CBD in Dermocosmetics Products


CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the main phytocannabinoids present in cannabis plants. This natural and biologically active molecule has received a lot of attention in recent years, but for what reasons?

The main reason will be related to its enormous therapeutic potential.1,2,3, being attributed analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant properties, among others already identified and that allow a wide variety of therapeutic applications13.

The fact that it is not addictive and has an excellent safety and tolerability profile when consumed5 are also reasons for the constant increase in interest, which associated with the low clinical risk resulting from drug interactions13 makes it one of the safest active ingredients.

In addition, it should be mentioned that CBD does not cause serious side effects (effects such as drowsiness, dizziness and a slight increase in temperature are attributed to it)13 nor psychotropic effects (which are linked to THC), even having the potential to reduce unwanted effects associated with the consumption of higher doses of THC4.

Finally, we should mention that CBD used in dermocosmetic products is completely natural, as it is extracted from plants. cannabis sativa L. (particularly hemp).

These are the reasons that have contributed to the CBD becoming one of the active principles that has generated the most interest at a global level. Although the availability of products with this molecule depends on the legislation of each country, we can currently find CBD in the most varied products, from medicines, to food supplements, passing through food products (food and beverages) and also in dermocosmetic products.


It is important to realize that CBD interacts with the organism through the endocannabinoid system (SE), which plays a fundamental role in various physiological processes in our body, including in various aspects of cutaneous biology. It is assumed that its dysregulation could contribute to the genesis of different skin problems10,11. Therefore, a consumption of CBD will reinforce the SE's ability to regulate the body and prevent the appearance of such problems.

We conclude then that all the therapeutic properties that CBD can offer to improve the health, well-being and balance of the organism result from the interaction with SE. Several of these properties can be very beneficial in skin care.

  • It is a strong antioxidant with anti-aging potential.
    The skin surface is always subject to oxidative damage that is caused by free radicals or external environmental factors (such as UV rays and pollution). These lead to the appearance of wrinkles, a reddish skin tone, which gives the skin a more aged and opaque appearance. The antioxidant properties of CBD, already demonstrated in several scientific studies, may help to protect the skin's surface against these aggressions, which will contribute to the deceleration of the skin's aging process, leaving it smoother and more lucid.2.
  • It has a huge anti-inflammatory potential.
    Skin inflammation is a complex and multifactorial process for which CBD can be a great help, as it offers anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce potential skin inflammation.1. This cannabinoid has shown great potential for the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, acne and eczema, having shown favorable results with limited adverse effects.6. 
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
    The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of CBD makes this active ingredient ideal for those with sensitive skin. 
  • It may reduce the sensation of pain and itching
    SE has an important role in the control of pain and itching sensations and a consumption of CBD will help to better regulate these sensory phenomena, reducing them11. With regard to pain, preliminary studies indicate that CBD may also be effective in treating pain resulting from arthritis15. 
  • Assists in combating dry skin
    Since SE plays an important role in controlling the production of fat in the skin (a decisive process in the maintenance of moisture and control of dry skin), the consumption of CBD will lead to a better regulation of this process, which will therefore prevent the appearance dry skin11. 
  • Powerful tranquilizer that reinforces the feeling of well-being
    One of the main characteristics of CBD (and one of the reasons for its widespread use in the most diverse products) is its calming action on the central nervous system (there are reports that it can even help in the treatment of anxiety)12, even if eaten topically. Furthermore, its interaction with the SE will assist in the maintenance of the body's homeostasis (ie, in the maintenance of a balanced state between the different physiological processes of the organism). All of this allows us to say that CBD, in addition to a potential calming effect that may relieve symptoms of stress, will increase the feeling of well-being.8,9.

Although all these properties have been studied, the truth is that the current literature still does not allow us to conclusively state that CBD offers all these benefits to the entire population. The existing results are in fact very promising and point out that the therapeutic potential of CBD is verified, even so more and better studies are needed to be able to definitively prove it.

However, we must mention the large number of studies to be carried out trying to determine the value of CBD (and other cannabinoids) in the treatment of some dermatological conditions, such as acne, psoriasis, utopian dermatitis, itching, and even in certain types of skin cancer. Looking at the results, it is possible to observe the tendency to conclude that CBD is an active ingredient to be taken into account and that further studies will prove it7,14.
Finally, it is important to distinguish between CBD as an isolate and hemp seed oil, as they are two completely different ingredients and have different properties (they are also the only ingredients from cannabis that are allowed for use in hemp products. in the European Union) and which often cause confusion among consumers.
The CBD isolate is obtained by extracting the leaves of the hemp plant, which is then distilled to obtain pure CBD. As the name implies, the isolate contains only CBD, any other components present in the cannabis plant (cannabinoids, terpenes, etc.) are absent.
Hemp seed oil is obtained from the seeds of hemp plants, which contain practically no traces of CBD. Of course it has a very rich nutrient profile, such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, Vitamins B and D, which help keep your skin healthy and nourished, protecting it from inflammation, oxidation and other causes of aging, but it cannot provide any benefits that are attributed to the CBD as it is not present.
Therefore, in order to have access to all the therapeutic potential that CBD offers, don't settle for products that only contain hemp seed oil, choose products where the concentration of CBD is well indicated. 
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  2. Borges R, et al. Understanding the molecular aspects of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol as antioxidants. Molecules 2013, 18, 12663–12674.
  3. Jones NA, et al. Cannabidiol displays antiepileptiform and antiseizure properties in vitro and in vivo. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 2010, 332, 569–577.
  4. Niesink RJM, et al. Does cannabidiol protect against adverse psychological effect of THC? Frontiers in Psychiatry. Vol. 4, Article 130, Oct. 2013.
  5. WHO Report. Cannabidiol, Pre-Review Report Item 5.2. 39th Meeting of the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, 6-10 November 2017.
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  8. Gaston TE, et al. Quality of life in adults enrolled in an open-label study of cannabidiol (CBD) for treatment-resistant epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, Volume 95, June 2019, Pages 10-17.
  9. Kunos G, et al. Endocannabinoids and the Control of Energy Homeostasis. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 283, n. 48, pp. 33021–33025, November 28, 2008.
  10. Tóth KF, et al. Cannabinoid Signaling in the Skin: Therapeutic Potential of the “C(ut)annabinoid” System. Molecules 2019, 24, 918.
  11. Biró T, et al. The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009 August; 30 (8): 411–420.
  12. Shannon S, et al. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019; 23: 18-041.
  13. Millar SA, et al. A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2019;85:1888–1900.
  14. Eagleston LRM, et al. Cannabinoids in dermatology: a scoping review. Dermatology Online Journal. Volume 24, Number 6, June 2018, 24(6): 1.
  15. Philpott HT, et al. Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. PAIN, 158 (2017) 2442–2451.
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