Chances are you’ve probably tried using cannabis at some point in your life (according to a 2001 poll conducted by the US Department of Health & Human Services, over 40% of Americans have), but have you ever used it on your skin? Today, countless cannabis companies are popping up in states where the substance has been legalized either medically or recreationally, and that means that more and more interesting applications for the plant are being discovered and normalized. As it turns out - and as history shows - cannabis is an incredible health ingredient touting properties like anti-inflammation, anti-anxiety, analgesia (relief from pain), and a whole lot more.
The previously-prohibited plant has been proven to help treat a number of different human ailments and is thankfully becoming much less stigmatized as it’s health benefits are discovered and experienced firsthand by new users. Depending on which part of the cannabis plant is used, how it’s processed, and how it’s applied will determine different uses for this potent medicinal plant. Here’s everything you need to know to incorporate CBD into your health and beauty routine:
CBD is an incredible health ingredient
There are a number of different compounds in cannabis which affect the human body. These are called cannabinoids. THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) is perhaps the best known of these cannabinoids, but it’s THC’s lesser-known counterpart, cannabidiol (CBD) that is being touted for its health benefits. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive (meaning it won’t get you high) and is the true power player when it comes to cannabis’ many therapeutic benefits. CBD has been proven to help manage epilepsy seizures in young children, is often used to stimulate appetite for cancer patients, and it is suspected to be an effective anti-anxiety medicine. Because of the unique way that cannabinoids and CBD in particular are received by the human brain, the substance has the potential to become a miracle cure for some severe ailments when ingested internally.
Even when it comes to applying CBD topically, the cannabinoids can do some serious work! Topical CBD has been shown to help significantly with muscle soreness, joint pain, psoriasis, acne, and aging. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD is also perfect for dealing with joint pain and arthritis. Topically applied CBD may even have the potential to fight autoimmune diseases; not only making it a great way to handle arthritic symptoms, but to help the body heal from rheumatoid arthritis altogether. Topical CBD is effective for those suffering from psoriasis and eczema by helping to moisturize and soothe itchy, irritated or broken skin on a daily basis.
As it is received by natural cannabinoid receptors in the skin, CBD acts quickly to ease pain while simultaneously encouraging the body to be even more receptive to the endocannabinoids which we naturally produce to fight pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms. The way that CBD promotes the uptake of natural cannabinoids in the body is so powerful that some scientists say it can help cure the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.
It doesn’t stop there, folks. CBD just happens to make for incredible skin care - even on your face. When used with an emollient like shea butter the smoothing effect is kicked up a notch. Similar to the way that argan, rose, and other plant-based oils help balance oil on the skin, CBD prohibits the overproduction of sebum (oil) by communicating with the endocannabinoid receptors present in sebaceous glands. This balancing effect encourages skin repair and can help minimize wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and other signs of aging. Some scientists are even studying CBD’s potential to prevent and get rid of skin cancer. Due to being associated with THC in the past, CBD has not yet had the chance to be fully researched and tested to its full capacity, but what we already know about it is awe-inspiring.
It’s pretty crazy to think that one molecule from a plant can have such a huge range of benefits for human health, but that’s exactly why CBD is such a game changer. We love CBD for the same reasons we love shea butter - because it’s versatile, effective, and deeply nourishing for the body. Whether you use medical cannabis in other ways or not, we think that everyone should incorporate CBD into their daily beauty and health routine. Thankfully, unlike medical cannabis and products that contain THC, CBD products that are derived from industrial hemp plants are completely legal in all 50 states and have zero psychoactive side effects. With so much potential to cure what ails us, why shouldn’t it be a part of everyone’s health regime?
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Sources and further reading:
- How CBD Works, Project CBD
- Topical CBD and MS, Massroots
- Marijuana-Derived Epilepsy Drug, UCSF
- Cannabinoid & Fatty-Acid Binding Proteins, NY Stony Brook University
- Cannabidiol and Breast Cancer, AACR Journals
- Cannabidiol for Neurodegenerative Disorders, Universidad Complutense in Madrid
- Anti-depressant Effects of CBD, Federal University of Rio's Institute of Psychiatry
*Faye Lessler is a New York City based, California born advocate for sustainable living, a writer, and a community organizer. Through her blog, Sustaining Life, Faye seeks to inspire the eco-curious to keep treading down the path towards a sustainable and ethical lifestyle, while simultaneously supporting the entrepreneurs who inspire her. As an event coordinator and curator, Faye activates communities and brings people together over shared passions and thoughtful conversations.