Cosmetic companies are increasingly using the marijuana extract cannabidiol (CBD) in their products. But because relatively little research has been done on the amount of CBD in such products products (and since current European legislation does not prohibit the use of synthetic CBD in them), consumers have few ways to judge how much they are using or even what they are using.
But researchers in Spain have shown that beauty products containing CBD can be tested relatively simply and accurately to check if they contain the appropriate amounts of the cannabinoid — albeit not at home.
Such testing could result in improved quality control of the industry, the researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Valencia added.
That way, consumers choosing CBD-inclusive cosmetics for its antioxidant qualities, for example, in an effort to reduce signs of aging, can be sure they’re getting what they pay for.
The researchers analyzed the compounds using a liquid chromatography process with tandem mass spectrometry, which is widely used in multiple chemistry environments to help separate chemicals and identify compounds. It has the ability to detect CBD both at trace levels and at higher concentrations.
In order to test its effectiveness for CBD, the researchers chose six commercially available products — four creams, a shower gel and a hair mask — and a raw material (1.3% CBD oil) that were successfully tested for CBD levels and evaluated in the study, the researchers said. The four creams and raw CBD oil all were labeled as containing CBD, while the labels on the shower gel and the hair mask said they contained “cannabis sativa oil.”
Experiments carried out by the researchers showed CBD was not initially detected in the cannabis sativa oil products, but was detected in all the other products listing CBD as present. After spiking all the products with a CBD solution, accurate detection was possible using the liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry testing process.
“The compound has been efficiently determined in cosmetic samples of different natures with good analytical features,” the researchers said. “For this reason, the proposed method is suitable for quality control of cosmetic products that contain this ingredient, thus assuring that its concentration in the finished product is the desired one.”
The study notes, while CBD is gaining popularity for use in the treatment of acne, its anti-aging potential is currently the driving force behind its cosmetics uses.
“CBD is a powerful antioxidant that helps counteract oxidative cell damage generated by free radicals by helping to decrease the visible signs of skin aging,” the study said, calling it an “anti-aging ally.” But for consumers to experience its effects, companies need to ensure it’s in their products in the appropriate concentrations.