Some of the hottest, most talked about ingredients in cosmetics today are cannabis derivatives. Their use has evolved into a major skin care trend with numerous products marketed as oils, balms, creams, lotions, and facial serums. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion over cannabis derivatives related to their quality and what they legally can contain.
Cannabis-based products can be categorized as products for cosmetic/industrial application, or medicinal use and recreational drug use. These include hemp oil (low in Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), CBD enriched oil (high in CBD), and marijuana/cannabis oil (THC enriched oils). THC is the psychoactive fraction of cannabis and CBD is the medicinal, non-psychoactive fraction
The cannabis plant belongs to the Cannabis genus of which there are three species; Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis. Strains of Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa, and hybrids of the two (e.g., Blue Dream, Cherry OG, and Kandy Kush) make up the majority grown for recreational drug use. Cannabis ruderalis is a wild species which is naturally low in THC (1,2). There are 483 known compounds in cannabis including at least 65 other cannabinoids. Hemp seed oil used in cosmetics contains very little CBD or THC.
Hemp seed oil is a clear, colorless liquid typically extracted from the seeds of industrial hemp. Industrial hemp Cannabis species that is high in fiber and low in THC. There are two types of industrial hemp, one grown to produce fiber for textiles and industry, and another used to produce hemp seeds for oil production.
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Hemp oil and CBD composition
Typical hemp seed oil contains <25 ppm of CBD however the flower extract can contain 4-8% CBD. Crude hemp seed oil is a greenish yellow color and is known for its nutty taste. It contains 75% unsaturated oils such as omega-3 and omega-6 in a 3:1 ratio respectively. Hemp oil is one of the few seed oils that contains both omega-6 and omega-3 and it possesses one of the highest concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) of all naturally occurring oils.
The refined oil has little flavor and has low levels of natural vitamins and antioxidants. Hemp oil is primarily used as an emollient in skin care products and in soaps, and shampoos. Industrially hemp seed oil is used in lubricants, paints, inks, fuel, and plastics (1,3).
CBD is a Cannabinoid first discovered in Cannabis extracts in 1940. CBD is produced from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD accounts for up to 40% of the plant extract but does not contain THC (1). This extract is frequently diluted with hemp seed oil, olive oil, or other types of carrier oils. CBD enriched oil products are non-psychoactive and typically contain ~20% CBD (5).
How CBD impacts skin
In 2012, Israeli scientists identified more than 1,200 genes affected by CBD: 600 gene transcripts were upregulated by CBD and 524 were downregulated. CBD has also been shown to regulate the expression of 491 genes, 165 in skin (4,18).
CBD has been shown to activate both the cannabinoid and PPAR Gamma receptor in skin, which is probably responsible for its claimed skin benefits. Reported skin benefits include:
- improved moisturization
- improved skin barrier
- skin soothing/anti-inflammatory
- Acne/oil control
- treating Psoriasis/Atopic Dermatitis (7, 14, 17,19)
Hemp oil is regulated as a cosmetic ingredient in most countries. Numerous cosmetic products on the market claim to contain CBD but generally list Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil on the label, which may or may not contain any CBD.
Canada and the European Union strictly regulate the THC levels of industrial hemp requiring it to be < 0.3% compared to levels of between 3 to 30% found in marijuana.
To produce industrial hemp in the United States, growers must obtain a permit from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). In the US, 33 states have approved hemp cultivation for industrial use. The seeds normally contain around 30% oil but other plant parts are sometimes be used which can increase the CBD content.
CBD enhanced hemp oil is not federally legal, but it is currently being sold on the internet. CBD enhanced oil is legal in states that allow recreational and medicinal marijuana usage. Some states specifically only allow CBD oil use. Many states that allow medicinal CBD oil have restrictions that require the oil to have little to no THC.
Recently Congress passed The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 that would legalize the growth of hemp. The new bill defines industrial hemp as the plant Cannabis sativa L. and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts and salts of isomers” containing less than 0.3% THC. This in theory would allow for higher levels of CBD in hemp oil and cosmetic products.
Hemp Oil Suppliers include; Hallstar, Jedwards, Caribbean Natural Products Inc., Premier Specialties, International Cosmetic Science Centre A/S, Morre-Tec, Biocosmethic, and Making Cosmetics Inc.
- Wikipedia: Hemp oil
- Wikipedia: Cannabis (drug)
- Wikipedia: Cannabidiol
- Chiropractic Economics: The science behind the rise of CBD topicals
- Genemarkers CBD poster, technology showcase, Society of Cosmetic Chemists meeting, December 11,12 2018
- Honest Marijuana: Hemp Oil vs CBD oil: What’s the difference?
- National Institutes of Health: Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis
- National Institutes of Health: CBD exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes
- National Institutes of Health: Epigenetic control of skin differentiation genes by phytocannabinoids
- National Institutes of Health: A novel control of human keratin expression: cannabinoid receptor l-mediated signaling down-regulates the expression of keratins K6 and K16 in human keratinocvtes in vitro and in situ
- National Institutes of Health: Endocannabinoids modulate human epidermal keratinocvte proliferation and survival via the sequential engagement of cannabinoid receptor-i and transient receptor potential vanilloid-I
- National Institutes of Health: Cannabinoid l receptors in keratinocvtes modulate proinflammatorv chemokine secretion andattenuate contact allergic inflammation
- National Institutes of Health: Attenuation of allergic contact dermatitis through the endocannabinoid system
- National Institutes of Health: Topical cannabinoid agonists. An effective new possibility for treating chronic pruritus
- National Institutes of Health: The role of cannabinoids in dermatology
- National Institutes of Health: Cannabidiol upregulates melanogenesis through CB1 dependent pathway by activating p38 MAPK and p42/44 MAPK.
- National Institutes of Health: Efficacy and tolerance of the cream containing structured physiological lipids with endocannabinoids in the treatment of uremic pruritus: a preliminary study.
- Project CBD: CBD, PPARS, and Gene Expression
- Hemp and Cannabinoids for Beauty and Skin Disorders, Jeanette Jacknin, 2018 AAD Annual Meeting San Diego, California February 16-20, 2018
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25 Responses to “Hot Cosmetic Ingredients: Cannabis Derivatives”
cbd is allowed in Georgia, and can be purchased on line; with no THC
There is confusion in EU about the use of CANNABIS SATIVA SEED OIL. From last year it is in at ANNEX II/306 – Narcotics, natural and synthetic: All substances listed in Tables I and II of the single Convention on narcotic drugs signed in New York on 30 March 1961. Annex II is the LIST OF SUBSTANCES PROHIBITED IN COSMETIC PRODUCTS. What is your opinion about that and how someone can use this oil without legal implications? Is it enough if the supplier of oil declares that the THC levels are below 0.3%?
Although there are a number of peer-reviewed research articles that discuss potentially beneficial effects of cannabinoids on skin structure and function, in light of convincing findings from a research article published in Cancer Research entitled “The cannabinoid receptors are required for ultraviolet-induced inflammation and skin cancer development” (vol. 68, pages 3992-3998), formulating skin care products containing CBD or other cannabinoids should be approached with caution. As is the case with many natural and synthetic compounds, effects of these compounds on gene expression often involve changes in gene activity that can have both positive as well as negative effects on the skin.
Tried this out of curiosity. Used plants with 17% THC content, so the oil extracted contained both THC and CBD. Made a fast-absorbing skin cream with 3% of the oil. Tried it on a few people who have joint pain. Absolutely no effect whatsoever. My opinion is that using CBD topically is a waste of time and money.
IDH, I would be cautious about accepting the fact of a CBD oil “with no THC”. All that I have seen chemical analysis data from show a small amount of THC , but definitely not zero. The level of THC is at or below 0.03% or so, but even that can not be detected in the more sophisticated blood tests now being used on athletes.
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HII , Nikki Anschel
You can apply for and obtain a “low THC oil” card for the state of Georgia. … You can purchase CBD hemp oil online from a reputable company you trust. CBD oil ..
There is no doubt to use CBD oil. It is powerful and reliable product for us. I am happy to use this product. And Your article great for me. Thanks
I like the blog is very helping PCS hot Cosmetc ingerdiens cannabis derivates is useful product. thank you for share this blog
Thank you for reading!
I’ve been wanting to try CBD products because I heard that this can help ease anxiety and depression. It’s also interesting to learn that Hemp oil contains Omega-3 and Omega-6. It’s also surprising to learn that CBD can help improve the skin’s moisturization.
you have provided great information about CBD products
Thanks for sharing information. keep sharing
Thanks for sharing this.
THC is medicinal as well; Its used by all kinds of people for PAIN namely, SLEEP disorders, and mental health as well (anxiety).
After discovering that CBD is psychoactive, I was shocked. Thanks for sharing this with you
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Thank you for sharing Hemp oil and CBD composition. I think you have covered all the major points in this article, I will share this with my network as well.
Hi, what ingredients were you using as penetrant enhancers? CBD is a big molecule and needs assistance to get through the dermis. Did you use any nnanosome or liposome technology in your formula?
I recommend using phospholipids.
Thanks for reading!
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