While the anecdotal evidence is certainly persuasive, more research is necessary to truly understand the topical benefits of CBD products. Unfortunately, because cannabis was considered a Schedule I drug, meaning it is defined as having no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse, it was not readily available for research. Thanks to a new use as a treatment for certain forms of epilepsy, CBD drugs with a THC content below .01 percent have been downgraded to a Schedule V on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Controlled Substances Act. Only time will tell how this change will impact future studies.
“The research being done on CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties is fruitful, and the number of skin conditions that stem from inflammation are plentiful,” says Color Up Therapeutics’s Shauna Blanch. “So much of the research being done on CBD and skincare is revealing that CBD can cause a multitude of changes in our skin, each of which contributes to overall healthy skin.”
Here are a few pieces of relevant research worth exploring:
- A study in the European Journal of Pain examined the efficacy of transdermal CBD for reducing inflammation and pain. The study, which involved rats, was designed to study the effects of CBD on arthritis. Although the researchers noted a significant reduction in inflammation and pain, human studies are needed to confirm the findings.
- A study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine revealed how cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting certain glycine receptors.
- In the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the study titled, “Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and anti-inflammatory effects on human sebocytes,” revealed the potential for CBD to be used in the treatment of acne thanks to its ability to balance the production of sebum.
- A study published in Pharmacology & Pharmacy revealed the superior therapeutic properties of whole plant CBD-rich cannabis extract as compared to single-molecule CBD. In “Overcoming the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol,” researchers studied the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of the whole plant CBD.
Interested in adding a CBD line to your spa? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- “Make sure the amount of CBD contained in the product is significant and that it will have the results you are proposing it to have.”—Jean Shea, founder and president, Biotone
- “How pure is the CBD, and how much CBD is included per ounce?”—Hannah Duncan, founder and owner, Well Products
- “You need a high-quality trusted source that is regulated and approved. Your source should also provide you with the information on the parts of the plant that are being used in CBD extraction: the flower, stem, leaf, or all three.” —Francine Kagarakis, cofounder and co-owner, Lira Clinical
- “I would definitely pay attention to the supporting ingredients in the formula and if that formula is clean or if it contains fillers and other undesirable ingredients.”—Janet Schriever, founder, Code of Harmony
- “Sourcing is key. Is the company seed-to-customer, or does it receive its hemp from a third-party farm. If so, do you have testing for that? If you don’t know where it comes from, then you can’t guarantee a quality product.”—Tracee Box, owner and CEO, Nature’s Root
- “In vetting CBD products, look for proof of the extraction process with third-party certification, sustainable packaging, a small carbon footprint, consumer education events with materials and samples provided, and vendor partners that help you stay ahead of the curve with staff training and webinars.”—Kim Collier, cofounder, CBD Brand Collective