CBD In Skincare
Ever since it was legalized for commercial use in 2018, CBD has been completely inescapable. It’s the hottest thing on the market right now, and it’s in everything from gummies to serums to bars of soap.
But what exactly is CBD, and why are beauty companies putting it in their skincare products?
What Is CBD? What Does It Do?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is a type of compound called a cannabinoid. It’s one of the two active ingredients in the hemp plant, the other one being tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana—it causes a “high” of euphoria, relaxation and increased appetite. THC, as of 2021, is still a Schedule 1 substance, not legal for any purpose on the federal level. CBD, however, is not psychoactive, and is perfectly legal for personal use. But if CBD doesn’t cause a high, what does it do?
As it turns out, we don’t have a clear answer just yet. The leading theory is that CBD is an anti-inflammatory compound with a relaxing effect. People use it to relieve pain, soothe anxiety and manage seizures. There’s even evidence to suggest its usefulness in preventing Alzheimer’s and treating substance use disorders. Plenty of research had been done, but most of it has not been conclusive, and as of now, the FDA does not officially regulate the production or sale of CBD. Some say it’s a panacea for all kinds of illness; others say it’s nothing but snake oil. Whatever the real nature of CBD, the medical community is keeping close tabs on it to see what it can do.
Let’s assume CBD does do some good for the human body. Why is it turning up in lotions, face masks and scrubs?
Well, for starters, if CBD is an anti-inflammatory agent, then it has lots of potential uses in skincare. Irritated and inflamed skin is one of the most common issues people try to treat with over-the-counter products, and it leaves the skin open to all sorts of other issues like acne and premature aging. If CBD calms inflammation, that would get straight to the root of numerous skin problems. There’s also evidence to suggest CBD inhibits sebum production, which would prevent acne. It may also treat eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
The caveat to all this is that the evidence is far from conclusive. Medical cannabis expert Jordan Tishler, M.D, clarifies that the concentration of CBD found in legal, over-the-counter products may not actually have any meaningful impact on inflammation in the skin. The studies suggesting that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties were conducted on rats, and in some studies the CBD was administered transdermally—that is, injected straight into the bloodstream—so, much of the data can’t be extrapolated to skincare uses.
Basically, we’re just not sure what CBD really does for the skin, but we’re fairly certain it doesn’t do any harm. CBD has been shown to be safe for human consumption, so if you want to give CBD products a try, go for it! Just be aware that any benefit you get from it might be from other active ingredients besides CBD, and keep an open mind towards the less-trendy moisturizers and serums on the market. As with all things, be an informed consumer—and while you’re at it, browse the skincare products we’ve got for sale here at Keshoume!
Rowan Thompson - January 25, 2021
Jacoby, Sarah. “Is There Literally Any Reason for CBD to Be in Your Skin-Care Products?” SELF, SELF, 2 July 2019, https://www.self.com/story/cbd-skin-care.
Nazish, Noma. “Everything You Need To Know About CBD Skincare.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 6 Jan. 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2020/12/30/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cbd-skincare/.
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