What are Cannabidiol?

Cannabis sativa has a long history as a medicinal plant likely dating back more than two millennia (Russo et al, 2007). Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the key cannabinoids constituents in this plant which, contrarily to D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (D9-THC), which combines therapeutic properties with some important adverse effects, is not psychoactive, it is well-tolerated and exhibits a broad spectrum of therapeutic properties (Mechoulam et al, 2007).

Endocannabinoid system

Cannabidiol cbd formula molecula

Though there is limited research confirming the topical benefits of cannabinoids, it is certain that cutaneous biology is modulated by the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) (Baswan et al, 2020). The ECS is an evolutionarily conserved network of molecular signaling that plays a key role in bodily homeostasis (Mechoulam et al, 1998). In this sense, several recent research have shown the critical role of the ECS in maintaining skin homeostasis and barrier function, by relating its dysregulation with the appearance of various skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis, itch, acne, psoriasis, hair growth/loss, cancer and hyper/hypopigmentation (Bíró et al, 2009; Mounessa et al, 2017; Sugawara et at, 2012; Tüting et al, 2017).

Receptors from the ECS have been identified in the skin, Cannabinoid (CB) 1 receptors and CB2 receptors. Research indicates that both receptors are found in epidermal keratinocytes, cutaneous nerve fibers, dermal cells, melanocytes, eccrine sweat glands and hair follicles (Baswan et al, 2020). The binding of endocannabinoids (ECB) to transient receptor potential (TRP) receptors, present in various types of skin cells and involved in the formation and maintenance of the skin barrier, cell growth and differentiation, and immunological and inflammatory processes, has also been demonstrated (Rio et al, 2018). Furthermore, the major biological functions of ECB, such as neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic actions, are partially mediates through the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) presents in different cellular compartments of the skin (Baswan et al, 2020).

Representación esquemática de los componentes clave del ECS en diferentes compartimentos celulares de la piel

Cannabidiol. Effects

The therapeutic effects of CBD, including anticonvulsant, antipsychotic, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective effects are further supported by research (Crippa et al, 2018). Most of the pharmacological properties of CBD are related to its innate chemical properties, in particular the presence of two hydroxyl groups that enables CBD to have an important antioxidant action (Mechoulam et al, 2002). Hampson and associates found that CBD has an antioxidant capacity greater than ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and α-tocopherol in neurotoxicity models (Hampson et al, 1998).

Mlost and associates reported the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD in several inflammatory-induced chronic pain models, as well as in models of neuropathic and arthritis-related pain. In most studies, CBD has shown to decrease hyperalgesia and mechanical/thermal allodynia through various routes of administration (Mlost et al, 2020).

In another study, CBD was determined to be a highly effective sebostatic agent in human sebaceous glands, concluding that, due to its combined lipostatic, antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory effects, it has potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne (Oláh et al, 2014).

El CBD previene la lipogénesis sebocitos humanos

CBD prevents excessive lipogenesis induced by “pro-acne agents” in human SZ95 sebocytes.
Semiquantitative determination of lipid synthesis for (A) control, (B) 10 μM CBD, (D) 30 μM AEA, and (E) 30 Μm AEA plus 10 μM CBD (sebum droplets: Oil Red O staining, red; nuclei: hematoxylin, blue). Scale bars: 10 μm (Oláh et al. 2014)

In summary, preclinical and clinical evidence suggests that topical application of CBD may be effective in relieving pain, decreasing inflammation, and treating skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, acne, itching and age-related conditions.


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