Unearthing the Health and Beauty Benefits of New Natural Actives
Consumer demand for clean label skincare solutions that deliver results has never been higher. This increased demand is placing pressure on skincare companies to find new, effective bioactives that can help their products stand out in this crowded space. It is not often that an industry finds an untapped resource that holds promise for revolutionary change. But we may be at the very beginning of such an event.
New research has begun to uncover the importance of our natural endocannabinoid system, and how it maintains homeostasis in our bodies. For instance, some inflammatory responses and oxidative stresses are thought to be linked to dysfunction in the endocannabinoid system.
While humanity has used the Cannabis sativa plant as a natural health remedy for thousands of years, our understanding of its underlying mechanism of action through the endocannabinoid system is relatively new. And we still have a lot to learn. Over the past 80 years, there has been a lack of basic research, driven primarily by regulatory agencies and limitations on studying the effects of natural cannabinoids – even those that are non-psychoactive – on the endocannabinoid system and human physiology, as a whole.
A Sea of Change in Cannabinoid Research
Deregulation of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, biotechnology, and modern research techniques are allowing us to fill in the knowledge gaps about the endocannabinoid system and our ability to control its activity through cannabinoids. With well over one hundred unique molecules present in the C. sativa plant, this class of compounds holds immense potential as a source of bioactive ingredients that can alleviate common chronic health issues.
While many beauty brands have rushed to incorporate cannabinoids into their formulations, the evidence for the benefits of cannabinoids is, thus far, largely anecdotal. We’ve only recently begun to unravel how cannabinoids act on and in the human body using the rigors of the modern scientific method.
The Cannabinoid Production Problem
After the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which descheduled non-psychoactive cannabinoids in the U.S., research into cannabinoids started to gain momentum. However, only a handful of the hundreds of cannabinoids are in high enough concentrations in the C. sativa plant to isolate and study properly.
This problem was solved with recent breakthroughs in fermentation technology, enabling scalable production of even the rarest cannabinoid, making it possible to more fully research and understand the complete breadth of biological activities present in this class of compounds.
With this newfound access, researchers are finding several cannabinoids have interesting potential and are poised to be an innovative addition to the skincare industry.
The current focus has been on cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG). The research we will present in this article is focused on CBG due to its strong promise as a skincare active.
Safe for Skin
The first (and perhaps most important) step in validating a new cosmetic ingredient is to determine if the ingredient is safe for human use. At Demetrix, we’ve performed industry-standard testing that CBG is non-sensitizing and non-irritating for topical use.
In addition, while CBG can penetrate the epidermal and dermal skin layers ensuring it can reach its potential targets, it did not pass through lower skin layers or into the bloodstream during our testing. This is another critical step in demonstrating safety for use in humans.
As we have come to understand, the skin microbiome plays an important role in homeostasis, and skincare ingredients should not negatively affect its balance. Recent presentations have indicated cannabinoids may be skin microbiome-friendly and some companies have received microbiome certifications.
Do Cannabinoids Provide Skincare Benefits?
Demetrix is committed to bringing clean, sustainable, and inventive ingredients to the beauty industry. We’ve been studying several rare cannabinoids, applying a thorough scientific process, and the results are truly exciting. At this time, our scientific team has discovered that different cannabinoids exhibit distinct therapeutic properties, each with its own fingerprint. This translates to the potential of a deep pool of new bioactives to support specific health and cosmetic benefits.
Our studies have revealed that some cannabinoids have potential as potent anti-inflammatory ingredients and others may provide support for procollagen I production.
The adoption of these compounds by companies opens a wealth of opportunities to offer products that deliver on their promise with bioactives. Companies that can harness the opportunity of cannabinoids will open a new area of innovation and competitive advantage for their product lines.
More Sustainable Cannabinoid Production
Demand for safe, legal, and efficacious cannabinoids is currently high, and it’s expected to continue to increase as more companies seek out these compounds for their product lines. As with many natural ingredients, agricultural sources will not be enough to supply the demand and will not be able to positively contribute to corporate sustainability goals.
Companies like Demetrix offer botanically-based, naturally-derived ingredients, biologically identical to those made from the plant. The fermentation process we use is a sustainable, more environmentally friendly way of producing cannabinoids, compared to traditional agricultural methods.
It’s been shown that bioreactors, which are used for fermentation, consume less water and electricity than cultivation outside and produce fewer carbon emissions.
Through our technology, cannabinoids can be reliably produced in commercial volumes, to consistent specifications, and high purity. The ability to tightly control production also minimizes supply disruptions and pricing volatility. This ensures companies have a continual supply of safe, efficacious natural actives for their product lines.
What’s Next for Rare Cannabinoids?
As scientific research on these unique natural actives continues, we anticipate further applications and benefits will be found. Companies that adopt these ingredients early on will be able to create innovative products that benefit their customers.
Consumers want transparent products backed by rigorous science. Now, with further research into cannabinoids, that reality is here.