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CBD Topicals For Skin Care: A Look at What Research Has to Say


Since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp, CBD products have definitely found their way onto retail shelves. More and more people are interested in the effects of CBD, and one industry is really digging into the trend. CBD topicals for skin care is increasingly popular, and topicals are easily some of the most popular CBD products available right now. It’s no surprise, really, since cannabidiol boasts an array of potential health benefits. CBD manufacturers are quick to let you know all the “magic” their product can do.


Although, with so many different brands at the forefront of the market, it can be difficult for the consumer to weed out the real benefits from the false, profit-seeking claims. CBD research is still advancing, and we don’t quite know all there is to know about the cannabis-derived molecule.


There are things that we do know, and luckily quite a bit of evidence exists that explains how CBD topicals may benefit the skin. These scientifically backed reasons explain why so many people have incorporated CBD topicals into their regular skincare routine, and also why so many people are quick to rave about how CBD helped them manage refractory symptoms and chronic conditions, like psoriasis or arthritis. If you’re wondering how CBD topicals could help you, take a look at what the science has to say:


Study Says CBD Has Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Perhaps one of the most consistent claims about CBD is that it has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. For many people, these claims price to be true, and there is some research to back it up. One study looked at the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids (including CBD) against many inflammatory and immune disorders. The study shows that cannabidiol not only has anti-inflammatory effects but may be able to help regulate immune cells in order to reduce tissue damage during chronic inflammation. This study shows that Cannabidiol has great potential and may have therapeutic value for inflammatory and immune disorders. These effects may make CBD and other cannabis supplements useful for managing conditions like multiple sclerosis, colitis, and other chronic conditions. Alternatively, CBD may work topically to fight inflammation at the source.


CBD Topicals May Be Useful for Arthritis and Joint Pain

Because cannabidiol may have an impact on inflammation and inflammatory conditions, many people are interested in using it to manage joint pain and conditions affecting the joints, like arthritis. Researchers are just as curious about this use for CBD, and studies have shown that it may have some benefit. One study in 2011 shows that CBD helps manage pain in mice by altering the way that pain signals are received by the brain.


Another study held in 2016 looked specifically at the impact of a topical CBD application on arthritis symptoms. The study shows that CBD when applied topically, may help lower pain and manage inflammation due to arthritis. Yet another study shows that cannabidiol not only lowers pain and inflammation levels in mice with osteoarthritis, but it may also help protect the subject from nerve damage as well.

Although all CBD products may provide similar benefits to those suffering from arthritis and other joint pain, topicals offer a targeted solution. Many people who use cannabidiol to manage pain in the joints or muscles choose a CBD topical because it allows them to apply cannabidiol directly to the affected area, and is easy to transport for repeated use throughout the day.


CBD Has Sebostatic Properties


Unlike many other studies that were done on animals or using animal tissue, one study shows that CBD has a direct impact on human sebocytes, or the cells that make up the sebaceous glands in our skin. These sebocytes, which are necessary for oil production, regulate several processes and act as part of your skin’s first line of defense against environmental factors.


Research shows that cannabidiol not only has anti-inflammatory effects on these sebocytes but can help regulate oil production. This is why many sources link cannabidiol to the treatment of oil-related skin conditions, like some kinds of acne. Many people have also found that CBD topicals help balance oil production to control oily skin. Using CBD in topical form for oily skin is popular for a couple of reasons. The CBD molecules work to stop the over-production of sebum, while other wholesome oils (like hemp of coconut) use their fats to replenish moisture and create balance.


Research on Using CBD for Psoriasis

Just like cannabidiol may help regulate oil production, its regulatory impact on the body may make it a therapeutic option for treating psoriasis. Psoriasis is characterized by a build-up of keratin in the skin and occurs when the skin produces new cells too quickly. One study shows that cannabidiol may directly affect the growth of new keratinocytes, or the skin cells that produce keratin.


By inhibiting new keratinocytes from developing, cannabinoids (like CBD) may be able to help balance keratin and control symptoms of psoriasis. Many people choose CBD topicals for managing psoriasis because it allows them to directly treat troublesome areas. Other studies have shown that cannabis may provide a great benefit even for refractory psoriasis, through both it’s anti-inflammatory effects and it’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system.


CBD Topicals for Itching and Burning

Another scientifically backed suggestion for the use of CBD doesn’t get quite as much attention. One study suggests that cannabidiol may be effective for treating itchiness and burning of the skin, at least if it’s due to one specific condition, pruritus. One study shows that 14 out of 22 people with the conditions (which is characterized by severe itching and pain) saw improvement when using CBD topicals.


Overall, CBD seemed to reduce itchiness by almost 85%. Many people find that cannabidiol is potentially useful for other conditions that cause itching, like bug bites and rashes. However, the evidence on this is inconclusive, and some of the reason that CBD may help with itching is by reducing inflammation. Plus, it may aid the healing process for “itchy” wounds and bumps by managing inflammation and protecting against outside factors.


CBD for Staph Infection and Bacteria

Studies have shown that cannabidiol may protect against environmental factors in a number of ways, one of which is by eliminating bacteria on the skin’s surface. In fact, one study shows that cannabidiol was effective against an antibiotic-resistant strain of methicillan-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. This type of bacteria is often found on the skin and does not respond to many medications.


However, research shows that cannabidiol can kill MRSA bacteria due to the antimicrobial benefit of the cannabis plant. In general, the antibacterial effects of cannabinoids are widely accepted. More research is needed, but cannabidiol may also be useful for killing other types of topical bacteria, which is why it's useful in many topical forms, like healing salve and CBD deoderant.


CBD Topicals for Protecting the Skin

Alongside it’s potential for protecting the skin against bacteria, CBD may play another role in protecting the skin from environmental factors. Studies show that cannabidiol helps regulate melanogenesis, the process in which melanin is made. Melanin, the chemical that causes the skin to darken after sun exposure, protects the skin. Melanogenesis is one process that is vital to the skin for protection against environmental stress, like harmful UV rays and other oxidative factors that may cause harm.


Furthermore, cannabidiol has been identified as an antioxidant. This means that it fights free-radicals in the skin to prevent tissue damage, which often shows up as signs of aging, like wrinkles. Overall, CBD may provide a range of protective properties when used in a regular skincare routine.


CBD for Regulatory Processes in the Skin

Although there are many studies specifically looking at the beneficial impact of CBD on certain conditions and symptoms, the general effects of CBD should not be overlooked. Cannabidiol reacts with the body through the endocannabinoid system, a bodily system that is responsible for multiple vital processes, like maintaining homeostasis, regulation cellular production, sebum production, hormone production, and more. According to research, the endocannabinoid system has an impact on conditions ranging from inflammatory disorders to obesity, cancer, pain levels, gastrointestinal functions, and more.


The endocannabinoid system is made up of millions of CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, which are placed throughout all of the major organs, including the skin. These receptors are how CBD is able to interact with the body to help regulate the processes. Studies show that many of these receptors are spread throughout various glands in the skin, which is how CBD topicals may take effect. This is why CBD topicals may be equally as effective (or more effective in some cases) as CBD that is taken internally.


How to Use CBD Topicals for Skin Care

With all the research backing the skin benefits of CBD, there are many different reasons that you may choose to incorporate CBD into your regular skincare routine. Because the CBD industry has taken off rapidly, there are just as many options for how to do it. Luckily, most CBD topicals provide similar benefits and choosing the best CBD product for you just takes a little consideration.


Of all the CBD topicals available, some of the most frequently chosen products include CBD lotions and salves, as well as CBD muscle rubs. These applications make it easy for people who want to reap the benefits of CBD topicals, whether for health or beauty reasons. Depending on the product you choose, you can use CBD several times a day or as needed to manage symptoms.


If you are interested in CBD for your skin care routine but aren’t sure where to start, you can buy CBD topicals online to have access to a wide variety of high-quality options. Just ensure that you only opt for high-quality, batch tested CBD products, as synthetic or cheaply made products, may not work and may even irritate the skin. If you suffer from a severe skin condition or other chronic health conditions, talk to your doctor before using CBD.

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