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You may have seen your favorite Instagram influencer use or promote beauty products that include hemp or CBD. As more brands include these ingredients in their skin care lines it starts the conversation on how does it work, or does it even do anything? At the moment, there is still A TON of research to do on CBD and how it interacts within and outside the body, but here are some ideas based on research that we did put together.
For those who don’t know, CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant. Hemp-derived CBD with a THC content of 0.3% or less is legal in the U.S. and has become a booming market item for a variety of products. CBD interacts with the human endocannabinoid system and allows for a variety of possible effects. In its ability to interact with ECS receptors, there is speculation that it can help the skin through similar connections.
CBD and its treatment of acne is a huge exploration, as acne is such a big problem in many people’s lives. Acne is characterized by clogging of hair follicles with oil and dead skin, that results in red, possibly pus-filled bumps.  For many, acne is a debilitating issue as it causes low self-esteem and overall lack of confidence in one’s appearance. However, studies suggest that CBD could help. CBD, firstly, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties due to its activation of vanilloid receptors. In this, CBD may reduce the redness caused by acne. Furthermore, and most excitingly, current studies suggest CBD can act as a sebostatic agent, which means it lessens the production of sebum.  Sebum is an oil that the skin produces that can often clog the hair follicles and cause acne. Research also suggests that CBD has antibacterial properties , which could keep the skin clean and reduce the risk of bacterial clustering on the face.
Eczema is characterized by itchy, dry skin and red patches.  There is no cure, but treatments exist that may alleviate some of the itchiness. Psoriasis is caused by a rapid build-up of skin cells, leading to dry, cracked, and itchy skin.  It is related to the immune system and has no cure. These issues, despite their differences, both have symptoms that could be soothed with the use of CBD. As previously mentioned, CBD has anti-inflammatory applications, which could lessen the redness and discomfort caused by these ailments. Furthermore, this anti-inflammatory action could reduce itchiness.  This possibility is monumental in that the itch of these diseases are often unbearable.
Specifically, for psoriasis, studies suggest that cannabinoids can inhibit the proliferation of skin cells, which, when in excess, causes psoriasis.  The dampening of proliferation could greatly reduce the size and severity of patches.
Skin aging can be triggered by a variety of things. Beyond chronological aging, which is just the aging of the skin through time, there also exists photoaging, caused by UV irradiation, which causes the gradual degradation of collagen in the skin, leading to wrinkles. High sugar diet, lack of sleep, smoking, and alcohol use also age the skin. However, a big issue posed to skin is oxidation. Oxidation of the skin damages dermal cells, leading to visibly aged skin. CBD is thought to be a natural antioxidant , which can destroy these free radicals that cause oxidation. Furthermore, CBD is full of Vitamins A, E, and C, which provide a variety of benefits to the skin.  Specifically, vitamin C is thought to aid in collagen production, which skin needs help with as we age. The other vitamins can improve skin firmness and moisture.
In the long run, CBD has yet to be fully confirmed as a holy grail skincare product. But the science that does back its efficacy allows for a lot of potential uses to be postulated. Using CBD on the skin could greatly help those who suffer with acne, skin redness or itchiness, and even wrinkles. What’s not to love?
RESEARCHED AND AUTHORED BY:
ANGIE T. BIOCHEM MAJOR @ UCLA IN LOS ANGELES, CA
Any blog content is based on our research and opinions and does not claim professional accuracy. The information and products contained on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. You are advised to consult with your health care provider prior to use.