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CBD and Skincare: 5 things you should know

CBD is rapidly becoming a significant ingredient in skincare products. Most major beauty retailers carry CBD-themed and infused products from soaps to lotions, lip balms, massage oils, and everything in-between.

Consumers are slathering on CBD-infused skincare products and are claiming that this ‘super’ ingredient has helped with almost any skin condition possible, from acne to psoriasis, to wrinkle-prevention.

At the same time, the CBD cosmetics market is exploding, was valued at $588.64 million in 2018, and is expected to grow even more. With all this hype, does CBD work for skincare, or is it just another fad.

Most CBD is delivered in the form of CBD oil. CBD oil is an extraction of cannabidiol in a carrier oil such as hemp, coconut or olive oil. A distinction should be made between hemp oil and CBD oil. While some CBD oil is infused into hemp oil, the two are not the same but compliment each other. Hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. CBD oil, on the other hand, is derived from the flowers and leaves of the hemp or marijuana plant.

The CBD oil in the U.S. market mostly comes from the hemp, and not the marijuana plant. That’s because of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which prohibits marijuana as a source of CBD derived products. Hemp is what’s legally covered for CBD use.

Below are the 5 things you should know regarding CBD oil and skincare: 

  1. CBD use in skincare

CBD refers to cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive part of cannabis plant. The psychoactive component of the plant is known as THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. Our bodies have natural receptors, known as the endocannabinoid system, which processes the cannabis plant with two primary receptors: CB1 and CB2. THC is processed with CB1, while CBD is processed with CB2.

CBD and THC are the main cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. THC binds with CB1 receptors, which exist in the brain, contributing to its psychoactive properties that make a person feel ‘high.’ CBD binds to CB2, which is responsible for peripheral systems, mostly our immune system. CB2 receptors deal with inflammation, anxiety, and autoimmunity.

When it comes to skincare, acne and other skincare issues are mostly handled by CB2 receptor cells. CBD oil is thought to have healing and anti-inflammatory properties, and skincare experts are conducting promising research to support this theory.

According to CBD Kryo, CBD oil is considered to be safe to use for a wide range of issues and poses few reported side effects.

2. Acne

Acne, a chronic inflammatory skin condition that erupts and presents itself in the form of pimples, cysts, whiteheads, blackheads, and nodules, has plagued mankind since ancient times. It occurs when the buildup of oil and other debris clog hair follicles on the skin, more so on the face, back, shoulders, arms, and neck areas.

There is no cure for acne! However, CBD oil is proving to be a treatment that can help control and alleviate acne symptoms. Scientists believe that CBD is a safe and effective acne treatment because of its ability to not only dial down sebum secretion, but also its anti-inflammatory qualities.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation showed that CBD oil could reduce the over-activity in glands that are responsible for the production of sebum. Sebum is an oily, waxy, yellow substance that is produced by glands right under the skin. When it is excessive and mixes with bacteria, acne begins to form. CBD oil was shown to prevent acne flare-ups.

3. Psoriasis

Psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune condition where a person’s skin cells grow so fast that the buildup causes lesions, affects about 8 million people in the United States. Psoriasis lesions usually appear on the scalp, elbows, knees, but can also show up anywhere on the body.

There is no cure for psoriasis, and scientists don’t know what causes this condition. Dermatologists believe that the condition is usually triggered by something, like medication or other health conditions. People with psoriasis feel that the lesions itch, burn and sting.

Many have reported that CBD oil alleviates Psoriasis symptoms, and a clinical study was conducted to investigate if CBD oil could have a therapeutic effect on chronic skin diseases such as psoriasis. The patients in the study were asked to use CBD oil twice a day for three months to the lesioned areas.

The trial evaluated skin hydration and elasticity, and also looked at photographic data, among other criteria. The results showed that the CBD ointment improved these conditions, and besides, there were no documented irritant or allergic reactions.

4. Itchy skin and Eczema

CBD and other cannabinoids have been shown to help alleviate a range of pruritus disorders. A clinical study showed that CBD oil, as well as other cannabidiols, were effective in treating patients with a variety of pruritus disorders. 

Pruritus, or itching, is the most common skin problem and feels like a deep itch that doesn’t go away, despite scratching. At some point, everyone will or has experienced pruritus, be it due to an allergic reaction, eczema, medication, an underlying disease, the environment, or a myriad of other factors.

Chronic pruritus is a significant skin issue, and scientists have a difficult time figuring out how to manage this condition. This is because many times, the exact cause varies from person to person, and each treatment is individually tailored.

The National Eczema Association backs the use of CBD, citing several studies including one where an endocannabinoid cream alleviated the itchy skin and loss of sleep that comes with associative dermatitis. “Twenty percent of subjects were able to stop their topical immunomodulators, 38 percent ceased using their oral antihistamines, and 33.6 percent no longer felt the need to maintain their topical steroid regimen by the end of the study,” the association said.

5. What’s the Conclusion? 

CBD has shown to improve a wide range of skin issues, including acne, psoriasis eczema, and skin itching. “The effectiveness of CBD oil on acne was based on the notion that acne is, in fact, an inflammatory condition, and CBD oil can act as an anti-inflammatory,” an article in Cool Things Chicago explains. This statement can also be applied to most skin conditions.

CBD oil, although legal, is still unregulated by the FDA and is considered a supplement, not a medication. When using CBD oil for skincare, it is essential to research if it is being mixed with other ingredients that could potentially cause an allergic reaction.

If using CBD oil for a chronic skin condition, it is best to speak with a dermatologist that is knowledgeable about its use and can advise what dosage is best.

About the author: Julian Gnatenco is the CEO of JGBilling, a Chicago medical billing and coding company. 

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CBD and Skincare: 5 things you should know