Since its discovery in the late 1990s, there has been significant research done on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In a 2009 article published in Trends of Pharmacological Sciences, it was revealed that there are studies that suggest a functional ECS is contained in the skin.

It’s suggested that the skin’s ECS is associated with assorted biological processes, including growth, proliferation, differentiation, hormone production, mediation of various skin cells (such as hair follicles and sebaceous glands) and apoptosis (death of skin cells).

What does all this mean?

Put simply, the ECS plays an integral role in skin health. Here we’ll take a deeper look at the role of the ECS and the skin to understand just how important it truly is.


How Does the Endocannabinoid System Affect the Skin?

Research suggests that the primary physiological function of the skin’s ECS is to control proper and well-balanced cell proliferation (growth), differentiation (maturation) and survival. The ECS is also responsible for the immune competence (the ability to produce a normal immune response) and/or tolerance of skin cells.

The disturbance of the delicate balance held within the skin’s ECS could result in developing various skin conditions, which can include:

  • Acne.
  • Seborrhea (excessive discharge of sebum from sebaceous glands).
  • Allergic dermatitis.
  • Itchiness.
  • Hair growth disorders.
  • Systemic sclerosis (an autoimmune disorder that changes the texture and appearance of the skin).
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