Should I Use CBD Products on My Skin?
Jan 22, 2020 Rosanna Turner
If you've walked down the drugstore aisle recently, you might have noticed a new acronym popping up on the labels of many skincare products: CBD.
CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant. Compared to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, CBD is not psychoactive, which means that ingesting it or putting it on your skin will not cause you to feel "high."
"More studies are needed to see if CBD or other chemical agents found in the cannabis plant directly improve skin quality and have other health benefits."
CBD oils, lotions, and creams are readily available in many states as over-the-counter beauty products and the market for CBD is growing fast.
How CBD affects your skin
Dr. Nima Gharavi, dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon at the Cedars-Sinai Cosmetic Dermatology Program, says CBD may play a role in hydrating the skin and have anti-inflammatory effects, so using a product that contains CBD might help with treating dry skin or certain inflammatory skin disorders.
"However, more studies are needed to see if CBD or other chemical agents found in the cannabis plant directly improve skin quality and have other health benefits," Dr. Gharavi says.
The potential health benefits of CBD
While the effect of CBD on your skin is unclear, there's a lot of interest in CBD research, Dr. Gharavi says.
"Right now, the way we treat eczema, psoriasis, and most inflammatory conditions of the skin is through the use of anti-inflammatory agents, the most common being topical corticosteroids," Dr. Gharavi says.
"Topical steroids, however, have potential side effects, particularly on thin skin found around the eyes, in the armpit area, or the groin."
If CBD can produce the same anti-inflammatory effect as a steroid without the potentially negative side effects, then the use of CBD could be an encouraging new method to treat these skin conditions.
"I'd like to see more data on how CBD, in the form of a topical agent, could have promising or comparable anti-inflammatory effects as a steroid," Dr. Gharavi says.
Are CBD products safe for your skin?
Dr. Gharavi says there's likely little harm that can come from applying a CBD beauty product to your skin.
If you experience a skin irritation, a rash, or an allergic reaction from using any type of skincare product, consult a dermatologist.