Cannabis for Skincare
Today, more countries and regions are legalizing the use of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes. The world of beauty and skincare is not left behind either; the use of cannabis for skincare is growing by the day even as more and more people embrace natural skincare regimens.
Whether it is weed cream, THC lotion or CBD serum, the bottom line is that these are marijuana formulations. The active ingredient or primary agent in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive compound. Apart from THC, which is responsible for ‘highness’, cannabis contains other non-intoxicating components.
To evaluate the plant’s viability in skincare, we have investigated the science behind medical marijuana. Also, we will take a look at some of the properties that make cannabis for skincare viable. Are you into DIY skincare routines? Read on to find out how you can get started with extracts from cannabis right at home.
The Science Behind Medical Use of Marijuana
Cannabis sativa is an age-old plant used for its medicinal and recreational properties the world over. Better known as marijuana, cannabis is composed of more than 60 agents. Of this, THC is intoxicating and is the reason behind the illicit nature of the product.
However, recent legislation in favour of cannabis has led to scientific studies on the herb’s health benefits. Names used to describe the product can tell you more about their nature. For example, marijuana and cannabis refer to varieties abundant in THC, while hemp refers to low THC varieties. Also, hemp is not as heavily regulated as marijuana.
The unique and intense scent from different varieties comes from terpenes while flavonoids are responsible for the plant’s pigmentation. In skincare, the compound that is of much interest is cannabidiol, also known as CBD. Cannabidiol comes with skin benefits. Other compounds in the same group are cannabichromene and cannabinol.
Cannabinoids have a high safety profile making them suitable for skin use. Additionally, your body absorbs even low concentrations of the compounds. Your body, skin included, can, therefore, benefit from mild cannabinoids without the risk of THC intoxication.
Benefits of Cannabis for Skincare
The upsides of cannabis go beyond getting high. For your skin, the extracts are laden with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents. Creams and oils from the plant sell as anti-ageing and anti-wrinkle products. What’s more, the soothing properties come in handy when treating sensitive and delicate skin.
Cannabinoids have also proven effective against some skin conditions. Specifically, topical cannabis is useful in the treatment of acne, atopic dermatitis, eczema, dry skin and oily skin. The bioavailability of cannabis compounds is high, such that oral consumption will also benefit your skin.
Here are some of the benefits in much detail:
Cannabis for Acne
In 2014, The Journal of Clinical Investigation published one of the leading studies on CBD use in treating acne. In the findings, CBD showed anti-acne actions when applied on human skin. Of importance is the compound’s ability to suppress the development of acne-causing bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes.
The antibacterial activity reduces breakouts, while anti-inflammatory properties soothe and calm acne-prone skin. To sum up, the study confirmed CBD’s potential as an acne treatment.
Cannabis as an Anti-ageing Treatment
Like most plant extracts, extracts from cannabis comes with antioxidant properties. These are agents which reduce visible signs of ageing. They protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Essentially, antioxidants help to stabilize free radicals from your body and the environment, averting skin damage in the process
Anti-ageing creams infused with CBD also diminish skin imperfections, for example, wrinkles and fine lines. Fighting free radical damage also helps in brightening dull skin tone.
Cannabis for Eczema and Psoriasis Treatment
Marijuana extracts have microbial properties which could help in the treatment of eczema and psoriasis. These diseases make your skin itchy, dry, cracked and inflamed. In this condition, your skin is not only uncomfortable, but it is also prone to infection and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. When applied topically, or consumed in pill form, cannabinoids offer powerful anti-itch effect.
Researchers at the University of Colorado identified CBD as an alternative to steroid-based medication. The natural product provides better therapy without the dangerous side effects associated with steroid use.
Dr Robert Dellavalle
Professor of Dermatology
University of Colorado
So, when we have somebody who has tried topical steroids or topical immuno-modulators that suppress the immune system for psoriasis or eczema, and they haven’t gotten completely better, there’s a potential of using this new (CBD) therapy that might work in a different way and help them.
If you are into the THC-rich varieties of cannabis, your skin can also benefit. Scientists discovered long ago that humans have natural THC receptors. This is a fancy way of saying that cannabinoids are not foreign to your system.
See, stress triggers hormones such as cortisol which in turn stimulates your glands to produce more sebum. Overly oily skin becomes the breeding ground for acne and other skin conditions. Smoking Mary Jane stimulates increased production of neurotransmitters, making you feel better and leaving your skin looking great.
Cannabis DIY Skincare
The market is awash with cannabis products for skincare, and you can land into several depending on where you look. Alternatively, if you are into DIYs, growing your cannabis would be a good start towards maximizing your results. According to Seedsman, there are thousands of marijuana varieties, but, the trick is getting a strain engineered for the properties you are after. To get this, you will require cannabis seeds of the best quality.
When it comes to at-home remedies, the process is the same as extracting essential oils from aromatic plants. Once you have the right variety, making cannabis salve, oil or serum is pretty straightforward. Here is a simple procedure:
- Dry the leaves and mix them with coconut and olive oil.
- In low heat, boil the mixture for about 25 minutes.
- Next, filter the mixture using a cheesecloth and set it aside.
- Melt some beeswax and add the now cannabis-infused coconut oil while stirring.
- Let it cool and transfer the salve into a plastic jar ready for use.
You can use the salve as it is or combine with other products in your skincare regimen. Usual blends include infusing the salve into shea or cocoa buttercream. You can also mix with aloe vera gel for even more added skin benefits.
The use of cannabis for skincare is fast gaining popularity and for all the right reasons. The extracts are laden with anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, antibacterial and antioxidant benefits.
The combination of properties makes cannabis great at not only fighting various skin conditions but also at keeping your skin healthy and youthful. Whether you choose to buy CBD infused products or make yours at home, the idea is to make the most use of your products.
Sonia Knight is the founder of be:skinformed.
Apart from having her own experience with hyperpigmentation, Sonia has gained vast knowledge in the dermatology field. For more info on this, check out our about us page.
1 Cannabis: While the US Waits, the World Opens Up, Market Realist
2 Can marijuana help eczema? National Eczema Association
3 Hemp oil for skin, Healthline
4 Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes, The Journal of Clinical Investigation
5 Marijuana May Help Cure Eczema, According To Researchers, The Independent UK
6 Marijuana Might Be Affecting Your Skin… And Not In The Ways You Thought, The Huff Post