Updated: Jan 28, 2022
You may have heard CBD being referred to as the powerhouse botanical in skincare or the lifestyle enhancer in the health and wellness market and we’re here to tell you why this is true. But, before diving into the amazing benefits of this compound, we’d like to educate you on what CBD is and how CBD interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system.
What is CBD?
CBD (short for cannabidiol) is the highly beneficial, non-psychoactive compound extracted from the cannabis plant. It is the second most prevalent compound found in cannabis plants and, unlike THC, CBD does not get you high! Three types of extracted CBD exist, namely: Isolate, Full-spectrum and Broad-spectrum. CBD Isolate is the purest form of CBD, containing no other components from the cannabis plant. Full-spectrum CBD contains ALL components in the cannabis plant (including THC) and Broad-spectrum CBD contains some other components in the cannabis plant (such as terpenes, omega fatty acids and other vitamins) but typically does not contain THC.
CBD AND THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
In order to understand the incredible benefits of CBD and its interaction with our skin and wellbeing, it’s important to have an understanding of our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). To put simply, our body’s ECS is a network of receptors (also referred to as a nerve cell signalling system) that plays an incredibly important role in maintaining homeostasis (balance) within our bodies.
There are three main components involved in the ECS, namely: endocannabinoids (naturally occurring neurotransmitters), endocannabinoid receptors (cannabinoid receptors found on the surface of cells throughout our bodies – 2 primary receptors exist: CB1 receptors – present in the central nervous system; CB2 receptors – present in the peripheral nervous system and immune cells) and enzymes (responsible for the breakdown of endocannabinoids once they carry out their function). When things aren’t quite right in our bodies, endocannabinoids bind to endocannabinoid receptors, which triggers a response in our body’s ECS to target the problem.
Similar to endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids are naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis plants and other plant species. CBD is one of the most common non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids found in cannabis plants. This phytocannabinoid has the ability to indirectly regulate our body’s ECS through various receptors and acid-binding proteins. CBD therefore encourages our Endocannibinoid System to target problems, helping to restore balance in our bodies.
CBD has therapeutic potential in both the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.
HOW CBD WORKS IN SKINCARE
Our skin is our largest organ and plays an important role in immunity and protecting us from harmful UV rays. Taking care of our skin should therefore be a very high priority! Adding CBD to your skincare routine is the perfect way to do this.
Research indicates that our body’s ECS plays a crucial role in maintaining skin homeostasis and barrier function. As mentioned previously, our body’s ECS has two primary receptors (CB1 and CB2). Recent research shows that these receptors are also present in various skin cells. Endocannabinoids are therefore also known to bind with these receptors and are involved in various differing functions such as the formation and maintenance of our skin barrier, cell growth and inflammatory processes (among others). Due to the ECS’s regulatory function in our skin, it is “plausible that treatment with topical cannabinoids could be efficacious for certain disorders or skin health in general – Baswan, Klosner, Glynn, Rajgopal, Malik, Yim & Stern (2020)” - simply put, CBD has incredible properties helping to treat various skin disorders and improve general skin health.
Read our next blog to learn about the incredible benefits of CBD!
All our research has been conducted using published academic journal articles in order to provide credible information to increase your knowledge about CBD.
Baswan, S. M., Klosner, A. E., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, S., & Stern, N. (2020). Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Skin Health and Disorders. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 13, 927–942. https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S286411
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Bielawiec, P., Harasim-Symbor, E., & Chabowski, A. (2020). Phytocannabinoids: Useful Drugs for the Treatment of Obesity? Special Focus on Cannabidiol. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 11, 114. https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fendo.2020.00114
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De Pietro, M. 2020. What to know about endocannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system, Medical News Today, viewed 21 July 2021, <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/endocannabinoid>.