Marijuana in skincare: How weed can actually help your skin via CBD

Catriona Gray may be best known for wowing the world with her lava walk but the current Miss Universe also presented a rather liberal opinion during her Q&A. She voiced her support for the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, which is currently being considered for legalization here in the Philippines.

Medical marijuana is trending worldwide because of its great potential to help patients, particularly in creating breakthroughs in treatments of certain diseases and pain. Locally, the filed House Bill 6517 would make it legal for patients with debilitating diseases or medical conditions to use marijuana as part of their treatment. The bill makes these provisions for diseases that “cause cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe and chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures; including those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and frequent spasms, including those associated with multiple sclerosis.” While the bill is still for approval, the use of medical marijuana for research is already allowed by the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

In foreign markets, particularly in the USA, Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most commonly used marijuana component in skincare. It is non-psychotropic, which means it won’t cause any effects on our behavior or mental health. You can’t get high from using CBD, but it has been proven to be useful and effective in many medical treatments. But why is all this relevant for us beauty lovers?

CBD has actually been found to have a lot of benefits to the skin, which is why there is a growing number of skincare products that feature this ingredient! And it’s not as unusual as one may think. CBD is a related compound to hemp oil, which was among the first ingredients to be utilized by The Body Shop in the ‘90s. While hemp oil is primarily praised for its antioxidant properties, CBD delivers additional benefits!

Anti-inflammatory

This is probably the most popular effect of CBD. Cannabidiol has anti-inflammatory effects that reduce the swelling, redness, and puffiness of the skin. One study even shows that it decreases the severity of acne by preventing pro-acne agents in our oil glands (sebocytes)! As such, CBD has great potential to be used as an acne treatment.

Anti-itch

Another promising effect is its anti-itch or antipruritic capability on the skin. One study found that topical application of CBD cream was able to completely eliminate itch in 38% of patients who were undergoing hemodialysis and experienced frequent itching. This could mean that CBD can help relieve itching for skin irritations or allergic reactions. It has even been shown to be an effective treatment for eczema and psoriasis.

Antioxidant

Some studies show how CBD is a good source of vitamin C and E, two powerful antioxidants known for being beauty vitamins. And because CBD comes from a plant, it could also contain other phytochemicals (or active components) that may benefit the skin. Further research is needed but it’s clear that CBD possesses a great potential as the next star ingredient for skincare. Some research even suggests a possibility of using CBD in the treatment of skin cancer!

With all these promising effects of CBD, it’s only natural to think about how great it would be for our skincare routines. To our knowledge, we don’t yet have CBD skincare available locally but it’s part of a growing beauty segment in the USA.

One popular option is Kiehl’s Cannabis sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate. It claims to “help visibly reduce skin redness and provide skin with relief from discomfort. It also calms the feeling of stressed skin while helping balance hydration. It helps strengthen skin’s barrier to help skin protect itself.

Another famous product is the Josie Maran Skin Dope CBD Argan Oil, which “counters the loss of firmness and helps boost the appearance of skin’s elasticity.”

It’ll be interesting to see how CBD becomes more integrated with skincare applications, and its potential for helping those with skincare problems like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Hopefully the bill is approved and will allow for CBD skincare to be available here as well.

What do you think of CBD-infused skincare? Would you try it?


References:

Mounessa JS, Siegel JA, Dunnick CA, Dellavalle RP. The role of cannabinoids in dermatology. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2017 [accessed 2019 Feb 26];77(1):188–190. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2017.02.056

Izzo AA. Non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids: new therapeutic opportunities from an ancient herb. Science Direct. 2009 Sep 2 [accessed 2019 Feb 26]. Link

Oláh, A., Tóth, B. I., Borbíró, I., Sugawara, K., Szöllõsi, A. G., Czifra, G., Pál, B., Ambrus, L., Kloepper, J., Camera, E., Ludovici, M., Picardo, M., Voets, T., Zouboulis, C. C., Paus, R., … Bíró, T. (2014). Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. The Journal of clinical investigation, 124(9), 3713-24.