Why use cannabis on your skin? Here’s the science
- Apr 23, 2020
- Haley Walden
Cannabis is an incredible plant that is used in healing modalities, body care products, and skincare products. We’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of the amazing things cannabis can do — which is why we love it so much. Cannabis in skincare is a natural way to nourish your skin and protect it from damage.
Cannabis works in the body to alleviate stress, support the immune system, regulate metabolism and mood, and relieve pain. But it also serves to protect the skin in myriad ways.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons why cannabis is the perfect ingredient for your skincare regimen.
The skin is your body’s largest organ — and, like your internal organs, it has a host of cannabinoid receptors that interact with the human endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, and CBG from the cannabis plant (called phytocannabinoids) bind with those receptors and help encourage and maintain the skin’s own endocannabinoid balance, or homeostasis.
Cannabis oil for skincare promotes cell turnover and new cell growth, soothes inflammation, alleviates pain and itchiness, and helps to protect the skin from the free radicals and oxidation that cause premature aging. Skincare products made with cannabis regulate the skin’s oil production and help to maintain a healthy balance for overall skin health.
When full-spectrum cannabis is used in skincare products such as face oil and skin lotion, all the naturally-present compounds in the plant work together in a phenomenon commonly known as the entourage effect. This means that the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other nourishing components of cannabis work in harmony with one another and work better together. Using a full-spectrum extract from the cannabis plant is exponentially better than using an isolated cannabinoid.
Rather than the entourage effect, we like to call this extraordinary process the ensemble effect. Unlike a pop star with an entourage, cannabis compounds work more like an orchestra. The compounds engage in fascinating interplay, enhancing one another’s therapeutic effects so the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
THC and CBD are complementary to one another, and maintain balance in the skin when used together. That means they work best together. However, different skin types may benefit from varying concentrations of the two cannabinoids.
Let’s take a closer look at what THC and CBD can do for your skin, specifically.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) encourages sebum production by activating CB1 and CB2 receptors in the sebaceous glands, meaning it regulates how oily or dry your skin is. It has been scientifically shown to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties. THC is also one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants.
It’s an excellent cannabinoid for inflamed, itchy, dry, or red skin and replenishes moisture by encouraging oil production. THC oil helps combat oxidation caused by environmental pollution and stress. Additionally, it’s great for anti-aging — especially combined with CBD.
In contrast to THC, CBD blocks the CB1 and CB2 receptors on the skin. This causes the skin to produce less oil, which can be helpful if your face tends to be oily.
Because CBD can help to stem the overproduction of oil, it may help some people who experience breakouts due to excess sebum. CBD has been found to be effective and safe not only for inflammatory skin issues, but also for encouraging scar tissue to heal.
Free radicals cause oxidative damage in the body at the cellular level, and the same is true for the skin. When our skin has been damaged by free radicals, we experience early signs of aging. For example, oxidation can cause our skin to lose elasticity and collagen, and trigger early fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots.
Excess free radicals can lead to chronic inflammation, ultimately resulting in skin damage and premature aging. The skincare ingredients we choose can soothe the inflammation that leads to skin damage, so it’s crucial to choose products that soothe and heal.
Cannabis skincare is rich with antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals and help to prevent cell damage. Your skin needs more antioxidants than free radicals, and skincare made with cannabis oil can help make this a reality.
THC and CBD have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties — stronger than vitamins C and E, according to some research. To counteract damage from sun, pollution, and stress, apply topicals rich in antioxidants — such as cannabis-based face serum — directly to your skin on a daily basis. Studies show that adding topical antioxidants to your skincare regimen can effectively reverse skin damage.
Absolutely! When formulated with clean, organic, sustainably sourced ingredients, cannabis oil skincare is excellent for your face. Because cannabis is still currently unregulated on a federal level, it’s important to carefully investigate the sources of the products you choose.
In order for your cannabis skincare to be effective, you need the cleanest products possible, formulated with the most nourishing ingredients. Look for cannabis oil skincare products that are free of heavy metals, pesticides and harmful chemicals. Better yet, purchase your products from a licensed cannabis dispensary to ensure you’re getting top-notch products with COAs (Certificates of Analysis) that prove they’re safe, accurately labeled, and certifiably ‘clean.’
A good cannabis face cream or serum should not only protect against the signs of aging — it should also prevent and reverse them, too. At Green Bee Botanicals, we’ve got you covered. Our award-winning cannabis skincare line is organic, sustainably sourced, and independently tested and verified for purity and quality.
Green Bee Botanicals products are currently available in select California dispensaries and delivery services. Click here to see where you can buy.