Americans are getting older â€” and obsessed with looking younger. Itâ€™s surprising for a population so preoccupied with remaining youthful, many of us still light up a joint on the regular.
According to the Allure Aging Survey, 56 percent of women and 34 percent of men are worried about fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Smoking constricts the blood vessels, reducing circulation and lowering the level of oxygen in the blood.
â€śThis decrease in oxygen and circulation causes premature aging and wrinkles, which are particularly pronounced around the mouth,â€ť said Dr. Jeanette Jacknin, a Solana Beach, California, holistic dermatologist specializing in topical cannabinoids and skin disorders.
Smoking also releases free radicals, which impair collagen production in the body and break down proteins that maintain the skin, Jacknin told Marijuana.com. Higher levels of free radicals further increase oxidative damage to cells and can accelerate skin damage.
However, smoking isnâ€™t the only way to reap the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Infused creams, lotions, and serums have powerful anti-aging properties that can help mitigate some of the damage.
Hemp oil, which is made by cold-pressing the seeds of hemp plants, has been used in beauty products for ages. Itâ€™s high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for moisturizing dull skin.
â€śFatty acids in hemp oil also help regenerate the skinâ€™s protective outer layer, leaving it smoother and younger looking,â€ť Jacknin said. Vitamins C and E aid in protecting the skin and hair from the sun and keep free radicals from damaging collagen and elastin, which give skin its tight, youthful appearance.
CBD, a cannabinoid, also has been shown to reduce the physical signs of aging. When applied topically, CBD affects cannabinoid receptors in the skin. â€śThis regulates the life cycle of basal cells so that they turn over faster and younger cells are seen faster,â€ť Jacknin said. The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD help break down those damaging free radicals, which accelerate the appearance of aging.
Some skin care manufacturers are including CBD in their products. Cannabis Beauty Defined uses non-GMO, high-CBD hemp oil and other phytocannabinoids in its cleanser, exfoliator, toner, serum, and moisturizer. Khus+Khus Sen Face Serum claims that its hemp oil formula is a complete skin healing modality. The serum contains Somalian frankincense Co2, an aromatic gum resin extracted from African trees, to stimulate new cell growth and revitalize the skin, improving its appearance and texture.
Before trying cannabis anti-aging treatments, itâ€™s important to read the label on each product; ingredients are listed in the order of their percentage. â€śHemp oil or CBD should be near the top or middle of the list so that there is a fairly high concentration,â€ť Jacknin said. If itâ€™s near the bottom of the list, there isnâ€™t much in the final product.
Another beneficial ingredient is CBD isolate, a cannabidiol in its purest form stripped of other active compounds, or whole-plant extract.
Whole-plant extract keeps all of the properties of the hemp plant intact, including terpenes, cannabinoids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and phytonutrients, which have unique healing benefits. Some of these products are labeled as â€śfull-spectrum extractâ€ť or â€śfull-spectrum hemp extractâ€ť on websites or packaging. However, you should contact manufacturers directly and ask how they ensure accuracy and consistency in their products. The best of the bunch should be able to offer current test results.
Finally, beware of flashy packaging and lofty promises. â€śThis is an unregulated industry and marketing claims abound,â€ť Jacknin said.