We are the beginning of a new era in beauty and skin care. Thanks to Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, cannabis is getting its glow-up as a luxury wellness and beauty ingredient. Loosening of cannabis laws and the enthusiasm around emerging science has legitimised the medicinal claims surrounding CBD. There are celebrity evangelists, like Olivia Wilde, Mandy Moore, and Busy Philipps, and emerging well-designed products that look like they belong next to a bottle of Chanel No. 5.
Perhaps you’ve seen a CBD-infused version of everything from lip balm to lube, but let’s go back to basics, starting with CBD 101: What does it actually do? Can it get you high? And if not, why do people care about it so much?
What is CBD?
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is one of over 80 compounds called cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. The two most well-known of these are CBD, which does NOT get you stoned, and THC, which does. Until recently marijuana strains were bred to contain high THC because people buying cannabis generally wanted to get high. CBD didn’t pique much interest stateside until the aughts when scientists started studying the health benefits of low-THC strains of cannabis sativa – which are known as “industrial hemp” and are 100% legal across Europe.
So, can CBD get you high?
No, not at all. Which is precisely what’s making CBD so popular right now.
Why is CBD in everything right now?
CBD is the only natural ingredient know and approved by the European Commission for wonderful antagonist properties that every skin care manufacturer could not even dream of:
On the one hand, it protects against oxidation and reduces sebum due to its anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, it nourishes and hydrates deeply the skin, thanks to its strong emollient properties (i.e. it captures the moisture from the surrounding environment) as well as a high concentration in vitamins A, D and E, and a perfect balance between essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6 and 9 in the same proportions).
This explains why the word of mouth on CBD has spread like wildfire, and the education about CBD is de-stigmatising hemp and normalising the cannabis plant much faster than we could have ever imagined.
Can CBD treat skin disorders like acne, psoriasis, eczema?
Topical CBD’s most enticing attributes are its anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-killing) properties.
That said, scientists all around the world are finding more evidence that it can treat skin disorders like dry skin, psoriasis, and eczema, which is why the ingredient is popping up in so many face creams, serums, and body lotions.
“Inflammation is the root of all evil, whether that’s acne or the signs of ageing,” says New York City dermatologist Dendy Engelman, who notes that while acne rates are increasing, there aren’t many new treatment options coming down the pike.As it turns out, CBD might be the ticket to clear skin, too.
Acne is a pain in the ass to treat because of its many components: blocked pores, excess sebum, inflammation, and proliferation of bacteria. A 2014 study found that CBD helps suppress breakouts by regulating oil production by the sebaceous glands. There’s more research to be done, of course, but skin doctors are intrigued by the potential of a new non-steroidal tool in their arsenal.
Can topical CBD reduce pain and swelling?
Also, for people who can’t — or don’t want to — pop pain pills, topical CBD used in the form of balms or oils takes down the ouch level and reduces swelling. That’s why we’re seeing it in so many rubs and balms, used for achy joints or sore muscles before and after workouts, as a chicer and very effective alternative to Bengay. The same properties make CBD oil a heck of a massage lotion, too.
How does CBD work?
Our bodies actually make our own cannabis-type chemical called anandamide, also known as the bliss molecule. “CBD naturally elevates the levels of your own endocannabinoid,” says Michele Ross, the founder of the IMPACT Network, a nonprofit for medical-cannabis research and education. “Increasing anandamide in your body and brain has anti-inflammatory effects, but it also has other activities at other receptors.” Exactly what all of those are is still being worked out in the lab.
If you ingest CBD in a supplement or edible, it enters the bloodstream, pinging the body’s many endocannabinoid receptors. If you slather it on the skin, it acts only on the area where it’s applied. “It’s unlikely to penetrate deep enough to get into the bloodstream, and it tends to accumulate in the upper skin layers,” says Bonni Goldstein, a physician in Los Angeles helping with research on CBD. It’s thought that the stored CBD can provide longer-term relief.
Wait. Is CBD even legal?
Yes, if it’s extracted from industrial hemp.
Remember how we said CBD comes from the cannabis sativa plant? If the plant has less than 0.2% THC content it’s considered hemp. If it’s got more THC, it’s considered marijuana, not hemp, which makes it illegal in countries that don’t allow medical or recreational marijuana.
[Read more in our FAQ]
All of the natural CBD products coming from European manufacturers are extracted from industrial hemp and are 100% legal [Please mind it’s not always the case with import products imported from the US or China]. In your quest for the best CBD products, bear in mind the following rule of thumb:
- Use exclusively 100% natural CBD, never its synthetic alternatives, even if the price difference may be tempting. Why? Because where natural CBD has been demonstrated without any side effects as reasonable doses, we still don’t know whether synthetic CBD is safe, and in fact lot of side effects have been reported already.
- Go exclusively with options made from organic hemp such as Fyllde. Why? Because hemp is a bio-accumulator, which means it would extract heavy metals from polluted soils. And you definitely don’t want risking having lead or arsenic in your face cream.
So, what’s next in the world of Cannabis?
Terpenes! Terpenes are the part of cannabis that makes it stink (though there are some very pleasant ones like limonene, which smells citrusy, and pinene, which smells like Christmas). In a nutshell, they’re kind of like the essential oils of weed and they could multiply the effects of CBD throughout the body.
Convinced, you want to give it a try? Don’t hesitate to visit Fyllde – we offer the highest quality CBD balms and oil in Europe made exclusively from organic hemp – and we deliver for free anywhere in Europe from 50 EUR / GBP / CHF!