Cosmetics and dermocosmetics made with marijuana are gaining market share and consumer taste. More than a passing fad, science is showing that the plant actually has many properties that help improve the appearance of the skin and treat various diseases. But, what do you need to know about cannabis-based skin creams before starting a treatment?
First, it is important to see cannabis as a medicinal plant. The herb has more than 400 chemical components that act in various functions, including helping in dermatological treatments .
The secret was discovered back in the early 1990s: we all have a pair of receptors called CB1 and CB2, which are scattered throughout our bodies, and which react positively to cannabinoids, the main components of cannabis. This pair of receptors is called the Endocannabinoid System .
But, what are the benefits of cannabis-based skin creams? Check out some interesting information.
1 – Cannabis-based skin creams help regulate sebum and treat acne
The properties of cannabis help regulate the body's production of sebum. This has a direct effect on the appearance of the skin: if it is too dry, it will look more hydrated. On the other hand, if it is very oily, cannabis helps to contain this condition.
A study called “Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and anti-inflammatory effects on human sebocytes”, published in 2014 in the scientific journal The Journal of Clinical Investigation , shows that cannabinoids actually have the power to regulate the production of sebum in the human body. The article says:
“The Endocannabinoid System regulates several physiological processes, including growth and differentiation of skin cells […] Our findings suggest that, due to the combined lipostatic, antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory effects, CBD has potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgar”.
The regulation of sebum promoted by cannabinoids is directly related to the improvement of acne, since the dermatological problem in question is caused especially by the obstruction of pores due to the large amount of sebum produced by the sebaceous glands.
2 – Cannabis-based skin creams have an anti-inflammatory effect
Another very interesting effect of cannabis-based skin creams is the anti-inflammatory characteristic of cannabis, which helps to even explain the control of sebum production described earlier. The positive effects of cannabis help “decrease discomfort by slowing down inflammation and itching,” explains Dr. Fernanda Chauvin, biochemical pharmacist specializing in dermatocosmetics, in an interview with Marie Claire magazine.
By containing this anti-inflammatory action, cannabis-based skin creams have already been used to treat skin diseases caused by inflammatory processes, such as dermatitis and psoriasis.
3 – CBD creams have antioxidant action
In addition to the anti-inflammatory effects, cannabis has antioxidant action , that is, it is able to inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. The positive effects of this are directly related to skin aging delay treatments.
“By fighting free radicals, CBD helps smooth out wrinkles. And, precisely by attenuating the inflammatory process, the active ends up also inhibiting post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (generated by friction or, mainly, the sun”, explains Dr. Fernanda Chauvin.
A study called Cannabidiol's Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties , published in 2020 in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, showed that cannabinoids, especially CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), have a powerful antioxidant action . . The publication explains:
“Multidirectional biological effects have been demonstrated in several preclinical models, including the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol. In this context, CBD seems to be more preferred than other compounds in the phytocannabinoid group. Regardless of the beneficial pharmacological effects of CBD itself, if this compound is present in the Δ9-THC environment, the undesirable effects of 99-THC are reduced, which improves its safety profile.”
The above study shows that the effects of CBD on molecules actually have antioxidant action. The study ends by explaining the need to conduct more studies in order to find “the perfect [cannabis] derivative that provides a therapeutic effect close to the ideal”.
4 – Cosmetic cannabis creams are fast acting
Our skin is full of pores, almost like a sponge. In this sense, applying cannabis-based skin creams results in rapid absorption, as long as the product is applied correctly. This implies using the right amount of product (not too little and not too much) and also massaging the region to ensure the absorption of the dermocosmetic.
An interesting piece of information is that the Endocannabinoid System receptors are spread throughout the body, including our epidermis , and are not concentrated in just one place. In this way, their activation after the skin absorbs the cannabinoids is usually quick.
5 – CBD cosmetics help relieve muscle pain
As you read above, cannabis has a proven anti-inflammatory action. It is this property that is also responsible for relieving muscle pain after applying and massaging the affected region.
In addition to the CBD-based cream, another treatment alternative that many patients are looking for is ingesting cannabis oil directly, activating the Endocannabinoid System from the inside out.
📌 Although cannabis-based skin creams are effective, it is always important to point out that you should see a doctor if you experience muscle pain or have other types of skin diseases , as these signs can be symptoms that point to other diseases.
If you want to understand more about cannabis, you can look for doctors who are familiar with the subject. The community of healthcare professionals who are delving into the medicinal and dermatological benefits of cannabis continues to grow!
The effects of cannabinoids on common skin complications
Several studies have investigated the effects. For example, a study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science looked at the effects of this family of molecules in relation to keratinocyte hyperproliferation, which is associated with red, brittle, scaly skin.
These uncomfortable symptoms arise because the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells — a problem with homeostatic regulation. This leads to a rapid accumulation of skin cells on the surface of the skin. The study found that THC, CBN, CBD and CBG inhibit keratinocyte production and help restore balance in the skin. That said, more studies are needed to confirm these findings.
The researchers also looked at how cannabinoids affect sebum overproduction. When this oily substance accumulates in the pores, bacteria can form and red spots may appear. Research published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation tested the effects of CBD on human sebocytes, the cells that expel excess sebum. The researchers found that cannabinoids can help these cells behave normally by acting on the TRPV4 and A2A receptors.