In recent years, CDB has gained notoriety for its ability to decrease pain, calm anxiety and control seizures. What you may not know is cannabidiol is also being used to reduce the pain of inflammatory skin conditions. And – it’s legal so is readily available. Here are 5 reasons CBD is good for the skin.
Cannabis And CBD
Cannabis is shrouded in controversy, mainly because of its psychoactive properties, the fact that it can be addictive, and is potentially a gateway drug. What if I told you you could enjoy all the positive aspects of the plant, without be concerned about the drawbacks?
This is the beauty of using CBD on your skin. Cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, and can be found in an assortment of salves, balms, ointments, lotions, and topical creams.
CBD is powerful in regard to skincare because it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for many physiological processes in the body, including pain sensation, appetite, memory, and mood. Cannabinoid receptors, including both CB1 and CB2, are found within the brain, immune system, lungs, liver, kidneys, and you guessed it, the skin.
CBD And Skin Care
You may be wondering at this point how CBD could possibly benefit the skin. The healing potential of CBD stems from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates wound healing and cell growth. When this system is out of balance, the immune system can become overactive, and attack the tissues of the body, including the skin.
For example, when the ECS isn’t functioning up to par, cells can abnormally proliferate and differentiate, causing pruritis or itching. CBD is soothing to the burning, itching, and cracking associated with autoimmune diseases and other skin conditions.
It’s also beneficial for the skin due to its ability to moderate the immune-response. This is significant because conditions like psoriasis and eczema are the result of an overactive immune system. The terpenes, B-caryophyllene and pinene, when applied topically, can reduce the inflammation associated with autoimmune flares.
Last, but not least, CBD reduces pain, not only through the mechanism of lowering inflammation, but because the lipids and antioxidants within cannabidiol are easily absorbed through the membranes of the skin where they can exert their pain-reducing effect.
“Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I make a commission on qualifying purchases.”
Skin Conditions CBD Is Good For
1. Cannabidiol And Psoriasis
Psoriasis exists on a spectrum, ranging from mild to severe. It’s a painful condition, characterized by an overproduction of rapidly growing skin cells. Due to this rapid growth, the skin cells don’t mature properly, resulting is scaly, rough, and cracked skin that cam bleed.
Psoriasis is difficult to hide, it can wreak havoc on a person’s self-confidence and self-esteem. Because psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, people with the condition often experience flares that can be triggered by environmental, dietary, or stress-related factors.
CBD helps to balance the ECS, inhibits an overactive immune-response, and mitigates keratinocyte proliferation, a central feature of the condition. Keratinocytes are found in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. They constitute up to 90% of all skin cells.
These cells can multiply up to 10 times faster than normal when someone has psoriasis. This multiplication is what produces the white scaly and red patches characteristic of the condition.
[Read More: Does Stress Cause Wrinkles?]
2. Topical CBD And Inflammation
Inflammation signifies an underlying imbalance, and is the result of the body’s response to a perceived threat. It presents in the skin as soreness, pain, swelling, itchiness, and redness. An increase in blood flow to the site of injury, in response to the release of immune chemicals, is what produces these painful symptoms.
CBD decreases pain and inflammation by moderating this immune response through cytokine production. Cytokines are immune- signaling proteins that play a key role in pain perception and inflammation.
Cannabidiol binds to TRPV1 cells, non-selective cation channels associated with pain and temperature-regulation. This binding prevents inflammatory signals from being transmitted, which translates to less inflammation and less pain.
Rosacea is a common skin condition that affects millions of Americans. It shows up as redness on the nose, chin, cheeks, and forehead, and is often confused with adult acne.
Pimples, pustules, and small bumps may also be part of the picture. If left untreated, rosacea becomes increasingly worse over time.
It can be psychologically damaging, due to the impact it has on the person’s self-esteem.
Rosacea is no respecter of persons, it affects both men and women alike, but commonly afflicts those with fair skin, although, those from Asian or African descent are not immune.
Causation is thought to be both environmental and genetic. UV exposure, stress, over-exercise, weather fluctuations, caffeine, and alcohol are all thought to be potential triggers. CBD can be taken orally or applied topically to provide relief for those with rosacea.
Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are invaluable for quelling the painful burning, itching and stinging of autoimmune flares. Additionally, CBD is good for calming anxiety, which is common among those suffering with visible skin conditions.
4. Fungal Infections Of The Skin
CBD may be helpful for both fungal and bacterial skin infections, even drug-resistant strains of bacteria, like MRSA. Cannibidiol applied topically, provides antimicrobial defense against strains that have become resistant to antibiotics.
Not only is CBD a potent anti-bacterial, it also demonstrates anti-fungal properties. The terpenes found within the cannabis plant not only reduce sensitivity to pain by binding to receptors, they also inhibit fungal growth.
The terpene, caryophyllene oxide, specifically, has been found to impede the growth of fungus in the cannabis plant itself, as well as in the human body. Interestingly, because of these terpenes, dogs are able to sniff out cannabis.
5. Cannabidiol And Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is common, with up to 5 million cases diagnosed annually. DNA mutations can occur in any of the three types of epidermal cells, including basal cells, squamous cells, and melanocytes. Skin cancer is the result of cumulative damage caused by years of sun-exposure.
UV radiation damages DNA within skin cells and is a primary contributor of skin cancer. An under-functioning immune system, along with exposure to environmental toxins, are also correlative factors. Cannabis can favorably improve prognosis after receiving a skin cancer diagnosis. Look up Rick Simpson’s story on YouTube where he details his experience with CBD and squamous cell carcinoma.
CBD is beneficial for preventing skin cancer due to its ability to control cell proliferation.
It eradicates cancer cells and inhibits tumor growth via the lipoxygenase pathway, an enzymatic pathway involved in carcinogenesis. Cannabidiol also inhibits the enzyme that breaks down anandamide, an endogenously-made endocannabinoid.
CBD transdermal patches are becoming increasingly popular because they release cannabidiol directly into the bloodstream over a period of time. They work similarly to the way nicotine patches do. Patches provide a consistent dose of CBD that is much more bioavailable because it bypasses the digestive tract.
There will continue to be ongoing conversations surrounding the benefits of CBD oil, salves and balms. Cannabidiol is non-psychoactive and is beneficial for a wide range of inflammatory skin conditions and ailments.
The bottom line: you won’t have a mind-altering experience by applying CBD topically. We are barely touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using CBD for skincare, including anti-aging products.
CBD salves and ointments are showing great promise in alleviating the pain characteristic of inflammatory skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, dermatitis and skin cancer. Tap into the exceptional healing properties this remarkable plant offers.
Have you used CBD topically? Let me know in the comments:)
(1) WebMD: Psoriasis
(2) Springer Link: TRPV1 and TRPA1 in cutaneous neurogenic and chronic inflammation: pro-inflammatory response induced by their activation and their sensitization
(4) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes
(5) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cannabinoid Signaling in the Skin: Therapeutic Potential of the “C(ut)annabinoid” System
(6) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Topical chemoprevention of skin cancer in mice, using combined inhibitors of 5-lipoxygenase and cyclo-oxygenase-2
(7) ScienceDirect: The role of lipoxygenases in pathophysiology; new insights and future perspectives
(8) Dermatology Time: Does CBD benefit the skin?
(9) Hemppedia.org: CBD For Rosacea: Possible Effects Of CBD On Rosacea
(10) Medical News Today: How do DBD patches work?