CBD for skincare


CBD(cannabidiol)is a chemical compound that belongs to a group of other cannabinoids found in cannabis plants such as hemp and marijuana. CBD can either be synthetic, i.e. it can be prepared artificially in a laboratory, or naturally obtained from plants. CBD with THC, account for almost 40% of extracts from hemp and marijuana. CBD is classified as a hydrocarbon compound with a melting point of about 66oC and is insoluble in water. CBD is preferred to THC as it contains psychoactive compounds that are responsible for the ‘high’ feeling caused by THC. CBD oil is mainly obtained from hemp, a plant that is closely related to marijuana. It can also be synthesized using hydrocarbons. There are various methods of obtaining CBD from plants depending on its concentration, use and taste. It is mainly obtained from leaves, stems and hemp plant flowers. The hemp seeds are used to produce hemp oil which is a different product from CBD oil. The oil is mainly extracted through the CO2 extraction process. This involves saturating the plant with carbon dioxide in a chamber and later on pumped into a pressurized chamber where the carbon dioxide is converted into a liquid which absorbs CBD oils. The mixture is later pumped to another chamber where the carbon dioxide is released, remaining with a mixture of CBD oil and some alcohol. This mixture is separated through evaporation depending on the desired purity.

There are three different types of CBD oil extracts, i.e. full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolates. These extracts contain different properties which give them a wide range of applications in our daily lives. CBD oil can be used to protect the skin from a number of issues discussed below.

CBD and Acne

Acne is a condition that arises as a result of overproduction of sebum by the skin which results in pimples on the face, forehead, chest, shoulders and upper back. Acne is a common disease among humans and is caused by a variety of factors that includes genetic makeup, hormone levels, stress, high humidity and prolonged use of oily and greasy skin care products. Overproduction of sebum results in oil mixing up with dead skin, bacteria and dirt which block skin pores resulting in little white, red or black lumps under the skin.

CBD oils interact with skin sebocytes which are responsible for producing sebum. CBD inhibits overproduction of sebum by lowering interactions of endogenous cannabinoids with the environment. CBD oils react with cytokines on the skin, responsible for skin inflammation. CBD reduces the activity of cytokines which when are highly active, trigger overproduction of sebum. Thus, CBD can be used to lower the effects of acne-causing agents on the skin by acting on cytokines and endogenous cannabinoids.

Anti-Inflammatory and Sensitive Skin

CBD oils have a significant soothing property that calms and minimizes skin inflammations caused by cytokines. They also reduce overall skin redness, sensitivity and reactivity to inflammatory causing agents. CBD oils also help with skin dryness as they work hand in hand with sebum to lock in moisture content of the skin. This reduces water loss through the skin which leaves the skin dry and cracks at some points such as the foot sole and palm of the hands.

Skin Antioxidants

Free radicals damage the skin by using free electrons in the skin cell structure. This damages the skin DNA which results in accelerated skin aging which appears as premature wrinkles, uneven skin tone, lackluster skin and unwanted pigmentations.

Research on CBD has been shown to affect the redox balance through modification of the level and activities of oxidants and antioxidants. CBD interrupts free radical chain reactions by capturing free radicals or transforming them into less active forms. Free radicals are produced in reactions characterized by many resonance structures in which unpaired electrons are mainly found on the phenolic structure. CBD reduces oxidative conditions by preventing the formation of superoxide radicals, which are produced by xanthine oxidase and NADPH oxidase. It also reduces reactive oxygen species production by chelating transition metal ions involved in body reactions. In addition to direct reduction of oxidant levels. CBD modifies the redox balance by changing the level and activity of antioxidants.

Skin Aging and Wrinkles

Majority of visible skin aging is caused by exposure to the UV rays of the sun, stress, pollution, unhealthy diets and other lifestyle factors. CBD promotes neural regeneration in the hippocampus part of the brain which produces cortisol. CBD balances the production of cortisol, a steroid hormone that is responsible for stress. Less stress implies a more positive mood for an individual and less wrinkles on the face. The skin loses its elasticity as one ages due to loss of elasticity on the collagen skin fibers. CBD absorbs free radicals produced by sun rays and improves the elasticity of collagen fibers thus reducing the visible effects of aging.

Antifungal Properties

CBD oils contain different compounds responsible for fighting different fungal diseases. In particular, it contains CBC(cannabichromene) and CBG(cannabigerol) which are effective against fungal diseases. CBD compounds contain one molecule of oxygen and hydrogen which are useful against fungi. Fungi reproduce through production of ergosterol which aids in fungal cell multiplication. CBD inhibits production of ergosterol and oxidizes fungal skin membranes. These two actions prevent multiplication and spread of fungal cells. In addition, CBD contains caryophyllene oxide which is a terpene. Terpenes have physiological properties, especially linalool and limonene, which have a calming effect. This makes it suitable for providing relief or the skin from the effects of fungal infections. Particularly, linalool provides relief whereas limonene elevates the mood of the individual.

CBD is effective against most symptoms of fungal infections such as blisters, itching, skin swelling, scales, rashes and bumps and skin irritations. It can be used as a remedy against jock itch, athletes’ feet, ringworms and yeast infections.


In a nutshell, CBD oils produce the best results when used appropriately on the skin. Benefits of using CBD oil products include reduced stress and better sleep, great skin elasticity by slowing down the aging process, and formation or wrinkles acts as an antioxidant to fight free radicals and soothes inflammatory pain. However, consult a medical practitioner, most preferably a dermatologist, to advise on the best CBD oil product to use depending on the skin type.

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