CBD for Acne: Is Hemp the Holy Grail You’ve Been Looking For?

Wednesday 09th Feb 2022 |

If you’ve experienced acne, you’ll know firsthand the impact it has on your quality of life. Despite the market being full of acne treatments claiming to ‘solve’ your condition, acne solutions are never “one-size-fits-all”.

However, it’s safe to say when a new product comes on the market, you’re keen to put it to the test. That’s where CBD comes in! This article answers all you need to know about CBD, its potential effects on acne and what the science says about this new “holy grail” skincare.

Battling with Acne

Acne Vulgaris, more commonly known as acne, is a skin condition that causes inflammation, redness, spots and pimples. While usually present on the face, acne can also show up on the shoulders and the back, causing soreness, itchiness and tender skin. 

This stubborn condition typically starts in adolescence due to a change in hormones; however, it can begin later in life too. Unfortunately, acne can be challenging to treat, and many people spend a lot of time and money hoping to discover the right solution. 

Sadly, acne goes further than skin deep. Many people who’ve had acne report feeling a lack of confidence, low self-esteem and suffer from mental health issues.

Flare-ups come about when dead skin mixes with excess oil (sebum) and clogs pores, creating whiteheads and blackheads. It’s important to gently exfoliate and wash your face each day to remove this excess sebum production and the dead skin cells. That said, be gentle when applying exfoliants because you don’t want to aggravate the sensitive skin further.

Can CBD Reduce Acne Severity? 

If you’ve suffered from acne, you’ll know the anguish of always looking for the perfect solution. The reality is a lot of individuals struggle with the acne market. There are so many options, how do you know the difference between a breakthrough and an unhelpful trend? CBD is one of the many products to grace the skincare business, and while we believe in the potential of CBD oil, we understand your hesitation. So, let’s break it down, how may CBD help acne sufferers?

Wait, what is CBD again?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound that originates from a strain of cannabis called hemp. This is not to be mistaken for marijuana, which has a high concentration of THC – the potentially intoxicating compound. Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating. Manufacturers will extract most, if not all, THC before it’s available for you to purchase. Some products, such as full-spectrum CBD oil, may have trace amounts of THC; however, this is not enough to cause a high.

It seems CBD works with a cell-signalling system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help the body remain in homeostasis – the body’s natural balanced state. CBD may enhance the abilities of the ECS to regulate the following areas:

  • Digestion;
  • Immunity;
  • Mood;
  • Appetite; 
  • Sleep.

Cannabidiol is a versatile product that people consume in various ways, including CBD gummies, hemp oils, capsules and even topical creams infused with CBD extract.

CBD and Acne Research

When looking to solve the acne solution, there are key areas, such as targeting oil production and inflammation. What’s fascinating about CBD for acne is it focuses on stopping the development of acne rather than simply soothing the effects. This means it has the potential to be a long-term solution. 

CBD may manage oil production – A promising study was published in the Journal of Clinica Investigation, which researched the effect of CBD on human skin and glands. The results suggested that CBD inhibited oil production and had anti-inflammatory effects. This means CBD may be able to control the amount of sebum the glands produce while soothing the inflammation from your spots. 

CBD may soothe sore skin – As you can see, CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect on the cells. It prevented one of the acne triggers, which may reduce breakouts and pain associated with the condition. 

CBD may reduce bacteria – Alongside excess oil production, dirt and bacteria infect the pores, worsening acne. A 2016 review highlighted the antibacterial and antifungal effects of cannabis. This report suggests CBD may potentially reduce infections that cause acne to develop into severe cases. 

The appearance of scars may reduce after applying CBD – Acne lesions may leave behind deep scars that are hard to shift. Although we believe you shouldn’t be ashamed of your scars, many people wish to reduce their appearance. One study found CBD was beneficial in reducing the appearance of scars from psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Although it wasn’t performed on acne scars, it shows the potential to use CBD oil for acne scars.

Final Thoughts

Despite it being on every social media platform and filling the shelves of your favourite drugstore, CBD oil may, in fact, help acne. Everyone will react to CBD differently, so we cannot know for sure if it’ll be the breakthrough you’ll need. That said, the research is promising as it seems to target the core issue rather than treating the symptoms. It’s worth noting that the industry requires more human studies, and it’s best to discuss CBD with a doctor first before implementing it into your routine. 

CBD may be an excellent addition to your skincare routine, but consider which product you purchase. While the industry favours CBD oil, you may want to avoid adding more oil-based products to your skin. We advise starting with a topical CBD cream and evaluating how your skin reacts in a few months.  We hope this small article has empowered you to make an informed decision about CBD and the next steps in your skincare journey.

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