Can CBD help with skin care?

  • A study published in the journal Trends in Pharmacological Sciences has suggested the existence of a functional endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the skin and implicated it in various biological processes(1).
  • CBD impacts the TRPV-1 and GPR55 receptors(2). Both receptors are found in the skin and play a role in pain signaling and inflammation.
  • Research showed that CBD exerted complex anti-inflammatory actions, which indicated that CBD reduced excessive oil production, making it a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris or common acne(3).
  • A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America concluded that CBD, as an antioxidant (anti-aging), was 30%- 50% more potent than both Vitamins C and E(4). CBD might also help reduce itch and skin dryness, as shown in a 2017 review published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology(5).
  • However, CBD may cause drug interactions or allergic reactions. Thus, consumers are advised to first consult with a dermatologist experienced in cannabis use before including CBD skincare products in their skincare regimen.

CBD Skin Benefits: What the Research Says

The numerous skin benefits of CBD make it a popular ingredient in many skincare products such as face masks, oils, creams, body lotion, balms, and serums.

What do scientists and experts say about CBD as an active component in CBD skincare products? How can CBD help the skin?

A study published in the journal Trends in Pharmacological Sciences has suggested the existence of a functional endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the skin and implicated it in various biological processes(6).

In the said study, the authors noted that the primary physiological function of the ECS in the skin seemed to be the regulation of the well-balanced proliferation, survival, and tolerance of skin cells. 

They said that the disruption of this delicate balance might facilitate the development of multiple skin problems, such as acne, seborrhea (red, itchy rash and white scales), allergic dermatitis, psoriasis (painful, dry, raised, and red skin lesions), and cancer.

The ECS, which is a network of cannabinoids and receptors, regulates most functions in the human body. The ECS also gathers and interprets signals from cannabinoids.

In one study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science, researchers isolated THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids from cannabis(7).

The researchers found that, when applied to human skin cells, the cannabinoids inhibited the overproduction of keratinocytes (skin cells) commonly seen in psoriasis.

In addition to its effects on CB1 and CB2 receptors, there is evidence that CBD impacts the TRPV-1 and GPR55 receptors(8). Both receptors play a role in pain signaling and inflammation.

The significant purported benefits of CBD in skin care seem to be linked to its anti-inflammatory characteristics, as a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology suggests(9).

A study examined cannabinoids, particularly CBD and THC, in the management of difficult to treat pain(5). The authors found that cannabinoid analgesics (pain-relievers) have generally been well-tolerated in clinical trials with acceptable adverse event profiles.

Research showed that CBD exerted complex anti-inflammatory actions, which indicated that CBD reduced excessive oil production, making it a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris or common acne(11). 

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America concluded that CBD, as an antioxidant (anti-aging), was 30%- 50% more potent than both Vitamins C and E(12).

CBD might also be useful in reducing itch and skin dryness, as shown in a 2017 review published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology(13)

Meanwhile, a study published in the journal Clinical Therapeutics in 2019 examined individuals with either psoriasis, eczema, or scarring(14).

The researchers found that CBD might help in hydrating and moisturizing the skin, enhancing skin elasticity.

How To Choose The Right CBD Products for Skin Care

The following factors are essential to ensure the safety and reliability of CBD skincare products purchased:

  1. Research on the exact legal stipulations applicable to CBD in the area where it would be bought and used.
  2. Purchase only high-quality CBD products from legitimate and reliable brands. 
  3. Research product reviews before buying from an online store. When purchasing from a physical store or dispensary, check whether the store is authorized by the government to sell CBD.
  4. Many brands selling CBD skin products list the total cannabidiol content in milligrams, sometimes further broken down per use. This piece of information is a good indicator the CBD product is legitimate. 
  5. Read product labels and know the ingredients to avoid any adverse reactions, such as allergies or skin irritation. 
  6. Look for the certification codes. Several certification authorities approve certain products only after some thorough screening tests. 
  7. Compare company claims about their products’ potency with that of the third-party lab reports. Look for the certificate of analysis (COA) of the purchased product.

Conclusion

Cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming increasingly popular in the skincare industry. With its purported skin benefits, it has now evolved into a new skincare trend. 

However, there is not enough conclusive research to validate the advantages of CBD skincare products over those that do not contain CBD. Also, other added ingredients, such as fragrance, dye, and preservatives, may bring about adverse reactions and allergies.

Thus, carefully read labels and follow manufacturer’s instructions when using CBD skincare products or CBD beauty products. 

More importantly, before using CBD skincare products to address specific skin disorders or symptoms, first consult with a dermatologist experienced in cannabis use for advice. 


  1. Bíró T, Tóth BI, Haskó G, Paus R, Pacher P. The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009;30(8):411–420. doi:10.1016/j.tips.2009.05.004.
  2. Sharir H, Abood ME. Pharmacological characterization of GPR55, a putative cannabinoid receptor. Pharmacol Ther. 2010;126(3):301–313. DOI:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2010.02.004; Costa B, Giagnoni G, Franke C, Trovato AE, Colleoni M. Vanilloid TRPV1 receptor mediates the antihyperalgesic effect of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol, in a rat model of acute inflammation. Br J Pharmacol. 2004;143(2):247–250. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjp.0705920.
  3. Oláh A, Tóth BI, Borbíró I, et al. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. J Clin Invest. 2014;124(9):3713–3724. DOI:10.1172/JCI64628.
  4. Hampson AJ, Grimaldi M, Axelrod J, Wink D. Cannabidiol and (-)Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998;95(14):8268–8273. DOI:10.1073/pnas.95.14.8268.
  5. Mounessa J et al. The role of cannabinoids in dermatology. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 77, Issue 3, September 2017, Pages e87-e88.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2017.02.056.
  6. Bíró T, Tóth BI, Haskó G, Paus R, Pacher P. The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009;30(8):411–420. doi:10.1016/j.tips.2009.05.004.
  7. Wilkinson J, Williamson E.  Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis. Journal of Dermatological Science Volume 45, Issue 2, February 2007, Pages 87-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdermsci.2006.10.009.
  8. Sharir H, Abood ME. Pharmacological characterization of GPR55, a putative cannabinoid receptor. Pharmacol Ther. 2010;126(3):301–313. DOI:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2010.02.004; Costa B, Giagnoni G, Franke C, Trovato AE, Colleoni M. Vanilloid TRPV1 receptor mediates the antihyperalgesic effect of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol, in a rat model of acute inflammation. Br J Pharmacol. 2004;143(2):247–250. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjp.0705920.
  9. Mounessa BS et al. The role of cannabinoids in dermatology. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Volume 77, Issue 1, July 2017, Pages 188-190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2017.02.056.
  10. Russo EB. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):245–259. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s1928.
  11. Oláh A, Tóth BI, Borbíró I, et al. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. J Clin Invest. 2014;124(9):3713–3724. DOI:10.1172/JCI64628.
  12. Hampson AJ, Grimaldi M, Axelrod J, Wink D. Cannabidiol and (-)Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998;95(14):8268–8273. DOI:10.1073/pnas.95.14.8268.
  13. Mounessa J et al. The role of cannabinoids in dermatology. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 77, Issue 3, September 2017, Pages e87-e88.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2017.02.056.
  14. Palmieri B, Laurino C, Vadalà M. A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars. Clin Ter. 2019 Mar-Apr;170(2):e93-e99. doi: 10.7417/CT.2019.2116. DOI: 10.7417/CT.2019.2116.
CBD Clinicals is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Featured Posts


Spruce CBD Review

Spruce is a family-owned business based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. The company was founded in 2018 in the belief that modern medicine is broken and that there is a need for alternatives to dangerous pharmaceuticals. Spruce’s lab-grade CBD oil is 100% natural and tested by a third-party lab in...

Read more

Best CBD Oil for High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Why People Are Taking CBD for High Blood Pressure? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high blood pressure can harden the arteries, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart, leading to heart disease(5). In a 2015 study conducted by researchers from the...

Read more

NuLeaf Naturals Review

Based in Colorado, USA, and founded in 2014, NuLeaf Naturals is one of America’s top pioneering hemp companies. NuLeaf Naturals wellness products are derived from specially bred therapeutic hemp (Cannabis Sativa) plants grown on licensed farms in Colorado. Their hemp CBD plants are 100% organic whole-plant extracts and grown with...

Read more

Best CBD for Neuropathy (Nerve Pain)

As medical cannabis products have become more popular, people are turning to them to treat everything from anxiety to depression to chronic pain. Individuals who are suffering from neuropathy may show interest in trying CBD oil. What Is CBD? CBD comes from a plant that is part of the Cannabaceae...

Read more

SabaiDee Review + Discount Coupon Code for 2020

SabaiDee CBD products are tested both in-house and by independent laboratories to verify the quality of every batch. Their products all come with SabaiDee’s Happiness Guarantee. 

Read more

Top 4 Best CBD Oil for Dogs With Cancer

Why Some People are Using CBD for Dogs with Cancer? An article posted by the American Kennel Club (AKC) says that there is no conclusive scientific data on using cannabidiol (CBD) to treat dogs specifically. However, there is anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting that CBD can help with neuropathic...

Read more

CBD Oil for Kids with Anxiety

Why People are Turning to CBD for Children with Anxiety? CBD has become a popular OTC treatment that parents give their children, says Doris Trauner, M.D., professor of neurosciences and pediatrics at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and a physician at San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital....

Read more

CBD Oil for Candida

Why People are Turning to CBD for Candida? Candidiasis or thrush is a medical condition caused by Candida albicans, a yeast-like fungus. This type of fungus spreads over within the mouth and throat, and it usually infects men and women alike. Certain cannabinoids, like CBD, have been shown as a...

Read more