Cannabis and Your Skin

With cannabis legalization approaching on October 17th, CBD creams and oils are becoming widely used beauty products, although it may be a while before you see topicals hit legal markets.

The Science Behind Cannabis as a Beauty Product

CBD (cannabidiol) is found in hemp seed oil, which is one of the best oils you can put on your face, because it's lightweight and won’t clog pores while still being lipid-rich for hydration.

The application of CBD relaxes and soothes skin and is especially useful in the treatment of eczema and psoriasis. There's also some evidence to support CBD's effectiveness as an acne treatment. The beauty industry is seeking to capitalize on this natural, plant-derived super serum.

Traditional methods of consuming cannabis, such as smoking, can increase the effects of aging in the body. Those who are concerned about showing their age should embrace edibles, vaporizing and cannabis-based beauty products as an alternative.

Cannabis contains powerful anti-inflammatories and antioxidants which can protect the skin against damage caused by environmental exposure. 

A study published by the National Academy of Sciences in 1998 found that the 

cannabinoid CBD is a more powerful antioxidant than Vitamins E and C. THC was also found to have antioxidant properties.  Antioxidants protect the skin by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that harm the cells in the body and cause all sorts of damage, from aging to cancer. The powerful antioxidants in cannabis may fight aging by protecting the cells in the body against free radical damage. 

Cannabis products have also been reported to help treat more serious skin problems, such as cancer.

The best way to use cannabis to improve the skin is to use an infused topical product. Until topicals become legal for sale under The Cannabis Act, consumers will have to settle for at-home DIY topical products until they become available in legal markets.

The Face

Inflammation is the root cause of many facial skin woes, from acne to rosacea. Because of cannabinoids’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, using it can reduce puffiness, swelling, and even soreness, says Jessica Assaf, The Cannabis Feminist. “It’s this all-in-one solution because of its ability to target those problems simultaneously,” she says.

A New York-based dermatologist, Whitney Bowe, MD and California-based dermatologist Jeanette Jacknin, MD, both agreed that CBD’s anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits are clinically proven. “Studies have shown that the cannabinoids like CBD in cannabis are anti-inflammatory and anti-aging and topical CBD has proven helpful for acne, eczema, and psoriasis,” Jacknin told Assaf. “Hemp seed oil is reputed to be the most unsaturated oil derived from the plant kingdom, so it is less pore clogging but a great moisturizer for dry, cracked skin.”

Dr. Jeanette Jacknin recently spoke at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) about the potential of using topical CBD for skin care and said that cannabis may also be the next big thing in antiaging skin care routines.

“There are two recent studies that show the importance of CB1 receptors [cannabinoid receptor] in the skin for healthy basal cell regeneration,” she told Assaf. “Basal cells have to regenerate and grow. If they don’t, you look much older.” 

That doesn’t mean cannabinoids will be a fountain of youth. 

“Using CBD oil for antiaging won’t be like retinol,” she explained. “CBD is just an extra thing to add to the mix as part of a skin care regimen. Unsaturated fatty acids help with moisturizing and CBD helps with inflammation.”

There are two preventative procedures you should be taking if you want to keep your skin as youthful for as long as possible: wear sunscreen and wear anti-aging cream at night. There are currently no CBD sunscreens on the market, but there are plenty of CBD infused anti-aging creams.

Imbue Botanicals Lifted by Embody Premium CBD Facial cream is comprised of organic hemp CBD and vitamin E oil, and is one of the leading facial creams for its anti-aging properties. It boasts a full spectrum of cannabinoids and has been shown to improve acne and make skin softer without harsh chemicals.

The Body

Perhaps the biggest breakthrough application for CBD is the introduction of targeted body lotions for pain relief. Science shows why this is the case: “CBD binds to a special set of receptors in the skin known as TRPV-1 receptors, where it can help feelings of heat, itch, and pain,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a New York-based dermatologist. “This explains why it has a soothing effect on the skin. Just as other natural oils are used in skin care, the natural fatty acids and antioxidants in hempseed oil make it a good choice for people with dry skin and eczema.” The Journal of Pain Research also shows CBD as an effective analgesic.

“For 5,000 years, cannabis has been helping everyone,” says Cindy Capobianco, co-founder of Lord Jones, a U.S. brand that makes CBD-laced edibles and body lotion. “Before 1937, when it was prohibited in the U.S., there was a cannabis elixir on every shelf. It reduces inflammation and pain in a way I’ve never seen anything work.”

MJ Creams is one CBD body lotion provider with a wide array of products. They boast products for pain, calming effects, purifying, a heat cream and many more. They also offer pleasure oils for those seeking to take their sex life to a “higher” level.

Other Topical Uses

CBD and THC infused oils are quickly becoming a widely used lubrication for sexual pleasure. These oils contain psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabinoids that may enhance a couple’s pleasure. Foria is one of the leading topical oils to enhance sexual activities, and is described as a “pre-lubricant” to enhance sexual pleasure and not for lubricating sex organs.

Foria isn’t a product designed to get you high the way that smoking or ingesting cannabis would; it is a topical “pre-lubricant” that is meant to be absorbed through very viscous membranes in the body. It is also recommended that these products not be used with latex condoms as it may break down the latex.

After the age of 20, the body loses 1% of its collagen every year. Cannabis infused oils and lotions are quickly becoming the next trend in beauty care, as they are rich in fatty acids and have inflammation reducing properties.

Canada has something to look forward to once topicals become legal to be distributed within cannabis retail stores.