Limitations on the use of CBD are relaxing in Australia, which means it’s good news for those of us who are looking for a natural remedy to stress and anxiety, as well as beauty sleep. We spoke to Dr. Ben Jansen, the co-founder of Australia’s first low-dose CBD oil retailer, CDA Express, to find out more.
When you’re tired, it generally shows. Lacklustre skin, dark circles, puffiness, you know the deal. It makes sense, then, that there would be solid science behind the concept of beauty sleep. And indeed, there is, with stress levels a major factor.
Cortisol, the major stress hormone and the body’s in-built alarm system, boosts energy levels, increases your blood sugar, and regulates your circadian rhythm.
In small amounts, and in the short-term, raised cortisol is a healthy coping mechanism, but when prolonged or reaching chronic levels, it can cause inflammation which impedes the body’s ability to repair, and therefore it impacts skin health and premature ageing.
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CBD, also known as cannabidiol (a non-psychotropic chemical compound from the cannabis plant), has long been a popular plant-based therapy to help combat stress and anxiety for our contemporaries in the United States. In 2019, one study found that CBD was significantly effective in reducing anxiety symptoms in adults, and therefore improved sleep quality.
Laws concerning the sale of CBD for therapeutic use in Australia, however, have been relaxed only very recently. February 2021, in fact, was when it was approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration as an over-the-counter substance.
How are sleep, stress, and skin connected?
It’s a rich tapestry, for sure, with all three feeding into each other directly: If you’re stressed, you don’t sleep, and if you don’t sleep, your skin will age prematurely.
A study performed by the Skin Study Centre at Case Western Reserve University showed that women who were classified as poor sleepers had higher rates of uneven skin colour, greater fine wrinkles, and looser skin. No fun.
These researchers also found that acute sleep loss can result in decreased skin barrier function and sunburn recovery and that chronic sleep issues accelerate the signs of ageing.
How can CBD help with beauty sleep?
“CBD works in two ways – it interacts with our body’s cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) and influences a number of cell receptors (not just cannabinoid receptors),” says Dr. Ben Jansen, the co-founder of CDA Express, Australia’s first online pathway that allows Aussies to purchase approved low-dose CBD oil.
“It’s been shown to reduce the levels of cortisol in the blood as well as the feelings of stress and anxiety in patients,” but it’s also been examined for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, both of which reduce the appearance of premature ageing.
It’s probably why CBD-infused skincare is so popular in the States, but Australia isn’t quite there yet.
“CBD is gaining prominent attention in the health sector and has become an essential part of medicinal marijuana therapy,” says Dr. Jansen.
“Stigma is slowly continuing to change as education and information start to outweigh ignorance and mistruths. 80 years of false stigma takes time to change.”