If you hadn’t heard, cannabis is big news in the world of health and as more and more countries legalise its use, it’s fast becoming big business too. Many companies that have legalised it have reported a 'gold rush' on cannabis-derived products. Australia, Greece, Croatia, Turkey and Switzerland (among many others) have all legalised cannabis for medicinal usage, whilst in America, 21 states including New York, Arizona and Florida, have done the same.
We've long known that there are also highly therapeutic elements to the cannabis plant. As more research is carried out, it's proving to have wide-ranging and powerful medicinal and health benefits, from halting seizures and epilepsy to reducing tumours in cancer patients, stopping migraines and numerous analgesic and neuro-protective effects.
Beauty companies are also getting in on the act with many using it in skincare products. Alexia Inge, CEO and Co-Founder of Cult Beauty says, “One of the reasons the cannabis plant has featured throughout human history is that our bodies have native receptors of cannabinoids (what experts call the endocannabinoid system), especially on the surface of the skin. This makes hemp extracts incredibly bioavailable and instantly absorbed by your skin to start working straight away. Cannabinoids are great for helping heal overly sensitive or inflamed conditions such as eczema, flaking, dry skin or acne,” she says, “But they also make incredible moisturisers for all those with ‘normal’ skin types."
CBD has a non-psychoactive effect, so you don’t need to worry about getting high once you apply
One brand on board with using CBD in its products is Perricone MD ; known for its groundbreaking and highly effective, clinically-tested skincare systems, Perricone MD has used phytocannabinoids (naturally-occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant) said to have anti-inflammatory effect, to improve stressed and oil-prone skin. Founder Dr Nicholas Perricone says, "We are particularly excited because cannabis extracts have a long history of counteracting inflammatory conditions and inflammation is the hallmark of the ageing process."
CBD has a non-psychoactive effect, so you don’t need to worry about getting high once you apply. There is another, sister-ingredient from the cannabis plant that pharmaceutical companies are also very interested in, which is called THC. This is very effective medically at stopping seizures but does have a psychoactive effect and is not being used in skincare.
If you are looking for an effective anti-inflammatory product that suits sensitive skin, then a product that contains CBD looks to be highly effective.
The difference between hemp and CBD
Hemp (the name for the cannabis plant) is nothing new in skincare - Anita Roddick, creator of the Body Shop first introduced a skincare range of products using industrial-strength hemp back in 1998. Don't be confused between hemp and CBD, though; "Cannabis and hemp are varieties of the same plant species, cannabis sativa. Because they share the same species name, confusion often arises around their differences," explains a report by leading cannabis market intelligence company Prohibition Partners . "Cannabis, which contains the psychoactive THC component, is derived from the flowering tips of the cannabis sativa plant, while hemp seed oil (cannabis sativa seed oil) is cold-pressed from the seeds that contain no THC and small amounts of CBD."
"Although they come from the same cannabis family, they are often incorrectly marketed as the same thing, leading to consumer confusion," the report continues. "On labelling, hemp seed oil is listed as cannabis sativa seed oil; and CBD, as cannabidiol, hemp oil, full-spectrum hemp, PCR (phytocannabinoid rich) or PCR hemp extracts. CBD oil is a more expensive ingredient compared with hemp seed oil and tends to be associated with premium-positioned beauty products."