Does CBD Affect Serotonin Levels?

CBD has always been popular, even in historical times, not only for its potential health benefits but also for the few side effects it has on users. Recent advancements in technology have allowed health researchers to explore how CBD could be used to improve the health and wellbeing of human beings. Even though conclusive evidence is yet to be settled upon, initial results suggest that CBD could become a major contribution to healthy living.

One of the many potential health benefits of CBD is that it could be helpful in the treatment of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The secret lies in the way that CBD interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain, which are vital for managing anxiety and depression. In this article, we’ll answer the question Does CBD affect serotonin levels? in order to take a close look at what role it could one day play in managing anxiety, depression, and similar disorders.

The Link Between Serotonin and Mental Health Serotonin is a chemical made from tryptophan that sends signals between nerve cells. It is found throughout the central nervous system, blood platelets, and even the digestive system. Some of the functions of serotonin in the body include healing wounds, maintaining bone health, stimulating nausea, and controlling bowel functions. The chemical also helps in maintaining the emotional and mental wellbeing of individuals. Individuals with normal serotonin levels have greater potential to be more emotionally stable, more focused, calmer, and happier. Studies have shown that there are links between low serotonin levels and mental health problems. Serotonin deficiency in the brain has been linked to insomnia, anxiety, and depression. In order to treat serotonin deficiency and increase its levels, medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are usually prescribed for patients.

There are also natural ways of increasing serotonin levels. These include the following:

  • Exposure to sunshine and light therapy
  • Regular exercise
  • A healthy diet
  • Meditation

Since there are also risks of developing sexual dysfunction, serotonin syndrome, and addiction from using pharmaceutical medications, health researchers have been looking at how CBD could be used to improve mental health without these harmful side effects.

How Does CBD Affect Serotonin and Mental Health?

Anxiety and depression are commonly co-occurring mental health problems. Patients diagnosed with one are likely to have the other as well. It is believed that CBD could be effective in the treatment of both. While CBD will not necessarily cure these two mental health problems, it could be helpful in improving the symptoms in patients suffering from anxiety and depression.

Does CBD affect serotonin levels? The answer is no. CBD does not increase the levels of serotonin in patients with mood disorders. CBD only affects how the chemical receptors found in the brain respond to the serotonin produced in the body. One hypothesis under investigation is that the cannabinoid interacts with these receptors to produce anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects on patients.

The human body already produces its own cannabinoids known as endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoids, produced in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), regulate bodily functions such as pain sensation, appetite, sleep, and mood by binding to receptors. By binding and activating receptors such as the 5-HT1A serotonin receptors, these endocannabinoids stimulate the production of serotonin which reduces stress levels and improves an individual’s mood.

According to research, the potential anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects of CBD lie in mimicking the effects serotonin has on the brain. It does this by binding with 5-HT1A serotonin receptors in the body and activating them.

Furthermore, research has revealed that CBD interacts with CB1 receptors in the brain to increase the levels of anandamide . Anandamides regulate chemicals such as serotonin in the brain and stimulate them to send messages to the nerve cells as a way of keeping the body balanced.

Depression has also been shown to be connected to inflammation and structural changes to the brain, which ultimately results in a chemical imbalance. Inflammation and structural changes can be caused by chronic stress, past trauma, physical illnesses, and pain. Research is being conducted to determine if CBD could produce therapeutic effects by interacting with and binding to TRPV1 receptors, which are known to regulate body temperature and mediate inflammation and pain perception. By acting on the TRPV1 receptors, CBD could be helpful in reducing the chemical balance in the brain and therefore help in managing depression. It is important to note, however, that the FDA has not yet approved CBD as a treatment for anxiety or depression.

The potential for CBD products to significantly improve the symptoms of anxiety and depression is welcomed by many. Patients diagnosed with such mental health problems look to CBD as a path to improve their quality of life. But research is still ongoing to determine how CBD could be fully utilized for the benefit of mental health patients.

Can I Use CBD for Anxiety and Depression?

While CBD has not been officially approved as a treatment for these conditions by the FDA, that doesn’t stop individuals from giving it a try. Initial studies prove promising, but the debate is still out on how CBD affects serotonin levels and the related mood disorders. If you are interested in giving CBD a try for any reasons, here is some important information to keep in mind. There are several ways of using CBD products. You can place drops under your tongue, add CBD oil to food, swallow CBD capsules, inhale it through vaping or smoking devices, and even apply it topically.

Topical application of CBD will only affect the targeted area, and the bioavailability is significantly hampered through this method. For this reason, it is likely to be ineffective on serotonin-related mood disorders. If CDB is taken orally, it first has to go through the digestive system. The bioavailability of CBD in the bloodstream gets reduced as the digestive enzymes break it down. Users will, therefore, need larger dosages to feel the effects. Depending on an individual’s rate of metabolism, it will also take time for the effects to be felt.

Sublingual consumption of CBD as tinctures is probably the most effective way to get it to affect your entire body, brain included. This is because the CBD gets absorbed immediately into the bloodstream through the tissues under the tongue. Users will feel the effects almost immediately after taking CBD. The bioavailability is also higher than in the other methods of consumption. Since research on the potential medical benefits of CBD is still ongoing, there is not much regulation surrounding the use of CBD for medical purposes. As such, proper CBD dosages for various conditions have not been determined and developed. If you are going to use CBD in hopes of managing serotonin-related mood disorders, you should work closely with your doctor to determine proper dosage and a plan of action

Are There Any Side Effects of Using CBD for Mood Disorders?

At the moment, there are very few known side effects of using CBD. In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the compound generally safe and well-tolerated even in high doses. However, some test patients reported experiencing diarrhea, fatigue, and a change in appetite and weight. These are short-term effects that disappear as soon as CBD clears off the system. Research is still ongoing to determine whether CBD has any long-term and far-reaching side effects on users.

CBD has also been shown to interact with certain medications, especially antidepressants. That is why it is important for mental health patients to consult with their doctors before starting on CBD dosage. It is not recommended for pregnant women and children below the age of two years to use CBD products. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, you should let your doctor know before starting on CBD.

Buying CBD for Anxiety and Depression

It is advisable to go for hemp-derived CBD when looking to manage the symptoms associated with anxiety, depression, or similar serotonin-related mood disorders. Marijuana-derived CBD may contain high levels of THC that will produce undesirable psychoactive effects on users.

Hemp-derived CBD has been legalized in several states and is widely available. You should only purchase CBD products from reputable manufacturers and vendors who sell trustworthy and reliable products. Reputable manufacturers and vendors usually conduct third-party lab testing for their products. At, we will actually provide you with these lab results directly on the product packaging. That way, you know that your specific product came from a batch that was held to the highest standards.

Research on how effectively CBD could be used in the treatment of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression is not yet conclusive. You should therefore never buy CBD products as a replacement for your antidepressant prescription. Abruptly stopping could also result in uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous, withdrawal symptoms. At the very least, talk to your doctor first. They will be able to advise you on how you can incorporate CBD as part of your treatment plan. Until conclusive research is released and proper regulations developed, CBD should not be your first-line treatment for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Does CBD Affect GABA?

Does CBD Affect GABA
Does CBD Affect GABA

If you aren’t very familiar with it, you’ve probably at least heard of CBD. Otherwise known as cannabidiol, it is one of the chemical compounds of the cannabis plant. In the health and wellness community, people appreciate CBD for its non-psychoactive properties and its potential benefits for therapeutic use. Many users of CBD claim that it has helped them find relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety and other symptoms.

A lesser known topic about CBD is the impact it can have at the molecular level. At this time, scientists have been able to identify 65 different molecules that can be affected by CBD. When it binds to cannabinoid receptors, the ensuing reaction, or binding affinity, is weak. CB1 receptors are found in the nervous system, whereas some of the body’s peripheral tissues also contain CB1 as well as CB2 receptors. Their role is to ensure a healthy, proper function of the brain. How, then, does CBD work? It regulates other receptors and ion pathways. For instance, it can slow down neurotransmitters, which send signals from one neuron, cell, or gland to another.

CBD can also augment or interfere with membrane receptors such as G-protein-coupled receptors. These are proteins in cell membranes that bind substances together while transmitting signals from them. In simpler terms, they play a role in the body’s physiological response to various elements. One of the chief neurotransmitters of the human brain is GABA, or gamma aminobutyric acid. In this post, we’ll discuss how CBD affects GABA to better understand some of the primary benefits that researchers are exploring. In order to completely grasp the link between GABA and CBD, however, you first need to understand how CBD interacts with other receptors in the nervous system.

Serotonin Receptors

Serotonin is produced by nerve cells. The chemical comes from tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids. It sends signals from one cell to another. Where can serotonin be found? It is mainly located in the digestive and central nervous systems as well as blood platelets.

Someone with a deficiency of it may be more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. That’s because the role of serotonin is to help manage motor skills as well as stabilize one’s emotions.

When serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, it activates the body’s serotonin receptors, which can affect anything from mood and appetite to cognition and sleep. Cannabidiol may be capable of activating a serotonin receptor called 5-HT1A, which is responsible for relieving symptoms of anxiety.

Vanilloid Receptors

Another way in which CBD interacts with different ion channels is by binding to TRPV1 receptors. TRPV1, or “transient receptor of potential cation channel subfamily V,” is also known as a vanilloid receptor. These are responsible for how the body reacts to pain, inflammation, and changes in temperature.

Orphan Receptors

In some cases, CBD can block G-protein-coupled receptors. This is true of GPR55, an orphan receptor. It has been given this name because it does not have a known natural binding compound. GPR55 is found in the cerebellum, or the back of the brain. It helps regulate things such as blood pressure. GPR55 is also found on osteoclast cells ,and thus researchers are exploring the potential for CBD to alter bone density.

Nuclear Receptors

Another family of receptors that are activated by CBD are PPARs, or peroxisome proliferator activated receptors. These have an anti-proliferative effect. They also may help regress lung cancer cells and break down amyloid-beta plaque. PPARs have been linked to helping relieve symptoms related to Alzheimers’ disease. Medical researchers are also exploring how diabetes patients may also benefit from the way CBD intervenes with nuclear receptors. That’s because PPARs help manage the genes responsible for insulin sensitivity, the uptake of lipids, and energy homeostasis.

CBD as an Inhibitor

CBD binds to nuclear receptors through a fatty acid binding protein, which also lets through lipid molecules, THC ,and other endocannabinoids within the cell. CBD helps modulate receptors, which in turn manages mitochondrial activity such as gene expression. Since CBD has an affinity with certain fatty acid binding proteins, it can also help transport molecules. CBD interferes with the breaking down of anandamide. Because cannabidiol reabsorbs the neurotransmitter and inhibits its breakdown, it may elevate endocannabinoid levels in each synapse of the brain. As a result, endocannabinoids may be enhanced, which could assist in protecting the brain from the effects of a seizure.

In addition to this, CBD inhibits the absorption of adenosine, causing its receptor activity to be increased. Adenosine receptors A1A and A2A are what promote cardiovascular health, blood flow in the coronary arteries, and oxygen consumption of the heart’s muscular tissues. Medical research is underway to determine if these properties may allow CBD to produce anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects throughout the entire human body.

CBD as an Allosteric Modulator

CBD also plays an additional role—that of increasing or hindering a signal from being transmitted. It does so by redefining the receptor’s shape. Because of the way cannabidiol changes the signal strength that a receptor transmits to another cell, some researchers hypothesize that CBD may be a positive allosteric modulator with GABA receptors. These receptors respond to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter and main inhibitor in a person’s nervous system. GABA receptors are found in the limbic system.

Psychoactive drugs like benzodiazepines help sedate a person because of how GABA receptors mediate their transmission. CBD may affect GABA receptors by changing them to enhance GABA transmission. If so, this could increase the calming properties of endogenous GABA, which could potentially reduce anxiety.

How Does CBD Affect GABA?

One report published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information studied the link between CBD and GABA receptors. Researchers used magnetic resonance to measure levels of glutamine and GABA on 34 male patients, half of which suffered from autism spectrum disorder. They did so after administering each study group 600 mg of CBD in one dose. The findings concluded that CBD does modulate GABA receptors. In the case of healthy patients, it increased. Whereas in patients with autism, it decreased. The difference between the two was described as significant by the researchers. As a result, they concluded that CBD affects GABA receptors, but the response differs between neurotypical human subjects and those with autism.

The ways in which CBD affects GABA receptors may be at the heart of its potential anti-anxiety properties. Gamma butyric acid receptors are neurotransmitters and are the main inhibitory chemical in the central nervous system. As a result, they slow brain activity. Glutamate, on the other hand, has an excitatory effect. Too much of it can cause anxiety.

GABA is just one example of a receptor that helps manage anxiety. Some people turn to benzodiazepines so that they can activate GABA receptors. Unfortunately, these drugs also come with some undesirable side effects. CBD, on the other hand, helps activate CB1 receptors, which could aid in reducing anxiety and stress. CBD may also impact 5-HT1A receptors, which help increase feelings of wellbeing. As for TRPV1 receptors, CBD could help regulate a different form of anxiety: the sort that stems from inflammation and chronic pain.

GABA receptors help keep a healthy balance between the two neurotransmitters and ensure proper brain function. CBD and the endocannabinoid 2-AG increase the production of GABA. Another study that had been conducted on mice further revealed the anxiolytic effect of CBD.

Interestingly, high levels of stress diminish GABA production. But its production went back to normal when introduced to an anti-inflammatory. Cannabidiol has potential to reduce inflammation in addition to calming the brain’s immune response. As a result, researchers were exploring the hypothesis that CBD affects GABA receptors in a way that may be beneficial to human health.

How Much CBD is Needed to Increase GABA?

Another study, whose results were published on NCBI’s website, shows how CBD’s calming effect increases until a dosage of 300 mg. From that point onward, cannabidiol can activate PPAR. Many patients in the study felt anxiety relief at a range of 40 mg to 100 mg. We must point out, of course, that this is simply the result of a single study. The FDA has not approved CBD as a treatment for anxiety, nor have they made any suggestions on specific dosages.

CBD’s Binding Affinity

Some medical researchers label cannabidiol as a negative allosteric modulator. This is not for GABA receptors, but CB1 receptors. They are found in the central nervous system as well as in the brain. Unlike THC, cannabidiol doesn’t bind directly to CB1 receptors. Instead, it diminishes the CB1 receptor’s ability to bind with tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD acts as an allosteric modulator by changing the shape of the CB1 receptors. As a result, THC’s psychoactive properties are reduced. This explains why a product like CBD isolate, although containing traces of THC, won’t “get you high”.

In Conclusion

After reading this article, we hope you better understand how CBD affects GABA receptors. Although research is still underway to determine the complete effects of cannabidiol, many people are hopeful that it will one day be approved as a treatment for anxiety and many other conditions.

CBD and Libido: What are the Effects?

CBD and Libido
CBD and Libido

In life, it’s the pleasant kind of friction that gives us the greatest joy. In sex, well, it’s also the pleasant kind of friction that gives us the greatest joy. However, while the will to live is a given, the will to have sex (aka libido) isn’t. There are all sorts of mental disorders and emotional trauma that cause problems with libido but there can also be physical damage to the body. Ultimately, a healthy expression of libido requires a functioning body as well as a functioning mind. So, what’s the effect of CBD on libido? Let’s take a look.

How Does Libido Work?

Libido comes from Latin for “love or lust”. Libido represents the loving, lustful, raw and passionate act of yearning for intimacy that humans so sorely need. Most of all, libido is a sincere yearning for pleasant friction that leads to a meaningful bond between two people. While we feel libido as a yearning and think it’s a conscious choice, it’s actually a result of chemicals being released in the body. That doesn’t take away from the beauty of a meaningful bond, but it does reveal that if something goes awry in the body, the libido inevitably suffers. In some cases, we then blame ourselves or think we’re unworthy of love.

Libido and Nitric Oxide

The largest amount of research with regards to libido has been done on erectile dysfunction (ED). On average, ED affects about 10 percent of men per 10 years of their life. So, for example, 40% of men in their 40s will suffer from mild to moderate ED. While much of the research focuses specifically on men, some of the ED research is applicable to women, since it can reveal how arousal works in the brain and detail bodily arousal mechanisms shared by both genders.

At its core, bodily arousal happens because of the release of nitric oxide (NO), a powerful substance that causes blood vessels to relax and let blood flow, which is essentially how an erection happens. Nitric oxide is normally created from nitrates (NO3) found in all sorts of leafy greens, such as kale. In the body, NO3 is reduced to the short-lived NO that briefly relaxes and expands any blood vessel it touches, helping the body micromanage its blood vessels. So, we’ve narrowed down the problem, which is that ED or any other issues with libido are essentially issues with blood vessels.

ED and Blood Vessels

A 2017 U.S. study titled “Recent advances in the treatment of erectile dysfunction” details how an erection happens, explaining that “erection occurs with the release of nitric oxide (NO) from the vascular endothelial cells.” Then, ED is explained as being a dysfunction in the penis of these cells that line arteries throughout the body, with an interesting implication: “a similar phenomenon is well known to impact the coronary arterial system resulting in CVD (cardiovascular disease).” In other words, this is a confirmation of what we figured out above—problems with libido might be caused by damaged blood vessels.

The link between ED and CVD was found to be so strong that men having the former would have an enormous risk of having or developing the latter in the near future. The study states it thusly: “Men in their 40s with ED have a 50-fold increased risk of CVD and men in their 20s and 30s have a sevenfold increased CV risk.” One explanation why ED strikes before any signs of CVD is that smaller arteries, such as the one in the penis, are more delicate and tend to suffer the damage more profoundly than the larger ones found in the rest of the body.

That study explains that the damage to endothelium occurs because of what’s known as “oxidative stress” that normally happens in the body, but ramps up during illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, to name a few. Remember how NO3 becomes NO? The resulting excess oxygen is what causes oxidative stress, which the body normally cancels out using antioxidants, such as vitamin C (also present in leafy greens). So, solving libido problems requires tackling these serious health issues and radically changing lifestyles, with the very first step being to increase the intake of substances that protect the blood vessels.

A 2017 study took a dozen diabetic rats and tried to see what happens with their blood vessels when they’re given 10 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight for a week. Alongside those, a dozen healthy rats were treated with CBD as well to see what would happen with their arteries.

The study states as a foregone conclusion that “cannabidiol causes vasorelaxation in isolated arteries of rats and in humans” but the novel discovery was that only the diabetic rats were helped by CBD—healthy rats’ arteries weren’t changed, “suggesting that the positive vascular effects of CBD are revealed when vascular dysfunction is present.” The real bomb of a revelation is what the study says next: “This is consistent with the known pro-homeostatic properties of cannabinoids, where they only affect the functioning of a perturbed system, but not a healthy one.”

In essence, the researchers found that CBD does not boost the function of blood vessels beyond what they’re normally capable of but simply helps the body achieve balance.

CBD and Oxidative Stress

A 2019 Polish study titled “Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol” goes through what makes CBD so appealing when struggling with libido problems, stating that “The therapeutic potential of CBD has been evaluated in cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, cancer, and metabolic diseases, which are usually accompanied by oxidative stress and inflammation.”

The study succinctly explained oxidative stress as follows: “The result of an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants is oxidative stress, the consequences of which are oxidative modifications of lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins.” In other words, when there’s too much oxidation and too few antioxidants, the cells starts accumulating oxidative stress, or damage.

When cells experience too much oxidative stress, their communication methods go haywire and they start firing off all sorts of signals, which can cause inflammation that compounds all other health problems. To combat all of those problems, a common prescription is taking vitamins C and E. The study compares CBD to those two, stating that “CBD exhibits much more antioxidant activity (30–50%) than α-tocopherol [a type of vitamin E] or vitamin C”. However, the study is still not pleased with CBD, mentioning some of its downsides, such as that it interferes with how the liver processes certain drugs. Like everything else, CBD has downsides, so let’s see what the studies say about how CBD affects libido.

CBD Intake and Libido

As a word of caution, here are a few studies that mention the negative effects of CBD on libido in rats. A 2018 study gave male mice 15 or 30 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight for 34 consecutive days. The study found that CBD impaired the sexual function and fertility of rats with the increase in CBD dose, affecting up to 30% of the 30 mg group, with the study concluding that, “Our results indicate that chronic CBD exposure promotes functional impairment of the reproductive system of male Swiss mice.”

A 2020 Brazilian meta-study titled evaluated studies that tested the effects of CBD on reproductive systems of sea urchins, mice, rats, monkeys, and men. The meta-study found that “chronic doses of CBD have impaired sexual behavior in mice” but also noted that “knowledge is still limited, and additional research is required to elucidate fully the mechanisms of action, as well as the reversibility of CBD effects on the reproductive system.”


Right now, there’s scant data that would point to a relationship between CBD and libido. What studies do show is that CBD may act as a protector of blood vessels from inflammation and oxidative stress, which are the two core causes of cardiovascular problems. Whether this means CBD can improve libido is anyone’s guess.

Another stumbling stone is that there’s no telling what dose is effective or safe when using CBD for libido. There’s a dearth of studies using CBD on humans that could tell us what dose, if any, has an effect on libido, let alone a positive one. The best strategy moving forward is to cautiously evaluate the effects of CBD oil at all doses and make sure we’re always payingattention to the signs or the lack of signs our body is giving us.

Can CBD Make You Look Younger?

Can CBD Make You Look Younger
Can CBD Make You Look Younger

In the 5 th century BC, the ancient historian Herodotus wrote about a fountain, the waters of which can make the skin “all glossy and sleek” and extend the lifespan of anyone bathing in it.

The myth of the Fountain of Youth was sparked anew in the early 16 th century by Juan Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer who was supposedly trying to discover this source of eternal beauty and youth in the Bahamas—as far as we know, he failed in his mission.

The myth of magical waters that can provide eternal beauty and youth has persisted for so long because we’re fascinated with the youthful look and ways to hold on to it for as long as possible.

Looking and feeling young seems beyond our control, and yet society often judges us based off of how young we look. Though we can’t actually become young again, we can take small steps to preserve the youthful look we already have, such as by dealing with acne.

So, how close is CBD (cannabidiol) to the Fountain of Youth? Can CBD make you look younger? Let’s find out.

How Does Skin Work?

Skin is the largest organ in the body, comprised of two layers:

  1. Epidermis, the waxy outer layer
  2. Dermis, the thriving inner layer

The dermis supports, feeds, and cushions the epidermis, which in turn shields the dermis from the environment. Together, these two layers envelop the body and let us interface with the world. Through skin, we touch and get touched by the environment.

Not all environments have an equally gentle touch, and some of them manhandle us. Whenever we’re exposed to toxic chemicals or the elements, the epidermis takes the brunt of the impact, acting as a shock absorber. The dermis then kicks into action and replaces the damaged epidermis cells, which works just fine—unless the damage happens on an ongoing basis. The gist of this is that skin is a layered system, and any changes to it (whether good or bad) take time to manifest. By the time you notice the change, the process has already been going on for years.

Why Does the Skin Lose Its Youthful Look?

As the skin gets damaged, the body will react with inflammation and distribute nutrients it has in stock to help the damage heal correctly. In cases where the body doesn’t have enough nutrients and the damage is ongoing, the epidermis doesn’t heal all the way through, leading to a gradual appearance of things such as acne. Over time, the dermis and epidermis can no longer keep up, and that’s when the skin loses its youthful look. In essence, anything that repeatedly touches the epidermis eventually seeps into dermis, at which point both layers start changing.

 Ongoing skin damage means the body is drawing on its nutrient stock, which can cause problems to the rest of the body that suddenly finds itself lacking nutrients. You can see where this is going: without nutrients, other organs can also experience inflammation and have the

exact same issue of improperly healed damage that leads to more problems for the skin. And if you start worrying about all of this happening to you, you’ll frown and furrow your forehead, which will lead to wrinkles as well!

Helping the Body Heal

To promote healing of not just the skin but the entire body, we should stop worrying and start taking small daily steps that are convenient and affordable to us. For example, we should try to increase nutrient intake, especially when it comes to antioxidants, to prevent at least some of the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.

Inside the body, there’s a constant circulation of free radicals that pretty much fry whatever they come in contact with, basically causing the body to burn up on the inside, cell by cell. Some of these free radicals are produced by the body and others are toxic chemicals coming from the outside. The body neutralizes all of them by spending nutrients known as antioxidants, which include vitamins.

There are actually tons of nutrients that serve as antioxidants, ranging from carotenoids found in colorful fruits and veggies to vitamins such as vitamins C and E. As we learn more and more about nature, we start finding some unusual anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in all sorts of things, including CBD. Now let’s see if and how CBD can make the skin look younger.

CBD Anti-inflammatory Effects

In a joint EU-Japanese study done in 2014 titled “Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes”, scientists looked at how CBD affects sebocytes, skin glands that produce various oils to lubricate hair follicles. When sebocytes get inflamed, infected, or just grow and produce oils uncontrollably, the skin develops acne, for which there is still no universal cure.

The study states that “CBD exerts universal antiinflammatory actions” and that “these results strongly suggest that CBD’s universal sebostatic action is accompanied by substantial antiinflammatory effects, which would be very much desired in the clinical treatment of acne vulgaris”. In other words, the study concludes that CBD reduced the inflammation and prevented the growth and oil production of sebocytes when CBD was applied to the skin culture and sebocytes for 24 hours. However, that was a lab test done on skin samples, not on actual skin.

So, can CBD be safely applied to actual skin and what are the effects? Bathing in undiluted CBD might cause problems, but a 2019 Hungarian study titled “Cannabinoid Signaling in the Skin: Therapeutic Potential of the ‘C(ut)annabinoid’ System” states that “carefully selected doses of topically applied CBD might also exert beneficial effects in AA”, meaning alopecia areata, or spot baldness. Can you guess why AA happens? That’s right: inflammation of the hair follicles.

 The study notes that “cannabinoid abuse can be accompanied by acne, [which] highlights how cannabinoid signaling may influence human sebocyte biology”, though “CBD was found to exert complex anti-acne effects”. Indeed, in an ongoing study titled “The safety of topical cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of acne”, 23 volunteers having 40–150 incidents of facial acne were

given a proprietary 5% CBD solution to apply twice a day to their acne. After 28 days of use, the study found that “preliminary results show that 5% [CBD solution] is safe and well tolerated and activity in acne has been observed” but that more studies are needed before any conclusive results can be drawn.

When CBD was rubbed on the skin of rats who had arthritis induced in their knees, a 2016 study titled “Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis” found that “outcomes of this study indicate that topical application of CBD gel is an effective treatment for reduction in inflammation” and that “transdermal administration of CBD provided good blood absorption due to avoidance of first pass metabolism”. In other words, CBD rubbed on the skin bypasses the digestion and enters the blood more easily. The gelsused in that study delivered up to 62.3 mg of CBD a day by being rubbed for 30 seconds, applied each day over the course of four days.

CBD Antioxidant Effects

When inflammation happens, it means the body is already being damaged. However, by taking in antioxidants, we can prevent some of the damage from happening in the first place, especially in organs that are vulnerable to oxidation. Fatty acids, such as those found in the skin but also in the retina, are especially vulnerable to oxidation, but studies done with CBD show some quite unusual results, to put it mildly.

A 2018 Italian study titled “Cannabis sativa L. and Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoids: Their Chemistry and Role against Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Cancer” mentions that “CBD has been found to possess antioxidant activity in many studies”, calling it “one of the most interesting compounds” and adding that “CBD represents at the moment the most promising compound present in C. sativa.” Why all the gushing? Let’s take a look at another study to find out.

In a 2003 study titled “Neuroprotective Effect of(−)Δ 9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol in N-Methyl-d-Aspartate-Induced Retinal Neurotoxicity”, the compound known as NMDA was injected into rats’ eyes to cause the oxidation of fatty acids in their retinas, normally expected to lead to glaucoma and blindness. However, when 2 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight was injected right before the NMDA injection, roughly 75% of damage was prevented. The study concludes that “CBD is not only an antioxidant per se but it also inhibits the degradation of an endogenous cannabinoid, arachidonoyl ethanolamide or anandamide, which has been shown as a neuroprotectant through multiple mechanisms including noncannabinoid receptor targets”, meaning CBD synergizes with other antioxidants already in the body.

It is important to note, of course, that all these individual studies are not enough to draw wide conclusions from. They may help researchers determine future directions to take their experiments, but they can’t be used to definitively say CBD can be used for specific treatments.

The FDA has not yet approved CBD as a treatment for any of the conditions tested in these studies.


Sadly, no single substance can ever match the fabled rejuvenating effects of the Fountain of Youth, and CBD is no exception. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do to retain that youthful look. By taking in nutrients with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, we can help the body protect itself from damage and heal properly, which includes rejuvenating the skin.

We need many more studies to determine if CBD can make you look younger, but so far the results are encouraging. What we do know about skin aging is that it’s a lifelong process that is

curbed by nutrients, antioxidants, and by avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals and the elements. Studies are just starting to investigate the potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties of CBD, sparking hope that CBD may one day be proven to help us all look younger.

In the end, the only way to find out an answer to the question yourself if to try out some CBD oil, or perhaps a topical CBD cream, and see what it can do for you.