Should You Add Cannabis to Your Skincare Routine?

You use retinoids and peptides, vitamins C, E and A as well as all manner of fruits and vegetables to keep your skin youthful and radiant — but have you tried weed? Cannabis is rapidly becoming the biggest trend in skincare, but if you don’t know much about cannabinoids and terpenes, you might be hesitant to add weed into your balanced, comprehensive skin regimen. Here’s what you need to know about cannabis’s skin benefits (and downsides) and where you can find high-quality products.

CBD for Skin

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the most common compounds within cannabis. Unlike the much more famous compound THC, CBD does not get users high, but it does seem to have some physical effects, like relieving pain or relaxing muscles. Once CBD is extracted from cannabis, it can take many forms, from topicals like lotions, balms and salves to ingestibles like oils, capsules and edibles.

Research is slim on how CBD works, especially when it comes to skincare; as yet, most funding for studying cannabinoids goes to researching their application in pain management. However, some findings have indicated that CBD has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, which can be beneficial within skincare, particularly in managing difficult skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and rosacea. It is possible that CBD will reduce skin redness, puffiness and irritation associated with these conditions, helping to improve how sufferers feel and look. If you have been diagnosed with one of these conditions, you might seek out high-quality CBD skin products from a Colorado marijuana dispensary, for example.

There are plenty of proponents of CBD in skincare, who suggest that they have identified several key benefits to using CBD topically. These benefits tend to include:

  • Regulating oil production, helping to reduce acne breakouts
  • Neutralizing damage from free radicals, which can weaken the skin over time
  • Decreasing hormonal conditions, which can cause premature aging and other skin issues
  • Hydrating, to improve skin elasticity and resiliency

Ultimately, skincare experts aren’t yet sold on the effectiveness of CBD for the masses. Some anecdotal evidence of CBD’s uses might be chalked up to other, more effective compounds, like oils, within CBD products. Though there isn’t any harm in continuing to use a CBD product that you like, you might not see much benefit by integrating a CBD product into an existing comprehensive skincare routine.

Hemp for Skin

CBD is a compound found in all cannabis plants, including non-psychoactive hemp — but that doesn’t mean hemp skin products are identical to CBD products. In truth, hemp has been popular in topicals for some time thanks to hemp seed oil, which can be cold-pressed rather easily from hemp plants.

Unlike other oils, hemp seed oil is lightweight and doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy. In fact, hemp seed oil seems to help the skin moderate oil production, which can be imperative if you typically have especially oily or dry skin. Hemp seed oil might also have anti-aging properties thanks to the linoleic and oleic acids naturally within.

In the past, hemp skin products were almost exclusively produced outside the U.S. thanks to the country’s restrictive cannabis cultivation policies, but thanks to changes to agricultural law, hemp seed oil will be easier to produce domestically. Thus, if you haven’t already seen hemp skin products, you are likely to see more in the coming years.

Recognizing Fake CBD

The worst thing you can do for your wallet and your skin is invest in low-quality, fake CBD skincare products. Because CBD has become an incredibly popular trend, many less-than-scrupulous manufacturers are creating products that purport to have CBD but actually do not. Worse, some CBD producers include dangerous compounds within their products, like lead, arsenic and formaldehyde. If you are interested in adding CBD to your skincare regimen, you need to be careful to avoid these fake and potentially toxic options.

Typically, you want to avoid purchasing CBD products from just anywhere, like a convenience store or pharmacy. Licensed dispensaries have much higher standards for cannabis products and understand how to test for quality CBD and various toxins. You might talk to dispensary budtenders about your skin concerns and research trustworthy, organic brands in your state. Then you can take advantage of the potential benefits of CBD without worrying about potential dangers.


Unfortunately, we just don’t know enough about CBD to say for certain whether you need it in your skincare. Unless you suffer from a difficult skin condition, you might not want to disrupt your current regimen with CBD; on the other hand, if you find that CBD is improving your skin, you shouldn’t be afraid of continuing to use CBD products — as long as they don’t contain toxic chemicals. Meanwhile, hemp seed oil is an exceedingly useful compound that you might seek out if you have issues with oil or dehydration.

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