Anyone who’s suffering from skin conditions is in a cruel cycle that affects not only his health, but his mental and emotional wellbeing as well.
Skin problems increase stress and stress worsens skin problems…and it can go on and on.
Skin problems, especially if they’re uncontrolled, can result in stress and anxiety disorders as well as depression. It can even trigger suicidal thoughts.
What are some common skin problems and what worsens them?
The most common skin problem in the United States is acne, and it mostly affects teenagers since the development of acne is usually triggered by changes in the hormones. But acne also affects adults[i] and it can persist past their middle age.
Other common skin conditions include atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, rosacea, psoriasis, chronic pruritus, and basal cell carcinoma, which is the most common of all skin cancer types.
Of these skin conditions, there is one physiological process that seems to worsen them, and that is inflammation.
Although inflammation is our body’s natural defense against pathogens and irritants, this natural and valuable defense can also turn against us.
The inflammatory process plays a supporting role in the development of acne lesions[ii]. Atopic dermatitis[iii] is a type of inflammatory skin condition. Contact dermatitis[iv] flares up because of irritants, and these irritants will trigger inflammation. If it becomes chronic, the risk of developing skin cancer becomes real.
Even in basal cell carcinoma[viii], chronic inflammation seems to play a role.
What is the common treatment for skin conditions?
To help treat these skin conditions, you need to control inflammation, so NSAIDs and other types of anti-inflammatories are often prescribed. Antibiotics, both oral and topical, may also be given to prevent or treat infections. You can also take pain medications for control of pain.
But you have to know though that these drugs, although they can control inflammation and pain, have side effects[ix] to be wary of. The risk for developing serious problems from these medications increases the longer you use them.
Sometimes, too, these drugs don’t work to control the skin conditions.
So what then are the other options left for people suffering from skin conditions?
How does CBD work for skin conditions?
What is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that is nontoxic, does not produce psychoactive effects, and has an excellent safety profile?[x]
Cannabidiol or CBD.
Let’s explore how CBD can help some of these common skin conditions.
CBD for Acne
Our body’s endogenous cannabinoids can induce apoptosis[xi] of human sebocytes (cells most commonly found in the skin) by telling their CB2 receptors to start the process of cell death. But our endocannabinoids are easily degraded so their effects don’t last long.
CBD has the ability to increase the activity of our endocannabinoids[xii], particularly anandamide, and allow them to stay longer in our system.
But CBD, by itself, can also control human sebocyte proliferation by stimulating their TRPV4 receptors[xiii] to “tell” the sebocytes to stop multiplying. Because CBD is also a powerful anti-inflammatory compound, it can help reduce inflammation associated with acne.
Want to know more about how CBD can improve acne conditions?
CBD also has powerful antibacterial properties[xiv].
CBD for Psoriasis
Keratinocyte is a type of skin cell that produces a protein called keratin, and this protein makes up the skin’s outer layer. In psoriasis, there is rapid multiplication and growth of these keratinocytes, which accounts for the skin changes associated with this skin disease. This is, of course, made worse by inflammation.
Now, CBD has the ability to stop the proliferation of keratinocyte[xv]. How it does this isn’t yet clear, but the PPAR receptors may seem to play a role since their activation has led to the inhibition of epithelial cell proliferation.
CBD for Basal Cell Carcinoma
It’s a known fact that CBD has shown the ability to control cancer cells[xvi] and prevent them from growing, proliferating, and spreading. CBD can even prevent angiogenesis, and without its blood supply, cancer growths won’t develop, spread, and invade other tissues.
Can CBD help other skin diseases, too?
The cannabinoid receptors[xvii] and the TRPV1 receptor play a role in modulating sensations like itching, pain, pressure, temperature, and more. Now, CBD can stimulate these receptors[xviii], and their activation can relieve itchiness. Plus, their activation also reduces inflammation that worsens skin conditions like chronic pruritus.
In addition to reducing itchiness, stimulating the cannabinoid receptors also caused anti-inflammatory effects,[xix] while inhibiting them led to a worsening of the allergic inflammation. CBD, with its effects on the cannabinoid receptors and immune cells, has the potential to help improve inflammatory skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and even rosacea.
CBD, because it is also a strong antioxidant,[xx] can also help protect our skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Ultraviolet radiation, you should know, can trigger the generation of free radicals by our skin cells, and these free radicals have been implicated in skin conditions like skin cancer.[xxi]
How is CBD used for skin conditions?
The best way to use CBD is to apply it topically[xxii]. Unlike ingesting CBD which can take up to an hour or two to take effect, applying it topically allows our skin to absorb it quickly, so you can expect it to take effect immediately.
You don’t need to worry about overdosing on topical CBD products. You can apply them liberally until you find relief from your symptoms. Don’t use more than you need, as this will get expensive.
Another benefit of topical CBD, compared to THC, is that it’s more easily absorbed and can easily penetrate the skin to bind to the CB2 receptors of the skin cells, thus the immediate analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Plus, topical CBD is completely non-toxic and non-psychoactive, so no “high” to worry about there.
What are the other uses of topical CBD?
Topical CBD isn’t just for the skin conditions mentioned above.
Because they have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, they also work perfectly well for general pain[xxiii] caused by muscle injuries, joint pain caused by arthritis, and minor skin irritations.
Topical CBD can also work for burns and skin infections because of CBD’s antiseptic effect[xxiv].
If you simply want healthier and younger-looking skin[xxv], topical CBD can also help you because of its antioxidant property and its effects on the endocannabinoid system[xxvi]. Stimulating this system is said to improve the health of skin cells and control any abnormalities that could develop to skin diseases.
What are CBD suppositories for?
CBD also come in suppositories and can be used for hemorrhoids and menstrual cramps.[xxvii]
Both these conditions are worsened by inflammation and cause pain, and CBD, this beautiful cannabinoid, has the ability to address both.
CBD suppositories are definitely not a popular method of use. Most people just don’t want to deal with that.
No problem. You can still use CBD for hemorrhoids and menstrual cramps via easy methods like topical CBD salves or tinctures. If you are going to apply a CBD salve to a hemorrhoid, make sure there are no secondary ingredients that may irritate the hemorrhoid. Try to find a CBD product that’s as pure as possible: just cannabinoids, compounds naturally found in cannabis like terpenes and flavonoids, and the oil or base of the topical – no extra stuff.
Can CBD cause allergic reactions?
Marijuana can cause allergies[xxviii], so if you’re allergic to the cannabis plant, it’s best that you consult with your doctor first before trying CBD for any of your medical conditions.
Be aware that some CBD topical products contain additional secondary ingredients which the manufacturer decided to add to the mix, either for enhancing the effects or to provide a good base for the lotion. Read the product label carefully to make sure you are not allergic to the CBD topical product you have. It’s a good practice to try a small amount on your skin to see if you have an allergic reaction before you start liberally applying the topical product.
A Healthier You with CBD
Here’s an interesting story I read:
Casey Scalf developed contact dermatitis[xxix] after using tea tree oil. The rash, which went on for weeks, wasn’t relieved by any of the creams his dermatologist prescribed for him. Frustrated, he did some research and found that CBD can help skin conditions. So he bought pure CBD oil and mixed it with organic coconut oil at a ratio of 1:1. After a warm bath, he applied the mixture on his rashes. He applied it for about a week and kept reports of his progress. On the 7th day, the rash was totally gone and it hasn’t returned since.
You can make your own CBD skin care cream by mixing a good quality CBD tincture with an organic coconut oil. As long as you are not allergic to coconut oil, it is a great base for a moisturizing skin cream.
Now, ladies, this one’s for you. I think you’re going to find the reviews here very helpful[xxx]. CBD worked to improve the menstrual cramps of the author. She also provided valuable tips for using the products, which you’ll find very useful should you want to try CBD out for your menstrual cramps.
Topical CBD has shown to help improve various skin conditions[xxxi] as well as general pain and body aches[xxxii], even intractable ones[xxxiii]. Numerous studies have demonstrated these effects of CBD. And the anecdotal evidence from the many personal stories about how CBD helped people make the case even stronger.
But here’s another thing worth mentioning.
CBD also has the ability to improve stress, anxiety, and depression[xxxiv] by activating different receptors. This can help address the stress, anxiety, and depression you may feel about your skin problems.
With CBD having the potential of improving not only your skin problems but mental well being as well, it’s a great supplement to try if you haven’t yet.
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[iv] Shadmehr Demehri, et al. October 8, 2014.
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