Lately there's been quite the buzz surrounding cannabis in skincare. With the spread of its legalization and growing popularity in skincare products, cannabis appears to be the new 'it' ingredient. But do claims of anti-inflammation and other skin benefits live up to its hype? Before we delve into it, let's first define some key players:
Cannabis (popularly known as marijuana, weed, pot...just to name a few) at its most basic is a plant. What makes it particularly unique is that it's a psychoactive plant which contains hundreds of chemicals which can cause a range of mental and physical effects, including relaxation, altered sensory perception, and an increased appetite.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of the hundreds of chemicals found in cannabis and is the primary contributor of its psychoactive effects, i.e. the feeling of getting 'high' and the munchies. CBD (cannabidiol) is another chemical found in cannabis but doesn't have the psychoactive effects associated with THC. Some evidence suggests that CBD can help reduce anxiety and depression, aid in pain relief, and reduce acne. Although CBD has been shown to be a promising treatment for pain relief, it seems to be most effective when used in combination with THC. But what about CBD and skin?
It's been long recognized that CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and anti-microbial properties. However, most of the studies that support these claims have been done in a lab on cells in a petri dish or on mice, not on actual humans. Many professionals in the scientific and medical communities believe that there isn't enough in-depth research to support the beneficial effects of CBD on skin. Because of this it's difficult to determine and regulate CBD effectiveness in skincare products that have already flooded the market. Nonetheless, brands are jumping on this trend and are creating cannabis-derived products, from lotions to lip balms.
I don't think cannabis or CBD is a harmful ingredient, but I'm not quite sure it's any more effective than other common skincare ingredients, for instance aloe vera or argan oil. Also, there's no benchmark for what amount of CBD is effective in skincare or if there is any real benefit. But if you're curious about all the hype surrounding cannabis-derived products, I say give it a try. What's awesome about skincare is that there are so many products and ingredients available for you to experiment with and ultimately discover what works best for your skin.
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