Therapeutical potential of CBD for skin health

Cannabidiol (CBD) a non-psychoactive compound from the cannabis plant have been shown to have a positive effect against many dermatological disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, pruritis, and inflammatory conditions.  

One of the important systems in our body is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). It plays the role of molecular signaling network, important for the modulation of the central nervous system and immune function in the body. Moreover, recent research has indicated ECS’s role in maintaining skin homeostasis.  

Receptor CB1 and CB2 being a part of the ECS were found not only in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system but also in epidermal keratinocytes, cutaneous nerve fibers, dermal cells, melanocytes, eccrine sweat glands and hair follicles. While cannabinoid receptors remain the primary targets for cannabinoids, they have also been shown to interact with receptors present in different types of skin cells and are involved in different functions like formation and maintenance of the skin barrier, cell growth, cell differentiation, immunological and inflammatory processes. 

Because of the important regulatory function of the ECS in the skin, it is likely that treatment with topical cannabinoids could be efficacious for certain disorders or skin health in general. Moreover, cutaneous adverse effects of cannabis remain rarely reported. Nevertheless, these days the clinical evidence focused on the effects of CBD and other cannabinoids when consumed, inhaled, or injected. The research investigating the therapeutic potential for topical applications is ongoing. 


Key words: eczema, psoriasis, pruritis, and inflammatory conditions, skin disorders, skin health, cannabidiol (CBD), dermatological disorders, topical application 

Baswan, Sudhir M, Allison E Klosner, Kelly Glynn, Arun Rajgopal, Kausar Malik, Sunghan Yim, and Nathan Stern. 2020. “Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Skin Health and Disorders.” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology 13 (December): 927–42.

Sangiovanni, Enrico, Marco Fumagalli, Barbara Pacchetti, Stefano Piazza, Andrea Magnavacca, Saba Khalilpour, Gloria Melzi, Giulia Martinelli, and Mario Dell’Agli. 2019. “Cannabis Sativa L. Extract and Cannabidiol Inhibit in Vitro Mediators of Skin Inflammation and Wound Injury.” Phytotherapy Research 33 (8): 2083–93.

Scheau, Cristian, Ioana Anca Badarau, Livia-Gratiela Mihai, Andreea-Elena Scheau, Daniel Octavian Costache, Carolina Constantin, Daniela Calina, Constantin Caruntu, Raluca Simona Costache, and Ana Caruntu. 2020. “Cannabinoids in the Pathophysiology of Skin Inflammation.” Molecules 25 (3): 652.

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