Posted on

cbd oil for skin conditions

Finally, one of the newest uses for CBD skin care is in sunscreen. Dellavalle notes that it does make sense to add CBD to sunscreen, as its anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce the effects of a sunburn, such as redness. Of course, the idea is to apply sunscreen correctly (following guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology), but in real life, many people miss areas, and applying a CBD-infused SPF may supply more general absorption and temper the reaction of sunburned spots, he says.

A review published in June 2018 in the Dermatology Online Journal, which Dellavalle coauthored, pointed out that while CBD may “have shown some initial promise as therapy for a variety of skin diseases,” there is a need for large, high-quality, randomized, controlled trials, a sentiment echoed in an article published in December 2020 in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. Another paper, published in the May-June 2019 issue of Clinics in Dermatology, urges people and their doctors to approach these products with the same caution. Finally, though topical CBD tends to be well tolerated and may have a role in addressing various skin issues (including acne, dryness, and irritation), there’s still ongoing research on the safety of CBD treatment, notes an article published in 2020 in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology.

One of the touted functions of CBD is controlling inflammation. “The body has two CBD receptors that we know of: CB1 and CB2,” says Robert Dellavalle, MD, PhD, adjunct professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora. When applied to skin, CBD interacts with these receptors to turn down the inflammatory response. 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.

What Scientific Evidence Doesn’t Yet Tell Us About CBD for Skin Care

In general, manufacturers add CBD to their products to give them a boost. “CBD is a very cost-effective way to enhance products,” says Austin Katz, cofounder of Sheabrand in Brooklyn, New York. CBD is in a range of products — those that claim to treat acne, dry skin, and eczema — because of its versatility. “I think we’re living in an era where people want to feel empowered to address their needs on their own,” he says.

Scientists still don’t know the ideal dose of CBD for treating skin conditions or promoting general health. Some companies, like Sheabrand, formulate with different doses depending on the area of skin the product is designed for — the body or the face, for instance — for maximum penetration. Scientists also don’t know where CBD stands in relation to proven topical therapies, like retinoids, vitamin C, or alpha hydroxy acids.

If CBD sounds like the answer to your skin woes, it’s helpful to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. “What we don’t have in CBD is a lot of research. [CBD has] been illegal federally for so long, and it’s been difficult to do research on something that’s previously been considered on par with cocaine or heroin,” says Dellavalle. That’s starting to change, though. The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the definition of marijuana, which meant that CBD products were no longer considered like marijuana. This has paved the way for researchers to conduct more studies on CBD, and for product manufacturers to create and sell CBD products legally, though per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is still illegal to market CBD as a supplement.

In short, you may see less redness overall, and in skin diseases, including eczema and psoriasis, it may also 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. (Dr. Dellavalle was a coauthor of that report.) Keep in mind, though, that the review included only three studies: two in humans but with small sample sizes and one in mice, which doesn’t necessarily translate to human health. Therefore, more studies on the potential benefits of CBD for reducing skin redness are needed.

Mayo Clinic: “Psoriasis,” “Atopic dermatitis (eczema).”

If you use CBD skin products, you may develop a rash. It could be from the CBD or other ingredients in the products you use.

AAD: “The Truth About Skin Care Products with CBD.”

Is It Legal?

You may have heard that CBD is good for acne, certain skin disorders, and fine lines and wrinkles. But does it really work? Is it safe to use? Ongoing studies on CBD’s uses and benefits are in early stages, so experts say there needs to be more large-scale research to know for sure.

While there isn’t in-depth research available to prove benefits for any skin conditions, scientists are looking for answers, and some early studies have shown some promise.

Experts want to see more reliable research before they recommend CBD for your skin. But if you do decide to use CBD-infused skin products and notice a reaction, tell your doctor about it. If you have skin problems, talk to a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment options.

There are no laws against using CBD in beauty or skin care products. CBD doesn’t contain any THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that’s found in high levels in marijuana. So you can’t get high on it. But some skin products may add THC along with CBD. Some experts find this concerning.

Furthermore, CBD can stop the proliferation of keratinocyte, which is a key factor in psoriasis. CBD is also known to kill cancer cells, and it can be used for basal cell carcinoma as well.

All of these conditions have one thing in common: they are exacerbated by inflammation. Inflammation is a crucial natural process used by the body to protect against pathogens and irritants. However, with certain conditions, the inflammatory process only makes things worse, as is the case with skin conditions.

The skin is the body’s largest organ, as well as its first line of defense against illnesses and infections. For this reason, it is exposed to danger more than any other part of the body, and skin conditions are therefore quite prevalent. No one is immune to the occasional rash. Others face lifelong autoimmune disorders, including eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Skin conditions are exacerbated by inflammation. And, since CBD oil is known to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent, more and more people are using CBD oil for skin conditions, both for treatment and prevention.

The ECS and other regulatory functions

But CBD’s properties are not only anti-inflammatory. The endocannabinoid system has been connected specifically to the skin, with functions regulating skin proliferation, growth, differentiation, hormone production, and more.

Skin conditions ranging from acne to dry and aging skin can be helped by CBD oil products. The best CBD option for your needs depends on your particular skin condition.

CBD oil is becoming popular as a preventative measure against skin conditions. It stops flare-ups from happening due to the endocannabinoid system’s role in regulating functions affecting the skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties help prevent conditions caused by inflammation.

Also, CBD has antibacterial properties and is a strong antioxidant. Because of this, it can be used to protect the skin against the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can lead to skin cancer.