CBD, rethinking the inflammatory response within the barrier function
Cannabidiol’s anti-inflammatory properties are among the most well-documented. At Spectrums Europe, we first confirmed them in vivo and in vitro on our exceptional isolate, Optima CBD XB®. Once these fundamentals had been established, a transcriptomic study on skin explants enabled us to map the biological networks modulated by our active ingredient and gain a better understanding of the systemic dimension of its action. This leads us to discover previously unexploited markers of the inflammatory response in cosmetics, and to explore new dermo-cosmetic strategies for sensitive skin.
Optima CBD XB®, a soothing, anti-inflammatory active ingredient from 0.1%.
The presumptions of CBD’s efficacy are so strong that it seemed obvious to us to start the evaluation of Optima CBD XB® with an in vivo test. At 0.1% in an emulsion applied to volunteers with dry, reactive or even very reactive skin, it reduces itching sensations, tightness and visible redness. But perhaps even more interestingly, in the vast majority of cases, it made the skin feel more comfortable.
With this in mind, we evaluated our active ingredient in-vitro on an original model of human sebocytes. The idea was to understand its mechanism of action and assess its anti-inflammatory activity in relation to the modulation of sebum production. The study confirmed the inhibition of Interleukin 6 and 8 expression by Optima CBD XB®. It also enabled us to foresee a global activity on the skin, with correlated properties. To take things a step further, we took the initiative of conducting the first CBD evaluation study covering the entire human genome.
Towards a balanced modulation of the inflammatory response.
The transcriptomic study carried out in partnership with Eurofins on skin explants enabled us to map the biological networks modulated by Optima CBD XB®.
As expected, a large number of classical markers of inflammation are inhibited, including several genes encoding chemokines such as CCL19, CCL3, CCL3L3, CXCL12, CCL5, CCL21, CSF3.
But perhaps more interestingly, a number of specific genes are also inhibited. ADRB2 (Adrenocepto beta 2), a gene whose reduction slows down inflammation. ATF3 (Activating Transcription Factor 3), generally associated with skin tissue pathologies in an inflammatory state, or FOSL1 (FOS Like 1, AP-1 Transcription Factor Subunit), whose expression is one of the major regulators of keratinocyte phenotype during the development of psoriatic lesions. Finally, IL23 is known to enable the production of IFN-γ (interferon gamma).
Conversely, we observed an increase in the expression of genes that help regulate inflammation. CARD18 (Caspase Recruitment Domain Family Member 18) inhibits the production of IL1 Beta, the inflammatory protein par excellence. Optima CBD XB® also stimulates the expression of IL37, identified as an inhibitor of systemic and local inflammation. Its reduction is observed in inflammatory skin diseases, notably atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.
Conclusion 1: understanding the modulation of inflammation as a systemic process
In a relatively classical way, the exploration of the mode of action of anti-inflammatory active ingredients focuses on the reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. However, this approach seems to ignore the promotion of natural skin mechanisms that are specifically anti-inflammatory. We therefore need to integrate the different dimensions of the skin’s inflammatory response as a balance of a complex set of mechanisms, some of which are slowed down and others activated.
Conclusion 2: understanding the inflammatory response as an integral part of barrier function
These results form part of a wider series of results relating to the effects of Optima CBD XB® on the renewal of barrier function. The fact that we found certain genes in both registers, BCL11B for example, and that others are specific to differentiating keratinocytes (CARD18, IL37, etc.) indicates a close correlation between the physical dimension of the barrier function and the quality of the inflammatory response, and the relevance of a sensitive skin strategy based on the systemic dimension of the active ingredient. More on this later.
Conclusion 3: exploring the benefits of CBD for pathological skin care
The reinforcement of the skin’s first line of defense, combined with the active ingredient’s ability to stimulate the expression of genes whose deficiency characterizes pathological skin, suggest the potential of Optima CBD XB® in dermatological applications.
In our next article, we’ll look at Optima CBD’s contribution to strengthening the skin’s natural photo-protection.