What are the benefits of using CBD skin care products? Can we use CBD to treat acne, psoriasis and eczema? Is CBD a good anti-aging solution?
The skin is our body’s largest organ. It is our first barrier to fight illness and disease. It controls our body’s temperature, our fluid and electrolyte balance, and protects us from the environment. Without it, we have no sense of touch, and we have no protection from the outside world.
When we are young, the most common skin condition many of us have is acne. This is not to be taken lightly, because acne results in many physical and even social obstacles. In the decades in-between youth and old age, the skin conditions we experience include dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, dyshidrosis, and a myriad of others. As we become older adults, our skin begins to become thin, dry, and wrinkled.
So, what can one do to protect our skin? What are the benefits of using CBD skin care products?
There are multiple over-the-counter agents available and Big Pharma wishing to profit from the “cash cow” has developed many pharmaceuticals in pursuit of the “holy grail” of youth. However, there is a more physiological and biologically natural approach to promote and ensure skin health and wellness. The answer lies in CBD and in CBD skin care products.
Click HERE to see a list of CBD Skin Care products
What is acne?
Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition resulting in whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, cysts, and nodules. Acne presents most commonly on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms. In 2015, acne was estimated to affect 633 million people globally, making it the 8th most common disease worldwide. Nearly 85% of people develop acne between puberty and young adulthood.
Risk factors include heredity, high anxiety, hot humid climates, using oil-based makeup, and the menstrual cycle.
Four ingredients are needed to result in acne:
(1) a higher than normal amount of sebum production,
(2) excess keratin (dead skin cells) which form a blockage,
(3) a bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), which is normally present on our skin, and
(4) the release of inflammatory chemicals produced by the body.
How does CBD treat acne?
CBD decreases the higher than normal sebum production which initiates the acne formation. The only prescribed drug that is capable of doing the same thing is isotretinoin (Accutane), which carries with it a black box warning due to its dangerous side effects. No CBD Side effects are known.
CBD also works as an anti-inflammatory and as a result CBD is able to prevent the comedone from growing.
What causes the skin to age?
When we age, the epidermis, which is the outermost skin layer thins. This results in fragile skin which can easily tear, cut, scrape, and when injured, heals at a much slower rate than young skin.
The number of melanocytes (pigment-containing cells) decreases. This gives the skin its thin, pale, almost translucent appearance. In turn, “age spots” begin to appear, which are large pigmented spots, also called “liver spots” which generally are seen in sun-exposed areas.
The connective tissue, which is the layer underneath the outermost layer thins, resulting in decreased strength and elasticity of the skin. This causes the “weather-beaten” appearance seen on the middle-aged faces of farmers, sailors, and “sun-worshippers”.
The sebaceous glands, which produce the moisture which coats our skin, keeping it soft, supple, and smooth becomes inefficient, resulting in dry, flaky, and itchy skin.
The thin layer of connective tissue which insulates our body and lies directly under the outermost layer of the skin, called subcutaneous fat begins to thin as we grow older. (Have you ever wondered why “old’ people always feel cold? This is the reason – they have less subcutaneous fat, which functions as our body’s natural insulation.)
How does CBD treat skin aging?
CBD is an anti-oxidant, and as such, slows down the age-related and sun-related damage that harms the skin. When CBD is applied topically as a cream, balm, or oil, it CBD penetrates the skin down to the subcutaneous layer, binds to our endocannabinoid receptors. As a result, CBD stimulates the production of our own body’s cells to continue to produce the natural oils that keep our skin soft, supple, and smooth.
Store-bought cosmetic creams are ineffective long-term because they do not have the ability to stimulate and strengthen our own lipid producing skin cells. The only Pharm grade product available that comes close to the benefits of CBD is Accutane, but as we all know, Accutane is fraught with black box warnings ranging from congenital malformations when taken in pregnancy, to its carcinogenic potential.
CBD skin care – Take home message:
Our endocannabinoid system has receptors in the skin and its function is to balance the skin cell life cycle. Our dermatological problems which range from acne, to contact dermatitis, to eczema, to psoriasis, to dyshidrosis, to aging skin, are due to an imbalance in the endocannabinoid system which is located in our skin. CBD restores that balance.
When looking for an agent to treat the skin, one wants an agent that is effective, safe, without drug interactions, without side effects, and without toxicity. CBD fulfills all those requirements.
CBD skin care – References:
“Clinical practice. Acne.” N Engl J Med. 2005 Apr 7;352(14):1463-72.
“The global burden of skin disease in 2010: an analysis of the prevalence and impact of skin conditions.” J Invest Dermatol. 2014 Jun;134(6):1527-1534.
“Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and anti-inflammatory effects on human sebocytes.” J Clin Invest. 2014 Sep;124(9):3713-24.
“Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis.” J Dermatol Sci. 2007 Feb;45(2):87-92.
“The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities.” Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009 Aug;30(8):411-20.
“Attenuation of allergic contact dermatitis through the endocannabinoid system.” Science. 2007 Jun 8;316(5830):1494-7.
“Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and anti-inflammatory effects on human sebocytes.” J Clin Invest. 2014 Sep 2; 124(9): 3713–3724.
Dermatology – Medical Clinics of North America
Edited by Roy M. Colven Volume 99, Issue 6, Pages 1167-1400 (November 2015)
“Epidemiology of acne vulgaris.” Br J Dermatol. 2013 Mar;168(3):474-85
“The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities.” Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009 Aug; 30(8): 411–420.