Is CBD Oil in Skincare Effective?

Is CBD oil in skincare effective? What is the scientific evidence behind CBD oil? Is it the same thing as hemp oil? Will it make you high? Watch Maleka and Chris Smith, our favourite cosmetic scientist, discuss the skincare latest It ingredient.

For centuries, people have used CBD oil to manage pain. Over recent years, due to its more "exotic" origin, it has become a popular skincare ingredient.

What are the benefits of CBD oil for the skin?

Cannabidiol is an active ingredient derived from the marijuana plant, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The theory is CBD oil triggers the receptors in our skin, which, in turn, has a soothing and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin.

There is a difference between Cannabidiol and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). The latter is the cannabinoid that makes you high. Cannabidiol isn't psychoactive at all and is safe to use in skincare.

Is there any research to back up these claims and how it acts when applied to the skin topically? For example, does it soothe rosacea or acne?

There is some research, but it is in the early stages. Some research investigates its effects on pain relief in the body. Likewise, some research investigates its soothing effect on the skin. The researchers identified and isolated Cannabidiol as beneficial, but more thorough research started emerging over the last five years. The market demands currently outweigh the science behind it.

Because there is no comparative data, no one can tell with certainty how CBD oil compares to vitamin C or other more standard ingredients.

Is there a standard for using CBD oil in skincare?

At the moment, no. What that means is that brands still haven't worked out the required concentrations for optimum effectiveness, or if the ingredient has an instant or a cumulative effect on the skin. Furthermore, its effect on some skin conditions like acne, dermatitis, rosacea, etc. is unknown.

There is no standard for the most effective CBD concentration or purity. If a brand adds it to the finished product, they can't know whether it will detract from the formula.

At the moment, the only standard is the brands must prove the ingredient doesn't contain THC. As to what happens to THC, since Cannabis can only be grown under license, there must be approved ways of discarding it.

When will the science catch up?

The estimate is in about five years. The companies need to work out how best to extract CBD from the marijuana plant and what is the optimum purity. Likewise, companies also need to navigate regulatory issues.

The difference between Hemp and CBD oils

 There is also a lack of understanding and education about the ingredient in the industry. Some brands are even labelling Hemp oil as CBD oil, which is a different thing.

Hemp oil is derived from the seeds and is high in Omega 3 and 6.

CBD is an isolated powder that comes from leaves, stalks, stems, and flowers. It is mixed with oil (olive, hemp, etc.) Again, that way we don't know about the concentration or purity levels.

The primary focus of the manufacturers is how and why they should incorporate CBD oil into a new product.

Is there any initial data that shows CBD oil can improve or reverse the signs of aging?

CBD oil is an antioxidant that triggers an antioxidative response. The majority of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin aging come from oxidative damage caused by the Sun. However, there is no comparative data to prove it can effectively improve or reverse the signs of aging.

The theory and some science are there. But at the moment, we can't say with certainty 1% of CBD oil is better than 2% vitamin C.

Does  CBD oil get into the blood stream when applied topically?

Woman with Skincare

No. Due to the size of the molecule, CBD oil can, at a maximum, penetrate the epidermis. It penetrates a few layers into the skin and triggers the receptors there, but that's it.

Does it work on specific anti-inflammatory receptors?

At the moment, it is all theoretical and generalised, with no quantifiable data. We can't say with certainty that, for example, CBD oil might not work for rosacea, but it can be beneficial if you have acne.


Can you take CBD oil as a supplement for skin care purposes instead of pain management?

When you ingest something for skin care purposes, it has a long way to go to get to the skin. In the case of CBD oil and because it has anti-inflammatory properties, if you have any inflammation in the body, it will go there. By the time it gets to the skin, the effects are negligible. In terms of muscle pain relief, there is some promising data, and it is a fascinating ingredient. But, the market demand still far outstrips the science and regulatory aspect.

The data is still inconclusive for CBD oil. But, there is no reason to discard other well-researched antioxidants and anti-inflammatories currently available.

Some of the antioxidants included in Merumaya's product:

Mangosteen Fruit extract in our Iconic Youth Serum, Youth Preservation Moisturiser, and Melting Cleansing Balm.

Anti-inflammatories in Merumaya's products: 

Echium oil (RevitElix) in Iconic Youth Serum, Intensely Youthful Eye cream, and Melting Cleansing Balm.

Mediacalm (Boerhavia Diffusa Root) in Concentrated Spot Treatment.

 

Have you tried CBD oil in skincare products? Did you see any results?

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