Updated: Jul 19
Highlighting ingredients in skincare products is basically the way products are marketed, and in 2019, following the deregulation of hemp products, we saw a spike in CBD as a highlighted ingredient. The popularity of CBD (cannabidiol) in skincare products has continued to grow, and for good reason.
What's the TL;DR of CBD vs hemp vs cannabis?
Cannabis refers to a plant genus, of which there are different species within it. For example, there is cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and so on. There are cannabis plants that are bred to have high levels of THC, while others are bred to have little to no THC, and high levels of compounds like CBD.
Hemp refers to cannabis plant strains, which contain < 0.3% THC by dry weight. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive component of a cannabis plant that "gets you high". Hemp has been used for thousands of years as fiber for clothing and paper, as well as the hemp seeds and oils for homeopathic medicinal applications - not to get "high", at all.
CBD (cannabidiol) refers to a naturally occurring cannabinoid (a classification for a chemical compound) found in the cannabis plant. CBD is just one of over 85 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and has no psychoactive component. Our bodies actually have receptors for cannabinoids, deemed our endocannabinoid system - and this system has become a highly researched area for its relation to treating many diseases. It's a new field and the preliminary results are promising!
Our body literally has an entire part of the endrocrine (hormone/body chemistry manager) system dedicated to interacting with cannabinoids, with primary pathways related to regulation of anxiety, chronic pain, and prevention of epileptic episodes.
Ok, what does CBD in skincare do?
Because CBD has shown convincing results in research trials for treating inflammation and pain, there stands reason to consider its effectiveness at reducing dermal (skin) inflammation - further, it's currently being studied for its effectivity in treating skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema to name a few! The data is new and must stand the test of time and trials, to be taken seriously, but the trajectory looks hopeful. CBD has shown to be effective in a couple of common skin concerns:
Reducing redness + inflammation
Reducing excess oil production
Reducing acne + pain associated with it
CBD also promotes collagen production, known to reduce and even reverse signs of aging. Hallelujah!
The best part? CBD is natural, organic, nontoxic, sustainable...
What's the downside? Well, the truth is, since it's been illegal for so long, there still lies ahead much more research to do to understand completely how this compound interacts with all of our systems, and what any long-term effects may be. The likelihood is that this ingredient has mostly, if not all positive effects - but we just don't know that with certainty. Yet.
A personal share: I was diagnosed with SLE (Sytemic Lupus Erythematosus) in 2018, and my mother has had the same disease her whole life, with flareups and many horrific issues attributed to the Lupus, following my birth. It's a nasty autoimmune disease that is not well understood, and can manifest in many ways. I noticed a flushing, a redness in my cheeks following my diagnosis, among a couple of other symptoms. The redness appeared to be burst capillaries... not very cute. My dermatologist recommended IPL laser to treat the redness, but cautioned that it may not be very effective since the inflammation is caused by a chronic disease. I have done IPL, and the results were great, for pigmentation, but not the redness. I began using my seventh formulation of my CBD serum (CBD Charged Serum) in March of 2020, and I can honestly say that my skin has never been in better condition. The redness in my cheeks is drastically reduced and the texture of my skin is smooth, soft, supple even!
Circling back to highlighted ingredients: I choose to focus on ingredients that work well, are nontoxic, and are sustainable for production and continued use. CBD is an effective ingredient for skincare, and it fits the bill for the purpose of eNVy: to catalyze and be part of meaningful change in a wasteful, opaque industry.
Our core standards at eNVy look like:
Transparency + education
Formulate clean skincare with effective ingredients
Minimize waste, increase recyclability of every part of the product
Bring ingredient sourcing in-house to maintain quality control and
Reduce the impact on the environment from transporting goods
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of this popular, highlighted ingredient and can now make more informed decisions about how you spend your money and what you put on your skin!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, and thanks for reading!