The endocannabinoid system of the skin – skin cannabis receptors for THC and CBD for cannabinoid skincare

The one reason cannabis skincare is so effective

  • Jul 13, 2020
  • Kim Howard

Did you know the human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that interacts with the compounds found in cannabis? And that your body creates cannabinoids?

Some of you know and some of you may have never heard of the ECS before because it was discovered only recently, but we assure you it’s real—it’s not holistic woo-woo.

Humans, like all vertebrate species from sea squirts to tiny nematodes, share the ECS as an essential part of life and adaptation to environmental changes.

Read on to understand what the endocannabinoid system is and does, and how cannabis skincare can aid in healing 14 common skin issues. 

 

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?

endocannabinoid system of the skin

Our bodies are constantly self-regulating to maintain homeostasis, or balance. "Scientists have identified that the ECS is in control of this body balance and it happens through advanced cellular communication that takes place at areas called cannabinoid receptors," writes biologist Elise Bailey.

The ECS is the master regulator for every major system in the body, from the nervous, respiratory, digestive, and endocrine systems, to the reproductive, lymphatic, and immune systems — and everything in between.

"The ECS controls many basic biological processes...with direct involvement in pain control, mood and behavior, learning and memory, stress response, reproduction, fertility and pregnancy, food intake and energy balance, immune response [and more].[Source]

The ECS also regulates our integumentary system, a.k.a. our skin — our body's largest organ. 

 

What Happens When the ECS Doesn’t Function Properly?

The thing is, sometimes our bodies don’t produce the natural endocannabinoids as they should. Researchers have discovered that the root cause of many health concerns is actually Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency. This imbalance in endocannabinoids can lead to a lower pain threshold; disruptions in digestion, mood, and sleep; skin disorders; and more. [Source]

So how do we get our ECS back in balance? This is where cannabis comes in.

 

How Topical Cannabis Helps Your Skin

Science tells us the human body produces its own endocannabinoids, which bind to cannabinoid receptors all over our body. These receptors are the gatekeepers of the ECS system: they read, translate, and transmit information.

Our cannabinoid receptors also respond to cannabis phytocannabinoids (phyto meaning plant), which work the same as the endocannabinoids created by our bodies. This means phytocannabinoids in cannabis can fill in when our body's natural endocannabinoids are out of balance. Let that sink in. We had major AHA! moments when we discovered this. Cannabis really is a wonder-plant. And science is amazing. 

Cannabis can be consumed via the lungs (smoking or vaping), eaten (tinctures or edibles), or topically applied to the skin, as with our skincare products and cannabis topicals.  

 

 

There are cannabinoid receptors all over your skin, and in every layer of it, including the surface of the skin (epidermis), oil glands (sebaceous glands), hair follicles, nerves, immune cells, and subcutaneous fat. Because of this, cannabis skincare can aid in the healing of at least 14 common skin issues:

  1. Acne
  2. Inflammation
  3. Oxidation 
  4. Aging
  5. Hydration
  6. Dry skin
  7. Oily
  8. Redness
  9. Tone
  10. Firmness
  11. Itchiness
  12. Immune response
  13. Environmental damage
  14. Hair growth

Don’t just take our word for it — there’s plenty of research out there explaining how your skin’s ECS influences and balances every layer, cell, and component of the skin. Here's just one

 

Dryness and Oiliness

Because the compounds in cannabis bind with ECS receptors in our skin’s surface and in our sebaceous (oil) glands, cannabis skincare helps balance the over- and under-production of oil to remedy both dry skin and oily skin. Research suggests that CBD is especially good for balancing oily and acne-prone skin, while THC is especially good for moisturizing dry skin, although CBD and THC work best together to trigger the famous entourage effect.    

 

Skin Cell Turnover and Inflammation

Research also shows that a healthy ECS encourages cell turnover in the skin, promoting the healthy shedding of dead skin cells and their subsequent replacement with younger skin cells. 

Additionally, we know the skin has its own immune system, and scientific studies suggest that balancing the skin’s ECS can soothe or prevent skin inflammation: 

“Although the best studied functions over the ECS are related to the central nervous system and to immune processes, experimental efforts over the last two decades have unambiguously confirmed that cutaneous cannabinoid signaling is deeply involved in the maintenance of skin homeostasis, barrier formation and regeneration, and its dysregulation was implicated to contribute to several highly prevalent diseases and disorders, e.g., atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, scleroderma, acne, hair growth and pigmentation disorders, keratin diseases, various tumors, and itch.” [Source] 

More research is needed on exactly how a healthy ECS influences every part of the skin, but it’s already clear that it provides myriad benefits. 

 

Nourishing Your Skin’s ECS with Topical Cannabis

Cannabis topicals address and soothe a number of skin discomforts, indicating that skin health responds when its ECS is properly replenished. 

The most important way you can support your skin’s ECS is through using phytocannabinoid-rich topical products. These products can be derived from both cannabis and hemp, though they will contain varying levels of phytocannabinoid content. 

Green Bee Botanicals cannabis skincare products help replenish your skin’s ECS through CBD- and THC-rich face serums, eye cream, and massage oil. Our products are currently available only in California dispensaries, with some local delivery options available. See where you can buy here

NON-PSYCHOACTIVE CANNABIS-INFUSED TOPICAL

1 oz | 30 ml


 1:1 ratio | 38 mg CBD | 38 mg THC 


Face Serum for Normal-to-Dry Skin 

with CBD, THC, Vitamin C & Vitamin E

 

NON-PSYCHOACTIVE CANNABIS-INFUSED TOPICAL

1 oz | 30 ml


10:1 ratio | 75 mg CBD | 7.5 mg THC


Face Serum for Normal-to-Oily Skin with CBD, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

NON-PSYCHOACTIVE CANNABIS-INFUSED TOPICAL

1 oz | 30 ml


3:1 ratio | 135 mg THC | 45 mg CBD


Herbal Wellness for Whole-Body Relief

NON-PSYCHOACTIVE CANNABIS-INFUSED TOPICAL

0.5 oz | 15 ml


1:1 ratio | 30 mg CBD | 30 mg THC


With CBD, THC, Calendula & Caffeine

 

 

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