CBD has taken the spa and wellness industry by storm, and for a good reason: It packs a big punch! CBD is one of the most versatile ingredients we have at our disposal. Used therapeutically for thousands of years, the benefits of this tiny molecule are vast. It can be included in almost any treatment to enhance the service both for the client and the provider. To truly appreciate CBD’s value in beauty and wellness treatments, you need to understand the way it works. This primer will ensure that you’re on the cutting edge of this essential ingredient.
CBD + ECS
CBD communicates with and nourishes a body system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is important for maintaining human health. It works intimately with the musculoskeletal system and with the skin (the integumentary system), and is responsible for promoting and maintaining homeostasis, or balance. Regardless of what type of a spa professional you are, understanding how to support the ECS will allow you to help your clients achieve their goals faster and receive better results.
Cultivated on every continent except Antarctica, the cannabis plant has more than 400 different chemical compounds. Out of these 400 chemical constituents, more than 110 phytocannabinoids can be found, and each of these molecules has a therapeutic value. CBD and THC are both examples of phytocannabinoids, which are lipid-based molecules that very closely mimic the lipid-based endocannabinoids in the body. These endocannabinoids, along with receptors called endocannabinoid receptors, are all part of the ECS.
Endocannabinoid receptors are located throughout the body. They naturally communicate with the endogenous cannabinoids (those already within the body), and it has been found that they also communicate with the phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant when applied both topically and internally. CBD indirectly communicates with receptors in the skin, and because topical CBD does not absorb into the bloodstream, this is a local, rather than systemic, benefit.
Emily Davis, LE, is the president of education for Color Up, a Colorado-based CBD skin care company. Davis is the resident esthetician at the Color Up Wellness Center, and owner and operator of Stratum Aesthetics. She has a long-standing passion for health, wellness and skin care; she has been a practicing licensed esthetician in Denver for 14 years and educating about esthetics for more than eight years.