With the legalization of marijuana in some fashion in over 24 states, it was inevitable that the use of CBD in skincare would become a hot topic. Let’s get down to some real truths on this interesting option for your client’s skin.
In the early 90s researchers discovered that the human body is loaded with endocannabinoid receptors. "Endo" means "within." Researchers found that the body has its own cannabinoid system. These cannabinoids have nothing to do with whether or not you ingest marijuana.
Researchers labeled these receptors CB1 and CB2. There may be more receptors, but the research is still too indefinite to clarify. CB1 receptors are located throughout the Central Nervous System and CB2 receptors are located in the spleen, bones, and skin. Both receptors are also located throughout the immune system, liver, bone marrow and pancreas.
Human endocannabinoid receptors are proteins. They work to regulate the transmission of information about changing conditions inside a cell and boost the cell’s response to that stimulus. They are involved in body functions like appetite, pain control, inflammation, mood, and memory.
Human endocannabinoids have been found in sebaceous glands and hair follicles. These cannabinoids are proteins working in the cells to transmit information about inflammation, pain control and bringing the skin back to a state of homeostasis. Studies have shown that the cannabinoid receptors suppress keratin production and affect cell apoptosis or the cell’s programmed death.
Phytocannabinoids are a form of cannabinoid that comes from the cannabis plant. Phytocannabinoids are in the plants’ resins and are lipid soluble and alcohol soluble. This means the resin can be extracted from the plant using oils and alcohols. Phytocannabinoids come in two main forms, CBD and THC.
Cannabidiol or CBD, is a form of the phytocannabinoid, or cannabis plant that is non-psychoactive. It does not directly interact with the CB receptors. It uses other receptors to indirectly activate CB1. Studies have shown it has tremendous powers in a large number of body functions. It works as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotector, vasorelaxant, and antibacterial in interactions with the skin. It has other body function action and has just been FDA approved in an anti-seizure medication for children. CBD does not affect mental status.
Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the psychoactive form of phytocannabinoids. THC has antioxidant properties that would benefit the skin, but its euphoric properties make it an unusable option for skin care. It alters judgment and can impair thought processes.
CBD skincare works by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in the skin. The phytocannabinoids enhance their anti-inflammatory properties and increase immunity with the Langerhans cells. By affecting programmed cell death, the cannabinoid receptors affect fast-growing keratinocytes in psoriasis, returning to a homeostatic state. There is some research being done on CBD cannabinoids affecting fast-growing cancer cells by sending them into apoptosis, or cell death.
CBD skincare passes transdermally into the skin. Since much of skin aging is attributed to skin inflammation, CBD’s properties as an anti-inflammatory can be incorporated into anti-aging skin care. This anti-inflammatory property can also affect acne breakouts with its lipid solubility.
CBD has many positive effects on the skin and practitioners should have complete confidence that their clients are not going to get high when using skincare with CBD as an ingredient. This makes communicating with your clients especially crucial when incorporating CBD products. Make sure you review the benefits and go through the normal Q&As a client might have, like: Will I get high? Will it appear in a drug test? Is it legal? Etc. When implemented properly into a skincare routine, CBD oil can have tremendous results. Look forward to much more information coming to light as CBD research expands and integrates into our skin care regimens.
Photo: Roxanna Gonzalez
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Mary Nielsen grew up in Minnesota but calls Portland, Oregon home for the past 30 years. She is the Executive Director of Spectrum Advanced Aesthetics Institute and serves on the board of Certified Advanced Estheticians for the state of Oregon. She is a happily married grandmother who has been thrilled to be working in the never dull field of advanced esthetics for over 17 years. She spends her free time outdoors or at her sewing machine.
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