Novel Therapeutic Support for the Endocannabinoid System of the Skin

Novel Therapeutic Support for the Endocannabinoid System of the Skin
The skin is the largest organ of the body and has a very complex and dynamic structure that contributes to homeostasis. In recent years, it has become evident that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a significant role in healthy and unhealthy skin.1 

Certain botanicals and extracts, including cannabidiol (CBD) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), interact with the endocannabinoid system of the skin and offer targeted therapeutic potential when applied topically. Cannabinoid receptors are found in virtually all cell types of the skin. In fact, the skin has a significant capacity to synthesize and respond to cannabinoids.


Cannabinoids and the Skin’s ECS
Out of all the cannabinoids, CBD has been the most comprehensively explored for its therapeutic activity. Current data points to CBD’s high anti-inflammatory properties on multiple skin targets, including keratinocytes, dermal immune cells, sensory neurons, sebocytes and hair follicles.2 Research indicates that both CB1 and CB2 receptors are also found in these skin targets.3 Plant-based cannabinoids, like CBD, and cannabinoid-like molecules, such as PEA, induce cannabimimetic responses via ECS activation.4

Cannabinoids have demonstrated analgesic properties by various mechanisms including interacting with the newly found endocannabinoid system of the skin, thereby providing a promising alternative to traditional methods.5

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PEA Activates the ECS
Palmitoylethanolamide, known as PEA, is an endogenous fatty acid amide. PEA has been researched for over 70 years and can also be found in extracts of plants and vegetables, such as soybean lecithin and palm oil, and egg yolk.6As an analog of the anandamide (AEA), it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. PEA acts via the nuclear PPAR receptor and down regulates many overactive inflammatory genes. PEA has a naturally low affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors and only activates Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid type-1 (TRPV1) channels when at very high concentrations in the body. TRPV1 channels are found on the outside of nerve cells.7,8PEA has shown therapeutic promise in topical application and could improve both passive and active skin functions simultaneously.[Read More]
Skin Penetration benefits from Squalane
Squalene naturally occurs in the skin’s lipid layers, preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL) while restoring the skin’s suppleness and flexibility. Importantly, the emollient squalane helps efficiently deliver cannabidiol (CBD) and other botanicals in topical applications into to the skin’s receptors, removing barrier penetration issues.9A penetration study showed that Neossance Squalane®, when combined with CBD, can have a more impactful effect on the desired area, more immediately.9 This study demonstrated that Neossance Squalane greatly enhances CBD penetration into the epidermis where endocannabinoid receptors are located. When applied topically, squalane also offers a smooth, non-greasy feel and provides optimal hydration.
Neossance Squalane is proved to enable immediate penetration and, overall, deliver significantly more CBD to the epidermis than jojoba oil over a 24-hour period.9
Interested in learning more about how CBD and PEA interact with the skin? Request access to this on demand webinar for health professionals (1 free CE credit): Therapeutic Potentials of Topical Cannabinoids