Ok, I admit, I’ve been a little (or rather a lot 🙂 of a skin fanatic for as long as I can remember myself. I’ve been trying and testing most skincare fads that have appeared in the recent years: all the miracle-promising creams with yet another breakthrough nano-something; natural herbal and clay masks; botox, fillers and chemical peels. A few attempts did bring desired results, but most were a waste of time (and money!) and left me painfully wondering if there is an anti-age routine, which actually works… Well, all has changed when I did my research on the newest trend of CBD-infused cosmetics. Bear with me – when you read the article to the end and know what I know, you’ll probably never use anything but CBD-infused cosmetics again.
HAVE WE FINALLY FOUND THE ULTIMATE SKIN ELIXIR?
WHAT IS THE FAMOUS CBD, IS IT EVEN LEGAL?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is an extract from hemp leaves and flowers, which is legally allowed for use in the UK, Europe and USA. This recent legalization has caused a lot of confusion, and there is a lot of misinformation floating around.
One of the main points of this confusion comes from the fact that the media often uses the terms hemp and marijuana interchangeably. This makes it unclear if CBD is legal and if it causes a high. Now let’s take a closer look at this and explore what is meant by hemp, marijuana, cannabis, cannabidiol, CBD and THC.
Cannabis is the Latin, or scientific name, for the entire plant family. People usually colloquially call the the cannabis plant Marijuana, and it is mainly used to refer to cannabis strains which cause a psychoactive effect, euphoria, a so-called “high”. A lesser used reference is hemp, and it denotes non-psychoactive strains, which have been used for centuries for to make a variety of commercial products such as rope, textiles, paper, etc.
In most countries, psychoactive marijuana is a controlled or prohibited substance. Only some US states, as well as Canada, have legalized marijuana for recreational use. As to non-psychoactive hemp, however, as of the end of 2018, UK, Europe and all of the US states have instituted legislation to regulate its cultivation and allow its use as a medicine.
Marijuana causes a euphoric feeling due to the high content of the psychoactive compound called THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol. Hemp, on the other hand, has negligible amounts of THC. In fact, in order to be legally cultivated, hemp must contain less than 0.2% THC.
CBD oil, aka cannabidiol, is a natural essential oil, which is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant, and thus, CBD does not cause a feeling of being “high”.
WHY ALL THIS CRAZE ABOUT CBD?
With legalization, CBD has been steadily rising in popularity. Well, as of now, more people search for CBD on Google than for the media mega-darling Kardashian.
Media does not shy from calling CBD a solution to any problem, panacea, elixir, the cure-all. Taking a closer look at it, all this obsession does have some grounds: a wealth of very promising research on CBD appears every day.
Hemp CBD has been found therapeutic for more than 50(!) conditions ranging from acne to epilepsy as per a list compiled from hundreds of peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and PubMed, an online service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
The explanation as to how one plant extract can treat such a long and varied range of conditions lies in the the plant’s numerous – over 100 – active compounds called cannabinoids.
Actually, cannabinoids are also produced by our bodies, and we call them endocannabinoids, from “‘endo” – ‘‘internal” in Greek vs. phytocannabinoids, from “phyto” – plant.
Hemp phytocannabinoids work beneficially on the human body via the Human Endocannabinoid System (HES). HES was discovered back in the 1990s and is often called the most important discovery in human physiology in the late 20th century.
HES is not “just” another body system, like immune or digestive system. HES appears to regulate all the 11 organ systems, a system behind the systems, so to say. HES does it through sending cannabinoids to the the huge number of its receptors (called CB1 and CB2) present in every organ of the body. The main goal of HES is to maintain and control homeostasis, or a balanced, optimal condition of each organ and the body as a whole. HES regulates a wide array of bodily functions, from appetite to sleep patterns, moods, metabolism, immune response, the lifespan of cells and much much more. Given its key role, HES seems so hold the key to overall well-being and beauty.
Most importantly for skin aficionados, like me, skin is our largest organ and contains the highest number of CB1 and CB2 receptors, and thus is an important subject to the activity of HES.
Now imagine for a moment what would happen if you never took vitamin C in your entire life because the government made it illegal? Surely, after a while, all kind of problems and disbalances would arise due to vitamin C deficiency.
Already back in 2001, the theory of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CED) was put forward by Dr. Ethan Russo, neurologist and medical scientist.
Without sufficient cannabinoids in our diet, the HES may operate at less than optimum efficiency, resulting in a general decline in overall health and skin ageing. Supplementing our diets with full spectrum phytocannabinoids may be an essential component to achieving optimal health and skin regeneration.
WHAT CAN CBD DO FOR YOUR SKIN?
Along with the incredible benefits CBD brings to your overall health, what can it do in particular for reversing the signs of ageing? Here’re 4 unparalleled benefits of CBD for your skin.
CBD IS A MORE POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANT THAN BOTH VITAMIN C AND E
Owing to their highly-protective properties, vitamins C and E get blended into every leading cosmetics formulas, and many brands offer exclusive vitamin formulas altogether. Well, a study, which was carried out already in 1998, reported that “cannabidiol was more protective against glutamate neurotoxicity than either ascorbate (vitamin C) or α-tocopherol (vitamin A), indicating it to be a potent antioxidant”.
To put it simply, antioxidants are the front line of defence used by our bodies against the ageing process caused by free-radical molecules that attack and destroy our healthy cells. We cannot escape free radicals, as they are a part of our interaction with life, originating through breathing, eating, sun exposure and even physical exercise. But each of us can try to maximally reduce their damage by eating a clean diet, supplementing with antioxidants, such as CBD, and using a protective external shield in the form of CBD oil. Such a shield protects against a number of environmental nasties like air pollutants, car exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, etc.
CBD IS THE ULTIMATE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
CBD possesses very strong anti-inflammatory properties and is steadily becoming a go-to remedy for alleviating inflammation of such a serious disease as rheumatoid arthritis. Acne is caused by local inflammation of skin hair follicles, and CBD’s hallmark soothing qualities can help diminish breakouts, reduce irritation and redness. CBD creams are reported to be effective against arthritis that originates from deep inside the joints, so imagine how effective CBD can be for more superficial inflammation at skin level!
Remember the HES? According to a 2014 study, the HES helps to control skin cell growth and oil gland production. This same study, as well as another presentation from the American Academy of Dermatology, reported that CBD taken orally and topically helped regulate production in the oil-producing glands as well as decrease inflammation, both of which are primary causes of acne.
Also, my own experience suggests that CBD is a powerful healing agent: a couple of times I had broken blisters with skin peeling-off – I applied CBD oil on them and the skin regenerated almost completely to a healthy pinky layer in record 2 days! And all that in the very humid and hot climate I lived. I literally could not believe my eyes!
CBD IS A MUSCLE RELAXANT
Do you notice how over time our most often-used face expressions result in wrinkles? This is because of a specific and highly individual pattern of strong muscles, which develops around certain areas. Botox injections chemically block nerve endings going to the muscles to prevent them from contracting. And the injections help! For three months or so. Well, CBD is certainly not nearly as abrupt in its effect as botox, but it also has fewer side-effects and is much cheaper. CBD has very powerful calming effects for the nervous system when taken orally, and apparently acts similarly on muscles. While CBD alone works well for aiding muscle relaxation, studies in mice, including 2010 research published in Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, have demonstrated that an equal combination of THC and CBD is even more effective. (I am not recommending you run out and smoke marijuana, but merely stating what the research shows.)
A fundamental benefit of more relaxed muscles is an increased and more consistent delivery of nutrients and better elimination of waste from skin cells and intercellular skin space. Such a boost of beauty from within the skin, coupled with a regular external exfoliation, gradually reveal a clear, radiant complexion, the thought-after porcelain-like skin with high light reflective properties. And all this, without the needle and blood unpleasantness of a botox visit to a beautician, but simply through the application of an all-natural plant extract that comes as a gift directly from mother nature herself.
CBD RESTORES OPTIMUM SKIN CONDITION
The health and appearance of the skin depend on the correct functioning of sebaceous glands in the dermis as well as ample production of elastin and collagen. Too much or too little oil produced by the glands either cause acne or make skin dry and fragile. As all cannabinoids do, CBD regulates, or brings in, the optimum state of homeostasis to all the living tissues of our body. As the skin has the largest number of cannabinoid receptors, CBD can interact with skin in a very effective manner and thereby adjust oil production levels. This how cannabinoids were found to address even very serious medical conditions of psoriasis or eczema. It is possible that this connection can also explain why CBD can benefit ageing skin, also regulating the production of elastin and collagen and helping it to look more youthful and naturally refreshed.
Wrinkles arise primarily through continued stress and constant tension expressed in certain areas of the face. CBD is now overwhelmingly taken orally to reduce stress, anxiety and tension as well as to get a deeper and longer sleep. And what can possibly be more beneficial to generate the glow in your skin than a calm, serene, relaxed, well-rested nervous system? In addition to using CBD skin, it also makes sense to consider taking CBD extract orally for a powerful synergistic effect.
HOW TO CHOOSE CBD FOR ANTI-AGEING?
Now that you are convinced or at the very least curious about the paramount importance of hemp CBD for your skin, the question arises – how to choose the right CBD cosmetics.
Here I am going to ask you to consider something unorthodox and try to go back to basics. When switching to CBD, do yourself a favour and try, for at least 3-4 weeks not to use all the complex chemically-loaded formulas of premier cosmetics brands, and go for 100% simple all-natural plant CBD extract oil.
Why? Our skin is a living organ and absorbs everything we put on it. The stuff you put on your skin actually gets inside of your body. I once sat and read a long list of chemical ingredients on my $199 face cream, which I bought 2 years ago: parafinum liquidum, glycerin, caprilic trigliceride, glyceryl stearate, alcohol denat, stearic acid, dimethicon, persea gratissima, myristyl alcohol, tocopheril acetate, sodium carbomer, methylparaben, butylparaben, and etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.
I am wondering, can I actually spread this super advanced formula on my toast and eat it without getting sick? I don’t think so. It has too many chemicals that I don’t understand, and my body wouldn’t probably be able to digest either. Some of those chemicals may be ok(ish), but most of them would be just a burden for my body and skin.
On that day I decided to go the natural way – I started using CBD extract hemp seed oil. It contains only two ingredients – organic purified cold-pressed hemp seed oil and CBD extract obtained from organic hemp leaves and flowers. And it seems to be solving my skin problems perfectly! Even better than $199 cream! And since I can eat it, it’s perfectly safe for my skin too. No harmful preservatives and chemicals!
To conclude, if you’re looking for a way to slow down or even reverse your signs of ageing, then try CBD extract – it may prove to work wonders for you. This may seem too good to be true, but remember this amazing extract has the power to treat over 50(!) diseases. In the beauty world, CBD yet seems to be the less spoken-about option, and I just wonder can it be because the wide publication and acceptance of this information would put many cosmetics companies out of business?
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