• A study showed that cannabidiol (CBD) may be a promising therapeutic agent for acne due to its exerted anti-inflammatory actions(1).  
  • 2019 research published in Clinica Terapeutica examined individuals with psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and resulting outcome scars. The study hypothesized that CBD may enhance skin elasticity and hydration(2)
  • However, CBD may cause allergic reactions or drug interactions(3). Therefore, consumers are advised to speak with a dermatologist experienced in cannabis use before using CBD products.
  • A 2014 study stated that CBD may be highly effective in reducing sebum production(4). Nevertheless, there has been no specific study regarding the effectiveness of CBD-infused face masks on the skin.

How CBD Face Masks Work on the Skin 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active phytocannabinoid of Cannabis sativa. Although CBD is non-psychoactive, it exerts various pharmacological benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties(5)

A study from the journal Trends in Pharmacological Sciences suggested that the primary physiological function of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is ensuring that immune tolerance, differentiation, and survival, as well as the proliferation of skin cells, are well-balanced(6)

The study hypothesized that a disruption in the balance may facilitate the development of numerous pathological diseases of the skin, such as allergic dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, and even cancer(7).  

The ECS is made up of two types of receptors, namely CB1 and CB2. These receptors are situated throughout the human body and are configured to accept cannabinoids(8)

CB1 receptors are abundant in the CNS (central nervous system) and the brain. However, they are also present in the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive organs. These receptors interact with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), causing a person to experience euphoria(9)

Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are located on cells in the immune system. When these receptors are activated, they stimulate a response that protects the body from inflammation(10)

When cannabinoids are linked to these receptors, they spur the receiving neuron into action, triggering various cellular responses necessary for healthy functioning(11)

The human body naturally produces endocannabinoids. However, phytocannabinoids derived from hemp plants, such as CBD and THC, also effectively stimulate CB1 and CB2 receptors(12).  

Research from the Journal of Dermatological Science indicated that while CB receptors may have a detailed role in keratinocyte (skin cell) proliferation, they do not significantly contribute to the process(13).  

The result showed that cannabinoids inhibit the overproduction of skin cells and therefore supported a potential role for these compounds in treating psoriasis(14).  

However, despite the study showing promising results, it is still inconclusive. Therefore, more research is needed to conclude the cutaneous effect of cannabinoids like CBD.  

Why Use CBD Face Masks  

 As the public interest in medical cannabis increased over the last decade, CBD skincare products such as CBD sheet masks are now readily accessible.

Using a CBD face mask may significantly enhance a person’s skincare routine. Most broad-spectrum CBD products, such as CBD-infused face masks, have an antioxidant-rich blend of vitamins and minerals. 

Benefits of CBD Face Masks 

A 2020 study showed that CBD may modify the activity of antioxidants and oxidants in the body by interrupting free radical chain reactions, transforming them into less active forms(15)

An overload of free radicals in the body generates oxidative stress, responsible for aging(16)

The human body counteracts oxidative stress by naturally or externally producing antioxidants through food or supplements(17).   

Cannabidiol (CBD) has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fibrosis properties that may prevent the thickening or scarring of body tissues(18).  

CBD is a non-psychoactive constituent of hemp that may help alleviate skin issues and improve skin health(19)

Skin health is an essential aspect of aesthetics. For this reason, scientists and dermatologists try to develop various materials and methods to fulfill this goal(20).

Facial cosmetics remove sebum from the skin and keep it moist to maintain proper skin health. Among mainstream cosmetic products, facial masks are the most commonly used for skin rejuvenation(21)

Facial masks can be categorized into four groups: sheet masks, peel-off masks, rinse-off masks, and hydrogels(22)

These masks have some specific benefits for every skin type based on the ingredients used(23)

Various studies regarding the therapeutic and wellness application of cannabis have increased(24)

Jeanette Jacknin, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist based in California, said that there may be a possibility for topical cannabis to enhance various skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne(25)

Acne is a skin condition a person experiences when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil(26)

Acne can lead to blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples. Although the condition is most prevalent among teenagers, it still affects people of all ages(27)

Effective acne treatments are available in the market. However, pimples can be persistent and cause emotional distress(28)

In 2014, a research article published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation explored the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in human sebaceous gland function(29)

The study determined that CBD behaved as a highly effective agent that reduced oil production. Cannabidiol also exerted complex anti-inflammatory actions. Collectively, the findings suggested CBD’s potential as a promising therapeutic agent to treat acne(30)

A spontaneous, anecdotal, retrospective study published in the journal Clinica Terapeutica in 2019 examined 20 individuals with psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and resulting outcome scars(31)

The patients were instructed to administer topical CBD-enriched ointment to lesioned skin areas two times a day for three months(32).

The results demonstrated that topical treatment with CBD-enriched ointment improved the patients’ skin parameters. There were also neither allergic reactions nor irritants documented during the treatment period(33)

The potential benefits of cannabidiol may contribute to skincare enhancement. However, there are limited studies that examine the specific effect of CBD-infused face masks on the skin. 

The Advantages and Disadvantages of CBD Face Masks 

The Pros

  • Cannabidiol is relatively safe for use. During the 39th meeting of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, the assembly reported that CBD may not exhibit effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential in humans(34)
  • CBD is non-addictive and non-intoxicating. The compound is derived from hemp, which is legal under the United States federal law(35)
  • CBD has properties that may help alleviate skin issues and improve skin health. 
  • CBD topical application may offer a more targeted relief(36)

The Cons 

  • The CBD content in face masks may cause allergic reactions and drug interactions(37). Therefore, it is recommended to consult with a doctor before using a CBD-infused face mask
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. has not regulated any CBD products aside from Epidiolex, an approved treatment for epilepsy(38).  
  • There has been no thorough research regarding the potential benefits of CBD face masks on the skin. 

Comparing CBD Face Masks to Alternative Facial Skin Care

Chamomile and aloe vera each possess specific properties that may be beneficial as natural alternatives to skincare topicals.

For instance, chamomile has been used for centuries for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also often used to treat mild skin irritations, such as rashes and sunburn(39)

On the contrary, aloe vera is known for its skin protection, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties(40)

Just like chamomile and aloe vera, CBD may have potential therapeutic benefits on various skin conditions. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties may make CBD-infused face masks an excellent addition to one’s skincare regimen(41)

However, the studies regarding CBD’s specific impact on the skin are inconclusive. Thus, it is highly advisable to speak with a doctor experienced with cannabis use before trying any CBD products, such as CBD oil and sheet masks

Will CBD Spread to Other Parts of the Body? 

CBD topicals are not absorbed into the whole body compared to other forms like gummies, tinctures, or vape(42)

Inhaling CBD using vape pens is the fastest way to benefit from the effects of this compound. However, this method may irritate the lungs(43)

Although CBD topicals will take longer before a person sees the effects, they may be a safer approach, considering how little is known about the long-term safety of CBD(44)

How to Use CBD Face Masks 

The best CBD face mask may vary per person. They can select from a variety of CBD face masks on the market, including:

  • CBD sheet masks
  • CBD face masks in lotion, cream, and gel form 

There is no known consensus on the amount of CBD the skin needs per application. However, consumers are advised to follow the usage instructions indicated on the product label. 

Side Effects of CBD Face Masks  

Based on a 2018 article published in the American Academy of Dermatology Association, there are no adverse side effects that have been associated with topical cannabis treatment, aside from contact dermatitis that may occur with any ingredient applied to the skin(45)

Topical cannabis also does not make people high. Most formulations contain little or no THC, which has psychoactive properties(46). Therefore, CBD face masks are generally safe to use. 

A Guide in Choosing CBD Face Masks 

Consumers must only purchase high-quality CBD products from reputable brands. Buyers are advised to visit these companies’ websites and verify whether their products have concentrations and potencies accurate with what is on the product label

A third-party lab must test the brands’ best CBD products. They should also provide their customers with a certificate of analysis (COA) upon purchase.  

FAQs 

1. What is a CBD face mask?

CBD face masks are infused with CBD, a phytocannabinoid packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties(47)

The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill legalized the commercial use of industrial hemp derivatives, provided that the THC levels are 0.3% or lower(48).  

3. What are the most common skincare ingredients? 

Some beauty products, such as face masks, are infused with collagen, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, leaf extract, essential oil, and active ingredients like vitamin C

Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are well-known substances that have hydrating effects(49). Therefore, people with dry skin may benefit from products containing these ingredients. 

On the other hand, collagen may be an effective anti-aging ingredient due to its ability to boost skin elasticity(50). Thus, it may be effective in improving the look of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Meanwhile, clinical studies showed that vitamin C and E combined led to higher antioxidative protection(51)

In addition, vitamin C is known to have brightening effects(52). Therefore, this active ingredient may benefit people with acne scars, dark spots, and other blemishes caused by breakouts.  

Raspberry leaf extract, in particular, contains botanical actives that have the potential to help with hydrating and moisturizing skin(53). Therefore, the extract’s nourishing properties may benefit people with sensitive skin types

4. Is CBD oil the same as hempseed oil?

No. CBD and hempseed oil are not the same.  Cannabidiol is a predominant compound in CBD oil, while hempseed oil contains little amounts of CBD if there is any(54)

When buying a CBD topical product, like a face mask, consumers must check the ingredient list typically located at the back of the product packaging. The list must include the following:

  • CBD
  • Hemp extract
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Broad-spectrum CBD
  • Phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil
  • Hemp extract oil  

Hempseed oil is an excellent moisturizer, as shown in a study from the Journal of Dermatological Treatment(55). However, it does not have the therapeutic benefits for atopic dermatitis that CBD has

Conclusion 

Most people, particularly women, want to have perfectly glowing skin. Therefore, most skincare products promise to hydrate, moisturize, and rejuvenate the skin for a youthful glow.

Consumers interested in cannabidiol use may add CBD-infused beauty products like CBD face masks to their self-care routine. 

However, there are no known studies concerning the effectiveness of CBD face masks on various skin issues, such as dryness and acne.  

Therefore, consumers must consult with a dermatologist experienced in cannabis use before trying CBD face masks.


  1. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes
    https://www.jci.org/articles/view/64628
  2. A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30993303/
  3. Cannabidiol Adverse Effects and Toxicity
    https://www.eurekaselect.com/172430/article
  4. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25061872/
  5. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023045/
  6. The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19608284/
  7. Ibid.
  8. A Look at the Endocannabinoid System’s CB1 and CB2 Receptors
    https://echoconnection.org/look-endocannabinoid-systems-cb1-cb2-receptors/
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis
    https://www.jdsjournal.com/article/S0923-1811(06)00315-X/fulltext
  14. Ibid.
  15. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023045/#B6-antioxidants-09-00021
  16. Free Radicals, Antioxidants in Disease and Health
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614697/
  17. Ibid.
  18. A molecular basis for the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrosis properties of cannabidiol
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32885502/
  19. Ibid.
  20. Skin care and rejuvenation by cosmeceutical facial mask
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30133135/
  21. Ibid.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Public, researchers demonstrate growing interest in cannabis treatment
    https://www.aad.org/news/topical-cannabis
  25. Ibid.
  26. Acne
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/symptoms-causes/syc-20368047
  27. Ibid.
  28. Ibid.
  29. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25061872/
  30. Ibid.
  31. A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30993303/
  32. Ibid.
  33. Ibid.
  34. Cannabidiol (CBD)
    https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf
  35. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
    https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
  36. Healing With CBD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  37. Cannabidiol Adverse Effects and Toxicity
    https://www.eurekaselect.com/172430/article
  38. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
    https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
  39. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/
  40. The Effect of Aloe Vera Clinical Trials on Prevention and Healing of Skin Wound: A Systematic Review
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6330525/
  41. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023045/
  42. How to Safely Use CBD: Should You Inhale, Spray, Apply, or Eat It?
    https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/how-to-use-cbd-inhale-spray-apply-eat/
  43. Is It Safe to Vape CBD?
    https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/is-it-safe-to-vape-cbd/
  44. How to Safely Use CBD: Should You Inhale, Spray, Apply, or Eat It?
    https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/how-to-use-cbd-inhale-spray-apply-eat/
  45. Public, researchers demonstrate growing interest in cannabis treatment
    https://www.aad.org/news/topical-cannabis
  46. Ibid.
  47. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023045/
  48. H.R.2 – Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
    https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2/text
  49. The 24-hour skin hydration and barrier function effects of a hyaluronic 1%, glycerin 5%, and Centella asiatica stem cells extract moisturizing fluid: an intra-subject, randomized, assessor-blinded study
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5560567/
  50. Skin anti-aging strategies
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583892/
  51. A topical antioxidant solution containing vitamins C and E stabilized by ferulic acid provides protection for human skin against damage caused by ultraviolet irradiation
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18603326/
  52. Anti‐aging and brightening effects of a topical treatment containing vitamin C, vitamin E, and raspberry leaf cell culture extract: A split‐face, randomized controlled trial
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7027822/
  53. Ibid.
  54. The Rebel’s Apothecary
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QOnrkUAJQyilcYph8sYNptDtwsi3gZUu/view
  55. Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09546630510035832
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