Every human face ages over time, but many factors like genetics, diet, lifestyle, and environment determine how rapidly we’ll go from dewy to wizened. Anti-aging is big business — the global anti-aging market was worth $250 billion in 2016, and is expected to grow to $331 billion by 2021 (yes, that’s billions). Men and women the world over are looking for the quick-fix fountain of youth, the miracle panacea that will reverse the aging process, make our skin plumper, firmer, smoother, just somehow younger and better.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) gives basic tips for slowing the aging process. They include:
But what else? Is there a magic anti-aging potion somewhere, anywhere?
CBD is a natural compound that’s extracted from the cannabis and hemp plants and made into a variety of wellness products, from topical creams to tinctures, because (as you may have gathered from reading this site) it has many benefits for skin and body.
But how does CBD work with the aging process? We’ve all heard of free radicals which come from things like pollution, UV rays, alcohol, and food — or can be made in our own bodies. A balance of free radicals and antioxidants is necessary for our body to work properly, according to Pharmacognosy Review. But too many free radicals and something called oxidative stress ensues, speeding up the aging process and potentially causing disease. Enter cannabidiol — better known as CBD — which is, itself, an antioxidant that can inhibit free radicals’ damage to cells and tissues.
Staying Hydrated — Inside and Out
Along with drinking plenty of water, consuming CBD can keep skin hydrated by providing the body with omega-3 fatty acids and, in turn, helping relieve conditions like eczema that result in dry, itchy skin. Plus, according to dermatologic surgeons, the omega-3s in CBD can help prevent loss of collagen — which gives our skin structure and strength.
Protection from UV Rays
The sun’s UV rays can have damaging effects on the skin, but using CBD’s antioxidant and omega-3 properties can naturally defend against harmful effects, both are known to prevent damage and premature aging from sun exposure, according to doctors at Oregon State University.
Promoting Restorative Sleep
The results of a 2017 clinical review on cannabinoids and sleep say that CBD and other cannabis compounds have the potential to aid sleep in many ways, and their interactions with our body’s endocannabinoid system can also promote the regulation of circadian rhythms, our natural defense against dark under-eye circles, sallow complexions, and the overall premature aging of the body that sleep disturbance can cause.
As mentioned before, an overabundance of free radicals can wreak havoc on the body, initiating an inflammatory response — which is our body’s way of protecting itself. But if this inflammation continues or spreads, it further compounds the harm. CBD oil is known to calm inflammation and even balance those free radicals with its antioxidant properties.
Anti-aging commonly refers to the skin and concepts of beauty, but fending off aging in other parts of the body, like the brain, can be beneficial to our quality of life and health as we get older. According to scientists at the University of Bonn, CBD can help reverse the aging process in the brain, providing promising defense against diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
For fighting the effects of sun damage or keeping skin moisturized and youthful-looking, CBD can be applied topically with infused creams, salves, or oils which offer long-lasting effects — and the topical method also gives you control over how much medicine you want to apply at once.
You can fend off aging by eating CBD-infused “edibles” like honey or chocolate or by dropping CBD tinctures under your tongue. The main difference between these is edibles have a slow onset while sublingual tinctures are fast-acting. Individuals using CBD in a consistent anti-aging regimen may consider edibles, but if you’re trying to get beauty sleep after a few restless nights, tinctures may be a better option for you.
The American Academy of Dermatology advises us to stop smoking to help fight aging, and vaporizing CBD oil would be alternative. Vaporizing, or vaping, is another method with quick effects, and while its purpose is to deliver therapeutic benefits without the carcinogens involved in smoking, unregulated oils and vaping devices could introduce contaminants into the lungs. Until products become regulated, choosing topical or oral CBD oil products may be the best option to avoid harm to your body.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate the cannabis industry, and researchers have found that only one-third of CBD extracts are accurately labeled. Fortunately, studies published by the National Institutes of Health say mislabeling of CBD products isn’t too concerning because it doesn’t have abuse liability or any serious adverse consequences — including psychoactivity — even at high doses. In addition, CBD only has a few minor potential side effects. One doctor recommendation is to “start slow, go low” or do an allergy test before you begin use since it’s possible to be sensitive or allergic to CBD oil just like any other herbal remedy or medication.
Since CBD is new to the health and wellness market, it’s essential to do your homework to find reputable products that are safe and high-quality — especially since federal regulations have yet to catch up with rising demand. Cannabidiol use is safe, but should be taken seriously like any other medication, so talk to your doctor if you’re considering CBD use; read reviews of CBD oil products; and seek trustworthy sources for CBD remedies like medical cannabis dispensaries or healthcare shops where knowledgeable staff can assist you.
The content on cannabisMD is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.