How does CBD work in skincare?

How does CBD work in skincare?

  • Overview
  • What is the endocannabinoid system?
  • Benefits of CBD in treating different skin conditions
    - Anti-aging
    - Acne
    - Oily skin
    - Skin dryness and itching
    - Sunburn, skin allergies and sensitivity

CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it’s one of the most well-known of the various natural chemicals found within the cannabis sativa plant. Extracted as an oil, in the previous couple of years it’s been the subject of in depth research. Studies have shown that it has a long list of medicinal qualities, from anxiety relief to better sleep. And it is involved in the cosmetic industry as an active ingredient. Part of its appeal lies in its anti-aging abilities. It fights off free radicals, which are known to attack healthy skin cells and cause wrinkles. It may also help to reduce acne by restoring balance to the amount of sebum produced in the skin, and soothe eczema and psoriasis prone skin due to its natural anti-inflammatory properties.

What is the endocannabinoid system?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is composed of endocannabinoids that are neurotransmitters that bind to receptors known as cannabinoid receptors (CBRs). The ECS and the cannabinoid receptors are believed to regulate a host of biological processes, including immune function, pain sensation, appetite, mood, and memory, apart from regulating CBD’s pharmacological effects. There are two types of cannabinoid receptors– CB1 and CB2 receptors. While a majority of CB1 receptors are located in the brain, CB2 receptors are found in the immune system.

Read more:  What are terpenes? Why does cannabis smell?

They're all over our body and the most interesting part about this is that our body produces its own cannabinoids and so we naturally reproduce on cannabis. But we can also externally take them through products like the oils or skin cream and in doing so you're taking external cannabinoids but essentially you're unlocking a response from these CB1 and CB2 receptors. This is why people are using the oils for so many different elements and concerns because it unlocks a response from all over the body.

A review on the role the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays in skin health and disease and the therapeutic potential of CBD found that ECS played a role in many biological processes in the skin such as growth, proliferation, cell differentiation, cell death, and hormone production in cells of skin and hair. The main physiological function of the skin ECS relates to regulating skin cell proliferation, survival, and differentiation, apart from controlling the immune competence of skin cells. When this delicate balance is disrupted, it can lead to many skin conditions such as acne, allergic dermatitis, excess oil on the skin, psoriasis, itching and pain.

Evidence supports that CB2 receptor activation leads to anti-inflammatory effects. CBD activates the CB2 receptor, which makes it a potential therapeutic agent in treating many skin conditions that are due to inflammatory processes such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, allergies, and others.

We've seen so many stories in the press about people making miraculous recoveries from certain diseases and ailments when using CBD products combined with therapeutic therapy. CBD can also change people's life in terms of mental health and it helps people manage long terms orders that come along with a lot of pain,… It is such an interesting ingredient and obviously it seems like our boy system is designed to work with CBD and cannabinoids. So, let's talk a little bit about what would be the benefit of having cannabinoids in skincare.

Benefits of CBD in treating different skin conditions


CBD is said to be the best anti-aging compound for two main reasons. It's a powerful antioxidant and a very powerful anti-inflammatory

The antioxidant properties mainly work by protecting the skin from free radicals – the factors that change skin color, causing sagging skin and brown spots by breaking down elastic fibers. Free radicals are created in the body as a by-product when cells create energy and are accelerated by pollution, smog, dust, cigarette smoke and UV rays in the sun. CBD can come in as an antioxidant by providing the missing particle for the lonely free radical and therefore prevents it from attacking and breaking down your DNA structure. Moreover, a number of research found that it's a more powerful antioxidant than vitamin C and vitamin E

Anti-inflammatory: CBD targets the aging process through its anti-inflammatory interaction with CB2 receptors. A lot of studies have shown that CBD can reduce damage caused by inflammation through something known as oxidative stress that protects organs and cell tissues from damage. In terms of anti-inflammatory, CBD especially can help sensitive skin in soothing skin and acting as a good protector when take it topically

Read more: Cannabinoid Delivery Systems

By taking CBD you're stimulating activity of many cell receptors in the skin and body's endocannabinoid system which inhibits free radicals from bombarding our skin


Acne has been proven to be an inflammatory condition. Although there are other factors as well that trigger acne, topical CBD application can fight inflammation while soothing the irritated skin

Read more: Does CBD have side effects?

Oily skin

One of the reasons for acne and other skin conditions is excess oil production. CBD facial cream, serum, or other CBD-infused topical products can help control oil production, which helps reduce acne breakouts and improve skin health. CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects further help reduce the soreness, burning, and itching caused by acne, which leaves the skin less sensitive, calmer, and with reduced redness.

Read more: Cannabinoids - THC, CBD and more

Skin dryness and itching

Research has thrown the spotlight on the role played by cannabinoid receptor activation on the sensory nerve fibers in the skin. Lack of CB1 and CB2 receptors have been implicated in allergic contact dermatitis, which leads to severe itching. Taking external cannabinoids can enhance the unlocking CB1 and CB2 receptors. Therefore CBD skin and facial creams keep the skin hydrated and reduce dryness of skin and the resulting itchiness and discomfort

Sunburn, skin allergies, and sensitivity

Another potential benefit of topical CBD application is its significant soothing properties. CBD has been shown to have skin-calming effects, which makes it an ideal choice to treat skin sensitivity-related issues such as redness and rash.
Excess exposure to ultraviolet radiation and environmental pollutants are implicated in many skin conditions, including sunburn, skin allergy, sensitivity, and premature aging. Melanin is a pigment that is produced by special skin cells called melanocytes and has a protective effect against external stressors such as UV rays and pollutants.

Researchers studied the effects of CBD in encouraging melanin production (melanogenesis) and found that CBD increased the amount of melanin produced. This suggests the potential of CBD in protecting the skin against external stresses such as toxins and UV rays that are implicated in skin sensitivity, sunburn, and allergies.

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