CANNABINOID CONFUSION Should You Be Using CBD Oil in Your Skincare Regimen?

CBD Oil might just be the most talked about ingredient in skincare right now. Per usual, lots of talk equates to lots of misinformation. So what are the big questions that need to be addressed?

  • LEGALITY- IS CBD Legal? This is probably the most frequently asked question by spas and boutiques that retail Prairie Bloom products.
  • BENEFITS- Since CBD is just now becoming something that most people have heard about there are a ton of questions about why you'd want to include it in skincare.
  • WHAT IS CBD OIL- Surprisingly, most people already know (or think they know) a little bit about CBD and where it comes from, but there is a lot of misinformation that needs clearing up!

Before we dive into these questions though, let's explain just a little bit about how CBD Oil, or CBD Serum, is used in Prairie Bloom products. It's important to note that, like all our other ingredients, we only source our CBD Oil from reputable manufacturers who use organic cannabis and clean manufacturing processes. This means the hemp that the CBD Oil is extracted from is organic, and that it is extracted using CO2, and NEVER hexane. Using hexane extraction will inevitably leave hexane residue in the product, no matter how much it's filtered. Why don't you want hexane in your skincare products? Hexane is a petroleum derived product, and it's used in roofing products, shoe glue, and to extract oils.  Typically it's used to extract cooking oils, like coconut oil, because it produces a higher yield than cold-pressing. The same holds true for CBD extraction regarding the higher yield. Because hexane has a carbon backbone, products using hexane extraction can still be listed as organic! This is one more reason you need to always check the manufacturing processes used, not just ingredients. This makes hexane extraction a big NO for Prairie Bloom products- we only use cold pressed oils, and we never use petroleum derivatives.

When hexane is ingested or absorbed it can cause vertigo, bronchial irritation, intestinal irritation and CNS effects (yep- it affects your Central Nervous System!), and inhalation of hexane leads to drowsiness, fatigue, loss of appetite, cramping, muscle weakness, blurred vision, and headache. Hexane can also act as an endocrine disruptor, meaning it changes the way your hormones are produced and used. It has been found to cause "Severe testicular atrophy...indicating permanent testicular damage" according to Nylén et al (1). If you're interested in learning how exactly hexane is absorbed through your skin via the products you use, check out our blog about Bodycare Basics. Suffice to say, we want to avoid hexane and it's detrimental effects. 



The legalities of CBD are incredibly murky, so before we jump into legalities we'll answer the burning question- What exactly is CBD? To understand this, we have to understand cannabis plants and how they vary, as well as the different cannabinoids contained within the plant. We are likely all familiar with cannabis in the form of marijuana. Marijuana is actually not even it's scientific name, but rather a name given to the cannabis plant containing higher levels of THC that was being smoked by both the U.S. elite (mostly as hash) as well as by legal Mexican immigrants. The name was created by the U.S. government in the early 1900's. You can read here about why the term marijuana is actually racist and was created to degrade these legally immigrated Mexican immigrants (2) (marijuana translated is Mary Jane...). Marijuana was used to refer specifically to the plant as it was used psychotropically (to get high). As time went on, the plant has been bred to contain higher levels of THC- this is the cannabinoid that causes psychotropic effects. Cannabis contains many cannabinoids- over 60 according to this study, but some researchers believe it to contain over 100. CBD, or cannabidiol, does not produce psychotropic effects, and seems to counteract THC to some degree when acting on the endocannabinoid system, which you can read about here. As we have learned more about the endocannabinoid system and the important roles it plays throughout the entire body, breeds of cannabis containing lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD have been bred. If a plant contains less than 0.03% THC, it is legally considered hemp. So now you can see we have two "varieties" (a very loose term used for the purpose of this particular topic anyway) of cannabis- hemp and marijuana. This brings us to the legalities.


CBD that has been extracted from a plant containing less than 0.03% THC, or from a hemp plant, is legal, federally, because there is no law stating specifically that CBD illegal.  Unfortunately, there is also no law specifically stating that it is legal, and this is where we run into trouble. Because the DEA placed CBD on it's list of Schedule 1 narcotics, alongside substances such as heroin, it's easy to understand why so many people think that CBD is illegal. What most of us don't consider, however, is that the DEA doesn't make laws. They enforce laws. So the fact that they placed it on their schedule of illegal substances doesn't hold any clout, save for scare tactics.  Because the federal government has yet to make a law stating that CBD is legal, it can vary state to state as to how CBD can be sold and distributed. In Oklahoma, where Prairie Bloom is based, "any federally approved cannabidiol drug or substance will not be considered marijuana" according to House Bill 1559 which was signed by the governor in April of 2017. CBD is legal in 44 states. As of the date of publication of this blog, only 6 have laws maintaining that all parts of the cannabis plant, including CBD, are illegal- Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Indiana, and West Virginia. However some states that have recreational and medicinal cannabis laws in place,  have a variety of regulations regarding how it can be sold. For example, in California, CBD Oil and products containing CBD can only be sold at dispensaries. If you're concerned about the legality of CBD in your state, it's important that you research your state's laws, as they could have changed since this article was written.



We mentioned the endocannabinoid system earlier, and understanding that system to an extent is important in understanding why CBD Oil can be so beneficial. According to Dr. Dustin Sulak, DO "Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment."(4) So in short, the endocannabinoid system functions to keep your body balanced in all sorts of aspects, mostly by promoting a healthy inflammatory response as the majority of health issues lie in an exacerbated and chronic inflammatory response. 

This study found that "CBD has potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris" due to it's "highly anti-imflammatory propeties and effects as a sebo-static agent" (5). But CBD doesn't just penetrate the sebaceous layer of the skin. It also exerts an anti-inflammatory effect on deep tissue layers, into the musculature and joints. In this study "Transdermal CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling" (6). This is why it can be so effective for those suffering with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis or even transient joint pain, which is exactly why Prairie Bloom Warrior Balm was created. 

It has also been reported to have anti-aging and anti-wrinkle effects due to the way in which it increases cellular regeneration. This makes it a great addition to everyday skincare products such as our Moisture Serum and Under Eye Serum. They contain different concentrations of CBD since they are intended for slightly different uses. Just like any botanical ingredient, therapeutic value changes with concentration and more is not always necessary better, based on the intended use. The anti-inflammatory properties make CBD oil useful both for treatment and prevention of acne. Prevention requires a lesser concentration in everyday use, where treatment for an acute flare is more highly concentrated, as in our Quick Fix Spot Treatment. 


What more do you want to know about CBD oil and it's uses? Drop us a line below or on our Instagram page! Make sure you stay tuned as we continue to incorporate CBD Oil into our growing line of therapeutic skincare products. 


1. Nylén P, Ebendal T, Eriksdotter-Nilsson M, Hansson T, Henschen A, Johnson AC, Kronevi T, Kvist U, Sjöstrand NO, Höglund G, Olson L. 1989. Testicular atrophy and loss of nerve growth factor-immunoreactive germ cell line in rats exposed to n-hexane and a protective effect of simultaneous exposure to toluene or xylene. Arch Toxicol 63(4):296-307.

2. Wilcox, Nina. The Origin of the Word 'Marijuana'. 

3. Zerrin Atakan. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2012 Dec; 2(6): 241–254. doi:  

4. Dustin Sulak, DO. Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System. 

5. Olah et al. 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.

6. Hammell et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016 Jul;20(6):936-48. doi: 10.1002/ejp.818. Epub 2015 Oct 30.