Cannabidiol, well known for its ability to calm epileptic seizures, target inflammation and soothe anxiety, may also help reduce the visible signs and irritation of acne. Although some may believe that acne just afflicts teenagers, it is a noticeable and sometimes painful irritation carried well into adulthood.
Up to 50 million Americans dealt with acne in the past year. It is the second-most common skin condition, but its effects are much more than just skin deep for many people. Any teenager will tell you that acne flare-ups damage self-image and cause depression and anxiety. These issues carry into adulthood.
Americans spent $607 million on prescription acne treatments in 2016 alone. That doesn’t even account for over-the-counter treatments. Worldwide, the acne-remedy market valued at $4.35 billion. The world is on a quest for an effective acne treatment; could CBD oil for acne be the answer?
Main Causes of Acne
Most acne is caused by overactive oil glands that eventually clog pores. Clogged pores become infected because the naturally occurring bacteria that live happily on the surface of the skin under normal conditions are suddenly trapped and can't breathe.
Overactive oil production is exasperated by other factors, including:
The Science Behind CBD Oil as Acne Treatment
Cannabidiol helps reduce the appearance and recurrence of acne because of the oil’s natural anti-inflammatory properties. But CBD oil has many other beneficial characteristics. A handful of important studies are exploring CBD use against acne. All research thus far shows positive results. These findings suggest that beyond CBD’s anti-inflammatory powers, it could treat acne through many other pathways.
One key component of CBD’s acne-fighting power is its activation of the endocannabinoid system. In particular, CBD is a reuptake inhibitor of the endocannabinoid, anandamide. Anandamide is a little-known neurological transmitter that regulates all cell growth, including differentiation and death. If it's not perfectly balanced, it is detrimental to skin health.
Medical researcher Tamas Biro, working out of the University of Debrecen Department of Physiology in Hungary, uncovered some remarkable properties of CBD for acne treatment. According to his team's study results, CBD inhibits overactive lipid (oil) production. He goes on to say that although CBD is a well-known anti-inflammatory agent, there was little information available on its application to skin cells. His research demonstrated CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefit for skin cells and its potential as a novel new acne therapy.
According to Biro, CBD is much more effective than other prescriptions on the market that are derived from vitamin A, such as the side effect-prone Accutane. Many conventional acne medications target all cells, even healthy ones. The most common physical side effects of these drugs are dry, irritated and itchy skin because of that all-cell targeting. With the right non-toxic dosage, Cannabidiol targets only the problem-causing lipid production and leaves healthy cells alone. Of additional importance was the extremely low of CBD dose required.
How to Use CBD Oil: Acne Treatment and Much More
Most studies are based on the topical use of CBD oil for acne, and most anecdotal evidence is based on that form of use. A CBD balm, or salve, is easily added to a daily skin care regimen. Some proponents also take a daily CBD oil supplement to boost its benefits. A daily CBD oil supplement could help target deeper surface issues such as inflammation, but also may have benefits for health issues that go much farther than just skin deep, including:
- Pain relief
- Stress relief
- Heart Health
- Migraine relief
Some people suggest the first step in using CBD oil for face irritation should be to cease using other over-the-counter skin treatments. If your daily skin-care regimen relies on many products, they may mask CBD benefits. Try using CBD topical herbal balm as a primary product for a few days, before adding back other cleansers, moisturizers, and conditioners.
More Natural Ways to Reduce the Appearance of Acne
There are other natural ways to help reduce the visible signs of acne, especially in combination with CBD topical ointments. Dermatologists always suggest washing the face with clean water in the morning and at night. Many also suggest moving away from commonly used skin-care products marketed as acne treatments.
Laying on exfoliants, cleansers and toners often just irritates sensitive skin, covering up the underlying issue. Another way to reduce the appearance of acne is to move away from a high-sugar, high-fat diet. Focusing on fresh fruit and vegetables, and whole grains has proven miraculous for some people’s acne.
The Future of CBD oil for Acne Treatment
The war on acne may finally have found a safe, chemical-free solution in plant-based CBD. A member of the Acne.org online forum declared, “I personally can say CBD has greatly helped my acne and just complexion as a whole. About every 3 months I run out and think ‘eh maybe I’m good now,’ but then 2 days later I start to see my skin going back to its old ways.” Other members have also discovered the effectiveness of CBD for their own struggles with acne.
Unlike harsh pharmaceuticals, CBD has an extremely low risk of side effects, especially low when applied topically. While the world waits for full regulatory approval of CBD for acne treatment, many people have already gone ahead to discover the benefits of topical CBD salves. Perhaps the use of CBD for acne is not well-known because it is often outshined by CBD’s other medicinal applications, but with a little digging, the evidence is out there.