If you’ve noticed the acronym ‘CBD’ appearing in natural skincare circles lately, you are not alone.
Short for ‘cannabidiol’, a derivative of the cannabis plant, CBD oil is one of beauty’s biggest buzzwords and is commanding increasing interest for its numerous alleged skin benefits.
Here, we consult an expert to determine exactly what CBD oil is and whether it lives up to its much-hyped reputation.
WHAT EXACTLY IS CBD OIL?
In order to better understand what CBD is and what role it plays in skincare, we spoke to nutritional medicine practitioner, skin therapist and former director of Skinstitut, Fiona Tuck.Reported to offer a range of health and medicinal benefits, CBD is frequently spruiked as a treatment for inflammation.”Cannabidiol or ‘CBD’ oil is extracted from the flowers and buds of cannabis plants. CBD contains very little THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid commonly associated with the high known from marijuana,” explains Tuck.”It’s thought that CBD interacts with receptors in the brain and immune system to reduce inflammation.”
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CBD OIL AND HEMP OIL IN SKINCARE?
As both CBD and hemp oil are derived from the same plant, the two terms are often incorrectly used interchangeably.”CBD oil is not the same thing as hemp oil. CBD oil and hemp oil are often marketed as the same thing but CBD oil contains rich sources of cannabidiol, hemp oil contains small trace amounts of cannabidiol,” says Tuck.”To know that you are in fact buying CBD oil, look for ‘cannabidiol’ or ‘cannabis sativa seed oil’ on the ingredient label versus ‘extract’ or ‘hemp-derived oil’.”Other synonyms for CBD oil include: full-spectrum hemp extract, phyto-cannabinoid-rich hemp oil, hemp extract oil and hemp CBD.
WHAT ARE THE SUPPOSED BENEFITS OF CBD OIL SKINCARE?
While CBD oil has long been hailed for its capacity to relieve chronic pain and treat anxiety, its presence in skincare is still relatively new. As far as its alleged skin benefits go, it’s been suggested that its antioxidant-rich profile may work as a potential treatment for several skin conditions.”Due to its calming ability, adding CBD oil to skincare may potentially help inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, acne and reactive skins,” says Tuck.”CBD oil also works as an antioxidant, protecting skin cells from oxidative stress and inflammation. It may therefore be beneficial to help protect the skin from fine lines and premature ageing.”
DOES CBD OIL SKINCARE REALLY WORK?
As CBD’s role in cosmetics is still fairly new territory, with the trend only picking up momentum in the last two years, Tuck emphasises that there is minimal scientific evidence to confirm certain claims.”There is limited evidence to support claims to treat skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema although research looks promising,” she explains.”These conditions can be multifactorial, so treating the condition and reducing internal environmental triggers is also important. The antioxidant and skin soothing benefits may be particularly beneficial for skin conditioning and improving general skin health. More research is required but it is an exciting area in the future of skincare.”That’s not to say there isn’t any evidence in CBD oil’s corner. At this stage, the science does support the use of CBD oil for treating chronic pain, post-chemotherapy nausea, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, making a strong case for its anti-inflammatory properties and further examination within the realm of skincare
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A CBD OIL SKINCARE PRODUCT
Not all CBD oil products are created equal. Tuck recommends paying extra attention to the ingredient label to ensure, firstly, that is in fact a CBD oil product, and that it contains enough of the ingredient to actually make an impact.”To know that you are in fact buying CBD oil, look for ‘cannabidiol’ or ‘cannabis sativa seed oil’ on the ingredient label versus ‘extract’ or hemp oil,” says Tuck.”The activity and efficacy of the product is also dependant on how much of the ingredient it actually contains, so always check the percentage of cannabis sativa oil in the actual product. Providing the correct form and dose of CBD oil is used, there are potential health benefits for the skin. I suggest to look for around 100mg to 250mg as a rough guide. If the amount is not listed, it’s likely to be there more for marketing purposes.”
IS CBD OIL LEGAL IN AUSTRALIA?
Currently, Australian laws classify CBD oil as a Schedule 4 drug. This means it can only be prescribed by a doctor for eligible patients diagnosed with certain conditions, and as such, is not yet available on Australian beauty counters. Hemp oil, however, is legally available.Once it has been decriminalised in Australia, we can expect to start seeing CBD oil appear not only in skincare, but in food, hair products, sleep aids and as medicine.The products are, however, legal in the US and the UK.Scroll on to see which CBD oil products are making waves in the international beauty world.