The CBD market is smoking hot, and expected to increase seven-fold to $2.15 billion by 2021 from roughly $292 million in 2016, according to Brightfield Group, a market research firm specializing in cannabis. Five leading Canadian marijuana companies’ market value has catapulted from less than $4 billion to nearly $40 billion in the past year alone. With these growth rates, one can expect the US Congress to pass legislation enabling US companies to accelerate their efforts to sell hemp-derived products including CBD.
CBD oil is extracted from cannabis and is used in topical and oral preparations sold for its relaxation and pain control properties and to even treat diseases. Right now, CBD is being marketed as a cosmetic and supplement ingredient. CBD oil is not to be confused with hemp oil, which is extracted from a different part of the plant and contains little to no CBD or THC. CBD has become one of the most intriguing and notable compound in the field of natural health. It is responsible for the vast majority of the health benefits cannabis has to offer. Some motivated consumers are drawn to CBD topical products largely for their pain-relieving properties. The Cannabis plant come in several varieties and has dozens of uses. It has applications in food products, oils, paper, ropes and textiles. Hemp oil has long been available in health food stores, too.
Personal Care Uses
Cannabis is branching out into skin care; balms, lotions, oils and creams created from hemp are legal in all 50 states. The material has the ability to repair the skin barrier, according to dermatologist Sejal Shah MD, who maintains that CBD oil is ideal for eye cream and serum, because its fatty acids are very moisturizing. In skin care, the oil is tapped for its “antioxidant and neuro-protective properties.”
For these and other reasons, CBD has become a key ingredient for many niche skin care brands. Perricone MD’s CBx for Men reduces inflammation, according to Chris Caires, chief innovation officer. Meanwhile, Cindy Capobianco, founder of Lord James Company, says CBD can improve skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne. According to Vertly company founder Claudia Mata, the brand’s lip balm has gained a devoted following.
CBD is being added to everything from gum drops to beverages, as marketers claim benefits such as pain relief and stress reduction. However, large retailers such as Target and Walmart are staying away from offering CBD oil products. They are sold in health food stores such as Cambridge Naturals, boutiques and regional store chains such as CV Sciences and Barleans. Leading CBD oil-infused cosmeceutical products companies include Apothecana, Charlotte’s Web, Ildi Pekar, Isodiol, Shen Beauty, Lord Jones, Myaderm, Cannuka, Khus + Khus, Leef Organics, Vertly andMalin & Goetz.
Grow Your Own
Formulated products come in many forms; some can be mixed into different foods or drinks or taken with a pipette or dropper. Others are available in capsules or as thick pastes to massage into skin. Skin care products containing CBD targets CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD does not attach directly to either of them; instead, it directs the body to use more of its own cannabinoids. CB1 receptors are present throughout the body, but many are in the brain. CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. The three most common routes of administration are: sublingual, inhalation and topical. They affect inflammation and pain.
Some products are available as sprays to be administered under the tongue. Several CBD oils with different applications are currently available for purchase on line. Consumers take or apply CBD to treat a variety of symptoms, but its use is controversial. Most of them are designed to help skin surface issues such as eczema. Dixie Botanicals, a line of CBD supplements, is legal and available in the US and in more than 40 countries worldwide.
The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology’s recent review of published studies concluded that cell receptors respond well to CBD-infused products, leaving patients with skin that is less reactive and itchy. Jeff Chen, director of UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, admits that much is still unclear regarding the science behind CBD’s purported effects. The knowledge of a unique group of compounds found in cannabis, which interacts with brain and body receptors, may contribute to self-reported effects such as anxiety relief and inflammation reduction. Until recently the best-known compound in cannabis was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the most active ingredient in marijuana. Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, and these compounds have different effects. THC creates a mind-altering “high” when smoked or consumed. This is because THC breaks down when it is heated and introduced in the body.
CBD is different. Unlike THC, it is not psychoactive. It has medical and health benefits. CBD oil contains all 21 known amino acids, plus it is rich in essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6 which are vital for our internal organs and skin. CBD oil is an antioxidant that is even more powerful than vitamin A, C, E, or omega-3 fatty acid. The least processed form of cannabis plant is hemp, and it contains the most CBD. Hemp and marijuana come from the same plant, Cannabis sativa, but the two are very different. According to dermatologist Jeanette Jacknin MD, affecting the endocannabinoid system with CBD can help the skin look more radiant and youthful. CBD slowed the visible signs of aging in mice. CBD is also said to work on warts, moles and even HPV outbreaks because it is thought to cause cell death.
According to Dr. Tamas Biro, professor of Immunology, University of Debrecen, Hungary, CBD contains anti-inflammatory actives, which are helpful for conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. He also conducted cell model research proving CBD inhibited sebum production while normalizing overactive sebaceous gland cells, one of the main causes of acne. And yet, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found widespread mislabeling of CBD products sold online. The problem is that there is no study which indicates the proper dose.
Regulators Weigh In
The US Food and Drug Administration recently approved an epilepsy drug featuring cannabidiol. Many states have moved toward legalization of marijuana, which has pushed cannabis into the mainstream. The FDA considers hemp oil and its derivative CBD to be a dietary supplement (not a medication). One does not need a doctor’s prescription and can legally purchase and consume CBD in any state. FDA is concerned about the proliferation and illegal marketing of unapproved CBD-containing products with unproven medical claims, according to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
According to Melvin Patterson, a spokesman for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, products that are appearing on the shelves are illegal, but enforcement is not a priority for the agency, which is currently focused on the opioid crisis. DEA considers cannabis an illegal schedule 1 drug, one with “high potential” for abuse and with no currently accepted medical treatment use. According to the US Department of Agriculture, CBD extracted from hemp is legal.
The legality of selling CBD to minors is also an unresolved issue. There is generally a minimum age requirement of 18 to 21 for purchasing in states where cannabis is legal. Federal laws, for years, have regulated hemp alongside marijuana as a “controlled substance,” making it illegal to sell certain extracts or derivatives. However, the Federal Farm Bill of 2014, permits states to initiate pilot programs to study cannabis growth, cultivation and marketing of hemp. CBD derived from hemp can be distributed nationally.
Consumers credit CBD with benefits such as anxiety relief and inflammation reduction, but researchers say it’s unclear. And yet, so many of CBD’s benefits are well known. We can only conclude that there have not been any large scale studies done on CBD. All evidence is anecdotal or is based on animal research or small, short -term human studies. Nevertheless, as CBD oil goes mainstream, it is not easy to tell which products will hold up to scrutiny. In the meantime, it is important for consumers to make sure that the CBD they are considering comes from a reputable source.
Navin M. Geria
Chief Scientific Officer
AyurDerm Technologies, LLC
Navin Geria, former Pfizer Research Fellow is a cosmetic and pharmaceutical product development chemist and the chief scientific officer of AyurDerm Technologies LLC, which provides Ayurvedic, natural and cosmeceutical custom formulation development and consulting services to the spa-wellness-dermatology industries. He has launched dozens of cosmeceutical and ayurvedic anti-aging products. Geria has more than 30 years of experience in the personal care industry and was previously with Clairol, Warner-Lambert, Schick-Energizer, Bristol-Myers and Spa Dermaceuticals. He has nearly 20 US patents and has been published extensively. Geria edited the “Handbook of Skin-Aging Theories for Cosmetic Formulation Development” focus book published in April 2016 by Harry’s Cosmeticology. He is a speaker, moderator and chairman at cosmetic industry events.