CBD Oil for Wrinkles and Anti-Aging: Skin Benefits & How to Use?

a woman holding a bottle of CBD oil
Written by Nina Julia | Last updated: August 18, 2021

Over the years, men and women have searched for ways to avoid the signs of aging. In fact, in 2020, the global anti-aging market had ballooned to a massive $194.4 billion.

Wrinkles are among the most common signs of aging and one of the most visible ones. Several risk factors increase the likelihood of wrinkles, including sun exposure and pollutants; nevertheless, there’s some hope for those who want to look younger.

Research into CBD (Cannabidiol) for wrinkles has yielded some potentially exciting developments. Due to the impact of this research, more people than ever are turning to CBD products to help alleviate the signs of aging.

Why Do Wrinkles Form?

Before we discuss the impact of CBD on wrinkles, it’s important to know why wrinkles form in the first place.

To begin with, the proteins collagen and elastin are responsible for fighting off wrinkles and maintaining a smooth skin surface. Over time, the body produces less collagen; thus, skin firmness declines. This is a natural biological process, so older people are more likely to have visible lines and wrinkles.

Another factor in the formation of wrinkles is the decline of natural oil production in the skin. When oil production drops, it hampers the skin’s ability to maintain optimal moisture levels.

This causes elastin levels to decrease, which hamstrings the skin’s natural ability to reconstruct and regenerate.

Other risk factors for wrinkles include: 

  • Hormonal status (menopause)
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol intake
  • Intercurrent disease
  • Sun exposure

According to one study, wrinkles are more likely in people with white skin when compared to other skin types.

CBD Oil for Wrinkles

CBD is a type of phytocannabinoid found within the Cannabis Sativa L plant. It’s one of the main active ingredients in the plant, but there are actually 80-100 naturally occurring cannabinoids —  if not more. 

Since CBD oil can contain pure extract isolated from other cannabinoids, it makes sense that CBD oil could play a role in reducing the likelihood of wrinkles.

It was originally thought that CBD molecules bound to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain, but the current line of thinking says that CBD indirectly influences these receptors. This effect modulates the activity of the body’s endocannabinoid system, which produces naturally occurring cannabinoids of its own.

How Does CBD Oil Help with Wrinkles?

CBD oil could help combat wrinkles by addressing intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Primarily, CBD helps by balancing the body’s natural ability to produce cannabinoids through the endocannabinoid system and compensating for the normal declines that come with age.

The endocannabinoid system regulates numerous internal brain functions, such as sleep, mood, and appetite. By influencing the body’s internal receptors, CBD oil could help regulate the body’s natural hormonal balance.

It’s this purported function that may promote healthy skin. However, research is limited, and there’s insufficient hard evidence to conclude anything at this point.

Let’s look at some of the other mechanisms CBD uses to reduce the prevalence of wrinkles potentially.

CBD Benefits

bottles of CBD oil extract on a table

There are several health benefits associated with taking CBD, including: 

  • Pain relief
  • Fighting insomnia and sleeping disorders
  • Improved appetite
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Combatting the symptoms of anxiety

But how do these benefits link to wrinkle reduction and healthy skin specifically?

Antioxidant Properties

Studies have shown that CBD is an antioxidant. Its antioxidant properties help it to combat free radicals, which lead to cell damage. By reducing free radical activity in the body, CBD can slow down collagen breakdown within skin tissue and cells.

Reduced Skin Inflammation

Skin inflammation is known to cause the body to release chemicals that damage elastin, collagen, and other structural aspects of the skin. As a result, this leads to wrinkling.

CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties could calm and calm natural skin inflammation, slowing down the skin aging process.

Promoting Natural Oil Production

One of the main causes of wrinkles is the loss of the skin’s natural oil production. The way CBD influences the endocannabinoid system means that CBD could enhance the natural oil secretions of the face.

By promoting natural oil production, CBD helps maintain high skin hydration levels, thus promoting healthy and supple skin.

Reduced Stress

One of the hallmarks of CBD is its ability to reduce anxiety. Recreational users of CBD report feeling less stressed and anxious when they take CBD daily.

Reducing stress in this way fights off early aging and could potentially delay the onset of fine lines and wrinkles.

Furthermore, users of CBD also report experiencing better quality sleep, which also goes a long way to smoothing out facial skin and maintaining a youthful appearance.

Boost Skin Cell Regeneration

As people get older, skin cells take longer to regenerate. When the skin is damaged by external risk factors, such as sun exposure and pollutants, the integrity of the skin becomes compromised.

Some scientists believe that CBD may promote new skin cells, which could help keep skin supple, youthful, and hydrated.

How to Use CBD Oil for Wrinkles

Using CBD oil for wrinkles is by far the best way to consume CBD. Other delivery methods may not be as effective at fighting the signs of aging.

For example, smoking or vaping CBD will deliver CBD into the body quickly, but smoking itself is an environmental factor that could damage skin; therefore, the benefits of CBD could be offset by this delivery method.

CBD oil can be taken orally via swallowing or sublingually by taking a few drops and holding them under the tongue for at least 30 seconds.

Since it’s nearly impossible to overdose on CBD, you don’t need to worry about accidentally taking too much.

As a rule, most human studies typically use CBD amounts of 20 mg to 1500 mg per day. We recommend starting with lower dosages and gradually increasing your consumption over time.

CBD Oil vs. Topicals

Ingestion or sublingual consumption of CBD oil is the best option for delivering CBD into the body quickly.

However, there are differences in how long it will take to feel the effects of CBD:

  • Ingestion – 1-2 hours
  • Sublingual – As little as 30 minutes
  • Topicals – N/A

CBD oil offers all the benefits of taking CBD into the body, whereas topicals like lotions, ointments, and salves offer a targeted approach to targeting wrinkles.

High-quality CBD topicals can be applied to specific target areas to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging gradually. The key is to purchase CBD topicals with high concentrations of pure CBD.

There are no issues associated with using CBD oil and topicals together. Both offer a different experience and, when combined, may enhance the effects of CBD on wrinkles.

Adopt a Healthy Skin Regime

The potential results of using CBD oils and topicals should not be considered silver bullets. Consider CBD products as a means to supplement a healthy skin regime. This will enable you to achieve better results and healthier-looking skin.

Here are some top tips for supporting healthy skin:

  1. Drink Water – Make sure you drink 6-8 cups of water per day to hydrate your skin properly.
  2. Adopt a Healthy Diet – What you eat will influence how you look. Fast food and greasy meals hurt the body in more ways than one.
  3. Avoid Harsh Products – Makeups and facewashes with harsh fragrances can irritate the skin and rob it of its natural oils. Consider gentler products.
  4. Protect Yourself from the Sun – Try to avoid going outside during the hottest parts of the day. If you must go outside, use sunscreen with a high SPF rating.
  5. Quit Smoking – Smoking of any kind is a huge risk factor for wrinkles and premature aging. This is why it’s recommended that you avoid smoking and vaping CBD oil.

CBD Side Effects

Woman putting CBD oil on hand using a dropper

CBD oil poses little to no risk to the vast majority of people. It’s nearly impossible to overdose on CBD; therefore, even first-time users can enjoy the benefits of CBD without worrying about accidentally taking too much.

Studies have shown that larger doses of CBD may lead to some unwanted side effects, however, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Changes in weight

Most of the side effects of CBD are extremely temporary, and most responsible users will never experience them. Overall, CBD is an incredibly benign, non-intoxicating compound.

On the other hand, those with sensitive skin and allergies should take the time to read the list of ingredients for their chosen products when using topicals.

Some CBD topicals may contain fragrances that lead to redness and itchiness. This is not something caused by CBD but other ingredients.

Precautions When Taking CBD Oil for Wrinkles

While CBD oil is largely safe to consume for fighting the signs of aging, you should still take some precautions when using these products.

Firstly, larger doses may lead to uncomfortable side effects, particularly if you’ve never taken CBD before. Try starting with the recommended dose on the bottle each day before increasing your dosage.

Additionally, you should avoid vaping and smoking CBD oil. Although smoking and vaping CBD-infused vape juice is a common delivery method, smoking is known to cause premature aging. 

Some evidence suggests that vaping can have just as bad consequences on the skin as smoking.

Finally, if you’re using any form of prescription medication, especially blood thinners, consult your doctor before using any CBD product. Always follow the recommendations of your doctor to avoid any issues with taking CBD oil for wrinkles.

Final Thoughts: Does CBD for Wrinkles Work?

Scientists have yet to fully understand the exact mechanisms of CBD and its effects on the body’s endocannabinoid system. Yet limited research on animals and small human studies have demonstrated positive benefits for CBD and wrinkles.

Anecdotal evidence is generally positive regarding the impact of CBD on the primary signs of aging. The results are far from instant, so expect to use CBD oils and topicals for a few months before noticing any differences in your skin.

Either way, CBD’s non-intoxicating nature poses little to no risk to your health, so there’s no harm in trying it out.

If you experience any serious side effects or you’re taking prescription medication, cease using CBD immediately and consult your doctor.

References Cited:

  1. George Kunos, Understanding Metabolic Homeostasis, and Imbalance: The Role of the Endocannabinoid System, The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 120, Issue 9, Supplement 1, 2007, Pages S18-S24, ISSN 0002-9343. [1]
  2. Sinemyiz Atalay, Iwona Jarocka-Karpowicz, and Elzbieta Skrzydlewska. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Jan; 9(1): 21. doi:10.3390/antiox9010021 [2]
  3. Oláh A, Tóth BI, Borbíró I, Sugawara K, Szöllõsi AG, Czifra G, Pál B, Ambrus L, Kloepper J, Camera E, Ludovici M, Picardo M, Voets T, Zouboulis CC, Paus R, Bíró T. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. J Clin Invest. 2014 Sep;124(9):3713-24. DOI: 10.1172/JCI64628. Epub 2014 Jul 25. PMID: 25061872; PMCID: PMC4151231. [3]
  4. Millar SA, Stone NL, Bellman ZD, Yates AS, England TJ, O’Sullivan SE. A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2019 Sep;85(9):1888-1900. DOI: 10.1111/bcp.14038. Epub 2019 Jul 19. PMID: 31222854; PMCID: PMC6710502. [4]
  5. Andia Mitri, Gloria Lin, Reid A. Waldman, Jane M. Grant-Kels, Effects of tobacco and vaping on the skin, Clinics in Dermatology, 2021, ISSN 0738-081X. [5]

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

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