The skin consists of a few primary parts:
Epidermis - The outermost layer, formed by keratinocytes (waterproofing/antimicrobial), melanocytes (responsible for skin color), Merkel/Langerhans cells (for sensing touch, pressure, temperature, pain, itch), and Langerhans cells (antigen-presenting immune cells).
Hypodermis - Made up of various immune cells (fibroblasts, adipocytes, and macrophages), blood vessels, and nerve fibers. This layer offers protection from viruses, bacteria, and allergens.
Dermis -Largely composed of collagen, nerve fibers, and blood/lymphatic vessels, the dermis is also the residence of the skin's appendages - hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and sweat glands.
Appendages - Dubbed 'mini-organs,' the skin's hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and sweat glands play many essential roles. Sebaceous glands supply oil to the skin's surface, creating a waterproof barrier, enabling thermoregulation and microbial protection. These appendages also produce steroids and hormones (such as Vitamin D) and are crucial to immune system function.
Comprised mainly of hair follicles and sebaceous glands, the'pilosebaceous unit' (what a mouthful) is sometimes called the'brain of the skin,' as it controls a vast array of biological functions (including stem-cell supply, immunomodulation, and synthesis of inflammatory-regulating molecules). New studies suggest that the endocannabinoid system may play a crucial role in regulating the all-important pilosebaceous unit - meaning CBD topicals likely have a significant effect on every aspect of skin health.
Hair follicles experience a lifelong cycle of phases, known as growth, regression, and resting. When the CB1 receptors in hair follicles are activated, the cell division stops, and many cells die; this results in impaired hair growth and an extended regression phase, also known as catagen. In layman's terms, out of whack endocannabinoid production could be part of the reason you're going bald.
When cannabinoid imbalance strikes thesebaceous glands, they cannot secrete sufficient amounts of sebum, weakening the waterproof skin barrier and increasing susceptibility to infection.
While the research is currently insufficient to determine the exact role endocannabinoids and their receptors play in sweat glands, what science has shown is that CB1 and CB2 receptors regulate their life cycles.
Endocannabinoid Receptors - CB1 and CB2 receptors are both present in virtually every type of skin cell. The omnipresence of cannabinoid receptors in the skin hints at the importance of maintaining good 'cannabinoid tone' - or the balance of cannabinoid levels in the skin. While several types of skin cells secrete endocannabinoids (such as anandamide and 2-AG) on an as-needed basis, they are susceptible to the same problems that affect the rest of the mind and body - the issues at the root of Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome.
The three types of cell function (proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis) are all moderated by cannabinoids. The maintenance of these crucial cellular functions is what enables life-long skin regeneration and wound healing.