Research suggests that CBD may have a positive affect on skin health and could be used to support treatments for a variety of skin conditions. CBD (Cannabidiol) is a chemical compound present in the hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa). CBD is natural plant extract and manufacturers such as Hemp Well can combine CBD with an oil, cream or balm. People can purchase CBD oil or a range of skin care products that incorporate CBD to use on their skin. Due to its potential anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may be useful for treating many skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and psoriasis. In this article, we will discuss what CBD oil is, what skin conditions it may be useful for, and how to use CBD oil.
Dr. Nima Gharavi, dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon at the Cedars-Sinai, an academic healthcare organization based in Los Angeles , says
"CBD may play a role in hydrating the skin and have anti-inflammatory effects, so using a product that contains CBD might help with treating dry skin or certain inflammatory skin disorders."
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a chemical compound naturally occurring in the hemp plant, Cannabis Sativa. It can be taken orally (as a tablet, capsule or gummy), sublingually (under the tongue as a tincture) or topically (applied to the skin as a cream) to deliver a wide range of benefits.
CBD or Cannabidiol is legal in the UK, provided it comes from an industrial hemp strain that is EU approved and contains no THC, but you need to make sure you are getting it from a trusted source. Hemp Well organic CBD comes from EU certified hemp grown at our own farm, processed and lab tested to make sure it is pure and contains accurate dosages. We control the process from seed to shelf so that you can be confident you are getting a high quality, fully traceable product. For more information on CBD regulations in the UK read our Is CBD legal? post in the Education Centre.
The human body contains a complex network of neurotransmitters and cannabinoid receptors known as the endocannabinoid receptor system (ECS). Research suggests that cannabinoids and the ECS may play a role in many bodily processes and that the skin contains cannabinoid receptors.
One of the heavily researched functions of CBD is controlling inflammation.
“The body has two CBD receptors (that we know of): CB1 and CB2, when applied to skin, CBD interacts with these receptors to turn down the inflammatory response. ” says Robert Dellavalle, MD, PhD, adjunct professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora.
This happens by “decreasing the interleukins, which are chemicals that are like the immune system’s fire alarm that calls the fire department in an emergency. CBD may decrease the loudness of that fire alarm,” he explains. In short, you may see less redness overall, and in skin diseases, including eczema and psoriasis. It also may be effective in tamping down itch, possibly because CBD creams may help reduce dryness, per a review published in July 2017 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
A small study published in the March–April 2019 issue of the journal Clinical Therapeutics looked at 20 participants with either psoriasis, eczema, or scarring and found that a specific CBD ointment improved measures of skin hydration (by moisturizing and preventing water loss), boosted elasticity in the skin, and in general bettered their quality of life. This could have been due to the fatty acids in the ointment, but also was likely in part because of the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD, the researchers said.
According to Dr. Alster, who writes for the Dermatology Times “Topical CBD is safe and works effectively for all skin types. The products are easy to administer. Sufferers of serious medical skin conditions and those who are seeking innovative skincare options can benefit from topical CBD use,” Dr. Alster says. “Anti-inflammatory properties associated with CBD are beneficial in treating such dermatologic conditions as acne, psoriasis and eczema due to reduction of dryness, irritation and redness. CBD-containing creams, oils, gels and serums not only moisturize and soothe the skin but are also showing encouraging results in relieving pain caused by certain skin disorders.” CBD has shown that it exerts antioxidant activity. This could position CBD oil as a treatment that repairs skin from free radicals, which may help to smooth wrinkles and reduce breakouts and blemishes, according to Dr. Alster. “In addition, CBD-containing products are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which improve overall skin appearance and provide a more youthful glow,” she says. Topical CBD is considered safe and has no known adverse side effects, according to Dr. Alster. “The CBD skincare industry is still very young, so further research and experimentation is needed,” she says.
Peter Lio, MD, who is clinical assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the founding director of the Chicago Integrative Eczema Center who also contributes to the National Eczema Association (US) wrote stated that there are very few studies of topical CBD in people with eczema.
A small study published in 2019 in Clinical Therapeutics that included a few people with atopic dermatitis found that a CBD ointment helped clear skin and reduced itch and the sleep loss it caused. Research also suggests CBD is anti-microbial, with some data showing it works about as well as antibiotics to kill Staphylococcus aureus. Staph can infect the skin of people with atopic dermatitis, triggering flares and other complications. “Evidence in humans is still pretty limited, which means it’s hard to know how well CBD works for eczema, or the key components necessary for success,” Lio said. Clearer answers about CBD and eczema may be available soon. The results from a trial of a CBD gel in about 200 people with moderate atopic dermatitis are due this year. So, are CBD topicals safe—and worth a try—for people with eczema? Research to date shows topical CBD is safe. “I think that for adults who want to try a CBD topical, there’s little to lose,” said Lio, who noted he has many patients who said they benefit from the products. Like anything else applied to skin, CBD products can cause reactions, so test a small area over a few days before applying widely.
According to Medical News Today, there is some evidence to suggest that CBD oil may be helpful for acne. What that means may vary slightly in each case, based on what kind of acne a person has and what is causing it.
CBD oil may help reduce various types of acne thanks to its ability to adjust how the body creates sebum. Sebum is a waxy, oily substance the skin makes. CBD oil also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Acne is the most common skin condition in humans. Most people deal with acne at some point in their lives, be it occasionally or on a daily basis.
Sebum helps protect our skin from the outside world. However, it can mix with dead skin cells, dirt, or other pollutants and become trapped inside a pore. This clogged pore then becomes acne. Many factors influence acne, including excess sebum production, hormonal imbalances, and genetics. Some other factors, such as diet, stress levels, and some medications, may also increase the severity of a person’s symptoms. A 2014 study explored the effects of CBD on human sebocytes, which are the cells that create sebum. The researchers found that the CBD prevented these cells from creating too much of the oily sebum. They also revealed that the CBD oil triggered an anti-inflammatory reaction in the cells and prevented inflammatory cytokines from activating. Cytokines may trigger acne, so reducing them may help prevent further breakouts. A 2016 review of the cannabis plant highlighted its antibacterial and antifungal effects. These effects may help reduce infections from dirt and other pollutants on the skin. While the initial results from these studies are promising, human trials are still lacking. For doctors to recommend CBD oil or cannabis products as part of an anti-acne skincare routine, studies in humans will need to provide direct evidence.