Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about cannabidiol (CBD). It’s everywhere: I first mentioned CBD here, and it popped up again here.
Just to back up, CBD is one of about 100 or so cannabinoids, a group of compounds derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. No, CBD does not get you high. That’s another cannabinoid, called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBD has definitely become the new ‘It’ ingredient in skin care. It has gained popularity because it has antiinflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) properties. CBD also has antioxidants and vitamins A, D, and E, with some essential fatty acids thrown in for good measure.
So I reached out to Hampton Atkinson, co-director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of San Diego in California. I asked him some questions about CBD as an ingredient in skin care products, and he was kind enough to respond and provide additional info about CBD as a therapy in general.
Atkinson said entrepreneurship “capitalizing on America’s love affair with the next big thing” may have led to the booming market in CBD-infused skin care. But because it has antiinflammatory properties, CBD may be useful in treating skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. “Inflammation is the root of all evil, including acne or the signs of aging,” New York City dermatologist Dendy Engelman told Allure. And it could give derms a nonsteroidal treatment option to offer their patients.
Since CBD reduces pain and swelling, it’s being added to balms and rubs used before or after tough workouts. CBD appeared to work in an animal model of knee inflammation, said Atkinson. He went on to say the researchers didn’t measure how much of the ‘dose’ of CBD that was applied actually got absorbed into the tissues.
Atkinson also said ongoing human studies of arthritis in the hands and knees used inhaled or oral formulations of CBD, rather than topically applied CBD. The most CBD gets absorbed into your system (ie., it has the greatest bioavailability) when it’s inhaled or taken sublingually (under the tongue).
And what was my experience when I test drove CBD oil and CDB body lotion, you ask? Pretty good, I’d say. I love the ShiKai CBD lotion pictured above. It feels light on the skin, so it’s nice for warmer weather when you don’t want anything too heavy. It kept my skin really moisturized, too. It was $45 at my local health food store, though.* But I would buy this again.
As far as the CBD oil goes? Meh. Let me explain. I have the creakiest knees. I climb stairs at the pace of someone twice my age. So I bought Fountain of Health CBD oil*, hoping it might help if I put some under my tongue. It helped a little, but it didn’t make that big a difference. And FYI, CBD oil tastes terrible, like you’re drinking a lawn. And I’m being polite.
The effectiveness of CBD-infused skin care products is still up in the air. The solid science just isn’t there yet. But if you want to try it, Allure has rounded up a list of 14 products to consider. Supposedly, Many Moore is a fan of the Lord Jones brand, and Olivia Wilde and Busy Philipps are fans of CBD stuff, too.
So tell me. Have you tried CBD oil or any beauty products with CBD in them? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments. I’d like to hear about your experience.
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*I bought the CBD oil and the body lotion. Opinions are my own.