CBD is seemingly everywhere these days, including skin care! But with a lack of regulation around its use in skin care and how it should be listed, it’s very important to know what you’re getting and what to expect.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of the cannabinoids that occurs naturally in marijuana and hemp plants. Interestingly, CBD in hemp isn’t as prevalent, so many farmers growing hemp for CBD genetically modify the plant to increase its CBD content.
What does CBD do for skin?
The primary benefit for all skin types and all ages is anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is at the root of pretty much everything we don’t like about our skin, including acne, eczema, oily skin, wrinkles, dark spots, and redness. Our skin actually has receptor sites for CBD, so topical application can influence how skin handles inflammation. By controlling inflammation on and within skin, CBD steadily improves skin’s health and appearance. As with most plant-derived ingredients, CBD is also a good source of antioxidants.
Is hemp seed oil the same thing as CBD?
No! CBD is found in hemp, but not in the seed. It’s most concentrated in the flowering tops of hemp plants, but can also be detected in the leaves and stem—but only trace amounts or less or found in the seed. Hemp seed oil is a great source of beneficial fatty acids to moisturize skin, but it’s not a reliable source of cannabidiol.
Interestingly, CBD works best for skin when blended with oils. This helps increase its availability to skin.
But is CBD legal to use?
Yes, provided that the cannabidiol sources contains 0.3% or less of THC, the chemical compound in marijuana that is considered an intoxicant. CBD is non-intoxicating and does not enter the blood stream when applied to skin. In other words, using CBD skin care won’t result in false positive results on a drug test.
What should I look for?
In order to ensure you’re getting an effective CBD product for skin, look for “cannabidiol” on the ingredient list. This is the approved name for CBD in skin care; however, until the FDA officially weighs in and established regulations for labeling, you may see terms like “CBD oil”, “CBD-enriched hemp”, or just “CBD”, as this is the more familiar term to consumers.
Some CBD skin care lists its CBD content in milligrams. This can be helpful, but at this time there aren’t established concentrations to look for in CBD skin care. The milligram info can be helpful, but what counts more is if the brand has had their CBD product(s) assayed by a third party. This is special testing to verify the product contains CBD and in the amount specified. If a CBD brand does not have or will not share this info, move on!
Recommended CBD products:
Herbivore Emerald CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil ($58 for 1 ounce)
- Great mix of pure cannabidiol with hemp seed oil, other plant oils, and beneficial plant extracts
Flora + Bast Age-Adapting CBD Serum ($77 for 1 ounce)
- 300 mg of CBD in a simple, fragrance free base of hemp seed oil and triglycerides
Josie Maran Skin Dope + Argan Oil 100 mg CBD ($78 for 1 ounce)
- 100 mg of CBD-enriched hemp and non-fragrant argan oil