How CBD Works - How does CBD work for skin
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It’s our biggest organ after all.
Our skin has to weather the sun, wind, chemicals, poisons, bacteria, viruses…
And the occasional 20 stitches from a bad friday night.
Anyway…we ask a lot of our skin.
Nothing shows your inner health quicker than your skin.
Nothing shows your age as well!
There’s tantalizing research on CBD and your skin which we have to look at.
But be careful!
Billions of dollars are spent chasing healthy and youthful appearing skin.
We’re not saying don’t believe what you read on CBD online BUT…
Let’s use research on CBD to get rid of the false claims.
What can CBD really do for the skin?
Superficially, how about reduce:
That’s a good start and we’ll get into that later.
More long term:
More acute and serious:
Lots to cover.
You want to jump right to the list of CBD for skin products, go here:
Otherwise, let’s get into it by jumping to any topic
If you’re itching to get started (or just itching), let’s dig in!
It spans almost every tissue from brain to blood to….skin!
There are CB1 and CB2 receptors scattered throughout by which this system operates.
It’s thought to balance out other key systems in our body including:
Those are pretty big!
The actors that work within this are called cannabinoids.
Here’s a quick picture:
The cannabinoid receptors are spread throughout the skin tissue (more on that later).
We’ll get into the whole “aging” question later on but it’s pretty remarkable!
So…what exactly are the receptors doing in the skin?
As always, let’s look at research to avoid all the hype!
Keep in mind that over 150 studies are going on at any given time on CBD.
There’s so much to cover…where to begin?
First, some broad strokes…
Do we really know that CBD receptors are in the skin at all?
Let’s start there.
For all our science types, scroll down to the “Cannabinoids in the Skin” section of this article:
Let’s look at an overview of skin issues and the effects of CBD.
There’s a nice summary of cannabinoids’ influence in skin across a wide range of functions:
More confirmation with broad strokes here across a range of skin issues from simple itching to major inflammatory issues
In all these summaries you’ll see data on CBD and varioius pathways in the skin:
You just outlined the different ways skin can go wrong!
Research shows that CBD positively affects all of these.
It’s fascinating that one system and one actor in that system can affect such seemingly different and distinct bodily systems.
My wife jokes that it must have been send down from aliens!
I mean…look at this..
If you needed further confirmation that the endocannabinoid system is INTEGRAL to skin health..
Just to be that obnoxious person who won’t stop…
Okay…uncle. We get it.
Let’s dig around into specific studies that further round out the skin landscape.
We’ll dive into discreet skin illnesses afterwards.
Based on the research above…overwhelmingly.
A quick look at this system before we get into it.
Here’s the amazing thing about this system which you have naturally in your body!
If your own natural cannabinoid runs low, it can use the CBD to fill in the gaps.
If it has enough, the CBD doesn’t appear to build up.
That’s why the safety profile is so strong (see is CBD Safe article).
In itself, that’s a strange attribute.
Studies have tested up to 1500mg doses with good safety results.
There appears to be a self-regulating system to take up cannabinoids if needed.
Let’s look at as skin specifically which has this system integrated.
That sounds important.
Cutaneous means skins in case it’s been a while since bio class.
If you read the above sentence, it’s a relative grab-bag of important skin functions.
So yes, the endocannabinoid and it’s back up overtime worker, CBD are important for skin.
We have CBD receptors throughout the skin:
These are the areas where CBD receptors have been specifically isolated.
It’s likely that they are spread throughout the skin.
There are many studies where CBD is applied either with a cream, balm, or patch and the results are measured for a given requirement.
Since we have CB2 receptors throughout our skin, CBD is able to be absorbed and used in such a fashion.
In fact, for skin specific issues, it can be the preferred choice:
The companies have different topical product including:
The balms are usually the most popular.
The patches are really to by-pass the digestive system if the tincture or CBD oils are causing issues there.
If you’re having stomach issues, make sure to go with the CBD isolate instead of full spectrum or hemp oil.
Most of the products are full spectrum which may cause the related stomach issues.
Otherwise, for topical, look for for clean CBD, levels of CBD, and the the other ingredients included.
That makes a big deal.
Most of the bases are coconut oil, MCT oil (an extract from coconut oil), or other bases.
Coconut oil has its own benefits for skin and is generally the preferred base.
Check out the full spectrum versus Isolate article here.
Topical application of CBD throws a new wrench in this calculation.
For skin specifically, there are beneficial substances in the hemp plant which are great for skin!
Omega fats. Vitamin E in boatloads.
A host of terpines, flavanoids, and other benefits substances found naturally in hemp oil.
Try the isolate balm first for one month. Then try the full spectrum to see how your both reacts!
You can check out the CBD topicals from top brands here:
There are systemic effects CBD has on the body in terms of acne
Specifically in the skin, it shows it’s impact as well.
For example, research shows that is stabilizes the sebocytes which control sebum or skin oil.
Over-production of this leads to blocked pores under which, bacteria can wreak havoc.
They go on to further find that CBD reduces the specific type of inflammation that acne needs to flourish.
CBD exerts universal anti-inflammatory actions.
If you’re a big fan of Star Trek and really want to go down the rabbit hole…
This just digs deeper to find what lever CBD is pulling to do it’s magic (and it does appear to be magic for acne).
With acne, topical application might be best (oil tinctures or edibles). If a balm, we want a very “dry” base so as not to exacerbate overactive glands.
Learn all about how CBD works with Acne here.
We want a very high level of CBD!
There’s a lot of CBD out there that is in name only.
For a tincture, at least 1000mgs.
You can see the CBDmg breakout for the big brands here:
1 in 20 Americans suffer from rosacea.
That’s 5% of the population that now has a safe and effective option to try with CBD.
CBD’s list of researched benefits is a veritable description of rosacea’s symptoms:
You read up on How CBD Works and the research above, you’ll see all of these issues addressed IN the skin!
At its core, rosacea is an inflammatory disease.
CBD and and the endocannabinoid system is responsible for balancing the immune (inflammatory) response throughout the body.
Including the skin.
Please…send us before and after pictures (of the just the test area of skin) so other people can benefit.
You can submit them here and we’ll add them shortly.
This is a truly remarkable result of CBD.
You can try the balm or the topical oils depending on your skin sensitivity.
This is probably the most studied and exciting research on CBD and skin ailments.
There’s lots of research here!
And it’s very very positive for CBD.
Just some highlights.
First, Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease.
The immune system is attacking our own tissue.
The endocannabinoid system that CBD supports balances our immune response.
That’s why it’s showing such great results in research for the full family of diseases.
Let’s put something behind those words.
The body is making too much Keratin which is our protection from the outside environment in the skin.
CBD has been shown to calm this proliferation:
Basically, CBD and the the endocannabinoid system help govern cell creation and destruction in the body.
Not too little (wound healing) and not too much (psoriasis).
Psoriasis is ideal for topical.
Learn all about CBD for Psoriasis here.
There’s a lot of junk out there.
The most common type of eczema is called atopic dermatitis which is (wait for it) autoimmune.
That’s good news for CBD which we discussed above in its ability to balance the immune system.
Here’s some specific research on eczema and dermatitis:
Exzema and dermatitis are right in CBD’s wheelhouse.
Again, topical works well here and and oil addresses issues at a systemic level.
You can check out the best values here:
We’ve written an entire article on CBD and Cancer here.
There a broad summary of different results including for skin cancers such as melanoma here:
Specifically, CBD looks to address cell death (apopsis) which is critical with cancer:
Interestingly, it appears to inhibit the melanoma cells but not the melanocytes:
For nonmelanoma skin cancers, it targets the same cell growth pathways, inflammation but research is showing additional abilities to stop blood supply growth which is critical for cancer:
It actually addresses the range of pathways needed for cancer to progress:
There’s lot of specific research on skin cancer itself.
We mentioned above in the psoriasis section that the excessive proliferation of cells is helped by CBD which affects cancer as well:
Of course, CBD has been used for the symptoms related to cancer treatment, but it’s clearly showing as an anti-tumorigenic and tissue balancing agent.
At it’s core, CBD is an anti-inflammatory.
This really affects many issues in skin including itching.
There’s specific research on this.
86% reduction is pretty good!!
This could apply for bug bites, poison ivy, sun burn, wound healing, etc.
There’s also data for itching as a result of an allergic response.
Topical CBD balm would definitely be the approach here for itching, redness, and allergic skin reactions.
You can quote the best value for CBD skin balms here:
We’re seeing evidence of CBD helping bones to heal faster and stronger!
Skin is no different.
The key “armor” the body uses is called keratin.
The amount of keratin goes to the “hardness” of the issue.
Both are critical in would healing!
cannabidiol and cannabigerol are transcriptional repressors that can control cell proliferation and differentiation.
The fact that it’s antibacterial and antifungal just seems to be an added bonus.
Most importantly, it doesn’t appear to interfere with the rebuilding process like NSAIDs like Ibuprofen.
This is one of those great examples for CBD.
You can put it on and see RIGHT away what it’s capable of.
CBD has these crucial benefits for sunburn:
These are the hallmarks of sunburn!
It also increases the protective mechanism in the skin which we’ll get into for the next sections.
This almost requires it’s own article (which it will have).
CBD impacts the aging of skin (and the body in generally) in a few ways.
The study of why we age is progressing very quickly.
The rest our in our genes.
The external is what we can do something about.
That could be the result of:
The usual culprits!
CBD helps with the protection from the external (in contact with skin) forces.
Here, there’s evidence of how CBD helps the skin to manage the inflammatory response to outside toxins:
Too much inflammation wrecks havoc on our skin.
But it goes further.
CBD actually helps to create more of the protection we need to address bad actors on our skin:
Here’s the part of that article that really matter to aging:
Many of the current skin products rely on Vitamin A and E extracts as antioxidants.
How does CBD stack up against A and E?
Cannabidiol was more protective against glutamate neurotoxicity than either ascorbate or α-tocopherol, indicating it to be a potent antioxidant.
Stronger than both!
Another factor to wrinkles and skin health is oil production.
CBD helps to manage this lipid production (not too much and more importantly for this article…not too little!)
That’s the outside…what about internally?
Keep in mind for aging, that the day to day workload of the cell is overwhelming.
Lots has to be done and our nutrient absorption decreases as we get older.
Hormone production is incredibly important for skin health.
Ask any woman in menopause!
CBD supports the endocannabinoid system which helps to balance the endocrine system (hormones).
Some additional helpers for skin:
Like we said, it requires an entire article but this is a good start.
We’ve covered a lot.
If you’ve made this far, the one thing that’s obvious from the sheer array of skin issues affected by CBD is this…
Most chemicals we use for skin issues just hit one or two “symptoms”.
Itching and redness.
Nothing great for wound healing
Since these medications are “hammers” for a specific symptom, they frequently come with side effects.
Some side effects are horrific!
Skin really is the lens into our internal health.
You can see when someone is run down or sick or aging by their skin!
It reflects what’s happening inside.
That’s why we’re so excited about CBD.
It addresses key systems that touch almost every aspect of the entire body.
The skin is part of that body.
The biggest organ by the way!
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