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CBD & The Skin: How CBD Topicals Work

CBD & The Skin: How CBD Topicals Work - Tub Therapy

There are several ways to enjoy the benefits of CBD and one of the safest and most popular methods is slathering it on the largest organ of our body - the skin! 

CBD, one of the most prominent cannabinoid found in the cannabis sativa plant, is purported to have powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and anti-acne properties that are beneficial to the skin so it’s no wonder it now appears to be essentially everywhere - from lotions, bath bombs and even lip balms. 

Read on to understand how CBD is absorbed through the skin and why it makes a welcome nutrient boost to skincare formulations. 

How does CBD work with the human body?

CBD interacts with our body through the endocannabinoid system or ECS, an active and complex cell-signaling system that acts as a bridge between our body and mind, and functions to maintain the balance of the body or what we call homeostasis. Homeostasis is the state of equilibrium in the body in which all the organs function optimally despite fluctuations in the external environment. 

Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. CB1 receptors are mainly located in the nervous system, lungs and muscles, while CB2 receptors are located in the skin, spleen and bones. Both CB1 and CB2 are present in the immune system.

In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always homeostasisCB1 receptors are more related to psychotropic effects and maintaining physiological, cognitive and emotional balance, while CB2 are involved in immunomodulatory effects. 

CBD is meant to support our endocannabinoid system in maintaining homeostasis. The ECS cannot always produce the right amount of cannabinoids needed so outside phytocannabinoids, such as CBD, are introduced to improve functionality.

How does CBD work with our skin?

Once a CBD product is applied on the skin, CBD does its job by stimulating the CB2 receptors in the skin. Many types of skin cells - keratinocytes, melanocytes and fibroblasts - have CB2 receptors. These will allow CBD to control the skin’s immune response and act directly on the targeted area during the application.

CBD topical application doesn’t penetrate deep enough to reach the bloodstream unlike other CBD methods but it does provide a localized effect because it becomes absorbed through the pores.

How do CBD topicals work?

CBD topicals like lotions, salves, bath bombs and soaps, are applied directly onto your skin. Topical CBD absorption offers localized relief, meaning it’s useful for soothing a specific surface area of the skin like mild physical discomfort and muscle soreness. For example, CBD pain relief gels and salves are one of the most straightforward ways to help ease the discomfort that naturally occurs a few hours after a strenuous exercise or fitness routine.

CBD is also known for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it’s currently the most popular ingredient in skincare products. CBD skincare can be beneficial in treating a host of skin concerns like inflammation, dryness, and free radical damage. CBD is also effective in fighting acne and other skin blemishes as it helps reduce the production of sebum in the skin. 

In addition, studies have also shown that CBD may be effective in treating eczema and psoriasis. In fact, the National Eczema Association (NEA) has found CBD as having anti-microbial and anti-itch qualities from a research on cannabis as treatment for skin conditions. Another study published in 2007 forthe Journal of Dermatological Science also concluded CBD as a curative value for psoriasis by slowing down the overgrowth of certain skin cells. This claim was supported by a 2016 review on cannabinoids as effective treatment for psoriasis.

What are the skincare benefits of CBD?


CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and its soothing and relaxing powers. Studies have shown that CBD helps in overcoming inflammation by helping the body maintain good health and allowing it to create a barrier against external aggressions.

The anti-inflammatory virtues of CBD are related to the action of cannabinoids that reduce the production of cytokines and regulate the functionality of skin cells; they also regulate the production of keratinocytes.  

CBD also suppresses NF-kB, a protein complex that controls DNA transcription, cytokine production and cell survival. NF-kB is one of the body’s major pro-inflammatory pathways and is known to play a role in inflammatory skin reactions such as psoriasis. Moreover, CBD reduces the breakdown of anandamide, an endocannabinoid compound made by the body involved in reducing inflammation as well as skin itching.


A 2014 study showed that CBD acted on sebocytes, the cells responsible for creating sebum, and prevented them from creating too much of it. Mainly caused by an excess of sebum on the skin, CBD helps reduce and treat acne. It functions as a strong sebo-static agent, which makes it a powerful ingredient for acne treatment and a perfect choice for all skin types, including sensitive skin and those that have difficulty balancing sebum production. 


CBD is known for its anti-aging action and powerful antioxidant properties, perhaps even more powerful than both vitamins C and E. A study released in 1998 by the Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences expressed that “cannabidiol was more protective against glutamate neurotoxicity than either ascorbate or α-tocopherol, indicating it to be a potent antioxidant.”

Antioxidants help to halt the aging process by reducing free-radicals that accelerate the destruction of collagen in the skin. CBD helps slow down the process of collagen loss and keeps skin looking brighter, more youthful, firmer, and stronger.

Other benefits

CBD is also known for working synergistically with other beneficial ingredients. When used in conjunction with other skin-loving oils and emollients, CBD skincare products can achieve amazing results and do more wonders for your skin! 

Many CBD skincare products contain several other ingredients that specifically help to repair, protect and moisturize the skin. With these specialized ingredients and the wholesome benefits of CBD infused together, CBD topicals are wonder aids for reducing wrinkles, acne, dryness and other skin blemishes. 

Our verdict?

If you’re searching for an added boost to your skin care game, Tub Therapy CBD skin treats deliver powerful skin care effectively and expeditiously. We’ve carefully curated the ingredients to create a special formula of CBD lotions, CBD bath bombs, and CBD cold-processed soaps that are handmade, nutrient-rich, skin-nourishing, sustainably produced and cruelty-free. 


*Medical Disclaimer: CBD has not yet been proven to reverse any health conditions and should not be used as medicinal diagnosis or treatment. The content of this post is for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your doctor for questions.