We recently interviewed Patti Swaim, President of HempSense body care products. She had a lot to say about hemp and its viability in the health and wellness category.
Thank you for taking the time for this interview
It is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak on the many uses and benefits of industrial hemp. I appreciate your efforts as well.
Could you tell us a little something about your company?
HempSense Natural Skin Care grew from a need to provide better dermal care than that offered by the many products currently offered on store shelves, most being primarily petroleum based and full of chemicals harmful to the skin and the environment. Since the skin is the body's largest organ, the goal was to formulate products that were all natural with no artificial preservatives and only the best organic herbal extracts and essential oils for healing. What we require of all our products is that they have skin nourishing properties designed to enhance the skin’s function and appearance.
My husband and I are longtime proponents and promoters of hemp; to us it only made sense to formulate hemp skin care products in such a way so as to utilize and promote the benefits of hemp while educating the masses about the health and maintenance of their own skin. From this energetic, HempSense Natural was born. It is the only natural medicated hemp pain cream formulated by a physician available on the market. Other proprietary products include Hemp Diabetic Cream and the unique 2-part Hemp Anti-Fungal Nail Balm kit that is the 1st and only one of its kind. Originally sold only in Dr. Swaim's medical practice, HempSense Natural is now available in select physician offices, compassionate care facilities, and online. Hemp Seed Oil- your skin will thank you!
What is it about hemp that makes it particularly suited for use in body care? We see that hemp oil is in fact the base of all your products. Tell us about that.
The key reason we include hemp seed oil is the fact that this oil's fatty acid composition and lipid profile closely resemble our own skin, making it THE PERFECT MOISTURIZER!
Hemp seed oil is naturally a perfect balanced oil containing 80% of the essential fatty acids required by our skin to maintain its integrity and function. Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are paired in a perfect 3:1 ratio for direct absorption into the skin requiring no conversion or chemical modification for their direct penetration into the epidermis. Hemp seed oil also contains vitamin-E, 23% protein, and carotene anti-oxidants which assist skin types ranging from dry to the mature or aged in repairing damage incurred from external sources and it also stimulates cell growth, making it remarkable for resolving many skin conditions. Hemp's anti-inflammatory properties have proven a valuable adjunct often used in treating exfoliative skin conditions such as Eczema, Neurodermatitis, and Psoriasis. Additionally, its healing properties are applicable in treating sunburns, abrasions, acne, stretch marks and are especially suitable for treating dry, cracked skin.
Many other moisturizers on store shelves containing petroleum jelly and mineral oils simply lay on the skin's surface in contrast to Hemp seed oil which directly penetrates, delivering essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants to the deeper layer and restoring function and appearance. In short, HempSense Natural employs Hemp seed oil's deep absorption properties as a carrier oil for delivery of the additional healing herbs contained in its products.
Have you run into any problems or misconceptions regarding your use of hemp in your product lines? (I.e. confusion with smokeable and psychoactive ‘marijuana’)?
Confusion over psychoactive vs. non-active has occasionally raised eyebrows-fortunately, the internet affords people the educational opportunity to understand the differences in these two very distinct entities. Health and shopping green are primarily their concerns. Of course, not all are appreciative of hemp, but most have no issue with our hemp seed products.
How would legalization of industrial hemp impact your business?
Legalization of industrial hemp would be a boon to our business–as more attention, understanding, and appreciation for the benefits of hemp and hemp products grew, sales of these types of products would multiply exponentially providing new employment opportunities. If we had the ability to buy US grown hemp, the prices of our products would fall, making them more readily affordable and available for the average consumer.
What is the future you see for industrial hemp in America?
The future for industrial hemp is enormous (as illustrated in the aforementioned examples); it just boggles the mind given the ease of cultivation and its versatility as US grown hemp will forever transform the marketplace! It is incredibly exciting! Due to education and persistence, the day is rapidly approaching when industrial hemp will be readily accepted in the US. Universities will offer hemp cultivation in their agricultural studies and nutritionists will teach the health benefits of hemp. Small family farms will become viable once again with fast growing crops of industrial hemp that rebuild the soil while requiring minimal irrigation water or soil supplements. The seed will be used to generate healthy foods, medicines, and skin care products; the stalks will go into manufacturing paper, textiles, biocomposites, and building materials. Hemp futures will be a bullish commodity in the stock Market. The US economy will get a most needed boost with numerous new green jobs coming on line in this industry including the ability of the US to reduce and eventually eliminate its dependency on foreign oil with clean burning hemp bio-fuel.
How do you believe we can make this happen?
Much can be learned from Canada as its industrial hemp prohibition began in 1938 mirroring US policy, however, with vigorous education and constant promotion by aggressively active hemp associations, Canada hemp farming became legal in 1998 by means of licensure through its health department.
In Comparison, by 2010, only 28 states had introduced or passed legislation to allow research and American farmers to grow industrial hemp-both mute points given that securing the requisite growing permit is not yet possible due to resistance from the DEA. Finally, more than 10 years after Canada lifted its ban on hemp farming, US advocate efforts has paid off with both Oregon and North Dakota passing state laws that do not require farmers to obtain federal DEA permit permits to grow. At long last, these 2 states are planning their 1st legal industrial hemp crops this spring. Yet success in the US Hemp movement continues to lag far behind that of Canada.
To accelerate the reality of industrial hemp in the US, educating the masses is paramount with many avenues available. Advocates should consolidate smaller groups into larger, tightly organized networks with specific and focused goals in mind beginning with mass public exposure to facilitate awareness and education. Specific committees would form to address various needs i.e. lobbying the government by giving hemp advocates a proactive voice in policymaking and legislative actions. Others would advocate and challenge both universities and big business to research and develop more hemp based products. Education would further benefit from frequent high visibility public events that promote the sharing of information and encourage consumers to shun multi-national mega corporations that not only lobby against hemp but continue to produce unhealthy products that poison our planet.
U.S. grown industrial hemp is the remedy to many of modern society's most daunting challenges. Wouldn't it be awesome if future history textbooks record our generation as the one that started the reversal of Global Warming by major changes in thinking and lifestyles? Hemp will be our savior!