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Informations CBD.

CBD, this new trendy active ingredient in cosmetics.

Numerous studies on the development of plant-derived compounds as sources of new therapies abound, highlighting the importance of certain phytoconstituents in cosmetics, including cannabidiol (CBD) due to the various molecular and clinically beneficial properties it offers. Different uses, extraction methods, properties... let's explore together what CBD is.

Key Information to Remember about CBD.

The CBD has a molecular weight of 314.464 g/mol.

Unlike THC, CBD is not a psychoactive substance.

The CBD is legal in France since November 2020 under certain conditions.

CBD has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, sebostatic, antibacterial, and soothing properties.

In order to be marketed, all CBD-based products must have a THC content of less than 0.3%.

What is CBD?

The cannabidiol (C21H30O2), more commonly known by the acronym CBD, is an organic terpenic compound from the phytocannabinoid family, naturally present in all varieties of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), predominantly in the flowers and adjacent leaves. It resembles the cell signaling molecules of the human body's endocannabinoid system to regulate a state of homeostasis, thus it can bind to receptors.

It is one of the major constituents of hemp, up to 5% depending on the variety, following tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is classified as a narcotic. However, CBD is non-psychoactive, presents no risk of physical dependence, and is not considered dangerous to health, as evidenced by the decisions of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the anti-doping agency.

In 1940, CBD was first isolated from cannabis by Roger ADAMS. Its molecular structure was not fully elucidated until 1963 by Israeli doctor Raphaël MECHOULAM. For many years, research primarily focused on THC, declared as the active principle of cannabis, almost completely excluding CBD. It was not until 2018 that the substance gained popularity following its legal authorization for sale, recognized for its wide range of biological activities.

Structure chimique du CBD.
Molecular Architecture of CBD.
With the molecular formula C21H30O2, the cannabidiol molecule contains a cyclohexene (A) with a methyl group (CH3) in the C-1 position, a phenolic ring (B) with hydroxyl groups (OH) in the C-1' and C-5' positions, and a pentyl side chain in the C-3' position of the phenolic ring. Source: SKRZYDLEWSKA E. & al. Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. Antioxidants (2019).

How is CBD extracted from the hemp plant?

Cold extraction, organic solvent... the techniques for extracting CBD are numerous. However, supercritical CO2 fluid extraction is considered the most recommended strategy. Indeed, this process is a safe, clean, efficient, and specific alternative for obtaining a high-concentration CBD extract. It involves extracting the solute using liquid carbon dioxide as the extraction solvent, above its critical points (temperature above 31°C and pressure above 74 bars). This process allows for the separation of CBD from all other cannabinoids. The obtained CBD crystals are then combined with a neutral carrier oil (hemp oil, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.).

However, CBD is a neutral phytocannabinoid, obtained after a non-enzymatic decarboxylation process of the acidic form, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), originally present in the plant material. Yet, to take advantage of its numerous benefits, CBD must undergo this chemical reaction, during which a molecule of carbon dioxide is removed, necessary for its activation. Under the effect of heat at a relatively low temperature over an extended period, the CBDA is decarboxylated and forms CBD.

The CBD used in our skincare range was obtained through supercritical CO2 extraction of hemp leaves from Colombia.

The benefits of CBD on the skin.

Often misunderstood due to its plant-based origin, the consumption of cannabis has frequently been associated with certain deficiencies. However, studies have shown that CBD lends itself to various beneficial applications. Lauded as a relaxant, analgesic, anti-epileptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-emetic, and more, therapeutic claims of CBD have been made. Indeed, it acts as a homeostatic regulator of various biological systems.

In recent years, thanks to the evolution of the legislative framework, the growing popularity of CBD has sparked numerous studies on its various benefits to the body and its positive impacts in managing many conditions (chronic diseases, anxiety, neurological disorders, sleep disorders, etc.). Some cannabidiol-based medications are even already available on the pharmaceutical market. The CBD has also become a promising avenue for skin diseases due to the numerous virtues it possesses.

  • Soothing and calming effect: CBD has the ability to interact with the TRPV receptor, leading to its desensitization. This ability to activate these receptors then results in analgesic effects, helping to combat pain. It can therefore be useful in relieving itching, irritation, and discomfort, as well as helping to calm sensitive and reactive skin;

  • Regulatory Impact of CBD on the Production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS): CBD can lead to a decrease in the enzymatic activity of Nox, a producer of ROS, and an increase in the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), capable of eliminating ROS. It can therefore help protect the skin against damage caused by free radicals. This may contribute to preventing signs of premature aging;

  • Diminishing Effect on Inflammation : Cells, rodents, humans... several studies have shown the ability of CBD to modulate the immune system and reduce inflammation through various means: inhibition of the COX2 enzyme involved in the immune response, reduction of the effects of pro-inflammatory mediators, and increase in the levels of anti-inflammatory signals. This property would thus help to soothe and reduce inflammation and redness associated with various chronic inflammatory diseases (acne, eczema, psoriasis);

  • Bactericidal Mechanism: CBD can reduce the growth of certain bacterial strains (Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Clostridioides difficile)by altering the membrane. This prevents the proliferation of bacteria that lodge on the epidermis and contribute to the exacerbation of inflammation;

  • Regulation of Sebum Production: A Hungarian study has demonstrated a direct effect of CBD on the cellular proliferation of sebocytes, which are responsible for sebum production. It is also capable of inhibiting lipogenesis (the synthesis of fatty acids). Thus, CBD is able to regulate the process of sebum production by the sebaceous glands, a beneficial action for individuals with oily skin as well as acne-prone skin.

How can CBD be consumed?

The CBD market has significantly expanded due to numerous clinical studies demonstrating the effects of "therapeutic" use, as well as decriminalization and/or legalization in certain regions of the world. Infusions, CBD oil, e-liquid, cream, capsule... there are various methods of administering CBD.

  • When used sublingually in the form of CBD oil or paste, it provides a quick and effective result due to optimal absorption through the oral mucosa and the absence of its metabolization by the liver;

  • By oral administration in soluble form, as an infusion (tea, herbal tea) or in tablets (capsules, pills, gummies) with a slower and longer-lasting effect than sublingual administration, as well as a lower absorption of CBD by the body;

  • In transdermal application with the use of cosmetic products in various galenic forms (cream, balm, oil...) or CBD patches, used for targeted issues, for absorption at the skin surface level without going through the bloodstream.

At Typology, we have developed a range of products containing CBD: a soothing botanical blend and a salve-mask.

  • Through respiratory route by inhalation (e-liquid) or vaporization, a method of administration that allows for almost immediate effects.

Is the use of CBD legal?

Neither toxic, nor performance-enhancing, nor psychotropic, CBD is legal in France since November 2020, as well as in most countries of the European Union. However, its sale is only legal in France in compliance with certain conditions.

  • The CBD must come from a specific variety of hemp, the cultivation of which complies with the rules set by the Common Agricultural Policy, applicable since January 1, 2023;

  • All CBD-based products must have a THC content less than 0.3%, or risk being subject to the anti-drug policy under the decree of December 30, 2021;

  • It is forbidden to claim therapeutic virtues on any CBD product, except for those authorized as a medicine, under penalty of criminal sanctions.


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  • BIRO T. & al. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. Journal of Clinical Investigation (2014).

  • AKHTAR N. & al. The safety and efficacy of 3% Cannabis seeds extract cream for reduction of human cheek skin sebum and erythema content. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2015).

  • AIETA N. & al. Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa LJournal of Supercritical Fluids (2016).

  • BIRO T. & al. Differential effectiveness of selected non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids on human sebocyte functions implicates their introduction in dry/seborrhoeic skin and acne treatment. Experimental Dermatology (2016).

  • JONES N. A. & al. Antiseizure properties of cannabidiol (CBD) are attenuated in the absence of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) receptors (S53.004). Neurology (2018).

  • SKRZYDLEWSKA E. & al. Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. Antioxidants (2019).

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  • JIMENEZ J. J. & al. The anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on acne. Journal of Inflammation Research (2022).

  • KOLTAI H. & al. Medical cannabis activity against inflammation: Active compounds and modes of action. Frontiers in Pharmacology (2022).

  • XIANG L. & al. Cannabidiol inhibits inflammation induced by Cutibacterium acnes-derived extracellular vesicles via activation of CB2 receptor in keratinocytes. Journal of Inflammation Research (2022).

  • FERNANDES J. & al. Cannabidiol and cannabigerol exert antimicrobial activity without compromising skin microbiota. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2023).

  • ROZENBLAT S. & al. Development of an effective acne treatment based on CBD and herbal extracts: preliminary in vitro, ex vivo, and clinical evaluation. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2023).


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