While cannabinoid receptors are densely populated within the brain, there are also receptors throughout all the major organs in our body, and within the biggest organ of all: our skin. This means that there is potential for cannabinoids to treat a whole slew of skin conditions, from the relatively minor – dry skin, psoriasis, dermatitis – through to skin cancers.
And armed with growing awareness of the endocannabinoid system’s importance for human health, scientists have sought to learn whether cannabinoids, chief among them CBD, might prove a powerful new treatment source. It just might be that cannabis-based products are on the brink of revolutionizing the beauty industry as well as the healthcare industry.
A facial serum containing cannabidiol was shown to improve the facial skin appearance of every participant in a recent clinical trial. A clinical trial testing the effects of a cannabidiol (CBD) facial serum found a 100 percent overall improvement in skin appearance following two weeks of treatment.
CBD is a natural, non-psychoactive compound found throughout the seeds, stalks, and flowers of cannabis plants. It’s found in higher concentrations in hemp compared to marijuana.
After the first seven days of treatment, 85.71 percent of the women reported an improvement. At the end of the 14 days of treatment, 100 percent of the women said they noticed an improvement.
The trial also found that 80.95 percent of the participants specifically noticed an improvement in skin texture. Also, 80.95 percent of the women reportedly noticed an improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth.
Previous research has shown cannabinoids like CBD to have therapeutic value in the treatment of skin conditions like psoriasis and acne. A patent by the U.S. National Institutes of Health shows CBD to possess significant antioxidant and neuroprotective properties
Like CBD, CBG is non-psychoactive and found in higher concentrations in hemp than marijuana. Earlier research suggests that CBG has anti-inflammatory properties, may be useful for treating glaucoma, and can inhibit tumor growth.
“CBG has not been as well studied as CBD, but it’s a very interesting molecule,” AXIM chief executive officer Dr. George Anastassov told Forbes.
A study conducted in 2007 and published in the Journal of Dermatological Science determined that cannabinoids help prevent the buildup of dead skin cells and other symptoms of psoriasis. Concluded the researchers:
“Our results show that cannabinoids inhibit keratinocyte proliferation, and therefore support a potential role for cannabinoids in the treatment of psoriasis.”
In September 2013 the British Journal of Pharmacology published a study entitled Epigenetic control of skin differentiation genes by phytocannabinoids. As part of this study three cannabinoids: cannabidiol, cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidivarin (CBDV) were analyzed. In the published findings, which were characterized as “remarkable”, it was determined that “cannabidiol reduced keratin 10 mRNA through a type-1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptor-dependent mechanism”. This led to a conclusion that cannabinoids “(especially cannabidiol) have the potential to be lead compounds for the development of novel therapeutics for skin diseases.”
This 2013 study entitled Anticancer activity of anandamide in human cutaneous melanoma cells looked at how the endocannabinoid system might play a role in fighting cutaneous melanoma. The study concluded that: “these findings demonstrate that AEA induces cytotoxicity against human melanoma cells in the micromolar range of concentrations through a complex mechanism, which involves COX-2 and LOX-derived product synthesis and CB1 activation.”
This 2006 study evaluated the effects of cannabinoids on Pruritus on 22 therapy-resistant pruritus patients. The research findings concluded the following: “In 14/22 patients a good antipruritic effect could be documented. The average reduction in itch was 86.4%. The therapy was well-tolerated by all patients; neither burning nor contact dermatitis was observed.”
This 2007 study entitled Attenuation of allergic contact dermatitis through the endocannabinoid system. Looking into how cannabinoid receptors in the skin affect allergic contact dermatitis, the study came to the conclusion that, “These results demonstrate a protective role of the endocannabinoid system in contact allergy in the skin and suggest a target for therapeutic intervention”.