The Link Between CBD and Healthy Skin

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CBD and skincare go together like avocado and toast. Sephora even stocks CBD products for your skin. It’s just a matter of time before Kim and Kylie’s Kotton Kandy Kush is on the shelves.

But until the Kardashians keep up with cannabis, you have plenty of ways to incorporate it into your skincare routine. But why would you want to? Here, we’re breaking down the basics and the stigma—marching towards more radiant skin in the process.

CBD hit the beauty scene hard in 2016, and around the time that more and more people began to realize the therapeutic potential of the popular cannabinoid. It's not surprising that when beauty companies hear the words “antioxidant” and “anti-inflammatory” that the skincare and investment potential becomes clear.

Many of our biggest skin concerns may benefit from cannabinoid’s potential for extinguishing inflammation, but it doesn’t stop there. People are reaching for CBD in particular to boost everything from anti-aging regimens to sebum control, and anything that can actually treat those concerns is going to be a big seller.

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In a 2009 study, researchers found a big kernel of promise, their major takeaway being that the sheer volume of dermatological concerns that could benefit from scrutinous study of cannabis remedies. Even hair growth, hair loss, and hirsutism were proposed as good candidates for cannabinoid research and potential treatment.

The researchers hoped that stimulating CB2 and blocking CB1 receptors in the skin could be a key signal for hair to grow normally—not too much or too little—and that’s precisely the function of cannabidiol, to modulate CB1 receptors to take on less.

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In that same study numerous benefits were projected, “It is envisaged (this is also strongly supported by pilot studies) that the targeted manipulation of the ECS (aiming to normalize the unwanted skin cell growth, sebum production and skin inflammation) might be beneficial in a multitude of human skin diseases.” Time will tell.

Still more skin woes are addressed by the all-popular THC. For sufferers of psoriasis, cannabis has given some patients anecdotal relief. One 2007 study was among the first on the trail, saying: “Our results show that cannabinoids inhibit keratinocyte proliferation, and therefore support a potential role for cannabinoids in the treatment of psoriasis.” We love potential!

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We’re only just getting the full picture, and it looks like the endocannabinoid system not only holds the key for good skin, it could be the healthy skin help that many people really need.

Controlling the chief symptoms in skin conditions are alone worth the scrutiny, and if scientists are able to intricately signal the CB receptors in the skin’s network, they may be able to create medicines that do more than treat side effects like itching and pain—they could even come across the cure. We're rooting for you, science.

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Danielle is an New York City-based writer. Off-duty, she enjoys a good cup of coffee, a clean house, cooking gourmet meals, and studying botany, cosmetic chemistry, and natural healing.