If you follow health and wellness trends, you’ve probably heard of #CBD by now. These three letters are causing a big buzz in everything from fitness to fibromyalgia.
And now, CBD is becoming more and more trendy as an ingredient in skincare products. So, why is this cannabis-based compound taking the beauty world by storm?
CBD has a broad spectrum of effects, and some of them could be key in treating acne, inflammation, and even the signs of aging. Read on to find out why CBD could be your new secret weapon for healthy, clear skin.
CBD Is an Antioxidant
Through everyday processes like metabolism, the body produces molecules called free radicals.
And when these unstable molecules build up too much, they can damage cells and play a role in disease.
This buildup is called oxidative stress, and researchers have implicated it in everything from inflammatory diseases to aging.
Antioxidants like Vitamins C and E stabilize free radicals, making them an important tool in fighting oxidative stress.
And because CBD is an antioxidant, it’s one more weapon in the arsenal against cellular damage and inflammation.
So, what does that mean for your skin? Because oxidative stress can trigger the visible signs of aging, antioxidants like CBD may help slow the appearance of wrinkles.
And according to one recent study, we can add acne to the list of conditions in which oxidative stress plays a role.
The researchers called for further study on how the topical application of antioxidants to the skin could prevent or treat acne.
CBD May Help Reduce Inflammation
Some of the most common skin issues include symptoms that are associated with inflammation.
Just think of the symptoms of acne or eczema. Swelling, pain and redness are all part of an inflammatory immune response — the body’s reaction to injury or an infection.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are well-established. One 2014 study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects are one of a “trinity” of anti-acne actions that occur when CBD is introduced to skin cells.
And while the researchers concluded that ingestion could result in a sufficient concentration of CBD to treat acne, topical application could be the most effective delivery method.
CBD Could Fights Bacterial Infections
It’s well established that bacteria are among the main causes of acne. In fact, doctors often prescribe antibiotics to treat moderate-to-severe acne. These help by killing bacteria on the skin.
But antibiotics can cause side effects like nausea or sensitivity to the sun. And over time, the use of prescription medications can lead to antibiotic resistance.
In other words, some bacteria aren’t killed, and they develop mechanisms to survive future antibiotic treatments. This makes infections more and more difficult to treat.
So, how can CBD help?
A recent study in the Journal of Natural Products found that the major compounds found in cannabis — cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene, cannabigerol, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabinol — are all powerful antibacterial compounds.
All five of these cannabinoids were potent weapons against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
And the researchers also found that the mechanisms by which bacteria resist conventional antibiotics didn’t work against the cannabinoids.
This means that cannabinoids like CBD could be a good alternative to antibiotics for treating bacterial skin infections.
CBD Helps Balance the Oils in the Skin
Throughout the skin, sebaceous glands produce the oily, waxy substance known as sebum.
It’s crucial for healthy, resilient skin, keeping it flexible and hydrated.
But when the sebaceous glands produce too much or too little sebum, it plays a starring role in the development of conditions like acne, dandruff, and dry skin.
Fortunately, CBD may help regulate the production of sebum. One study found that cannabinoids had a dose-dependent impact on the skin’s lipid (or oil) production. That means that cannabinoids can have a different effect depending on dosage.
So, getting relief from acne or dry skin may be just a matter of finding the CBD dosage sweet spot.
CBD Could Prevent Skin-Sabotaging Anxiety
According to the Mayo Clinic, stress is one of the main causes of acne. And that means that CBD may be able to stop skin flare-ups before they ever start by helping manage anxiety.
The fight-or-flight response that can kick in when you’re facing stressful situations is there to keep you safe.
But when it’s not functioning properly, you can experience a physical response to danger even when there’s no real threat.
And over time, anxiety can affect your sleep patterns, mood, and even your skin.
While CBD is non-intoxicating, and doesn’t cause a noticeable change in perception, it does affect the brain.
These neurotransmitters play a role in a variety of processes in the body.
These include mood, the formation of memories, and sleep.
And through these mechanisms, CBD may play a role in treating anxiety, insomnia and mood disorders.
And when those issues are the root of your skin troubles, CBD could help you deal with them before they have a chance to dampen your glow.
Author Bio: Meg Kramer is the Managing Editor of CBD Hacker. She’s a writer and an editor who has covered topics in science, health, and education. When she’s not writing about CBD, you can find her playing with her dogs or perfecting her bagel recipe.
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