Cannabidiol, CBD, is the most abundant phytocannabinoid produced by the hemp plant. A phytocannabinoid is a plant molecule produced by the resin glands in a hemp bud. CBD, a non-impairing phytocannabinoid, has been touted to be one of the next popular skin care product ingredients.
Skin care products that contain this popular phytocannabinoid claim that CBD can give your skin a more youthful appearance, clear up problematic acne, and soothe the irritation of psoriasis and eczema. Does CBD really fulfill all of these claims?
The answer lies in how the endocannabinoid system functions in the most external system of the body, the skin. The endocannabinoid system acts like a giant computer that directs the 11 organ systems in the human body to maintain optimal health, at all times.
The main function of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is a just right state of balance in the body. An example of homeostasis is the constant surveillance (looking for potential infections or imbalances in your body) performed by your immune system.
The endocannabinoid system is so large and vital that almost every cell in the body expresses endocannabinoid receptors.
There are several moving parts to the endocannabinoid system. The 4 main parts of the endocannabinoid system are:
- The nervous and immune systems
- CB 1 and CB 2 receptors
- Enzymes that breakdown the endocannabinoids
Let’s take a closer look at those moving parts:
- CB 1 receptors are located primarily in the brain and throughout the central nervous system.
- CB 2 Receptorsare located primarily on immune organs such as the thymus and spleen and in the lymph system as well as immune cells.
- The skin and reproductive organs have CB 2 receptors.
- There are also areas in your body, such as the liver, that have a mix of CB 1 and CB 2 receptors.
- CB 2 receptors are located mostly in the immune tissues of the body and may play a role in regulating the immune system through controlling inflammation.
The endocannabinoid system is so large and vital that almost every cell in the body expresses endocannabinoid receptors. There are many endocannabinoids, but the two main endocannabinoids that do most of the work areAnandamide (AEA) and Archachidonoyl glycerol(2AG).
Anandamide and 2AG bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Imagine a CB1 or CB2 receptor acting like a docking station. The endocannabinoids act as mini computers. Once the endocannabinoids dock, they turn into neurotransmitters once inside the cell. Once they become a neurotransmitter, healing and homeostasis occurs.
CBD prevents Anandamide from breaking down, and becoming inactive, by blocking the enzyme FAAH. FAAH breaks down Anandamide. As a result, your body will have more Anandamide to bind to CB 1 and CB 2 receptors, for a period of time, to create more homeostasis.
CBD helps to halt the aging process by reducing free radicals, and the damage they do to the skin.
Phytocannabinoids are able to bind to the CB 1 and CB 2 receptors, as well as other receptors in the body to create healing and homeostasis. Our body’s own endocannabinoids - as well as phytocannabinoids from the hemp and cannabis plants - can bind to the CB 2 receptors in the skin.
When CBD is applied topically to an area of the skin, Anandamide binds to the CB 2 receptor, and inflammation and pain are reduced. Anandamide and CBD also bind to another receptor in the skin, the TRPV-1 receptor. As a result, pain, inflammation, itchiness, and irritation are relieved. With relief, comes healing of the skin.
This explains how skin conditions like eczema and contact dermatitis gain symptomatic relief. Once the inflammation is gone, the broken skin affected by the irritation from the inflammation, can close.
Acne affects up to 50 million people annually. Acne is a skin condition where the sebaceous glands in the skin are overactive. Sebum, an oily secretion from the sebaceous glands in the skin, becomes built up in the hair follicles of the skin. The follicle becomes inflamed, swollen, painful, and sometimes infected.
CBD has been found to produce an anti-inflammatory effect on the acne pimples and inhibit sebum production, so that the sebaceous glands in the skin produce a lower amount of sebum. The skin becomes balanced, and not overly dry, which happens with a lot of other acne skin care products.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system becomes overactive.Psoriasis is a condition in which skin cells build up and form scaly, dry, itchy patches. CBD, again, has anti-inflammatory properties against the symptoms of psoriasis.
CBD also has anti-proliferative properties as well. Topical application of CBD has demonstrated a reduction in skin cell growth, and brought the growth process back to a balanced level. As a result, CBD also slows down the accumulation of skin cells on the outermost layer of skin. Through regulating the immune system, CBD helps to bring the immune system to a less overactive level.
Our skin becomes damaged every day, as a result of being a first line of defense from invading organisms and free radical damage from UV rays and environmental pollutants. CBD helps to halt the aging process by reducing free radicals, and the damage they do to the skin.
The anti-inflammatory benefits from CBD help to relax the skin, so that fine lines and wrinkles are not as noticeable. CBD is able to repair the symptoms of inflammation in the skin such as extreme dryness, redness, rashes, and sores. Healing occurs without the use of steroids or toxins found in common prescriptions for inflammatory skin conditions.
What is so good about NurseGrown’s Hemp Salve is that it is an organic product that can be trusted to use on sensitive skin. Many other hemp products contain a lot of essential oils and other fillers that can irritate sensitive skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.