Skin and Cannabinoid Receptors

Learn more about how CBD interacts with your skin.

Aspi is honored to educate our community on cannabinoid receptors and their role within our skin. As one of the largest organs of our body, understanding our skin and how to care for it can provide numerous health benefits.

cbd skincare

Background on Skin

Skin is a highly active structure that defends us from numerous environmental challenges. Skin is our largest sensory organs, has its own immune system, and is the source for several hormones. Skin also helps regulate our body temperature while permitting sensations of heat, cold, and touch.

The Components of Your Skin


  • Epidermis: The outer layer of our skin is called the epidermis. The epidermis is comprised of multiple layers of epithelial cells referred to as keratinocytes. This layer acts as a protective barrier against microbial invasion, UV radiation, extreme temperatures, chemicals, allergens, and more.
  • Dermis: The secondary layer of our skin is called the dermis. This layer contains appendages including hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and sweat glands. Hair follicles continuously create hair while sebaceous glands produce sebum for the skin’s surface and glands secrete sweat for body temperature regulation. These appendages are also responsible for producing different hormones like Vitamin D and steroids that help with the skin’s immune defense.
  • Immune cells: The skin has its own immune system that’s always defending against viruses, allergens, bacteria, and other external threats. There are immune cells located throughout all three layers of our skin. Other skin cells can actually join the skin’s immune system in order to heal and protect this organ when necessary.
  • Sensory nerves: There is a dense network of sensory nerves located throughout the skin. Sensory nerves are responsible for detecting any type of stimuli ranging from pressure to heat, pain, vibration, cold, and itch. 
  • Endocannabinoids: The skin produces endocannabinoids like 2-AG and anandamide. Endocannabinoids are consistently released in specific amounts based on your skin’s needs. Endocannabinoids are actually synthesized by numerous cell types inside the epidermis, sebaceous glands, and hair follicles. 
  • CB1 and CB2 receptors: CB1 and CB2 receptors are present in virtually all the cell types found within the skin. The skin’s cannabinoid tone impacts all compartments of the skin while endocannabinoids communicate with different skin cell types to contribute to their physiological function. 

The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Skin Function

Endocannabinoids are constantly produced by different skin cells in order to activate cannabinoid receptors which regulate the skin’s normal function as our protective barrier. When CB1 or CB2 receptors are triggered, the various functions of epidermal cells are modified and nudged towards homeostasis.

This is how the endocannabinoid system impacts the following components found in our skin:


  • Immune cells: The endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in consistently controlling the activity of the skin’s inflammatory and immune system. Endocannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties that prevent the activation of the skin’s immune system when it’s not needed. 
  • Hair follicles: When CB1 receptors are activated in hair follicles, the proliferation, or cell division, stop which causes inhibited hair growth and a longer regression phase. This ultimately promotes healthy hair and stabilized production.
  • Sebaceous glands: Healthy biology of the sebaceous glands is regulated by the endocannabinoid system. If endocannabinoids or their corresponding receptors aren’t functioning properly, these glands are unable to produce enough sebum which may weaken the skin barrier. Misfiring among cannabinoid signaling can also cause an over-production of sebum, leading to acne and oily skin. When both are working and kept in balance, it contributes to healthy skin function.
  • Sweat glands: CB1 and CB2 receptors are found in sweat glands and are believed to help regulate the life cycle of these cells. However, further research is required to better understand how endocannabinoids impact sweat glands.
  • Sensory nerves: When the cannabinoid receptors in certain sensory nerves are activated, it can actually hinder the function of these nerves. For example, if something painful touches the skin, activated cannabinoid receptors can prevent the development and spread of the painful stimuli.

CBD and the Skin

CBD is a phytocannabinoid that mirrors the same chemical makeup as the endocannabinoids produced by the various cells found within our skin. When CBD is applied topically, it can directly interact with the cannabinoid receptors located throughout our epidermis and dermis causing the same harmonic response.

Nourish Your Skin and Soothe Your Soul With CBD + Healing Botanicals

Aspi is happy to provide education on the role of the endocannabinoid system and our skin. We’re always available to answer any questions you have regarding skin and how CBD interacts with it. Start nourishing your skin and soothing your soul with our luxury skincare line!

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