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From gummies to bath bombs, CBD is continuing to crop up in every product imaginable. Thanks to a widespread shift in public attitudes, and restrictions on the compound being lifted, cannabinoid-infused products are being found everywhere from the crevices of the internet to your local high street- and this growth in popularity is for very good reason. As a litany of studies have concluded, CBD has the potential to lower symptoms of inflammation, which could make it useful when dealing with symptoms of chronic pain, or protecting the body from certain types of diseases. As research into the potential properties of the cannabinoid deepens, the hemp derivative is appearing to disrupt another key industry - beauty and skincare.
Move over aloe vera, and tea tree, CBD oil's purported healing properties are appearing to lend themselves very effectively to the world of skincare. So, whether you're suffering from seasonal dry skin or continual bouts of acne, CBD skincare products may be able to help. But, as the natural compound continues to feature in a range of lotions, salves and serums, much about it's possible benefits to our skin is still unknown to the average consumer. So, in this article, we're guiding you through 6 ways that CBD infused products just might save your skin - because since our skin works so hard to protect us, it's only fair that we return the favour.
Before we jump into the ways that CBD infused skincare products might be able to benefit our skin, let's take a step back to understand a little bit more about the cannabinoid itself.
What is CBD oil?
Often referred to by its full name, cannabidiol, CBD is a naturally occurring compound that is found within the cannabis Sativa plant (most commonly the hemp variety). It is one of over 100 other cannabinoids native to the plant, including the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that's responsible for giving the plant it's famous 'high'. Unlike THC however, CBD leaves the user with a completely clear head, and is actually understood to have the potential to counteract the intoxicating effects of its neighbouring cannabinoid due to its supposed therapeutic qualities.
Discovered as early as the 1940s, but only hitting widespread mainstream acclaim as of late, CBD can come in several different forms, with each variety understood to affect the user in a slightly different way. As the name suggests, full-spectrum CBD contains the broadest range of cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant, and often even includes traces of THC. In comparison, broad-spectrum CBD contains a similar variety of valuable extracts, but without any THC, and lastly, CBD isolate only contains cannabidiol in its purest form. However, it often comes in the form of a white powder.
Whatever the extract you decide on, when it comes to reaping the supposed benefits of this natural compound, there's no shortage of CBD products to try. However, within the realm of skincare, the most popular way to sample the cannabinoid is by using lotions, creams, serums, or balms that are infused with CBD. So, if your interest is starting to peak, read on to discover why the natural compound may hold such potential when it comes to helping your skin.
CBD and our skin
As we've already touched on, CBD has been reported to contain a range of potential properties that may make it useful when it comes to addressing specific skincare issues. For instance, as this 2010 study indicates, cannabidiol has the potential to reduce cases of symptoms of inflammation, which is relevant when it comes to skincare, as symptoms of inflamed skin are a feature of many adverse skin conditions. In addition to this, cannabidiol is also understood to potentially contain antioxidant properties, as this 2020 study highlights, as well as an abundance of skin-friendly non-CBD vitamins and fatty acids that are renowned for soothing, hydrating, and replenishing the surface of our skin.
However, perhaps the most crucial way that cannabinoid-infused products support our skin is through their interaction with our bodies' endocannabinoid system (ECS). For those who aren't familiar, our ECS is our body's natural regulatory system that influences a range of our biological functions, with the end goal of helping our body and mind stay in tune (also known as maintaining homeostasis).
Among other things, the system is composed of CB1 and CB2 receptors that are located across our brain and body, and, when cannabidiol makes contact with these receptors, it may have the potential to improve the performance of the overall system. For this reason, when CBD-infused products are applied topically, and the cannabinoid makes contact with the CB2 receptors in our skin, this is understood to soothe muscle tension, while also helping our skin to stay healthy and balanced.
So, now we've explained the basics, let's take a look at the various different ways cannabidiol-infused skin products may be able to help your skin, as well as the science that backs it up!
How CBD may be able to assist your skin
It has the potential to soothe symptoms of dry or irritated skin
Dry skin is a pervasive skin problem that can be caused by a variety of different factors, from seasonal changes to harsh soaps and chemicals. It can be extremely irritating and can often lead to redness, flaky skin, and sore patches. But, luckily for those searching for a worthy skin supplement, broad-spectrum CBD oil has been considered to be a 'humectant', which simply means that it draws moisture to the skin.
Compared to many essential oils that just sit on top of the skin, CBD oil is thought to be able to permeate through the skin and strengthen cells whilst also balancing out red patches. Due to its unique make-up, CBD is potentially able to moisturise the skin without making it feel too greasy, which makes it much more useful than many other creams on the market. CBD oil is also anecdotally known to provide moisture for very long amounts of time, due to the presence of linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid. These fatty acids can successfully nourish the skin and promote long-term moisture retention, so you don't need to waste your time and money re-applying the product throughout the day. In addition to this, linoleic acid also encourages the growth of healthier skin, hair, and nails, and so its possible benefits are likely to extend far beyond just your skin.
When it comes to irritated or itchy skin, CBD oil might also be able to help, as a study by the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD) suggests. The 2005 study investigated the topical use of CBD oil on those suffering from itchy skin, noted that 81% of participants saw a complete disappearance in their symptoms after they used the CBD infused cream twice daily for three weeks. This noticeable reduction of symptoms was understood to take place because of the way the compound interacted with the participant's endocannabinoid system, and also due to the palmitic acid in CBD, which was recognised to elicit a possible soothing effect on the skin. Therefore, similarly to the applications for dry skin, due to CBD's supposed emollient qualities, it's widely understood to be able to impact symptoms of itchy, sensitive, or red skin.
It can purportedly reduce instances of acne
Whether you call it a zit, a pimple, or a spot, we've all probably experienced acne from time to time. While the condition is common, finding an effective supplement that works with your skin can be surprisingly challenging.
To be specific, acne is caused when excess dirt, dead skin cells, or oil clogs the pores in your skin. Each pore is an opening to a follicle, and, when clogging occurs, and a spot develops, the oil gland releases sebum (commonly known as pus or oil) out of this follicle. Fortunately, CBD has been shown to be an effective ingredient when it comes to preventing acne, due to its purported non-comedogenic qualities, which simply refer to its non-greasy nature. This feature sets CBD oil apart from most other oils on the market because, while it helps the skin to retain moisture, it's thought to be much less likely to generate excess oiliness and result in a subsequent build-up of acne on the skin.
Furthermore, as some research indicates, CBD may also be effective at preventing acne because of the compound's potential ability to reduce the oiliness of skin before a build-up of sebum occurs. As this 2014 study implicates, when applied topically, CBD may reduce the prevalence of sebocytes, and compounds like linoleic and arachidonic acid. This is significant because sebocytes are cells which produce the sebum which can contribute to acne, and linoleic and arachidonic acid can stimulate fat production, which, in turn, can lead to greasy skin and clogged pores. And, if this wasn't enough, the potential anti-inflammatory properties that CBD is thought to potentially contain may also be able to significantly diminish the symptoms of irritation that are often synonymous with moderate to extreme cases of acne.
So, to round up, the combination of the CBD's purported non-comedogenic and purported anti-inflammatory properties suggest that cannabinoid-infused skincare products may make an effective anti-acne supplement, alongside a healthy lifestyle. This is not only because of its potential in tackling existing cases of acne, but also due to its possible ability to act as a preventative agent against future outbreaks.
CBD may have the potential to reduce scarring
Scarring can arise from a variety of severe skin diseases, such as psoriasis, eczema, and even from more severe cases of acne. It's caused by any substantive damage to skin tissue, specifically as a result of damage to the dermis, which forms the thick central layer of the skin. In response to such damage, the body creates new collagen fibres to replace the damaged ones in a process which, due to slight differences in the nature of the fibres formed, results in the formation of scar tissue. Luckily though, if you're dealing with long-term scarring, or are trying to prevent any from occurring and conventional treatments aren't working - CBD may have the potential to help.
First of all, if you're looking to prevent instances of scarring before they arise, cannabidiol-infused products may be useful due to the compound's purported antibacterial properties. By keeping harmful bacteria away from the wound, CBD is thought to potentially be able to help prevent symptoms of infections from occurring after injuries take place. This, paired with cannabidiol's supposed ability to provide relief for symptoms of pain associated with these injuries, makes CBD infused lotion and creams a useful thing to have on hand in case an incident arises.
In addition to this, CBD infused products may also be able to impact the scarring caused by such wounds, as this 2019 study suggests. The study, which investigated the potential therapeutic applications of CBD oil, concluded that patients who were suffering from scarring associated with psoriasis were able to see a significant improvement in scar tissue damage after applying the substance daily for three months. In addition to this, the skin's elasticity, hydration, and overall appearance also potentially improved throughout the study. This was understood to take place because of CBD's unique possible ability to regulate collagen production, as this may enable it to alter the development of scar tissue, which can improve the texture and appearance of the scar. Also, various oils found in CBD (such as linoleic acid and omega-6 fatty acids) also have potent properties that help facilitate skin healing, so this is understood to contribute to cannabidiol's supposed ability to reduce scarring.
It may be able to reverse signs of ageing
We're all under pressure to look young. But with 'miracle' anti-ageing products being touted in supermarkets and cosmetic stores across the world, it's hard to know what skincare products to trust. However, with research showing that cannabidiol may be able to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while also preventing signs of ageing from developing in the first place, it looks like CBD infused lotions are starting to give more established creams a run for their money.
As this 2020 study indicates, one way CBD oil is understood to have the potential to slow down the effect of signs of ageing is by boosting our skins' levels of Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs) - which are a type of molecule chaperone that protects the skin from stress. HSPs typically decrease in our skin as we get older, and as the study also notes, there is a positive correlation concerning people who have more wrinkles- they also have lower levels of HSPs. Therefore, by increasing the production of these molecular chaperones, CBD is understood to reduce the signs of ageing when applied to the skin topically.
Also, as this recent study shows, CBD's antioxidant properties are supposedly greater than that of Vitamins C and E, which provides further support for the compound's potential ability to keep skin youthful. Since antioxidants are a great way to impact levels of free radicals, which are unstable atoms that are understood to contribute to the DNA damage and processes of cellular mutation, cancer and ageing, topically applying antioxidants to the skin may be an effective form of protection. Therefore, since the presence of antioxidants is thought to slow signs of premature ageing as a result of lessened free radical exposure, this may support the notion that CBD products may be able to slow down our skin's natural process of ageing.
CBD may have potential in reducing levels of pain
While it's evident that CBD has a range of potential cosmetic applications, this isn't the only reason to give cannabidiol infused lotion a try. For instance, the topical application of CBD is also understood to potentially help soothe many different symptoms of types of pain, including symptoms of the chronic pain or discomfort associated with specific health disorders such as arthritis or nerve damage. Even though cannabidiol's pain-relieving properties are still awaiting definitive, conclusive research, a large number of studies do support the compound's analgesic qualities.
Specifically, the topical application of CBD may have the potential to soothe symptoms of the pain associated with arthritis, an inflammatory condition which causes swelling and tenderness to joints, due to the compound's purported ability to lower levels of inflammation. As this 2016 study on rats outlines, when transdermal cannabidiol is administered, it may have the capability to significantly reduce joint swelling, as well as instances of spontaneous pain. This suggests that if CBD is infused into products at high enough concentrations, then it may have the potential to relieve symptoms of the pain, swelling and redness that is associated with the condition.
In addition to CBD's purported anti-inflammatory properties, research indicates that cannabidiol may be able to soothe symptoms found in some instances of chronic pain due to its potential ability as an analgesic. As this study suggests, cannabinoids may have the potential to lower pain activity by interrupting the release of neurotransmitters from nerve endings. While it was noted that this is particularly effective when it comes to symptoms of some particular types of nerve pain, the notion may also be applied to other types of chronic pain. So, although more studies on humans are required to take place before properly effective conclusions can be drawn, current research into CBD heavily suggests that cannabinoid-infused lotions may have the potential to provide targeted relief to areas where you are experiencing pain.
It may be able to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes the rapid build-up of skin cells. Driven by many physical or emotional factors, it manifests itself in dry, red, and raised skin lesions that can appear all around the body and can cause significant interruption to a person's self-esteem and physical comfort. Although there are a variety of treatments currently being used to improve this skin condition, the complicated factors that contribute towards flare-ups make it somewhat of a moving target when it comes to finding a cure. Fortunately for those suffering from this condition, CBD and other similar cannabinoids may be useful in a supplementary role for those living with this condition, due to CBD's potential role in regulating the endocannabinoid system.
Psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions result from divergent responses of immune cells which sparks off a chain reaction that results in a cascade of inflammatory responses. This inflammatory response then triggers a build-up of keratinocyte skin cells which can accumulate on the surface of the skin to create the visible symptoms that are commonly associated with psoriasis. As this study details, when CBD is applied to the skin topically, it may have the potential to impact some symptoms of inflammation, which can contribute to the onset of the itchy red regions. Also, when CBD interacts with our body's innate endocannabinoid system, it's been shown to have the potential to limit psoriasis symptoms from flaring up in the first place.
Furthermore, aside from assisting in preventing the development of this condition, cannabinoid-infused lotions may also be able to impact symptoms of the itchiness and pain associated with psoriasis. As we've previously addressed, CBD may be useful in affecting symptoms of pain and itchiness associated with a wide range of conditions. Therefore, if cannabidiol is applied topically to areas of skin experiencing symptoms, it may be able to soothe the pain and discomfort that's commonly associated with the condition. It should be noted, however, that although CBD products may have the potential be able to provide temporary relief from psoriasis, research into its potential benefits is still not conclusive.
What products should I use?
So, if you're interested in using cannabinoid-infused skincare to potentially aid you in your journey towards healthy and balanced skin, there's a range of different products you can use. As a general rule of thumb, when browsing the CBD marketplace, it's important to keep your eye out for regulated products with high cannabinoid counts.
Here at Infused Amphora, we like to make things easy for you. So we offer high-quality CBD products that have been extracted from 100% organic hemp. We make sure that our CBD is blended with other glorious extracts of the hemp plant, such as the natural aromatic molecules known as terpenes, and we also ensure everything we manufacture is completely free of nasty things like THC, pesticides, or heavy metals.
We specialise in CBD vape cartridges that are specifically targeted towards making you feel inspired, relaxed, tranquil and relieved, and since so many skin conditions are aggravated by stress and poor sleeping patterns, incorporating our pens into your routine is bound to keep you looking as great as you feel.
So, if you like what you hear and are keen to learn more about us or our products, come and take a browse of our site here.
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD oil.
Contributors | Angus Taylor + Dr Gaylord Wardell
IPI is a pharmaceutical ingredient company that cultivates cannabis strains curated to extract specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the formulation of effects-based health and wellness products. Angus is an experienced public speaker, engaging stakeholders, governments and media. Angus was the co-founder of NewLeaf Cannabis, Canada’s most successful retail brand to date, and has been established as a well-known and recognized expert in the field.
Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain management, medical practices and education. Dr Wardell is past President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and current President of the Alberta Medical Association, section of Pain. He is a popular public speaker, an active blogger on medical and pain-related issues, and proponent for scientific validation for patients experiencing pain.
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.