(Last Updated on February 16, 2024)
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa plant that has been studied for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. You may have heard a variety of claims floating around about CBD’s many applications—stress relief, sleep aid, pain relief for arthritic joints, etc.—but which are actually backed up by science?
CBD products have been popping up all over shelves across the country in the past few years. The expansion of the CBD industry can be attributed to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp in the United States. CBD can be derived from hemp, so the legalization of hemp made it possible to manufacture and sell CBD products as well—even in states where there is no medical or recreational cannabis program operational.
Choosing High-Quality CBD Products for Skincare
Not all CBD is created equal. If you see a CBD product at a gas station for $5, it is a safe assumption to make that this is not high-quality CBD oil. There are many companies that prioritize sourcing their hemp—and therefore their CBD products—organically, testing them rigorously, and making sure that the end product that makes its way to consumers is of the highest quality.
Determining the quality of a CBD product will require some research, but it is undoubtedly worth the time and effort, especially if you are using CBD products medicinally or to produce a specific effect such as pain relief. If you buy a low-quality CBD product that contains additives or potential irritants, it is unlikely that it will produce the desired results when it comes to skincare.
Make sure to check where a company sources its hemp from, if it tests its products and how many times, and if they’re tested in-house or independently verified through a third party.
Why Add CBD to Your Skincare Routine?
As mentioned above, CBD contains some wonderful anti-inflammatory properties that can help with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis as well as breakouts and acne in general that can be caused by chronic inflammation.
When CBD is consumed, it activates receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a complex cell-signaling network found throughout the body and central nervous system (CNS) that helps maintain homeostasis in the body. As a result, the ECS can regulate various nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, reproductive, immune, and metabolic functions.
Oxidative stress is caused by a variety of factors, such as exposure to pesticides and cleaners, cigarette smoke, pollution, and other irritants. When the body experiences oxidative stress from these external factors, it can cause cell damage and can result in chronic inflammation if an individual is repeatedly exposed. Oxidative stress is implicated in skin disorders and skin aging. Using products or supplements that contain ingredients such as CBD that will combat oxidative stress may help maintain homeostasis in the skin and protect it proactively.
CB2 receptors that are exclusively found in immune cells are major regulators of inflammation and can be activated by consuming CBD. So, in summary, it could help manage acne and breakouts caused by inflammation as well as protect the skin from free radicals.
CBD Provides Relief for Skin Conditions Research Says
Since inflammation is a major part of skin conditions like acne, it is understood that manipulation of the ECS can help control inflammation and promote healthy skin.
For example, a 2014 study that looked at the role that CBD could play in treating acne concluded that “our novel data, along with intriguing literature findings, strongly encourage the future study in clinical trials of whether either systemic or topical application of CBD and/or appropriate modulation of the related signaling pathways deserves full clinical exploration as a potent, novel class of anti-acne agents.”
The results showed that “CBD normalizes ‘pro-acne agent’–induced excessive lipid synthesis of human sebocytes.”
A 2019 review of the literature regarding cannabinoid signaling in the skin and the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids like CBD stated:
“Cannabinoid signaling is deeply involved in the maintenance of skin homeostasis, barrier formation and regeneration, and its dysregulation was implicated to contribute to several highly prevalent diseases and disorders, e.g., atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, scleroderma, acne, hair growth and pigmentation disorders, keratin diseases, various tumors, and itch.”
Incorporating CBD into your daily skincare routine, whether orally or topically, could prove to be beneficial based on these preliminary findings.
If you want to add something to your daily skincare routine this year, make it CBD to protect and maintain younger-looking, healthier skin. If you are seeking to treat a more serious skin condition with CBD, talk to your doctor or a licensed medical marijuana physician to discuss if medical cannabis could be a good fit for your specific condition.
Note: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe treatment based on the information provided. Always consult a physician before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.