Notes from the Field: Better Skin Care With Cannabinoids? Prima Explains

October 15, 2019

Welcome to Notes From the Field, a series of guest posts by brands sold on Thrive Market. While we share many of the same high standards regarding health, quality, and sustainability as our partner brands, all opinions shared in this post reflect the views of the brand, not Thrive Market. In this article, we’re excited to introduce you to Prima, a wellness and skin care company that specializes in premium hemp-based cannabinoid creams, supplements, and elixirs.

Our skin is something special. We often take it for granted, but it’s working 24/7 to protect us against constant environmental assaults like pathogenic threats, UV exposure, extreme temperatures, and chemical hazards. Our skin is our largest organ with a complex system of neuro-immuno-endocrine functionality that’s a vital part of maintaining the biological homeostasis that’s crucial for survival. And its healthy functioning depends on an exquisite orchestration guided by 300 million cells perpetually regenerating and renewing themselves into a new epidermis every 28 days.

Overseeing this cellular symphony is the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a recently discovered family of molecules, receptors, and enzymes now known as the “master regulator” of the body, maintaining homeostasis (balance) across all of our physiological processes.

Once thought to be exclusive to the brain, the ECS has now been found everywhere in the body scientists have chosen to look: the heart, liver, lungs, pancreas, reproductive tract, muscles, immune system, and—you guessed it—even our skin.

Given its newly discovered ubiquity and influence on our biological function, it should come as no surprise that disrupted endocannabinoid signaling has been associated with many disorders (a list that continues to grow the more researchers dig into it).

What’s the function of the skin’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?

In the skin, the ECS is intimately involved in processes like temperature, the maintenance of epidermal homeostasis (cell growth, survival, and death), the regulation of hair follicles and sebaceous glands, the modulation of dry and unbalanced skin, and more.

How do phytocannabinoids found in hemp impact the skin’s ECS?

Endocannabinoid receptors embedded in cell membranes produce a wide variety of reactions when stimulated by cannabinoids, which can be endogenous (via our body, which produces naturally occurring endocannabinoids) or exogenous (via the cannabis plant, which produces phytocannabinoids).

Topical application of phytocannabinoids can provide quick, localized impacts as the cannabinoids bind to receptors near the skin, activating the skin’s ECS. (Note: They are never absorbed into the bloodstream—unless applied using a transdermal patch.)

There is much to be learned, but the growing body of science is revealing that supplementing your body’s endocannabinoid system with topical phytocannabinoids found in hemp may play an important role in supporting skin balance and overall skin health.

Like many, we’re thrilled with the initial evidence and the future possibilities. And with growing consumer interest, companies are racing to the market with new products – but, buyer beware.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found widespread mislabelling issues. Eighty-four products were purchased and analyzed (from 31 companies) and only 30% actually contained the CBD concentration stated on the label, highlighting the need for manufacturing and testing standards and stronger regulatory oversight. Until then, be a cautious consumer. Before you buy anything, make sure the company is transparent about their standards and testing for ensuring consistent purity and potency. Click through to learn all about our industry-leading Science and Standards.

* Statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your physician before use.


Nejati, Reza, et al. “Neuro-Immune-Endocrine Functions of the Skin: an Overview.” Expert Review of Dermatology, vol. 8, no. 6, 2013, pp. 581–583., doi:10.1586/17469872.2013.856690.

Sallaberry, Chad, and Laurie Astern. “The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator.” 2018, doi:10.22186/jyi.34.5.48-55.

Caterina, Michael J. “TRP Channel Cannabinoid Receptors in Skin Sensation, Homeostasis, and Inflammation.” ACS Chemical Neuroscience, vol. 5, no. 11, 2014, pp. 1107–1116., doi:10.1021/cn5000919.

Mounessa, Jessica S., et al. “The Role of Cannabinoids in Dermatology.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 77, no. 1, 2017, pp. 188–190., doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2017.02.056.

Oláh, Attila, et al. “Cannabidiol Exerts Sebostatic and Antiinflammatory Effects on Human Sebocytes.” Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol. 124, no. 9, 2014, pp. 3713–3724., doi:10.1172/jci64628.

Chelliah, Malcolm P., et al. “Self-Initiated Use of Topical Cannabidiol Oil for Epidermolysis Bullosa.” Pediatric Dermatology, vol. 35, no. 4, 2018, doi:10.1111/pde.13545.

Maida, Vincent, and Jason Corban. “Topical Medical Cannabis: A New Treatment for Wound Pain—Three Cases of Pyoderma Gangrenosum.” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, vol. 54, no. 5, 2017, pp. 732–736., doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017

Bonn-Miller, Marcel O., et al. “Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online.” Jama, vol. 318, no. 17, 2017, p. 1708., doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11909.

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