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The 411 on How Cannabis Can Help Protect Skin From Free Radicals

Ashley Priest

by Ashley Priest

March 25, 2021 03:30 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 4 Minutes
The 411 on How Cannabis Can Help Protect Skin From Free Radicals

While cannabis has been attributed to offering significant benefits to our overall health and wellness, many are not familiar with the specific benefits that it stands to offer our skin. Our epidermis is the largest organ in our anatomy. Unfortunately, it is exposed to many different environmental toxins, as well as extreme temperatures and much more. It is one of the body’s first lines of defense against infection and disease. While many are very focused on utilizing skincare products to help keep their skin looking and feeling great, the majority of products on the market today are packed full of ingredients that may be doing more harm than good. This is why many companies are embracing the power of nature and bottling those powers with clean ingredients that are producing amazing results.

The Constant Threats Against Our Skin

Let’s take a closer look at how compounds found within cannabis and hemp can help improve the health of our skin. Before you can truly understand the benefits of cannabis for our skin, you must first understand the underlying cause of the majority of skin-related issues. Two of the biggest threats to the health of our skin lie within oxidative stress and free radicals. Many skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne, eczema, and others are caused by inflammation which is a result of free radical damage and oxidative stress damage. So, what does that mean?

What Are Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress?

Free radicals are damaging aspects that our body becomes exposed to on a daily basis. While some free radicals can not be avoided, others are self-introduced through things such as alcohol, tobacco, and sugar. Some of the most common free radicals we are exposed to include the following.

  • Air pollution
  • Alcohol
  • Pesticides
  • Poor nutrition
  • Smoking
  • Sunlight (UV radiation)

According to Dr. Noelani Gonzalez, M.D., Director of Cosmetic Dermatology at Mount Sinai in NYC, free radicals are “unstable molecules that can cause damage to our cells”. These unstable molecules result from electrons being void in the outer shell of cells. The natural response by the body when this occurs is to seek out other molecules and atoms that may consist of these electrons and then combining with that cell. This can result in a mass of damaged cells in no time at all. When this free radical damage occurs to cells repetitively, it results in oxidative stress which can wreak havoc on your skin due to the existing damage to the DNA and other parts of cells.

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Now that we know what free radicals are and that when exposure is consistent it can lead to oxidative stress, let’s take a closer look at what that damage means specifically for the epidermis. Free radicals can cause early aging of the skin along with the appearance of brown spots and broken blood vessels under the skin. Free radical damage and oxidative stress can also cause the elasticity of our skin to diminish as well as reduce collagen resulting in saggy, and wrinkle-covered skin, something no one wants.

Cannabinoids to the Rescue

Fortunately, there are compounds within cannabis that can help! To combat free radical damage and oxidative stress, you need powerful antioxidants. While turmeric, Vitamins A, C, & E., and green tea extract are known for being potent antioxidants, many are not aware of the antioxidant properties of CBD.

CBD for the Skin

Did you know that CBD has been found to be more powerful of an antioxidant than any of the above? That’s right, this miraculous cannabinoid which can be found in everything from foods and beverages to pillows and skincare products offers substantial benefits for our skin through its antioxidant properties. When it comes to what CBD can do for our skin, here are some of the things that science has concluded so far!

  • CBD may counteract free radical damage.
  • CBD can improve moisture retention in the skin.
  • CBD can help to reduce inflammation naturally.
  • CBD promotes oil production which can help reverse dry skin and other moisture issues that can result in signs of aging.
  • CBD may slow the process of collagen loss in return helping to improve the firmness and elasticity of the skin.

CBG for the Skin

Another lesser-known cannabinoid that stands to offer significant benefits to the skin is Cannabigerol or CBG for short. CB2 receptors work directly with inflammation in the body. A study from 2018 found that CBG has a stronger binding affinity to CB2 receptors and offers many benefits to the skin through its analgesic, antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

Do you utilize cannabinoid-infused skincare products? What has been your experience in this area? Let us know in the comments below!

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