Comprehensive Guide to CBD Skincare, Full Spectrum PCR Hemp Oil and the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
Have you wondered what CBD oil does, what full spectrum hemp oil is, how it differs from hemp seed oil, what the benefits of CBD skincare are, what the entourage effect is and just exactly what the Endocannabinoid System is? Well, we’ve got you covered. It can be a bit of a confusing topic and there’s quite a bit of misinformation out there so let’s try to clear the air.
What is cannabidiol (CBD)?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant. Other cannabinoids include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBC, CBG, CDN, CBDA and CBDV. Unlike THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, which means it won’t get you high. THC and CBD are almost identical in molecular structure. Both molecules contain 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms but the arrangement of these atoms is slightly different. This slight difference in structure is what allows THC to bind to the CB1 receptor of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which results in the euphoric feeling or “high”. Because CBD’s structure is a little different it isn’t able to bind well to the CB1 receptor, so it doesn’t get you high. CBD has the ability to act on pathways outside of the ECS such as binding to the TRPV1 receptor and decreasing pain perception and inflammation as well as influencing serotonin and dopamine pathways. CBD is also a potent antioxidant itself and also increase your body’s own production of antioxidants.
Here are some of the conditions where scientific studies have shown a potential benefit from CBD alone or in combination with THC:
- Multiple sclerosis
- High blood pressure
We’ll talk more about Phytocannabinoid Rich (PCR) Hemp extract and the effects of other cannabinoids and terpenes found in full spectrum hemp oil below.
What are the skin care benefits of CBD oil?
Endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors are present in our skin cells. Dysregulation of the ECS is thought to be associated with a variety of dermatological disorders, including atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes found in Cannabis have been shown to help reduce pain and inflammation when applied topically. Many common skin problems, such as acne, rashes, contact and atopic dermatitis (eczema), rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis are caused by inflammatory skin conditions. CBD also has potent antioxidant effects, which means it can neutralize the free radicals that cause oxidative stress and contribute to the aging process. Research has also shown that CBD has anti-microbial effects. Keep reading to find out how the other cannabinoids (CBN and CBG) and terpenes (humulene and beta-caryophyllene) found in full spectrum PCR Hemp can also be beneficial for skin.
Learn more about BEAUTY IN THE Raw’s CBD Skincare and the other beneficial botanicals we include here.
What’s the difference between PCR Hemp Extract, CBD oil, CBD isolate and Hemp seed oil?
Our hemp seed oil is available as a single-ingredient skincare product and we get tons of questions about it. Many people think it contains CBD and are looking for cheap pain relief. There are also a ton of people selling products with hemp seed oil (which contains essentially no CBD) and touting them for pain relief and charging exorbitant prices. It’s just criminal and makes my blood boil!
Hemp seed oil is made from…yep, you guessed it – hemp seeds. Hemp seeds do not contain any cannabinoids. Hemp seed oil is a vegetable oil just like avocado or sweet almond. Hemp seed oil is a complete nutritional source because it contains of all of the essential amino and fatty acids. A couple spoonful’s daily is a great nutritional supplement (many say it is the ideal supplement). Hemp seed oil has a light nutty taste and is great on salads as a dressing. The smoke point is around 330°F so you don’t want to do any high temp cooking with it. It makes a wonderful facial oil because it is non-comedogenic and absorbs quickly. Hemp seed oil is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, has an ideal 1:3 ratio of Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) to Omega 6 (linoleic acid) polyunsaturated fatty acids and also contains gamma-linolenic acid.
As you may already know, the cannabinoids and terpenes come from the rest of the Cannabis plant. Some companies use CBD isolate in their product. CBD isolate is a white crystalline powder that only contains CBD and doesn’t contain any of the other beneficial cannabinoids or terpenes.
We prefer to use a whole plant extract in our CBD skincare products. We like to use the term Phytocannabinoid Rich (PCR) or full spectrum hemp extract. Unlike CBD isolate, PCR Hemp extract contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids (CBD, CBC, CBG, CDN, CBDA and CBDV) and terpenes. There are numerous cannabinoids and terpenes other than CBD that have a variety of beneficial effects. Studies have shown that the cannabinoids CBN and CBG have pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. The terpene Humulene (alpha-caryophyllene) has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects equal to that of dexamethasone. Beta-caryophyllene is another terpene that interacts with the CB2 receptor of our ECS and is anti-inflammatory and analgesic. We’ll discuss terpenes a little later.
So what should you look for in a PCR Hemp or full spectrum extract? PCR Hemp extract can be obtained via carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction or with chemical solvents, such as hexane. We like supercritical and subcritical CO2 extraction because the process uses only CO2 and pressure to extract all the actives from the plant material and doesn’t leave behind any residual solvents. The PCR Hemp extract we use in our CBD skincare [LINK] is 3 rd party tested for purity and composition and we receive both a cannabinoid profile and terpene profile. The hemp is organically grown in Colorado. At this time, hemp is not eligible for organic certification, so our hemp is also tested for residual pesticides and solvents to confirm that it is grown organically and extracted without solvents.
This CO2 extract is highly concentrated and needs to be diluted in a carrier oil. Any carrier oil can be used, but we have chosen to use hemp seed oil as the carrier oil for our CBD skincare products because we believe that all compounds of the Cannabis plant work synergistically with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). All humans have an ECS that interacts with cannabinoids throughout our body, even our skin. The interaction of all of the cannabinoids and terpenes found in PCR hemp extract is usually referred to as the “entourage effect” in the scientific literature. Studies have shown that the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes in whole plant extract work together synergistically and are more effective in combination than individually.
What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
The ECS is a huge topic. It is an area of ongoing research and all the intricacies are not well understood. All humans (most animals actually) have an endocannabinoid system composed of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors and cannabinoid receptor proteins. Our ECS regulates processes throughout our bodies, including those associated with pain, mood, pregnancy, appetite and memory.
There are two main cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) is found mostly in the brain and central nervous system and this is where THC binds. Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) is expressed in the immune system and hematopoietic stem cells. CBD does not bind well to either of these receptors but modifies interactions within the ECS and throughout the body.
Cannabinoids that are produced by our bodies are referred to as endogenous cannabinoids, hence the name ECS. Two of the most well-studied endogenous cannabinoids are anandamide (arachidonoyl ethanolamide) and 2-AG (2-arachidonoyl glycerol). Anandamide is commonly referred to as the “bliss molecule” and CBD works to increase anandamide by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks it down.
Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids such as CBD, THC, CBC, CBG, CDN, CBDA and CBDV that are produced by plants. Phytocannabinoids are produced abundantly in Cannabis but can also be found in a number of other plants such as black pepper, Echinacea, Cacao (think chocolate) and Helichrysum.
The interaction of all of the cannabinoids and terpenes found in PCR hemp extract is usually referred to as the “entourage effect” in the scientific literature. Studies have shown that the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes in whole plant extract work together synergistically and are more effective in combination than individually.
What are terpenes? What do they do? Are they important?
Terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbons found in many plant species (and hence many essential oils). They give plants their fragrance and taste. You may have heard of ones like linalool (found in lavender and cannabis) and limonene (oranges and cannabis). Terpenes have been shown to modulate the interactions between cannabinoids and our ECS. They also have direct effects on our bodies – think mood elevation in our brains and the scent of lavender. Humulene (alpha-caryophyllene) is found in cannabis and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects equal to that of dexamethasone. Beta-caryophyllene is also found in cannabis and interacts with the CB2 receptor of our ECS and is anti-inflammatory and analgesic. These two molecules are isomers (different structures of the same molecule) and they can potentiate the effects of one another. The strain of cannabis we use in our PCR Hemp extract is very rich in both of these terpenes. Alpha-bisabolol is another terpene that our PCR Hemp is rich in and is also found in German (blue) Chamomile. It is known for its anti-inflammatory, calming and anti-microbial properties.
So now that you’re super knowledgeable about all things Hemp, check out our skincare products and learn about all of the other beneficial botanicals we include.Have you wondered what CBD oil does, what full spectrum hemp oil is, how it differs from hemp seed oil, what the benefits of CBD skincare are, what the entourage effect is and just exactly what the Endocannabinoid System is? Well, BEAUTY IN THE Raw has you covered.
CBD Oil vs. Hempseed Oil: How to Know What You’re Paying For
In 2018, a farm bill passed that made the production of industrial hemp legal in the United States. This has opened doors for the legalization of the cannabis compound cannabidiol (CBD) — although you still need to check your local laws for legality in your area.
There’s been a “green rush” of cannabis-inspired products flooding the market, including beauty products. While CBD is a new ingredient to many consumers, hempseed oil has around for decades. It’s sold at health food stores and is used in both cooking and skincare.
When CBD oil and hempseed oil are put side by side, a lot of misleading labeling happens.
To filter out the CBD marketing, here’s a cannabis breakdown: Cannabis (often referred to as marijuana) and hemp are two varieties of the same plant species, Cannabis sativa.
Since they share the same species name, they’re often lumped into one big family, and there seems to be a lot of confusion around their differences.
Averaged about 17% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound that makes a person feel “high,” in 2017
Has to contain less than 0.3% THC to be sold legally
Averaged less than 0.15% CBD in 2014
Cannabis has medicinal and therapeutic uses for chronic pain, mental health, and illnesses
CBD oil and hempseed oil are both trendy ingredients used in topical skincare products.
Hempseed oil, in particular, is known for not clogging pores, having anti-inflammatory properties, and providing superior moisturization to keep the skin looking and feeling supple. It can be added to a product or just used on its own as a face oil.
New research is coming out all the time about the skin-related benefits of CBD. What we know so far is it’s been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory, like its cousin hempseed oil. It reportedly helps in healing:
- sensitive skin
CBD also has a ton of antioxidants. But are CBD beauty products actually more effective or worth paying more for?
It’s still too early to tell, and results can vary depending on the person. If there’s a beauty brand making major claims, you may want to do extra consumer research. Brands aren’t obligated to tell you how much CBD is in a product.
With the “green rush,” some brands are jumping on the chance to sell their cannabis-infused beauty products but mixing the terms CBD and hemp seed up — intentionally or not.
Since CBD and hempseed oil are in the same cannabis family, they’re often incorrectly marketed as the same thing. Why would a brand do this?
One reason is that consumers are willing to pay more for CBD oil, which is a pretty expensive ingredient compared to hempseed oil.
It’s easy for a brand to add hempseed oil to a product, adorn it with marijuana leaves, and highlight the word cannabis to make consumers think they’re purchasing a CBD product when it contains no actual CBD at all. And paying a premium!
Some brands may also market their products as hempseed-based to avoid Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on cannabis- or marijuana-derived products.
So how can you tell what you’re purchasing? It’s pretty simple, actually. Check the ingredient list…
Hempseed oil will be listed as cannabis sativa seed oil. CBD will usually be listed as cannabidiol, full-spectrum hemp, hemp oil, PCR (phytocannabinoid-rich) or PCR hemp extracts.
While companies aren’t required to list the milligrams of CBD or hemp on the bottle, it’s become a common practice to do so. If they’re not listed, you should wonder what’s in that bottle you’re paying for.
The FDA has sent warning letters to some companies for illegally selling CBD products and falsely advertising them as safe or as effective medical treatments. That’s another reason why doing your own consumer research is vital.
It’s so important to be an educated, savvy consumer. Don’t fall into the trap of weedwashing (hemp-based product hype)!
Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.
Dana Murray is a licensed aesthetician from Southern California with a passion for skin care science. She’s worked in skin education, from helping others with their skin to developing products for beauty brands. Her experience extends over 15 years and an estimated 10,000 facials. She’s been using her knowledge to blog about skin and bust skin myths on her Instagram since 2016.
Last medically reviewed on December 23, 2019While CBD is a new ingredient to many consumers, hempseed oil has been around for decades. Put side by side in the beauty space, it’s easy to be misled. Here’s how to shop smarter. ]]>