The cosmetic and medical uses of CBD or cannabidiol

If you like the world of cosmetics, surely you have noticed how, for a long time, cosmetic ranges made based on CBD have been appearing, which is, as explained by La Chinata, a natural, safe and non-addictive compound found in cannabis. “It is a plant that has been used since ancient times for therapeutic purposes and in which its properties antioxidants for use in cosmetics “, they point out. Taking advantage of this particular boom, we wanted to analyze the reason for its success, as well as its properties and uses, both therapeutic and cosmetic.

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A derivative of cannabis

We start, as the pharmaceutical company Mar Sieira explains, that cannabis, understood as the flowering tops or those with the fruit of the plant Cannabis sativa spp (with the exception of the seeds and the leaves not attached to the tops) from which the resin has not been extracted, it is considered a narcotic substance according to the Single Convention of 1961. “Therefore, its production, manufacture, export, import, trade, use and possession must be limited to medical and scientific purposes ”, he explains. “However, cosmetic products can be marketed that contain elements obtained from the seeds or leaves not attached to the tops of the Cannabis sativa plant, that is, the crops that are used for legal commercial purposes cannot transform the plant into flower “, clarifies the pharmacist, who also clarifies some aspects related to its name:” If the plant has more than 0.2% THC (tetrahydrocannabidol) -the substance that provides the psychotropic effects-, it is usually call cannabis or marijuana. If it has less than that 0.2%, it is called hemp in English or hemp in Spanish ”.

Taking this into account, Mar Sieira clarifies that CBD (cannabidiol), increasingly common in cosmetics, is a legal compound with various properties that we find in hemp or hemp. “This is therefore the asset that we can find in cosmetic formulas,” he explains. And add that “medical cannabis” oil It is obtained by extraction with a solvent from the female flowers of a variety of cannabis rich in CBD and, once the solvent has been removed, it is redissolved in a fixed oil (olive oil, coconut oil, or others) for use.

Also read: We analyze the myths and realities of natural cosmetics and homemade products

A little history

We review, with the help of Mar Sieira, the use throughout the history of this asset. Thus, we know that The medicinal use of cannabis goes back a long way, as it is already mentioned in antiquity, since 1800 BC, in Sumer. “Later in the” Victorian era “(1840-1900) doctors used it frequently in patients with epilepsy, although the reports are limited and even anecdotal. Its use decreases with the appearance of phenobarbital, in 1912, and even more, in 1937, with the appearance of hydantoin. To this was added, in that same year, the imposition in the United States of the ‘Marijuana Tax Act ‘, which established a tax on all actors related to cannabis: importers, producers, industrialists, merchants, intermediaries, consumers, and even specialists who for some reason prescribed it or used it in their preparations, such as dentists, doctors, veterinarians or pharmacists. In 1970, this tax was replaced by the ‘Controlled Substances Act’. This new law implied the collapse of the production of cannabis or hemp in the United States, followed by the worldwide drop in the use of this product in the paper industry ”, says the pharmaceutical company.

An asset for medical use?

It is in the 90s, when the interest in the use of cannabis for the treatment of epilepsy and other pathologies is put again. “According to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), data from clinical trials indicate that cannabinoids alleviate the symptoms of some diseases, and are often used as a complementary treatment, which means that they are added to other medical treatments instead of be used alone. Also, they are typically used only when a patient has not responded to recommended treatments for these disorders. Its main uses are as antiemetics, appetite stimulants, treating neuropathic pain, chronic non-cancer pain or palliative treatment of pain in oncology”, Details Mar Sieira, who clarifies, yes, that obviously, it is necessary to continue investigating its use before reaching conclusions that favor an approval for therapeutic purposes in the European Union, since the dependence that potentially these assets can develop.

“They say that CBD treats more than 50 health problems. So far, research suggests that CBD can relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety, pain and inflammation, improve sleep, reduce tremors and seizures, and much more. It is important to note that research in this area is still ongoing and we do not know a lot about cannabinoids and how they work. CBD acts on the body’s serotonin system, which controls moods. It also influences other signaling pathways, but we still do not understand the mechanisms of action ”, adds Inmaculada Canterla, Director of the Cosmeceutical Center ( Graduated in Pharmacy, specialist in Dermocosmetics, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Antiaging Medicine.

Also read: Dare to introduce hemp seeds into your diet

Why are cosmetic products made from CBD more and more in trend?

What is a fact is that we are facing a product that is current. “Perhaps because it was only recently that its properties, differences between hemp / CBD / THC and its different effects began to be analyzed in more detail, and to understand its applications for both health and beauty and to improve its absorption by the skin. . And also because there is more and more evidence that the benefits associated with cannabidiol (anti-inflammatory, calming, effective against pain or antipsychotic, among others) ”, says Inmaculada Canterla. “Previously, its use was mainly therapeutic and not so much aesthetic. But its benefits have also been discovered on the skin from a dermatological point of view. Although cannabidiol is absorbed through the skin, it should be noted that it does not reach our blood (like most active ingredients topically) and, therefore, does not reach the central nervous system either. Besides that CBD does not have a psychotropic or psychoactive effect (unlike THC, another of the most important compounds in cannabis) ”, he details.

What are its properties from a cosmetic point of view?

Inmaculada Canterla says that, in topical use, CBD oil for example about psoriasis reduces the itchiness it causes, and also reduces the level of inflammation.

Its topical benefits can be summarized as:

1. Antioxidant. Cannabidiol activates the receptors of our endocannabinoid system which prevents cellular oxidative damage.

2. Moisturizing. Cannabidiol oil has 14 times more fatty acids, such as Omega-3, than coconut or olive oil, making it highly nutritious for the dermis.

3. Relaxing.

And he is optimistic about its future in cosmetics: “I think it is an active principle that has come to the world of cosmetics to stay for its great benefits for the body and skin, both in its topical use and supplementation.”

Meanwhile, Mar Sieira points out about its cosmetic use (exclusively topical) that, in her opinion, “the clinical evidence still does not conclusively accompany its use. The main research points to potential anti-inflammatory effects (creams are developed for use in athletes and for this purpose), antioxidants, in anti-aging creams, oils or serums, sebum-regulating effect and, therefore, potentially for the acne treatment, and moisturizing, due to its content in Omegas 3 and 6. Faced with a possible appearance of allergy or interaction with other medications, it will always be essential that you consult with your doctor or pharmacist before incorporating these active ingredients into your routine ”, points out Mar Sieira.

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