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Researchers Address Benefits of Cannabinoid Properties for Various Skin Conditions

Researchers Address Benefits of Cannabinoid Properties for Various Skin Conditions

A study published in the journal Molecules on Aug. 20, entitled “Therapeutic Potential of Minor Cannabinoids in Dermatological Diseases—A Synthetic Review,” put the spotlight on various cannabinoids as a method to help treat specific dermatological diseases.

Polish researchers Emilia Kwiecień and Dorota Kowalczuk from the Medical University of Lublin and chemistry lab, A-Sense, analyzed medical studies published in other scientific journals and found that cannabinoids “exhibit diverse pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, and anti-itch properties.”

They researched the effects of CBDV, CBDP, CBC, THCV, CBGA, CBG, and CBN, as well as CBM (cannabimovone) and CBE (cannabielsoin). “Several studies have reported their efficacy in mitigating symptoms associated with dermatological diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, and pruritus,” the researchers wrote. “Furthermore, minor cannabinoids have shown potential in regulating sebum production, a crucial factor in acne pathogenesis.”

“The findings of this review suggest that minor cannabinoids hold therapeutic promise in the management of dermatological diseases,” researchers wrote. “Incorporating minor cannabinoids into dermatological therapies could potentially offer novel treatment options of patients and improve their overall well-being.”

Within the analysis, researchers noted that specific cannabinoids were more effective at treating specific conditions. CBDV has significant anti-inflammatory properties, and can be useful to address skin issues such as itching or swelling in relation to atopic dermatitis (AD). The same properties are also found to be useful in treating acne lesions because of its “anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.”

The anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids like CBM and CBE are a “novel alternative” for conducting research. “Similarly, CBC, with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, may have a beneficial impact on the treatment of acne, psoriasis, and AD,” the study stated.

THCV “shows many promising properties in combatting acne” by reducing sebum, or an oily substance produced by the body to hydrate and protect skin. “Additionally, THCV exhibits anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help alleviate inflammation and combat the bacteria responsible for acne development,” the authors continued, noting that studies on mice have found THCV to treat “metabolic and neurological disorders.”

A well-balanced, regulated endocannabinoid system is important, and researchers made a connection between this and healthy skin. “Increasing evidence suggests that endocannabinoid signaling plays a crucial role in regulating biological processes in the skin,” researchers explained. “Many skin functions, such as immune response, cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival, are at least partially regulated by the endocannabinoid system, and suppressing skin inflammation is one of its strongest functions.”

Researchers even claim that topical applications of cannabinoids, similar to melatonin and secosteroids, could potentially “…mitigate skin aging effects through targeted interaction with receptors and enzymes.”

Kwiecień and Kowalczuk still note that more studies are needed in order to explore these observations in more depth. “The impact on the nervous system, issues pertaining to product quality and regulation, as well as ethical and legal aspects, including those concerning legality, require comprehensive consideration,” the researchers wrote. “Therefore, despite the promising therapeutic prospects, the utilization of cannabinoids, especially the minor cannabinoids, necessitates further research, regulations and a balanced approach to ensure benefits while minimizing potential health and societal risks.”

Other studies have analyzed how cannabinoids help treat common skin conditions. The National Psoriasis Foundation shows that more than eight million people in the U.S. suffer from psoriasis, which is caused by an overactive immune system that leaves raised, scaly patches on skin that itch, burn and sting. Another study published in Molecules earlier this year in February found “that there is a real future for the use of hemp ingredients in the treatment of skin diseases, including psoriasis.”

Another study published in 2020 in Clinical, Cosmetic, Investigational Dermatology found that some cannabinoids’ anti-inflammatory properties could treat eczema or AD. According to the National Eczema Association, one in every 10 individuals suffer from some form of eczema in their lifetime, and 16.5 million U.S. adults suffer from AD (which is a form of eczema).

In the case of acne, which affects more than 50 million Americans annually according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, a study published in 2022 in the Journal of Inflammation Research showed that “the use of CBD for reducing inflammation in acne is supported and should be further explored.”

There has been an increase in hemp and cannabis skincare products (both for medical and non-medical use) following the passage of the 2018 Hemp Farm Bill, although many reports began covering cannabis as the newest hot skincare ingredient back in 2016 and earlier. Since then, brands such as Lord Jones, Saint Jane, and so many more have ramped up production on CBD-based products. Eventually, some of these products made their way into major retailers such as Sephora, Ulta, and Target.

In January 2022, Martha Stewart launched her own topical CBD line with Canopy Growth, called Martha Stewart CBD Wellness Topicals, with products focused on increased strength for muscle recovery, improved sleep, and stress management.

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