How CBD Benefits Your Skin

How CBD Benefits Your Skin

What Is CBD/Cannabidiol?

A constituent of the cannabis plant, the cannabinoid, cannabidiol (pronounced can’na-bi-die’-ol) or CBD, is distinct from the better known tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid that can make you high. 

While both cannabinoids are derived from cannabis, by definition CBD  comes from the hemp plant, which is bred to be taller and stronger than the shorter and bushier marijuana plant, and by definition, contains the less than 0.3% THC allowable by law.

We refer to ours as “Hemp Oil Extract” rather than simply CBD, due to its many cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other naturally-occurring healing ingredients.  

“Full-spectrum” Hemp Oil Extract contains all of the naturally occurring ingredients, including up to .3% THC, for the full “entourage effect.” 

“Broad-spectrum” extract has had the THC removed.

In the “Isolate” only the CBD remains. This is often used in manufacturing skin products since it can be better measured and controlled. By the way, you can take CBD for skin orally as well, healing it  from the inside, for an effective 1 – 2 punch. You can even apply the oral product topically. 

Plants Heal

Throughout human history, plants have been providing us with healing. Although they are often eclipsed by pharmaceuticals, many of our modern medicines are actually derived from plants. When left close to their natural state, plant medicines can provide many more benefits when compared to pharmaceuticals,  and with fewer side effects. 

Whole plant products are preferred over the isolated ingredients, since nature creates plant medicines to work as integrated systems, thereby having the greatest effect on our own systems. Most recently, we have rediscovered the hemp plant and its extract, cannabidiol or CBD oil.

Cannabidiol and the Skin

We’re learning about  the beneficial effects that cannabidiol (CBD) has for a variety of skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, wound healing, and dry and aging skin. Its mechanism of action involves the role of the endocannabinoid system that  helps balance many of the body’s systems. 

How Does It Work?

CBD maintains the balance of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), an elegant interconnected regulatory system throughout the body whose job is to help balance, modulate and communicate throughout. If your ECS is underactive, you may suffer from any number of conditions such as pain, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and more.  Along comes CBD to help to activate or increase your own endocannabinoids, bringing your system back into balance.

CBD modulates the immune system, decreasing pro-inflammatory messengers and increasing anti-inflammatory ones. This promotes needed immunity against pathogens and reduces the auto-immune response; that is, the body reacting to its own tissues.

The Endocannabinoid System and Acne

Acne is generally a result of overactive sebaceous or oil-producing glands. The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a key role in the regulation of sebum production, responds to both endocannabinoids (made naturally in our body) and plant – based phytocannabinoids, found in cannabis.

CBD works three different ways to regulate a sebaceous cell:

  • Stops inflammatory lipids like arachidonic acid
  • Stops the extra production of the cell types in sebaceous cells that lead to the overproduction of sebaceous material
  • Provides an anti-inflammatory effect2

There are other factors, too, which can increase acne. One is the overproduction of testosterone which causes excessive secretion and cell growth, which CBD has been shown to inhibit. Another factor is the overgrowth of bacteria called Propionibacterium. CBD has been shown to exhibit antibacterial properties that can inhibit its growth.2,3


Eczema is a common skin condition characterized by a red, itchy rash, most commonly appearing on the face, back of the knees, wrists, hands, or feet, but may affect other areas as well. It affects about 10 to 20 percent of infants and about 3 percent of adults and children in the US.

Newer research indicates that skin conditions like eczema develop when there is an imbalance in the endocannabinoid system (ECS)4 and suggests that the cannabinoids can help repair this imbalance by interacting with the innate endocannabinoid receptors. 

In one study of 2,500 patients with eczema, a majority experienced significant reductions in redness, scaling, itching, chafing, and thickening after regular topical use of a cannabinoid-containing cream. This study also resulted in 38.3 percent of the patients experiencing a complete resolution of itching symptoms.5  All this with side benefits rather than the side effects of the common anti-eczema medications. 


Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that produces an excess of skin cells due to the production of the cytokine Interleukin-17 (IL-17). CBD reduces the production of inflammatory cytokines IL-17 and IL-6 while increasing the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10.6 This is a great boon to psoriasis sufferers, who have had to cover up with clothing or take strong and expensive medications. They can now use a product that not only helps reduce their unsightly rash but again, has side benefits rather than side effects.

Wound Healing

There is considerable anecdotal evidence related to cannabis and wound healing. Studies show that activation of the endocannabinoid system plays a role in this process.7 Consistent application will hasten healing and reduce scarring. 

Anti-aging Skin Care

There are an increasing number of CBD-containing skin care products on the market, owing largely to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, countering the effects of aging. CBD can increase hydration, regenerate cells, and reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles.  

Dosing and Application

For skin conditions, CBD can be taken orally, in capsules, gel caps or tinctures, or topically, as a cream or oil. I recommend doing both for a faster, more complete result. Whatever is showing up on the skin is also happening inside the body, so you receive additional needed healing benefits. 

Dosing should start at around 10 mg of CBD once daily, increasing to twice daily orally, and adjusting upward as needed. Start low and slow, and build up and observe, till you get the desired response. It’s not unusual to go up to 60 mg daily. 

For a location-specific condition like eczema, you can apply the topical cannabis directly to the affected area, and cover it with a Band-Aid for protection. Improvements are typically seen in about two weeks after the first dose, although we have seen them occur much sooner.

A number of troublesome and difficult-to-treat skin conditions have been resolved successfully with CBD – part of a growing wave of applications for this amazing plant extract.

Dr. Cass’ Hemp Oil Extracts

We have our own line of top-quality, full-spectrum hemp oil extracts for skin care. Dr. Cass’ CBD- enhanced Face Oil, contains the naturally emollient emu and shea oils, making it a highly effective moisturizer. It can help reduce sun damage, skin inflammation, and the appearance of scarring, aging, and fine lines.

Directions: Cleanse as usual, then apply three (3) drops to completely moisturize. Use it  twice daily, morning

Use this in combination with our lightweight and fast-absorbing Dr. Cass’ Anti-aging Eye Serum. It blends CBD with the antioxidant vitamins C and E, as well as enriching hyaluronic acid to help smooth, soften, cool, and comfort the delicate eye area. 

Hyaluronic acid, a normal skin constituent, promotes hydration. Along with Vitamins C and E, it is also a free-radical scavenger, which neutralizes skin-aging toxins, as well as protecting against sun-damage. 

Directions: Apply once or twice daily to reduce under-eye puffiness, brighten the under-eye area, and improve the appearance of fine lines.


  1. Dobrosi N, et al. Endocannabinoids enhance lipid synthesis and apoptosis of human sebocytes via cannabinoid receptor-2-mediated signaling. FASEB J. 2008;22(10):3685¡V95.
  2. Olah A, et al. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and anti-inflammatory effects on human sebocytes. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2014;124(9): 3713¡V24
  3. Kozela E, et al. Cannabinoids Decrease the Th17 Inflammatory Autoimmune Phenotype. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology. 2013;8(5): 1265¡V76
  4. Appendino G, et al. Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study. J Nat Prod.2008;71(8):1427¡V30.
  5. Eberlein, B., Eicke, C., Reinhardt, H.W., and Ring, J. (2008, January). Adjuvant treatment of atopic eczema: assessment of an emollient containing Npalmitoylethanolamine (ATOPA study). Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology: JEADV, 22(1), 73¡V82.
  6. Biro, T., Toth, B.I., Hasko, G., Paus, R., and Pacher, P. (2009). The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 30(8), 411¡V20. 
  7. Ramot Y, Sugawara K, Zakany N, Toth BI, Biro T, Paus R. (2013) A novel control of human keratin expression: cannabinoid receptor 1-mediated signaling down-regulates the expression of keratins K6 and K16 in human keratinocytes in vitro and in situ. PeerJ1:e40


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