Can CBD Help Your Battle with Acne?

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Acne: the four-letter word that haunts many people from their teenage years to adulthood.

According to The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA), acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, as it effects up to 50 million Americans annually. Known medically as Acne Vulgaris it effects 80% of all Americans at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, after puberty, acne continues for many. A study done by the AADA showed overall facial acne prevalence of 54% for woman and 40% for men aged 25 and up. In recent years, due to widespread legalization of cannabis and subsequent studies, CBD is now being hailed as a natural and effective form of acne medication.

Sebum Production

Sebum is an oily substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands. Sebum oil is instrumental in skin health. When an ideal amount is produced your skin is glowing and healthy, however, too little creates excessive dry skin and leads to cracking. It is over production of this sebum that is a key contributor to acne, as the excess oils clog your pores. Sebocytes are cells that synthesize sebum. In a 2014 study investigating the effects of CBD on Sebocytes, the research discovered that CBD could prevent these cells from creating too much sebum oil. Research also suggests that CBD causes anti-inflammatory effects on these cells.

Dry Skin

A 2009 study suggests that CBD may be an effective treatment for dealing with dry and dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin results in the buildup of dead skin cells and, in conjunction with the sebaceous glands producing excess sebum oil to make up for the dry skin, it can cause acne. These results are promising.

Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Fungal Effects

A review conducted by Frontiers in Plant Science in 2016 on the cannabis plant revealed that due to CBDs anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, their effects could reduce the infections caused by pollutants on the skin. This is an important finding as dirt and other pollutants can block your skins pores and leave you with acne.

Acne Scars

Many who have dealt with acne have endured acne scars. These are caused by breakouts damaging the skin and tissue beneath it. When a cyst becomes pus filled it will eventually pop, typically towards the top layer of skin. When the cyst burst is within the deeper tissue it can cause more severe damage prompting the body to produce too much of a protein called collagen, which can cause acne scaring and discoloration. Due to CBD’s ability to reduce sebum oil production and inhibiting inflammation, CBD should be able to prevent the deep tissue rupture of a pimple, thus avoiding acne scarring. In saying that, popping a pimple prematurely can still cause acne scarring.

How To Use CBD for Acne

CBD can be used orally for longer term effects and possibly preventing future breakouts. For immediate help, topical treatments are the best option. CBD serums and creams are easily available online. Another option is to mix our own CBD skin care oil. Mixing CBD oil with a carrier such as coconut oil will provide the same CBD induced effects as high price creams.

Final Thoughts

There is still much needed long term and large-scale studies to be conducted to corroborate the firm stance some take on CBD’s effectiveness for acne. However, studies done to date show a lot of promise and should be cause for optimism amongst anyone dealing with acne. With the global acne medication market valued at $4.03 billion in 2020 and expected to grow to $4.04 billion in 2021, it’s a financially lucrative compound for big pharmaceutical companies to invest in. As always, consulting a licensed physician before use is best practice.


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