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How Does Water-Soluble CBD Support Wound-Healing?

Skin delivery methods for topical cannabidiol (CBD) formulations are gaining popularity for pain, wound healing, anti-aging, and more. An advantage of topical cannabinoids is that they are not absorbed systemically, reducing the likelihood of psychoactive or unwanted side effects.


A survey of 531 dermatologists found that 55% reported at least one patient asked about cannabinoid therapy in the last year. A growing body of scientific evidence shows potential for therapeutic uses of CBD to treat skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, pruritis, and inflammatory conditions.


Innovations in water-soluble cannabinoids provide more effective topical delivery of cannabinoids to the skin. Continue reading to learn more about the skin’s endocannabinoid system and CBD for wound healing.


The Skin’s Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is a complex biological system for maintaining physiological homeostasis. It is composed of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes. Recent studies have suggested the endocannabinoid system regulates various processes in the skin.


Regenerative functions of the skin involve a biological balance of the survival of skin cells against their proliferation and differentiation. Regeneration of skin cells is integral to the wound healing process and is influenced by the endocannabinoid system.


Endocannabinoids also modulate skin cell immune function. Experts increasingly recognize that the endocannabinoid system plays a protective role in inflammatory conditions and diseases. Biochemical signals in skin inflammation are modulated by endocannabinoids, suggesting that cannabinoids are an important therapeutic option to consider for inflammatory skin conditions.


How Does Topical CBD Work for Wound Healing?

Preliminary studies have shown that topical CBD has the potential to support wound healing. Venous leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and pressure ulcers present significant clinical challenges, especially in elderly and medically complex patients. These chronic wounds often take months to heal.


One analysis of over 700 patients with leg ulcer wounds found that only 48.6% of patients had total wound closure after six months. A recent open-label trial assessed topical cannabinoid treatment for 14 elderly and highly complex patients with slow-healing leg ulcer wounds. All patients demonstrated healing trends, but three were lost to follow-up. Total wound closure was achieved among 11 patients within a median of 34 days. The authors concluded that the rapid wound closure suggests topical cannabinoids may be an effective therapy for wound healing.


Experts believe cannabinoids like CBD may support wound healing by modulating various physiological processes, including:

  • Reduction of biochemicals called cytokines that trigger inflammation

  • Shifting immune cells called macrophages from a pro-inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory state

  • Inhibition of hyperproliferative skin cells called keratinocytes that contribute to scar formation


Advantages of Water-Soluble Topical CBD for Wound Healing

Cannabinoids, including CBD, are hydrophobic or “water-fearing” molecules, meaning they do not naturally dissolve in water.


Hydrophobic cannabinoids have limited topical bioavailability because they stay on the skin's outer surface. Without solubilization in product formulations, topical cannabinoids cannot effectively penetrate the skin tissue and act on the skin’s endocannabinoid receptors involved in wound healing.


Another pitfall with water-insoluble cannabinoids is product consistency and shelf life because ineffective solubilization can lead to the separation of ingredients in topical products.


Truly water-soluble cannabinoids have the advantage of enhanced skin penetration in topical formulations, also known as transdermal delivery.


Takeaways On Water-Soluble Topical Cannabinoids for Wound Healing

Water-soluble cannabinoids potentially improve the topical delivery of cannabinoids for wound healing. Our flagship ingredient, CannaSorb CB Active, is made via a patented process akin to polysorbate chemistry. While other ingredients aim to make hydrophobic compounds more hydrophilic, CannaSorb CB Active is made by chemically reacting a fat-soluble compound and converting it into a water-soluble compound. This process creates an opaque liquid that dilutes quickly, easily, and fully into water to create a clear, stable, permanent solution.




You're in the right place if you seek high-value cannabis formulation ingredients and white-label opportunities. Our industry know-how and expert support at Synergy Life Science will help you get your high-quality products on the retail shelves efficiently and affordably. Contact us here to find out more.


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