower the peroxide value. Jojoba oil has a more stable chemical structure with its straight chain esters, compared to other oils which have a more branched structure, ultimately leading those other oils to be less stable and with more degradation properties.
This is important because the more stable the CBD is, the better it can interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and help move the helpful properties of the CBD to the regions where they are needed. Keeping the potency of a CBD product is very important, to everyone from manufacturers, to the retailers, and of course the consumers.
The Endocannabinoid System
Cannabinoids have a very specific effect on the human system. The endocannabinoid system functions as a way to stabilize the body and return to homeostasis when fluctuations occur. If some sort of disruption is introduced in the body, for instance an attempt at overproduction of collagen, the ECS will activate and control the situation to make sure all systems it controls remain at an optimal level. This is a fundamental function of human physiology because all the internal systems need to be in a state of equilibrium to work effectively.
There are three primary elements that make up the endocannabinoid system:
- Endocannabinoids: Compounds that are produced by the body, but are very similar to the chemical compounds in cannabis, like CBDA, CBD, or CBG.
- Cannabinoid Receptors: Receptors found on the surface of cells throughout the body. Any endocannabinoids or ingested cannabinoids will bind to these receptors. The action of binding allows them to communicate with different systems in the body, helping the ECS maintain an equilibrium in each of the specific systems.
- Enzymes: After endocannabinoids attach themselves to the cannabinoid receptors and the ECS has maintained stabilization, enzymes break down the endocannabinoids to prevent overcorrection. Each type of endocannabinoid has a specific enzyme that works at breaking it down effectively.
The endocannabinoid system maintains equilibrium in the immune, digestive, and nervous systems among others. Because cannabinoids can so easily interact with the ECS they are able to have an effect on any number of issues that may arise within those systems, making them potentially powerful tools to use when battling certain conditions and diseases.
The powerful oil of the jojoba plant has been used for thousands of years by a number of people to treat many different ailments, particularly those involving the skin. As a naturally hypoallergenic, it has the ability to be used for any number of conditions by any number of people. When you need some safe, gentle, and effective to heal a skin condition, you can’t go wrong with a product that contains jojoba oil. Your skin will thank you.