As a dermatologist, and a curious human being, I’ve always been drawn to investigating off label treatments and promising new health care compounds.

And when it comes to CBD, there’s plenty of misconceptions. First off, let’s get it right. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of two natural compounds found in cannabis plants. Unlike the other (THC), pure CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it doesn't make you feel high.

Back in the early 2010’s cannabis-derived compounds were all the rage. They were — and still are — attributed almost magic healing powers for illnesses as different as epilepsy, intractable pain problems, anxiety and psoriasis. The list goes on and on, and a simple google search will take you on a ride to the darkest corners of the world wide interweb.

In Denmark, our government decided — without much medical plausibility — that more doctors should prescribe more cannabis-derived compounds for more ailments. A few pioneers took up the challenge, and especially pain management clinics found good use of cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD. But many doctors and patients were left disappointed by the results. There was a feeling that cannabis-derived treatments was simply a modern “Snake Oil”.

When a compound is touted for curing any ailment, it is bound to disappoint.
Luckily research started coming out clearing up the mess of unfounded claims. Research showing quite interesting benefits of CBD especially for skin problems and skincare.
While we always learn new things about, here’s what we know about the dermatological effects of CBD in skincare today:
It reduces production of sebum (the natural oily substance your skin creates to moisturize itself) which results in less acne and oily skin. Normalizes the skin lipids (natural fats).
It works as a protective skin barrier. Reducing reactive oxygen species (ROS)
It can reduce pain, stinging and itching skin
It treats eczema by reducing inflammation and by hindering formation of biofilms containing staphylococci (harmful skin bacteria)
We don’t yet know everything there is to know about CBD, but with the research at hand it’s safe to say that we can let CBD shed the “Snake Oil” status. Better yet, we can start talking about it as a true skincare hero. Because alongside other legendary compounds, like retinol, sheabutter, and bakuchiol, CBD is one of the most effective tools we have to naturally create and sustain a healthy skin.

— Dr. Kromann

References: Baswan SM, Klosner AE, Glynn K, Rajgopal A, Malik K, Yim S, Stern N. Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Skin Health and Disorders. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2020 Dec 8;13:927-942. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S286411. PMID: 33335413; PMCID: PMC7736837.