Over the past few years, a lot of hype and notoriety has been built around CBD and its various products. How can it help you enhance skin appearance?

Cannabidiol, shortened as CBD, is an active ingredient in the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). The substance was illegal for many years and was legalized recently, allowing studies about it and its potential benefits. Unlike THC, another active ingredient in the hemp plant, CBD lacks psychoactive properties and does not make one high. In fact, the federally legal CBD and its products contain less than 0.3% THC, hence the lack of psychoactive effects. CBD is believed to help manage many conditions, including asthma, pain, anxiety, cancer, itchy skin, and arthritis. It is also used to enhance skin appearance, which is why many skin products feature it. Keep reading this article to know how CBD may give your skin a new glow.

Understanding CBD

Before venturing into whether or not CBD will make your skin better, you need to know what CBD is. The hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) has hundreds of active ingredients, including terpenes, antioxidants, and flavonoids. Of these, some are more active than others. CBD and THC are the most active ones, and while THC has psychoactive properties and will make you high, CBD has nothing to do with making a person high because it has less than 0.3% THC. Still, CBD has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which are the basis of its health benefits. Consequently, the substance may help relieve skin itchiness and dryness, besides solving other dermatological issues and giving your skin a new glow.

Types of CBD used for skin appearance enhancement

In incorporating CBD in skincare products, manufacturers use any of the following forms of the cannabinoid;

  • CBD isolate; which refers to a highly processed form of CBD with no other cannabinoid but CBD. It’s also called pure CBD and has no single trace of other active ingredients like flavonoids or terpenes.
  • Full-spectrum CBD; refers to the form of CBD with all the active ingredients in the hemp plant. You will find THC traces, cannabigerol (CBG), antioxidants, phytochemicals, and flavonoids in full-spectrum CBD.
  • CBD concentrate; denotes the CBD form with high amounts of THC. It is also called the high-potency CBD and is taken by those who want to ingest CBD in low doses for a short time with optimal effects.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD; has THC traces but in non-detectable amounts. Most products with less than 0.3% THC as the threshold fall in this category and are the most used products.

CBD and skin condition

One reason behind the hype and notoriety of CBD over the recent years is its role in skincare. The compound is believed to help with several skin conditions, which is why many companies now deal in skincare gels, ointments, lotion, oils, and other dietary products meant to solve dermatological issues. Here is how CBD may help boost your skin appearance;

i.                    Managing acne

Acne is probably the most common dermatological condition, with more than 75% of people suffering from it at some point in life. The condition is caused by several triggers, such as food, skincare products, infections, stress, and any other thing that can send the cells to be inflamed. Thankfully, the phytochemicals and antioxidants in CBD can help fight inflammation and acne development. In addition, CBD can prevent sebocytes (sebum-secreting cells) from producing excess sebum, which also triggers acne. Several studies support this claim, and some, like the one conducted by Mayo Clinic in 2019, show that it even enhances the healing of acne scars.

ii.                 Preventing and fighting infection

Acne can also be caused by bacterial, viral, and fungal infections affecting the skin. Infection-related acnes are especially painful and afflict the skin for longer, giving the victim many lasting black spots. Courtesy of modern research, you can now find different CBD products that will fight infectious pathogens because of their powerful antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. With no infections affecting your skin, you will enjoy a new glow.

iii.               Healing sunburns

With the climatic conditions deteriorating day in, day out, the world temperatures drastically increase, and sunburns are more severe. Are you a victim and are now nursing a red skin? There are many CBD products, especially ointments and lotions, that could help heal sunburns. According to the American School of Dermatology, CBD is quite potent and can heal sunburns, provided that the products are well-applied and the target areas not missed.

iv.               Fighting inflammation

Inflammation is a natural process through which the cells protect themselves. However, inflammation becomes a problem when cells become sensitive to themselves, spurning negative reactions. The skin is one of the body parts usually victimized by inflammation. Thankfully, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and may help manage inflammation, renewing the skin glow.

v.                  Healing common skin problems

Eczema, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, lichen planus, seborrheic dermatitis…name them all, are some of the commonest skin conditions. They share at least one thing in common- they are linked to inflammation in one way or another. Thankfully, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system’s receptors CB1 and CB2and fight inflammation, toning these conditions down. The receptors have interleukins, which serve as the body’s alarm and send signals to the immune system whenever a ‘foreign substance’ (which may be harmless or belongs to the cells but is mistaken for being foreign) is sensed. Typically, the immune response presents in the form of inflammation. CBD targets the interleukins, reduces inflammation (weakens the signals), and facilitates the healing of skin problems.

vi.               Reducing wrinkles and signs of premature aging

Admittedly, aging is a natural process, and we can do nothing to reverse it and its effects. However, signs of premature aging like a ruddy skin tone, reddening of the skin, dull tone, and wrinkles can be managed by topical CBD products. Because of their antioxidant properties, CBD products can fight free radicals, which initiate oxidative stress and premature aging. You just need to get the right product from a reputable supplier and get the skin you want.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active compound found in the hemp plant. Following its legalization a few years ago, the compound has developed a lot of hype because of its purported health benefits, including skin enhancement. CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties, which are useful in bettering dermatological conditions.

Charlotte Cremers
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MS, University of Tartu
Sleep specialist

Using the acquired academic and professional experience, I advise patients with various complaints about mental health - depressed mood, nervousness, lack of energy and interest, sleep disorders, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts and anxieties, difficulty concentrating, and stress. In my free time, I love to paint and go on long walks on the beach. One of my latest obsessions is sudoku – a wonderful activity to calm an unease mind.

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