January is National CBD month. The first observance of the month took place in 2020 and since the start of last year I have seen an increasing amount of CBD in products. You may have seen skincare lines market ingredients such as CBD oil, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil or Hemp Oil. The rise of CBD skin care prompted me, and a few of you I'm sure, with a ton of questions like "Is it legal? Will it make me high? What are the skin benefits of CBD anyway?"
What is CBD skincare?
The name comes from the added CBD oil. CBD is short for Cannabidiol, which is extracted from the Cannabis Sativa Plant species. This plant contains more than 120 different so called cannabinoids, the ones most widely known are CBD and THC.
Is CBD Oil the same as Hemp Oil?
No. Cannabidiol is part of Hemp Oil, which you get from pressing the Hemp plant, but Hemp Oil does contains a plethora of different, beneficial ingredients for our skin. It is rich in Vitamin A, D and E as well as essential fatty acids, which makes it good for mature and irritated skin. It also has Cannabidiol, but in a much lower concentration than you get when you use the pure CBD Oil, which has been extracted through a specific process.
If you want specifically the effects of CBD Oil, you won´t get them from Hemp Oil simply because the concentration of CBD is too low. But on the other hand you won´t get the same amount of essential fatty acids and antioxidants from CBD Oil that you get from Hemp Oil. And yes, Hemp Oil contains all the cannabinoids, so it might contain THC. That isn´t a problem though as the THC concentration in hemp is low to begin with and gets even lower through pressing. THC has a psychotropic effect and CBD doesn't, no matter how much you apply. CBD will never get you high.
Benefits from CBD
When ingested, CBD Oil is said to help with anxiety, sleeping disorders and pain control through binding to CB 1 receptors and also with general inflammation and itchiness due to CB 2 receptors in the skin. It has become popular in perimenopausal women for navigating times that often come with anxiety, disturbed sleep and just general mood swings.
When applied topically, you won´t get any effect on anxiety, sleeping or general pain, because the Cannabidiol Oil does not penetrate deeply enough into the skin to reach the bloodstream in high enough quantities to have an effect. It will only react with the receptors in the area of application and help with itching, inflammation and oil control. It also shows the less specific effects of being an antioxidant and reducing Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL).
Which skin conditions benefit the most?
Skin conditions that come with an increased inflammation, like eczema, will benefit the most from the anti-inflammatory effects and the reduced itching, while acneic skin loves the anti-inflammatory and oil control effects. Similar to other oils used in skincare it also has emollient and antioxidant effects, which makes it great for more mature skin types.
Choosing the right CBD product for you.
As I always say "you need to read the bottle and read the ingredients".
Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil? That doesn´t give you a clue about the concentration of CBD, but most likely is similar to Hemp Seed Oil.
Hemp Seed Oil? Again, low concentrations of CBD, but other beneficial ingredients.
CBD Oil or Cannabidiol Oil? That is what you are looking for! It means you get the pure form, which is necessary if you want the full CBD benefits. You only need 0.5 – 1% of CBD Oil to get the benefits in a formula, so don´t shy away if it is at the bottom of the ingredient list.
As with any product especially oils, you need to check what else it is paired with. This especially means carrier oils, such as coconut oil. Not the best choice if you have acne, congestion prone skin as coconut oil triggers breakouts in many people.
I have definitely dabbled in my fair share of CBD products. I have tried salves for my lower back pain and aching wrists after a crazy week of body waxing. Many CBD skin creams, oils, and toners. I use it mainly for the antioxidant benefits and love the earthy smell it has. Lira Clinical has just released their new CBD product Mystiq Infused C. Check it out!
Have you tried CBD in your skincare?