While it’s surely a good thing to make CBD oil easily available for people all over the world, the increasing popularity of products rich in cannabinoids has a not so pleasant side effect. Driven by the desire to explore this business opportunity and get the most of it, producers use misleading marketing and deceptive advertising to increase profits.
The skin has the highest amount and concentration of CB2 receptors in the body. When applied topically as an infused lotion, serum, oil, or salve, the antioxidant (a more powerful antioxidant than vitamins E and C) in CBD oil has many benefits and can repair damage from free radicals like UV rays and environmental pollutants. Cannabinoid receptors can be found in the skin and seem to be connected to the regulation of oil production in the sebaceous glands. Cannabis-based topical products are being developed to treat related issues from acne to psoriasis and can promote faster healing of damaged skin. In fact, historical documents show that cannabis preparations have been used for wound healing in both animals and people in a range of cultures spanning the globe and going back thousands of years. The use of concentrated cannabis and CBD oils to benefit and treat skin cancer is gaining popularity with a number of well-documented cases of people curing both melanoma and carcinoma-type skin cancers with the topical application of CBD and THC products. Best known is the case of Rick Simpson, who cured his basal cell carcinoma with cannabis oil and now has a widely distributed line of products. Cannabis applied topically is not psychoactive.
Francesca Fusco, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City, recently told Health that CBD oil is a rich source of fatty acids and other skin-healthy nutrients, and that it may improve hydration and minimize moisture loss. A few studies have also suggested that CBD oil may inhibit the growth of acne, although this hypothesis has only been tested in laboratory cell cultures—not in actual humans.
In 31 states and the District of Columbia cannabis is legal for some medical uses, and a majority of Americans favor legalization for recreational use. Other countries are rethinking their relationship to pot too. In Uruguay and Canada the drug is legal. Portugal has decriminalized it. Israel and the Netherlands have medical marijuana programs, and in recent years numerous countries have liberalized possession laws.
The arrival of Epidiolex is unlikely to erase the unregulated CBD market, however. For one, Epidiolex has been studied only in connection with a small number of epileptic conditions. If and when Epidiolex makes its way to drug stores, it will be approved only for the treatment of Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, two rare forms of catastrophic epilepsy. People like me, with comparatively mild Janz Syndrome, and people like Harper, with extremely rare conditions like CDKL5, may still be out of luck.
CBD may help reduces REM behavior disorder in people with Parkinson’s disease. REM behavior disorder is a condition that causes people to act out physically during dreaming and REM sleep. Typically, during REM, the body is largely paralyzed, a state known as REM atonia. This immobilization keeps sleepers from reacting physically to their dreams. In REM behavior disorder, this paralysis doesn’t occur, leaving people free to move—which can lead to disruptive sleep and to injuring themselves or their sleeping partners. Cannabis may also work to reduce pain and improve sleep quality in people with Parkinson’s disease.
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