Soothing Effect of Pogostemon cablin Extract (Patchouli), via Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Modulation in Human Skin

J Cosmet Sci. 2020 Nov-Dec;71(6):425-437.


Skin functions as a neuro-immuno-endocrine tissue with well-defined neuronal networks and functions. The endocannabinoid system has been proven to be an important, homeostatic regulator for homeostatic and inflammatory events. The system comprises endogenous or exogenous ligands and receptors (CB1 and CB2). In the present study, we evaluated the soothing properties of a Pogostemon cablin (patchouli) extract. Agonist AM1241 and antagonist AM630 were used for CB2 receptor activation/inhibition. Expression of CB2 receptor and β-endorphin was monitored by immunohistochemistry. Skin inflammation was induced with ultraviolet B (UVB) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the following markers were used to highlight the anti-inflammatory properties of the extract: transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), interleukin receptors 1 (IL1R1), and the interleukin 6 signal transducer (IL6ST). Our results demonstrated the implication of the CB2 receptor in the skin inflammation process. The expression of CB2 receptor and β-endorphin was increased 48 hours after application of the extract. Furthermore, patchouli extract application helped to reduce IL1R1, IL6ST, and TRPV1 expression, in skin exposed to UVB or LPS. In conclusion, the application of the patchouli extract helps maintain skin integrity and reduce skin discomfort via modulation of CB2 receptor stimulation and the subsequent β-endorphin release.

MeSH terms

  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists / pharmacology
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Dermatitis / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts* / pharmacology
  • Pogostemon* / chemistry
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2* / agonists
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2* / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Skin* / drug effects


  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Antagonists
  • Plant Extracts
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2