CBD Skincare 101: all your questions answered
What is CBD? And how can it benefit your skin?
CBD is THE current buzzword in beauty. Is it worth all the hype? I think it is. As a certified medicinal cannabis expert, first of all let me explain the sciency part. All mammals have an endocannabinoid system. This system comprises of our natural endocannabinoids (neurotransmitters) which bind to receptors (CB1 and CB2) that are prevalent in our central and peripheries nervous system. This process constantly works at bringing our biochemical systems back to homeostasis (stable equilibrium). If we don’t produce enough natural cannabinoids, our health, including our skin health, can suffer. Phytocannabinoids are plant cannabinoids that also bind to our CB1 and CB2 receptors. The only known plant on earth that contains enough phytocannabinoids to do this, is cannabis. The most talked about phytocannabinoid is CBD (cannabidiol). CBD can therefore help skin regain its natural balance and optimum health. It is anti ageing, antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
CBD is only one of of over 80 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. CBD is different to hemp seed oil, so always check the ingredients list if you are looking for a CBD product. I’ve seen many online sites listing CBD products, only to find cannabis seed oil (hemp oil) on the ingredients list, instead of cannabidiol (CBD).
What is the legal status of CBD? Current UK law states that you can legally use a product containing CBD. A full spectrum product, means it contains not only CBD, but all the other cannabinoids contained in the plant (including THC), terpenes (compounds that produce aroma) and flavonoids (compounds that produce taste). In the UK full spectrum CBD products can only legally contain under 0.2% THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psycho active compound in cannabis, but even at higher levels, THC applied topically does not pass through the blood brain barrier, so you will not feel ‘high’. The benefit of a full spectrum product, is that all the different compounds work together synergistically, producing an effect called the ‘entourage effect.’
The market has recently been flooded with CBD skincare products. Some better than others, so here’s a round up of my favourites.
Grace’s London CBD Lavender and Lemon Body Balm is a must for any areas of skin that needs help. It’s great for dry skin, burns, psoriasis, and acne scars. An effective anti inflammatory, antioxidant and sebum regulating balm, I enjoy using it as a night mask. Graces London also offer a CBD Roller Ball, an oil which I love using as part of my facial cupping routine.
Votary Super Boost Night Drops CBD and Strawberry Seed Oil was developed for fragile, reactive skin. Apply 3 drops after cleansing, or add into your moisturiser, to protect and hydrate super sensitive skin.
The Healing Cauldron CBD Skin Cream is a full spectrum vegan cream. This luxury cream made with sunflower wax, can be used on the face or body to hydrate and treat stressed skin, eczema, rosacea and scarring.
Pura Vida CBD Vegan Balm is a wonderful product for joints and muscles to relieve soreness and inflammation. Rub on areas that have been overworked, after exercise or to relieve stiff joints.
Two products I love from the Somnio vegan range are the Revive CBD Acne Serum, and Revive Anti Age Anti Wrinkle Moisturiser. The Acne Serum contains the rich anti inflammatory properties of CBD, with added antimicrobial ingredients of Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil to form an effective acne prone skin treatment. The Anti Wrinkle CBD Moisturiser also contains hyaluronic acid and rose hydrosol for deep hydration, to restore elasticity and natural collagen production.
Raised Spirit CBD Organic Massage Oil is a gorgeous oil, perfect to hydrate the skin before bed. Alongside CBD, jojoba and hemp oil, it also contains essential oils of patchouli and lavender, giving a wondrous aroma, and deep restful sleep.
Aurelia CBD Super Serum is one of the first brands to use CBD crystals, as opposed to CBD oil, which is more diluted. This is a CBD isolate product, as opposed to full spectrum and is highly antioxidant and anti inflammatory. Perfect for anyone with stressed out skin.
If you have any concerns about trying CBD skincare, then have no fear. Your skin won’t smell of cannabis and you won’t get ‘high.’ These products do not contain any significant amounts of the psychoactive THC cannabinoid, and the sophisticated formulas and added essential oils, mean they smell divine. If you are a CBD regular, then look out for CBDA products, which is the unheated, raw form of CBD. It’s in its early stages and research is in its infancy, but I for one am excited about its benefits. I encourage anyone to try medicinal cannabis skincare. It works in such harmony with our biochemistry, it’s like this miracle plant was made just for us.