Is it the real thing?
When I got my make up done at Sephora this weekend, I got my skin prepped with Kiehl’s Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate, which got me wondering - is this just another skin care trend? I’ve been meaning to look into this, I’ve had quite a few patients come in telling me they have tried CBD creams for various ailments and it just seems to be EVERYWHERE. So, what is CBD exactly? Cannabinol is a non-psychoactive (i.e. will not get you high) compound found in the cannabis plant. You can find it blended in various proportions with THC at dispensaries, but what can it do for your skin?
Laboratory studies have shown that CBD can reduce inflammation in the skin and reduce how quickly your skin cells divide. There are have been some small, early studies showing that CBD can help in various ailments like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and auto-immune diseases of the skin. One caveat is that CBD is highly lipophilic (loves fatty environments… why cannabutter works so well), which is not an ideal quality for effective skin absorption. Strategies for optimal skin absorption so CBD can get to where the inflammation is still need to be developed further. I’m not so sure the cream and serums on the market now are actually getting the CBD to where it needs to be for maximum effectiveness.
Although there seems to be real potential for CDB in skin disease, most of these studies have been performed on a small scale, and there is not enough data at this point to draw any definitive conclusions. The skin care industry has jumped on these findings and seem to be capitalizing on these claims. I will remain open, but skeptical until I see strong data from studies performed on larger groups of real life patients. What about you? Any of you tried and seen results with CBD skin care products??
If you want more reading, check out this great article from one of my former mentors, Dr. Adam Friedman.