Since the passage of the Agricultural Improvement Act in December 2018, hundreds of topical CBD products have flooded the market, and with them, claims that they can cure everything from crow’s feet to psoriasis. Most of the evidence to support these claims is primarily anecdotal, with only a few studies on CBD’s role in skin health. However, some believe that good skin goes hand-in-hand with a healthy endocannabinoid system. In this article, we will take a look at some of the potential benefits of CBD may have to the body’s largest organ—the epidermis.
To understand how CBD could help produce clearer skin, it is essential to realize what acne actually is. Acne occurs when sebaceous glands become clogged with dead skin cells and oil and get trapped within the pores. This is often the result of hormonal changes like puberty or pregnancy but can happen in other instances as well.
If bacteria gets into the pores, a bump can appear that may become red, swollen, and inflamed. The key word here is “inflamed.” Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or imbalance.
It is well known that CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory. But what is less known is that the human endocannabinoid (ECS) contains receptors in the skin as well and plays a role in regulating sebum production. For many people, the commonly diagnosed issue of acne has been helped with a topical CBD skin care product, by taking CBD oil internally, or a combination of both.
It is important to note, however, that it is not a cure for everyone. Other factors like lifestyle, diet, genetics, age, and environment are also involved. However, because CBD doesn’t exhibit any dangerous side effects, it may be an alternative to pharmaceutical remedies or toxic drugstore acne treatments.
Dry and Aging Skin
Most CBD topicals marketed as anti-aging products will have at least some visible benefits, considering that they are generally infused with emollients that hydrate the skin. CBD itself has antioxidant properties that can fight free-radical damage as well as essential fatty acids that may contribute to a healthy complexion.
Of course, many other skin care ingredients claim to do the same. Is CBD the next “anti-aging miracle?” probably not. But could it help contribute to smoother, softer skin? Most likely. It may also be preferable over harsh acids and chemicals and provide a more natural alternative for those who want to age gracefully.
Chronic Skin Disorders
Could CBD potentially be used to treat millions of people with skin disorders such as dermatitis, psoriasis, scleroderma, and rosacea?
The most recent study published by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute in March 2019 says yes. In a comprehensive paper compiled by a team of researchers at the Department of Physiology at the University of Debrecen in Hungary, the authors concluded that dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system was a factor in all of these conditions. Further, they surmised that the untapped potential of the cannabinoid system as it relates to dermatology shows great promise for developing future therapeutic tools in treating skin disorders.
Itching and Eczema
Eczema causes the skin to become itchy, red, cracked, and dry. Conventional treatments for severe symptoms often involve the use of steroid creams. Unfortunately, using these regularly over some time can cause unwanted side effects.
Cannabinoids like CBD can interact with the endocannabinoid receptors of the skin to relieve itching, redness, and irritation. In a human trial for atopic dermatitis (AD), an endocannabinoid cream improved the severity of symptoms in the participants by 60%, with a third of the subjects no longer needing their topical steroids by the end of the study.
While CBD has not been widely studied for its potential to promote healthier skin, the preliminary findings we currently have do show promise. Soon, perhaps, cannabinoids will be part of every dermatologist’s suggested treatments.