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The truth about skin care products with CBD


Skin care products with CBD

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is added to added to soaps, serums, creams, and other skin care products for its purported health benefits.

Woman applying cream to her face

It’s said that skin care products infused with cannabidiol (CBD) can do everything from clear acne to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Before you spend your hard-earned money on one of these products, here’s what you should know.

Misleading health claims appear on CBD-infused skin care products

None of the claims that CBD can treat conditions such as acne, rosacea, or psoriasis have been proven. Research on using CBD is still in the early stages.

Until there is enough research to support these health claims, making such claims is considered misleading. In the United States, such claims are also illegal. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent warning letters to companies making such claims.

This may seem like a hard stance for the FDA to take. It’s doing this to protect people’s health. More research is needed to know whether CBD can treat these conditions. More research is needed to know whether CBD is safe.

People often mistakenly believe that CBD is harmless

CBD-containing skin care products may seem harmless. These products are widely available. You don’t need a prescription. You may even pick up a product and notice that it says it can treat acne or another skin problem.

The FDA warns that CBD comes with possible health risks. On its website, the FDA says, “CBD has the potential to harm you, and harm can happen even before you become aware of it.”

Woman who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use any product that contains CBD, the FDA warns.

Pregnant woman using laptop

Research shows that taking CBD oil can damage your liver. This finding comes from clinical trials.

These clinical trials were run to find out whether taking CBD oil can reduce seizures in children who have rare forms of epilepsy. It can. To date, nothing else has been found to reduce or prevent these seizures. For this reason, the FDA approved a medication that contains CBD oil in 2018.

Doctors watch patients taking this medication, Epidiolex®, carefully. Patients get their blood tested often because only a blood test can find early signs of liver damage.

You cannot feel early signs of liver damage. Without blood tests, the damage can build up and cause end-stage liver disease. The only cure for end-stage liver disease is a liver transplant.

While it’s unlikely that applying a product containing CBD to your skin will damage your liver, the fact is it’s too early to tell.

We do know that some people who use CBD skin care products develop a rash. What we don’t know is whether the CBD or another ingredient in the product that causes the rash.

And that’s the point. More research is needed.

Findings suggests CBD holds promise for treating some skin conditions

Small studies have looked at CBD as a possible treatment for skin conditions, such as acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. Findings from these small studies suggest CBD may be an effective treatment for some skin conditions.

Before CBD becomes a treatment option for any condition, dermatologists say it’s essential to answer many questions, including:

  • What is the proper dosage of CBD for treating each condition?

  • How does CBD interact with other medications that a patient may be taking?

  • What are the possible side effects of applying CBD to the skin?

CBD products can be mislabeled

Findings from CBD studies indicate that some products may not actually contain the amount of CBD listed on the package.

In one study, researchers bought 84 products containing CBD from 31 different online companies. When they analyzed the amount of CBD in each product, they discovered that only 26 of the 84 products contained the amount of CBD stated on the package.

Even more concerning, some products contained a good amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that causes people to get high.

While you cannot get high from applying a lotion or lip balm, this finding suggests it can be difficult to know exactly what you’re getting when you buy a product that contains CBD.

It also suggests that manufacturers may be mixing up their plants. CBD comes from the hemp plant, which contain very little THC. You get THC from marijuana plants.

How do you feel about using CBD?

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) would like to know how you feel about using CBD-infused skin care products.


Images
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References
Baumann LS, “Dermatologic research on cannabinoids well underway.” Dermatol News. 2019;50(6):1+.

Eagleston LRM, Kalani NK, et al. “Cannabinoids in dermatology: a scoping review.” Dermatol Online J. 2018 Jun 15;24(6).

Herbst J, Musgrave G. “Respiratory depression following an accidental overdose of a CBD-labeled product: A pediatric case report.” J Am Pharm Assoc. 2020;60(1):248-52.

Mounessa JS, Siegel JA, et al. “Commentary: The role of cannabinoids in dermatology.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017;2017;77(1):188-90.

Palmer WJ. “CBD penetrates skincare: Patient interest high despite need for more data.” Dermatol Times. 2020;41(1):1+.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

Wesley NO, Talakoub L. “CBD in beauty products.” Dermatol News. 2019;50(10):44.

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