Cosmetici con CBD e benefici per la pelle

Cosmetics with CBD and skin benefits

The endocannabinoid system was discovered in the 90s, when the existence of an endogenous receptor system was highlighted, the key component of which is a lipid molecule of the arachidonic acid family. From then on, the interest in Cannabinoids has grown exponentially over the years.

Cannabinoids are essentially divided into three families:

  • endogenous cannabinoids, synthesized in the human body (ECB)
  • phytocannabinoids, of plant origin (PCB)
  • synthetic cannabinoids, obtained through chemical processes (SC).

Cannabis Sativa is the plant that contains cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid that does not have narcotic activity but has shown a series of potentialities through oral intake and in recent times also for the topical one. The interest of the cosmetic sector has therefore turned to the safe use of this molecule especially for some skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis. Numerous studies have in fact highlighted a protective effect of CBD against reactive oxygen species (ROS); Oxidative stress induces chronic skin inflammation and cell damage, two conditions present in atopic dermatitis. Furthermore, several studies have also highlighted a protective effect on cell membrane lipids, which would contribute to the protective action of the skin barrier.

The psychotropic component of Cannabis, THC (tetrahydrocannabinoid) acts on receptors in the human body other than those of CBD, with the known narcotic effects and which have made the cultivation of Hemp prohibited for a long time. From a regulatory point of view, in 2016 the cultivation of Cannabis became legal in Italy with the law of 02 December No. 242, provided that the content of the cannabinoid with psychotropic effect, THC, does not exceed the concentration of 0.2% in the inflorescence per sellers and 0.6% for farmers. This law refers to the cultivation of hemp for industrial use, including cosmetics and not for pharmaceutical use. Hemp with a THC concentration < 0.2% in the flower is not considered narcotic.

Properties and skin benefits of CBD cosmetics

In 2021 CBD derived from Cannabis was included in the COSING (Cosmetic Ingredients database), the European Commission's database for information on cosmetic ingredients. This represented a great evolution in the cosmetic sector, because until then only CBD of synthetic origin was recognized in the European Union. The recognition of the ingredient of vegetable origin is leading the market to an impetus towards the use of this raw material, which has many potential uses. In fact, there are many receptors for CBD on the skin, involved not only in the skin barrier function, but also in the inflammatory, immune response and in apoptosis (programmed cell death).

The uses and effectiveness of CBD cosmetics in some problems

Some studies have highlighted the ability of phytocannabinoids to improve atopic dermatitis not only through the modulation of the inflammatory response, but also through the regulation of the balance of the microbiome, acting on Staphylococcus aureus.

Finally, CBD has a positive effect on skin lipid balance, resulting in an excellent cosmetic ally to counteract acne and seborrhea by normalizing lipogenesis and lipid homeostasis. The action seems to be determined also in this case by a rebalancing effect on the microbial species that colonize our skin.

CBD can be used in cosmetics as a concentrated extract or as a component of hemp oil, and in the latter case the oil is also a source of omega-3 and omega-6, polyunsaturated fatty acids that are good for the skin and contribute to its hydration.

Contraindications of using CBD on the skin

To date, there are no specific restrictions on the use of cosmetics containing CBD in pregnant women, although it is obviously important to respect the maximum THC limits allowed, the methods of advertising communication (confusion between CBD and THC in consumers must not be ) and the specific provisions of the Member States and individual countries (for example in France only certain species of plants are allowed). The interest in CBD is therefore very high in the cosmetic sector, and certainly the scientific studies underway will serve to better understand the mechanisms of action and improve the performance of the formulations.

To date, with the aim of complying with Article 3 of the Cosmetic Regulation 1223:2009, and that is to protect consumer safety as the first objective in the marketing of products, the cosmetic industry is oriented towards a THC content in traces to be be revealed in laboratory tests.

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