There are quite a few ingredients that are revolutionising the skincare industry today, and CBD is at the forefront. And if you have noticed, CBD is everywhere, from face masks, sunscreens, lip balm to skin moisturisers.
The big question everyone is asking: “is it worth the hype”?
We investigate this key question in this blog (and our conclusion is yes and it isn't just a hype!).
Why is CBD amazing?
But what makes CBD so amazing? To answer this question, we need to understand what CBD is and its relationship with the human body. CBD is a type of compound known as cannabinoid; in general, there are over 100 cannabinoids that can be found in the cannabis plant.
A cannabinoid is a fascinating chemical because it interacts directly with our body’s endocannabinoid system (the ECS), which constitutes a pathway full of connecting receptors. Cannabinoids help maintain essential functions in our body, from learning and memory, sleep, proper cardiovascular function to the skin and nerve function. Generally, any homeostatic function (which implies regulation of the body’s internal environment) is controlled by the ECS.
Normally, when an external influence such as unexpected pain, sudden fever or stress tilts the body’s normal homeostasis level, it is the job of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to correct these anomalies and restore normalcy.
CBD reacts with the body’s own endocannabinoid system without any significant side effects. Unlike other synthetic drugs used to treat medical inconsistencies like stress and insomnia that come with substantial side reactions, CBD is welcomed by the body by its cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2).
CBD, Endocannabinoid system and the skin (what the research says)
We get a little technically now (but that is what science is!)
Typically, the endocannabinoid system consists of G protein cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, metabolic enzymes, (AEA) arachidonic acid-derived ligands anandamide, and (2-AG) 2- arachidonoylglycerol.
CB1 is mostly active in the Nervous Central System and some minor organs and tissues like the liver, spleen, pancreas, skin cells and adipose tissue.
CB2 is more active in the brain, immune system, the peripheral nervous system, gastrointestinal system, B cells, T cells, skin cells and mast cells.
Our skin acts as an active protective gear against harsh environmental inconsistencies. To this end, the skin must be kept healthy, and healthy skin requires constant rejuvenation and regeneration of its cutaneous tissues and peripheral organs such as sebaceous glands and the hair follicle. The Endocannabinoid system is known to manage skin survival, balance, proliferation and differentiation, which is vital for proper cutaneous homeostasis.
The ECS regulates the skin in a lot of ways, from curbing allergic reaction to balancing skin-derived sensory irregularities. According to a study by Bíró in 2009, mice lacking CB1 and CB2 receptors displayed an increased allergic inflammation response. The research also shows that ECS also regulates peripheral and central skin sensory dilemmas, such as itching and pain. Agonist receptors, endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids were proven to influence analgesic effects in both humans and animals by activating CB1 and CB2 receptors, also stimulating other transient receptors such as TRPLV1 found in the sensory nerve ending and inflammatory cells.
What does that all mean? Well it means our skin has receptors which are affected by CBD!
So how is it being used?The strongest indicator of its benefits and robustness is the addition of CBD to the EU Cosmetics Ingredient Database (known as CosIng). It is the European Commission database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients contained in the:
- Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council;
- Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC (cosmetics directive), as amended
- Glossary of common ingredient names for the purpose of labelling cosmetic products placed on the market (as established by Decision (EU) 2019/701 of 5 April 2019)
- Opinions on cosmetic ingredients of the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (list of SCCS opinions)
Within the database CBD is listed as an anti-oxidant, skin conditioner and skin protector. Now that's official endorsement!