In this episode, Damyan reviews if and how CBD can help your skin.
June 19, 2019
CBD has been recently covered a lot in the media, and you may have even seen it as a booster to your protein shake, or morning coffee, or added in dog food, and of course in skincare.
What exactly is CBD? And what does it do for your skin? That’s what we’ll cover today.
CBD comes from the marijuana plant. It is the second largest active ingredients of cannabis
The largest active ingredient is called THC – that’s the molecule that makes people “high”
Pure CBD, stressing “pure”, does not cause a “high”. This data comes from the World Health Organization. And is well studies and documented
CBD nowadays is claimed to help many health issues these days. But the strongest scientific evidence is for its efficacy in treating epilepsy. Some epilepsy syndromes, which usually don’t respond to anti-seizure medications, have actually responded well to CBD.
In a number of studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether. You can actually see videos online. Recently, the FDA approved the first cannabis-derived medicine for epilepsy, which contains CBD.
CBD is also used to help anxiety, and also given to patients who suffer from insomnia.
In addition, CBD may offer an option for treating chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed that when applied on the skin of animals, CBD can help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. And there is another study that shows that CBD can help with inflammatory and neuropathic pain, which are notoriously difficult to treat.
So far so good.
Does it do anything for the skin?
Many brands have incorporated it in their collections. Not just newer, less known brands. Kiehl’s has an oil with CBD in it. Josie Maran has a serum called Skin Dope. Ulta announced that it will start carrying a line of skin care products made with CBD that claim to calm and heal skin. So it’s in mainstream skincare now.
CBD is a strong antioxidant — actually stronger than vitamin C and vitamin E. We know antioxidants stops DNA damage from UV exposure and environmental pollution. Which is great. But we already have a number of antioxidants in skincare that serve the same function.
There is also data from a study published in 2014 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation that it can act as an anti-inflammatory. So some believe that it should be good for people with rosacea, eczema or acne. There are actually no studies that tested CBD for rosacea, eczema or acne actually.
There is also data from several studies as early as 2014 suggesting that it lowers oil production in the skin. Which should make it useful for people with acne-prone skin. But again there is no actual study that shows it helps with acne.
But although the evidence is slim, you may be willing to try it.
Before you do, let’s review if it’s safe.
CBD when taken orally is associated with side-effects like nausea, fatigue and irritability. It can also increase the level in your blood of a certain blood thinner. And and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood.
There also is some indication that CBD might harm the liver. In various clinical trials, 5% to 20% of the patients developed elevated liver enzymes and some patients were withdrawn from the trials
But these side effects are mostly if you take it orally, which you won’t if you’re using skincare.
The biggest safety concern is that it’s unregulated and you don’t know what you’re buying.
In 2017, researchers tested 84 different consumer products containing CBD and found that 26 percent of them contained less CBD than the label suggested.
And a number of the products tested also contained THC – the drug part of the marijuana plant that gives you the high. Although it is unlikely to cause a “high” if a person applies it topically, it might be important to watch out if you have sensitive skin.
So the net-net of all this for me personally is that it’s too early to try it. Between the fact that it’s not shown to do much and the questions around what’s in the product, I’ll give it more time.
That’s all for today. Thanks for listening and I’ll see you in the next one.