CBD Skin Care: Are These Products Worth the Hype? | Everyday Health

potentially helps inflammation, eczema and psoriasis

one of cbd’s touted functions is to control inflammation. “The body has two CBD receptors that we know of: CB1 and CB2,” says Robert Dellavalle, MD, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora. When applied to the skin, CBD interacts with these receptors to reduce the inflammatory response. this happens by “lowering interleukins, which are chemicals that are like the immune system’s fire alarm that calls the fire department in an emergency. cbd can lower the volume of that fire alarm,” he explains.

in short, you may see less redness overall, and in skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis, it may also be effective in controlling itching, possibly because cbd creams can help reduce dryness , according to a review published in July 2017 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (Dr. Dellavalle co-authored that report.) however, note that the review included only three studies: two in humans but with small samples, and one in mice, which does not necessarily translate to human health. therefore, more studies are needed on the potential benefits of cbd in reducing skin redness.

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In addition, a small study published in the March-April 2019 issue of the Italian journal Clinical Therapeutics looked at 20 participants with psoriasis, eczema, or scarring and found that a specific CBD ointment improved measures of skin hydration (by moisturizing and preventing water loss), increased skin elasticity and generally improved your quality of life. This could be due to the fatty acids in the ointment, but is also likely due in part to the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD, the researchers say. more research in a larger human population is still needed to know for sure.

For many skin conditions, dermatologists often prescribe topical steroid creams, which act like anti-inflammatory drugs. “These are very safe for most people and are effective, but some people don’t want to use steroids at all. CBD could be a steroid-free therapy to fill that gap,” says Dellavalle. Side effects of topical steroids include thinning of the skin if used excessively or for a long period of time, but you can help avoid these risks if you use them correctly, notes the national eczema association. working with your dermatologist to make sure you have the correct medication at the correct dosage can help with this.

in fact, mona gohara, md, a dermatologist in hamden, connecticut, and associate clinical professor of dermatology at yale university in new haven, connecticut, prefers to use cbd “on inflammatory skin conditions as they wear out” . She adds, “I usually recommend using a medication to put out the fire and then using CBD to clean up the carnage.”

Beyond that, however, is the potential to use CBD as a tool to delay the first signs of aging. “Inflammation is the basis of all skin diseases, including aging,” he says. But while there is a lot of hype around cbd in skin care, and health in general, there is no panacea. “everything has its pros and cons or limitations,” says dr. gohara.

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possibly plays a role in acne treatment

In addition to being a potential therapy for inflammatory skin conditions, CBD is also included in some acne products. For example, the mantra mask cbd blemish mask combines cbd and pimple-fighting tea tree oil. “There are cb2 receptors on the sebaceous glands, which produce oil. “According to research, CBD influences cells’ sebum production and has an anti-inflammatory component,” says Jeanette Jacknin, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Solana Beach, California, who specializes in CBD skin care. . This echoes findings described in previously published articles in the Journal of Clinical Research and Experimental Dermatology.

dr. jacknin also points to preliminary research presented in june 2019 at the annual meeting of the american society for microbiology that found that topical cbd can help kill a variety of gram-positive bacteria. “This bacteria is one of the causes of acne,” she says. (For the study, the researchers collaborated with Botanix Pharmaceuticals, a company that develops products to treat skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.)

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may decrease inflammation from sunburns

Finally, one of the newer uses for cbd skin care is sunscreen. Dellavalle notes that it makes sense to add CBD to sunscreen, as its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce the effects of a sunburn, such as redness. Of course, the idea is to apply sunscreen correctly (following American Academy of Dermatology guidelines), but in real life, many people miss areas, and applying a CBD-infused spf can provide more overall absorption and attenuate the reaction of sunburned spots. he says.

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what scientific evidence still doesn’t tell us about cbd for skin care

If cbd sounds like the answer to your skin problems, it helps to take a step back and look at the big picture. “What we don’t have in CBD is a lot of research. [CBD has] been federally illegal for so long, and it’s been hard to do research on something that was previously considered on par with cocaine or heroin,” Dellavalle says. however, that is beginning to change. The 2018 farm bill removed hemp from the definition of marijuana, which meant that CBD products were no longer considered 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, although according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is still illegal to market CBD as a supplement.

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a review published in June 2018 in the online journal of dermatology, which dellavalle co-authored, noted that while cbd may “have shown some initial promise as a therapy for a variety of skin conditions” , there is a need for large, high quality randomized controlled trials, a sentiment echoed in a December 2020 article published in cannabis and cannabinoid research. Another article, 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, although topical cbd tends to be well-tolerated and may have a role in treating various skin problems (including acne, dryness, and irritation), there is still ongoing research into the safety of cbd treatment, notes an article published in 2020 in clinical, cosmetic and research dermatology.

unknowns about cbd dosage

scientists do not yet know the ideal dose of cbd to treat skin conditions or promote general health. Some companies, like sheabrand, formulate with different dosages depending on the area of ​​skin the product is designed for (the body or face, for example) to achieve maximum penetration. Scientists also don’t know where CBD stands in relation to proven topical therapies such as retinoids, vitamin C, or alpha hydroxy acids.

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questions about cannabinoid combinations

There are hundreds of other chemicals in the cannabis plant, and researchers don’t know which combinations are best. For example, terpenes, the essential oils of plants (including cannabis), may exert synergistic benefits, the clinical therapy study suggests. “You have to do a lot of research. we will figure this out over the next 25 years,” says dellavalle. On the horizon with more research from universities and companies, Jackin says, there may be more targeted and effective therapies for conditions like eczema and acne.

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8 steps to take before trying a cbd skin care product

for now, know that cbd products are generally safe, and early research suggests they can make a difference in how your skin looks and feels. just don’t count on it as a panacea for any skin condition. In other words, talk to your dermatologist before replacing recommended products with ones that contain cbd, and don’t treat any new skin conditions with cbd products until you talk to your dermatologist. If you’re interested in venturing into cbd skincare, here’s what you need to know before you buy and try:

  1. try it first. cbd is well tolerated, jacknin says. Still, it’s worth knowing that whatever is in the product isn’t going to trigger your skin and make things worse, especially if you have a sensitive complexion. “Any time you put any plant product on your skin, you are potentially allergic to it,” Dellavalle says. he suggests testing the product on your forearm once or twice a day and checking to see if a rash develops. is the skin light? Go ahead and use it on your face to see if it makes a difference for you.
  2. Do your homework. Although the ideal dosage is not yet clear, the amount of CBD in the product should be clearly stated on the label. “I wouldn’t buy anything that doesn’t say how much cbd is in it,” jacknin says. With the skyrocketing popularity come snake oil sellers claiming the products have cbd but none; there just isn’t much regulation of these products yet. You can check the FDA website for warning letters sent for mislabeling to a specific company. jacknin also recommends looking for the coa, the certificate of analysis, on the bottle, which indicates third-party testing.
  3. know what cbd is. jacknin says he has seen “cannabis sativa oil” marketed in stores as cbd oil. “this is just hemp oil. While hemp oil is where cbd is extracted from, hemp oil itself has a very minuscule amount of cbd,” she says. in this case, this may not be a hoax on the part of the stores, but they may not understand exactly what they are selling.
  4. remember that more research is needed. Please note that according to the FDA, CBD products cannot claim to treat or cure a specific disease. The FDA also notes that it is currently unknown how different methods of CBD administration affect your body’s intake or how the use of multiple CBD products over time may affect your health. For example, it is not clear how consuming an oral CBD tincture compares to applying a topical formulation, or whether there are health implications to using a CBD skin serum in conjunction with adding an oil to food. .
  5. ask. Depending on your state laws, there may be licensed dispensaries in your area. often the people there have the best information on product testing, third-party verification, and recommendations for quality brands, says dellavalle.
  6. Shop smart. “This is a ‘buyer beware’ situation,” says Jacknin. “It’s not fully regulated, and there are a lot of unscrupulous people trying to take advantage of it,” she says. Some brands that jacknin says are among the ones worth looking into are sopris health & wellness and standard dosage.
  7. Try a serum. gohara recommends serums as her cbd product of choice because they are highly concentrated and easy to layer.
  8. Talk to your dermatologist. If you’re battling a skin condition, CBD products may fit into your treatment regimen. or maybe not. talk to your dermatologist about if and how it would fit with your current protocol, especially if you are currently treating a skin condition.
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