Our skin is the largest organ, it’s also what people see on the exterior and plays a large role in how we view ourselves. Skin conditions can be a source of discomfort and even insecurity, but pharmaceuticals or chemicals may not always be needed to treat minor conditions. They can have negative side effects and cause adverse reactions, which preferably can be avoided when using more naturally derived products. There are a couple different products made readily applicable for skin: creams, salves and even tinctures can be rubbed on topically to deliver CBD’s helpful effects. With all the purported ways CBD can help with skin problems, it is important to understand the ways in which CBD can improve your skin when it is experiencing dryness, pain, inflammation, or infections. Depending on the formulation of the product, some are better than others to help with certain ailments, and in concert with other botanicals, it can be even more remedying.
Rosacea is a condition that often affects the face, causing redness, enlarged blood vessels and painful pus-filled bumps. It currently has no cure, however many treatments have shown promise in attenuating the symptoms and relieving the discomfort. Although the exact causes of the condition are unknown (they are thought to be genetic and environmental) there are some triggers and things that can cause the cycle of flare ups and remission. These causes include alcohol consumption, temperature extremes, UV rays from the sun or tanning beds, eating spicy foods, emotional stress, exercise, medications that dilate blood vessels and reactions to cosmetic products. Everyone’s symptoms may differ, and of course it is very difficult to avoid all the causes, thus a treatment that has few side effects is widely sought after.
CBD is anti-inflammatory which is very helpful since it can help reduce the swelling and thickened skin by rosacea. It is also antioxidative and can reduce some of the sun’s harmful effects on the skin, by neutralizing free radicals and preventing them from creating cellular damage. Due to its anti-bacterial properties, it can also help heal the infected pustules caused by microorganisms and bacteria. By modulating the endocannabinoid system (ECS) it can also stabilize imbalances in immune reactions and prevent the progression of the condition. Moreover, CBD can also help with the anxiety and stress that rosacea causes.
Acne is made up of different indications and is a combination of multiple skin problems. These include whiteheads (clogged hair follicle or pore that has bulged), blackheads (bacteria-filled pore which turns dark when exposed to air), pimples (red pus-filled bumps), hard painful lumps underneath the skin, and cystic lesions. It is caused by surplus of oil production, clogged hair follicles, bacteria, and hormones. It can be very painful because the larger affected areas are inflamed and can be infected. Many factors can contribute to break outs such as hormones (you often hear of puberty or pregnancy causing acne), certain medications, unhealthy diet, poor skin hygiene, and stress.
As one of the most common skin conditions in the world, there are many types of treatment for acne, which are suitable for different severities. CBD can help sooth and calm the skin and it is effective in reducing inflammation and redness. It can also help kill the bacteria that is causing pimples and reduce the infection. The sebostatic property of CBD can stop the skin from producing excess sebum, which also leads to reduction in acne. Not only can it help in reducing active breakouts, CBD can also aid in diminishing acne scars and pigmentation.
Due to dysregulation of the skin cell cycle, painful and unsightly symptoms of psoriasis can occur at varying degrees. It can range from red, dry, scaly, itchy skin, to plaques, pustules, serious erythrodermic rashes and psoriatic arthritis. The causes are unknown, but it is understood to be an immune disorder, and the condition worsens and remits. The underlying mechanism is inappropriate activation of T cells and white blood cells which attack normal skin cells as if it were trying to control an infection or manage a site of injury. This also triggers the production of normal skin cells and leads to thickened, irritated, abnormal skin and is often painful. There are certain things that can spark psoriasis flares, such as smoking, infections, stress, drinking alcohol, vitamin deficiency and some medications.
CBD can be useful in treating this condition because it can target the underlying malfunction, and at the same time help with the external expression of the condition. CBD can help the ECS by inhibiting keratinocyte hyper-proliferation, which plays a large role in psoriasis. By normalizing the rate at which skin is regenerated, it can prevent excess skin growth. Furthermore, CBD can reduce the uncomfortable itch associated with psoriasis. A more exacerbated form of the condition is psoriatic arthritis, CBD can also reduce the swelling and pain associated with this, while potentially stabilizing the internal immune reactions.
Eczema also known as atopic dermatitis, it is a very common disease and appears as red itchy skin. It is a chronic condition that can go away and flare up. Because it is so itchy, it is difficult to prevent scratching for temporary relief, it can even cause some to scratch while they are asleep. The patches when continuously scratched can become raw and thickened, sometimes leak fluid and crust. The causes of eczema are pollutants, allergens in the environment (especially on your clothes, bedsheets etc), and other irritants. There are some things that can prevent eczema, such as keeping the skin hydrated, staying away from irritants, avoid hot showers, and using products for sensitive skin. However, if a flare up is on its way or already present CBD can be used to treat it. CBD’s antibacterial properties can get rid of the bacterial agents causing a reaction. It can also help reduce your body’s inflammatory response, diminish the redness, and decrease the itching sensation. Unlike steroidal creams, CBD (especially in combination with other cannabinoids or botanical ingredients) is less sensitizing, meaning it will not become less effective over time.
Ageing is an inevitable progression that occurs to virtually all forms of life, yet some of the signs can be managed such as dullness, wrinkles, sagginess, and dark spots. As a person becomes older, they become more exposed to chemicals, pollution, UV rays etc. and these all contribute to visible aging. Internally, hormones are diminishing, and proteins like collagen and elastin do not produce at the same levels as they used to. CBD is useful as it has good antioxidant activity and can reduce some of the harmful effects of environmental exposure. This in turn protects collagen since free radicals have been shown to breakdown collagen. Modulating the ECS can also have benefits to sebaceous cells, as it has shown to effect oil productivity, thus potentially reducing lines and wrinkles by adding plumpness and hydration.
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Ramot, Yuval et al. “A novel control of human keratin expression: cannabinoid receptor 1-mediated signaling down-regulates the expression of keratins K6 and K16 in human keratinocytes in vitro and in situ.” PeerJ vol. 1 e40. 19 Feb. 2013, doi:10.7717/peerj.40 https://peerj.com/articles/40/
Bíró, Tamás et al. “The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities.” Trends in pharmacological sciences vol. 30,8 (2009): 411-20. doi:10.1016/j.tips.2009.05.004 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2757311/