Updated on December 6, 2018.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Acne is a notorious skin condition. It results in pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, papules, nodules and cysts. While self-care and prescription treatments are available for acne, many aren’t very effective. Some recent research has shown that using CBD can help treat current acne, as well as underlying causes, like stress and anxiety.
Using CBD oil for acne can help those who have frequent breakouts. Instead of following the common myth that people should let acne run its course, it’s better to use CBD for acne because:
CBD deals with both the symptoms (blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, etc.), as well as the causes of the breakout
CBD oil has a calming effect on the nerves and helps prevent anxiety
CBD reduces stress, improves mood and helps reduce inflammation
Effective treatment of acne with CBD will boost self-esteem
In many cases, acne appears as an outbreak of whiteheads, blackheads or pimples on the face. But it could show up on other parts of the skin including the back and neck.
In addition to anxiety and stress, frequent acne breakouts are caused by hormonal changes, puberty, genetics, infection and eating a diet with excessive sugar.
Virtually all forms of acne are characterized by excessive secretion of sebum. Sebum is the oil that comes out of the sebaceous gland of the skin. This oil and dead skin cells eventually plug the hair follicles.
Acne affects more than 50 million U.S. residents, according to the American Academy for Dermatology. With more than 3 billion dollars spent on acne treatment annually, this condition can be very embarrassing and irritating.
How Effective Is CBD for Treating Acne?
CBD oil may be used to treat all forms of acne from mild to severe including:
Blackheads: Open plugged pores
Whiteheads: Closed plugged pores
Papules: Small, tender red bumps
Pimples: Papules that contain pus at the tips called
Cystic Lesions: Painful lumps filled with pus
In a study conducted by Attila Olah et al. and published in July 2014, CBD was evaluated to determine how effective it would be in the treating acne. The scientists stated many acne treatments fall short because a variety of factors causes acne. But CBD has the potential to tackle each element at the same time.
The study revealed three main points:
CBD minimizes the oil produced by the skin cells
CBD reduced the production of sebum, not just by altering the endocannabinoid system but by a universal approach
CBD diminishes the excessive growth of sebocytes
When CBD was placed in a test tube with sebocytes, which produce sebum, it merely slowed down the growth of the cells. This means when CBD is applied to the skin, it will reduce skin sebum and prevent the breakout of acne. CBD also acts as an active all-around anti-inflammatory agent. It can prevent the red, tender areas that arise around pores affected by acne.
One study conducted at a Hungarian university by Dr. Tamas Biro and a team of scientists examined how CBD could help people with acne. During the research, they found CBD would be an effective treatment for acne because it:
Prevents lipid synthesis without destroying the skin cells
Can keep the skin lubricated while preventing excessive production of sebum
Is more effective in treating acne than established vitamin A derivatives like Accutane, as shown in the model system used for the research
This implies that the CBD oil would be a much more effective treatment for acne than many other products that cause skin dryness and irritation.
CBD may be used either orally or topically. Both applications are safe, and they don’t produce any discomfort. Oral consumption of CBD oil helps deal with different causes of acne breakouts. Oils come in various concentrations, and people with acne should choose one with at least 5% CBD.
Taking five to 20 drops under the tongue every morning and evening will have a positive effect on various aspects of health apart from the skin, including:
Helping the user to be calm and focused
Reducing stress levels
Relieving aches and pains
Enjoying lower levels of stress in everyday situations
As a result, few or no acne breakouts will occur.
Remember to use CBD oil topically for skin conditions like acne. In a clinical study, healthy men applied cream with 3% cannabis to the skin of one cheek. The study lasted for 12 weeks, and the researchers took measurements every two weeks. At the end of the experiment, sebum content on the treated cheek was much lower compared to the other one, and lower lipid production caused the lower sebum. This means introducing CBD topically to the sebaceous glands that produce sebum will either stop or reduce sebum production and reduce acne.
After starting to use CBD oil for acne, cease the use of other over-the-counter skin products including conditioners and cleansers. Use clean water in the morning and at night to wash the face. Try using a CBD cream, balm or oil as the primary product for three to five days.
Talk to a Marijuana Doctor to Learn More
CBD oil and other CBD products may be used to prevent acne breakouts on the face and other parts of the body. CBD is a very effective treatment for acne because it doesn’t just stop the breakout of pimples and other forms of acne, but it also deals with the underlying causes such as anxiety and stress. Find a certified cannabis doctor close by to learn more about CBD and acne.