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Demystifying Topical CBD: The Difference Between CBD and THC

Straight Facts About Beauty’s Buzziest Ingredient

The hemp-based ingredient is creating quite the buzz in the wellness and beauty world, as evidenced by the many tinctures, gummies, and CBD-infused products suddenly lining store shelves. But with the new CBD explosion, there’s also a lot of hype, confusion (and maybe even fear), about what those products can actually do for you and how to use them. For example, CBD is often lumped together with another cannabis plant active, THC, but the two don’t have the same benefits, especially when it comes to your skin. Here, the straight facts about this new “it” ingredient.

First off, what is CBD? 

CBD is short for cannabidiol, an extract found in the hemp plant, cannabis sativa. CBD is a powerful antioxidant with both health and skin benefits, and may help support our body’s own endocannabinoid system. Yes, our body has a built-in store of naturally-occurring cannabinoids. Researchers believe that supplementing that system with plant-based cannabinoids such as oral or topical CBD may help keep your body, including your complexion, in balance. CBD is also known as a calming ingredient, which is why it’s highly sought out for everything from arthritis to cranky skin conditions.

As for CBD skincare benefits, it’s thought to calm, soothe, and nourish skin -  making it ideal for sensitive skin, and skin that is plagued with issues that may be stemming from inflammation.

CBD’s biggest misconceptions 

While CBD is suddenly being celebrated for its many skin and health benefits, there is a lot of info out there that’s not quite right. Here, we’ll clear up the biggest confusion and explain the real scoop about CBD benefits. 

Misconception 1: CBD can get you high 

The truth: CBD is not a psychoactive, which means it will not, and cannot, alter your mind in any way. However, its cousin, THC, also derived from cannabis sativa plant more commonly known as marijuana, can.

While a “full spectrum” CBD product (that is, CBD that includes other phytocannabinoids and active compounds found in cannabis) may contain traces of THC (more on this below), CBD isolate, the type of CBD that Perricone MD uses in its CBD products, is pure cannabidiol and nothing more.  

Misconception 2: It’s illegal 

The truth: The legal status on CBD is confusing and ever-evolving, but currently the federal government states that CBD-containing products are legal as long as they are derived from hemp (not marijuana) and contain less than 0.3 percent THC. Anything beyond that is illegal in many states, or only available with a prescription for medicinal use.

Misconception 3: CBD only delivers benefits when taken orally 

The truth: While there are many health benefits associated with CBD tinctures and edibles, it works topically, too. Remember that endocannabinoid system we mentioned earlier? Well, it’s thought that applying CBD topically supports your body’s own natural endocannabinoid system, which also plays a role in keeping your skin calm, clear, and balanced. It’s these CBD skincare benefits that have made it a highly sought out ingredient in topical treatments.


Still fuzzy about the difference between CBD and THC? Here’s what you need to know: CBD and THC are both phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. Hemp is a variety of the plant that contains 0.3% or less of THC, and marijuana is a type of cannabis that contains more THC. They both have an effect on our body’s endocannabinoid system, yet only THC gives you that euphoric, high feeling that marijuana is known for, while CBD does not. Because of this, THC is a controlled substance that’s illegal in most states, and in others, it’s only available for medicinal purposes with a prescription.

As we mentioned above, CBD that contains no THC or only a trace amount is perfectly legal. This is the type of CBD that is used in Perricone MD’s CBD skincare products.

CBD skincare: Believe the hype 

While it all sounds too good to be true, the hype about CBD benefits is in fact real. So, how exactly does it help your skin? CBD is an antioxidant, which means that it may help to work alongside our body to neutralize free radicals (unstable molecules unleashed by the environment) before they can damage healthy skin cells, causing everything from wrinkles to skin cancer.

Preventing free radical damage may result in healthier, younger-looking skin. But CBD’s most notable skin benefits come in the form of skin soothing and nourishing. The plant active helps to calm the appearance of red, irritated, and inflamed skin, making it a top ingredient for anyone with sensitive skin.

Plus, as we mentioned, skin inflammation has been linked to complexion issues such as acne and premature skin aging, so a calming ingredient may help keep skin looking clearer and more youthful. Topical CBD may also help to reduce the appearance of oily skin, which can also help in the case of visibly slick skin and acne.

CBD combined with Perricone MD’s cutting-edge science

While you could always find high-quality CBD in the CBx for Men collection, now, for a limited time only, the power of CBD has been harnessed and infused into Perricone MD’s Cold Plasma Plus+ CBD Advanced Serum Concentrate, too. This best-selling, multi-tasking anti-aging treatment that already tackles fine lines, wrinkles, uneven texture, dullness, enlarged pores, and loss of firmness and elasticity, now also addresses the appearance of  visible redness. The soothing, calming, and nourishing properties of 100 milligrams of pure, hemp-derived CBD is combined with vitamin C Ester, a potent antioxidant that works to give skin a more youthful, brighter appearance, and Omegas 3, 6, and 9 to visibly plump and strengthen skin. In consumer trials of Cold Plasma Plus+ CBD Advanced Serum Concentrate, 87 percent of users saw more radiance and an improvement in tone in just 28 days, while 81 percent saw a reduction in redness and discoloration. 

Keep calm and carry on

So, it’s not just beauty hyperbole: CBD is proving to be a safe, effective, gentle skin soother. It’s no wonder it’s quickly becoming a top skincare ingredient. When you choose a Perricone MD product formulated with CBD you can trust that you’re getting CBD’s calming, nourishing benefits combined with the high-tech, research-driven formulations the brand is known for.