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Skin diseases plague millions of individuals, inflicting both physical discomforts in addition to mental and social stress. Thankfully, there is no shortage of skin treatment options available on the market. That said, this established market may soon be in for a major shake-up if recent cannabis research is any indication.
Traditionally, cannabis research focused on studying cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), two major cannabinoids. Recent research, however, has zoned in on minor cannabinoids. Findings, thus far, indicate that minor cannabinoids hold the potential to revolutionize skin care forever.
Understanding Minor Cannabinoids
We’re not discussing the infamous duo cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); we’re turning our gaze to lesser-known “minor cannabinoids”. These cannabinoids are vital but often overlooked due to their lower concentrations compared with CBD or THC. The most common minor cannabinoids are cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).
The Endocannabinoid System
Before we identify how minor cannabinoids play a critical role in skin disorder treatment, we must investigate the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Ever think about how your body reacts to cannabinoids, like those found in cannabis? This intricate reaction is regulated by our very own Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Within this system, we have endocannabinoids which are little molecules crafted right in the body. These guys lock on nicely with cannabinoid receptors. It’s a well-coordinated effort designed for balance!
Endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids from plants both engage with ECS receptors in our system. The engagement plays a crucial role in key body functions — generating an inflammation response and supporting the immune operations of your internal system.
How Cannabinoids Work
The ECS can control several body functions, like skin cell growth, immune responses, and inflammation. With their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and immunomodulatory properties, minor cannabinoids help your body restore balance through endocannabinoid signaling. Further, research suggests that minimal cannabinoids, when administered in the right proportions, could add anti-aging properties to your skin.
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CBG and CBC are two standout minor cannabinoids that demonstrate impressive anti-inflammatory capabilities. Their anti-inflammatory properties help with issues ranging from acne to dermatitis. Minor cannabinoids, meanwhile, regulate lipid production in the skin. This helps to prevent acne flare-ups, and through their antioxidant properties, they protect against UV damage that ages skin.
People who suffer from psoriasis and other autoimmune conditions can also benefit from minor cannabinoids, as they help with cannabinoid-mediated immune response suppression.
The Neuroendocrine Process
Healthy skin depends on the complex relationship between your skin and your neural system. Stress can worsen skin conditions, but cannabinoids interfere by regulating hormones and neural transmission. Cannabinoids have an impact on hormone secretion and stress responses by interacting with receptors CB1 and CB2 in both the skin and the neural system. This reduces reactivity and calms the skin.
Cannabinoids in Dermatological Disorders
Cannabinoids in Acne:
Acne, a widespread skin disorder, causes sebum (a sticky, oily substance) overproduction and skin inflammation. Cannabinoids —such as CBG, CBDV, and THCV — can help by regulating sebum production, reducing inflammation, and inhibiting bacterial growth.
Cannabinoids in Atopic Dermatitis (AD):
CBG offers significant benefits for AD due to its potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. By holding back enzymes that facilitate fatty acid synthesis, which is a process culpable for inflammation in AD, CBG effectively reduces the associated inflammation.
Cannabinoids with Potential Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
Compounds like cannabielsoin (CBE), and cannabimovone (CBM) exhibit anti-inflammatory effects by regulating cytokine production and influencing receptors involved in pain and inflammation.
Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is another minor cannabinoid that has shown a lot of potential in this area. CBDV eases itching and swelling related to eczema due to the anti-inflammatory properties that it exhibits.