Cannabis Skin Care: Why It’s All the Buzz
Courtney Aura Freeman
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With the advance of the Agricultural Improvement Bill, there are a frenzy of businesses gearing up to bring hemp-derived CBD skin care products to market across the US. Skincare is the largest segment of the 265 billion dollar global beauty market and some projections suggest that the global skincare market could reach 189 billion by 2024. Even more profound, studies at Grand View Research indicate that the CBD skincare market segment specifically could reach 1.7 billion by 2025.
Many cannabis businesses have already created skin health care solutions for both humans and pets. Still, consumers wonder “what are the benefits of utilizing cannabis in skin care and cosmetic solutions?” And "Will cannabis topicals get me high?”
For the beauty industry, current trends indicate that consumers are looking for an instant fix for bags or wrinkles, flawless skin, naturally-derived products and finally, personalized solutions. In short, consumers are looking for magic in a bottle made exclusively for their specific skin conditions.
While this may be a tall order, some skincare product companies such as Verböden in New York are delivering and have results to back up their claims. When seeking a more scientific skincare solution, ask the manufacturer for any research studies regarding bioavailability or clinical test results.
These types of studies can be extremely expensive, so don’t expect this type of documentation from the majority of companies at this stage in our industry development. Cannabis research is still very nascent even for cancer research and medical results are held dear by those who have invested great sums of money and time for a stake in the future of bioscience.
For minor beauty concerns, cannabis skincare such as The Gold Serum from Potency No. 710 can be a fantastic solution for reducing redness or rosacea, puffy eyes, or for soothing irritated skin.
Cannabinoids present in cannabis are known to be potent antioxidants as documented in US patent 6,630,507. This means that cannabis skincare can be effective in preventing oxidation or aging of skin cells and regular use could potentially protect against the environmental contaminants that can cause early signs of aging. According to Nishi Whitely, author of “Chronic Relief,” THC and CBD are considered more powerful in their antioxidant capabilities than Vitamins C and E. Taylor & tess has taken their CBD facial toning mist formula to the cutting edge of science adding in Kakadu plum extract, a trendy source for high-potency vitamin C, and sourcing micro-encapsulated CBD for faster absorption.
Scarring is another area of cosmetic skincare that could benefit from CBD topicals. Cannabis is conducive to healing for a number of ailments and can often speed recovery time from some serious conditions. To reduce the appearance of severe scarring, one might try a combination of a lotion that contains cannabis such as In Your Dreams by High Gorgeous with a silicon bandage to smooth the scar while it is healing. Doctors also recommend massaging scars in certain areas such as the lower abdomen to loosen the tension of the scar in an effort to minimize the appearance in the final stages.
Cannabis Topicals for Healing
For health issues, consumers are more likely to find relief by adopting a comprehensive profile of cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids; what scientists refer to as the entourage effect. When isolating compounds such as CBD or THC, one may not experience the desired outcome. In many instances, cannabinoids deliver a better experience when working in synergy with the other chemical components found in the cannabis plant.
Cannabis topicals don’t show up in drug tests and don’t have a psychoactive effect. One may find a variety of products on the market such as serums, lotions, and balms with numerous potential applications. There have been some reports of those diagnosed with Autism experiencing a calming state as a result of using skin products made with oils derived from the cannabis plant. Many women use cannabis balms on their lower abdomen during menstruation to reduce discomfort.
Because cannabis engages endocannabinoid receptors in the body and has the ability to both up-regulate and down-regulate the human body to reach homeostasis, cannabis skincare could feasibly reduce acne, especially when used in conjunction with essential oils that reduce the type of bacterium present in pores that are known to cause acne. Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum boasts 500mg of full-spectrum CBD, which could be great for targeting problem areas.
Dermatitis or general inflammation of the skin may also be treated with cannabis oil in this way. Many who suffer from Psoriasis have found relief with cannabis and some moms and dads are using cannabis balm to relieve one of the most common types of skin irritation - diaper rash.
For those who suffer from arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, cannabis topicals can be invaluable in relieving pain and in minimizing inflammation below the skin, in the joints. The same applies to tender knees, sore lower backs, or muscles the day after an intense workout. The Pain Relieving Salve from Peace of Mind is a favorite in NorCal.
Some parents are finding a moment of solace, in treating pediatric Epidermolysis Bellosa (EB), an extremely rare and sadly, in most cases terminal illness that causes severe pain, by utilizing a cannabis mist. The mist is gentle and once absorbed into the skin, reduces the painful effects of the disease. Patients should look for a cannabis oil spray or water soluble misting solution for this type of application. One example is the well-received Extra Strength Body Spray by Apothecanna.
“The beauty of using topical cannabis for skin issues like EB,” says cannabis healthcare expert Nurse Susan Marks (RN, BSN, PHN), “is the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, pain relieving, and anti-microbial properties of cannabinoids. Instead of taking Motrin for inflammation, vitamins E and C for antioxidants, Tylenol for pain, antibiotics for bacterial infection, and anti-fungals for fungal infection, just apply one whole-plant, lab-tested (for purity and quality) cannabis topical and you are covered!”
Nonmelanoma is one of the most common types of skin cancers for adults. Advanced cancer research studies are showing that cannabis can induce cell apoptosis in certain types of cancer. Cannabis oil or cannabis topicals applied locally are showing promise as an alternative therapeutic approach to pharmaceutical treatments in addressing nonmelanoma skin cancer. A THC-dominant formula is best-suited for this type of skin concern. Consult a qualified doctor nurse for the best product solution.
While everyone responds differently to cannabis consumption, the results achieved in using cannabis topicals are often more consistent. One should consult a doctor for more advanced health concerns, but for mild acne or pain relief, cannabis lotion or oils can be a viable natural solution. And it’s worth noting that many cannabis or CBD topicals don’t smell remotely like the flower. As with all health matters, be sure to consider the quality of what you put in your body for optimum beauty and health.
This is not medical advice. Please consult a physician or qualified nurse for your personal healthy needs.
Courtney Aura Freeman is a second generation cannabis industry entrepreneur, speaker, educator, and product development consultant. She works with businesses to develop cannabis products and to then, to identify sustainable and compliant packaging solutions.
Art by Mia Ohki