Is CBD Just a Marketing Strategy for Skin Care Products?

why would i use hemp products on my skin_

Let me start out by saying that I am not an expert on hemp, CBD, cannabinoids, etc.  I am also not giving this information as a healthcare provider and, therefore, it should not be used as medical advice.

HOWEVER, I did a significant amount of research in order to write this post.  I’m not talking Wikipedia here.  I used a college library to find peer-reviewed articles about the potential uses of cannabinoids for skin issues (see references at the end of post).  I’m going to answer 3 important questions that will hopefully increase your knowledge without getting too science-y.  Here we go:

  • Question 1 – what’s the difference between marijuana & hemp?  Nothing, really.  I’d heard for years that hemp & marijuana are completely different plants – hemp’s leaves are just shaped like marijuana leaves.  That’s not true.  “Hemp” and “marijuana” are just slightly different subspecies of the Cannabis sativa plant.  The primary difference is the use.  The plant we call hemp has a larger, more fibrous stalk than the one we call marijuana, which is valued for the flowers that contain the highest concentration of the intoxicating substance THC (up to 30%).  The THC concentration in industrial hemp is between 03.% – 1.5%, which is pretty much insufficient to create a “high.”
  • Question 2 –  what, exactly, is CBD oil?  CBD is a acronym for cannabidinol, a substance that is extracted primarily from the stalk and leaves of the hemp plant, which contains very little THC.  Pure CBD oil contains no THC and cannot, therefore, make you high.  But don’t fret!!  Just because there’s no THC doesn’t mean there are no therapeutic properties of CBD.  In fact, cannabinoids have been studied in medical research for decades, and a particular receptor site system in the skin (appropriately named the Endocannabinoid Receptor System) was identified in the late 1990s.
  • Question 3 – why would anyone put CBD or “hemp-containing” products on their skin?  This is the part that I have to suppress the geeky scientist in me to explain.  Cannabinoids are part of a group of over 60 biologically active chemicals that have been used in medicine for centuries.  However, the psychoactive properties of these substances have significantly limited their use as FDA-approved medicines.  Then, in 1986, CO2 extraction technology was developed.  It was first used to extract florals such as rose and jasmine for use  in perfumes, and was eventually expanded for use throughout the flavor and fragrance industries.  Fast forward a few years & we now have cannabinoid oil as a supercritical CO2 extraction of hemp stalks and leaves.  This was done to isolate the oil in the hemp that has been found to have beneficial properties in [limited] animal and human clinical trials.  There are many research articles out there that discuss the potential for cannabinoids to help with certain skin & immune system issues, but they all highlight the need for more large-scale clinical trials.  The good news is that the early research does show improvement in conditions that cause itching, inflammation, and pain.  Beginning in July, 2017 a large biopharmaceutic company launched a research study to investigate the effects of topical cannabinoid on epidermolysis bullosa and other potential dermatological uses.

Conclusion:  CBD oil is safe and has potential therapeutic uses when applied to the skin.  I am currently working on a relationship with a trusted supplier of a great skin care line that contains pure CBD.  Hopefully, I’ll have them available for purchase soon on!!

Please leave me a comment or question:


Hellivan, P. (n.d.). The expanding supercritical fluid CO2 extract universe. Perfumer & Flavorist. Retrieved from–flavorist-magazine.pdf

Kupczyk, P., Reich, A., & Szepietowski, J.C. (2009). Cannabinoid system in the skin – a possible target for future therapies in dermatology. Experimental Dermatology, 18(8), 669-679.  doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.200900923.x

M2 Pharma. (2017, July). InMed signs cannabinoid based skin tissue R&D agreement with ATERA. Retrieved from



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