Treating Acne with CBD – Benefits & Effects

Scientific evidence has suggested that CBD could be a safer and more effective treatment option for acne. It should be noted that research on CBD and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has offered quite promising results for the treatment of acne. First and foremost, the endocannabinoid system has been proven to play a major role when it comes to hydrating the skin through the production of lipids. 

It is also apparent that Anandamide, helps in enhancing lipid production significantly. Moreover, it has been proven that CBD target the root of acne (excess sebum is created by lipids). Therefore, CBD limits sebum production by preventing Anandamide from synthesizing lipids. In addition, CBD also reduces inflammation, which is a common symptom of acne.

Acne is a very common skin condition the world over. In the United States, acne affects up to 50 million people yearly and is the most common skin condition in the country. This skin condition, which typically affects the face, occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. The result is often blackheads, whiteheads or pimples which could appear on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders. Even though acne is most common among teenagers, it can as well affect people of all ages.

Acne typically occurs during puberty because it is the period during which the sebaceous glands activate, thereby producing oil and are stimulated by male hormones produced by the adrenal glands in both males and females. Acnes are usually caused by four major factors which include excess oil production, bacteria, hair follicle clogged by oil and dead skin cells, as well as excess activity of a type of hormone (androgens). That said, other factors including hormones, emotional stress, menstruation, greasy cosmetics, diet as well as certain medications could trigger or aggravate acne.

Some of the most common symptoms of acne are small red, tender bumps (papules), blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, large solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin (nodules) as well as painful pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin (cystic lesions). Acne can be treated with some home remedy techniques like tea, tea-tree oil, diet and moisturizers. Moreover, over-the-counter medications like gels, soaps, pads, creams, and lotions, which are applied to the skin, oral antibiotics, corticosteroid injection, oral contraceptives, topical antimicrobials and Isotretinoin can also be used to treat acne. Well, the truth is that most of these treatment options for acne have adverse side effects like dry and itching skin, back and joint pain, hearing loss, as well as severe gastrointestinal issues.

Several studies were done on CBD and acne. A 2015 study tested the efficacy of a cream containing three percent cannabis seed extract for reducing sebum in the human cheek skin. The findings from this study indicated that the cannabis seed extract significantly reduced sebum in the cheeks when compared with the control cream. The cannabis seed extract was proven to be more tolerated with no adverse side effects being noted.

According to another study that was carried out at the University of Debrecen in Hungary, CBD was found to inhibit the production of lipids, the building blocks of sebum, on several lipid-producing compounds. Detailed findings from this study equally revealed that CBD also suppressed proliferation of sebocytes (cells that produce sebum and make up the sebaceous gland). Aside from reducing the production of sebum, CBD also demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the elevation of tumor necrosis factor, a common type of cytokine involved in the inflammation associated with acne. It should be noted that this study focused on CBD’s effect on inhibiting sebum production in human sebaceous glands (the glands that produce sebum).

A lab experiment that was conducted at the University of Debrecen equally supports the claims that CBD can effectively and efficiently treat acne. The study also demonstrated that CBD at the right concentration is an efficient therapy against acne since it does not kill healthy sebocytes that surround the diseased ones, unlike some acne medications. It is worthy to note that killing healthy sebocytes results in the common acne medication side effect of dry skin.

Even though there is a need for more investigation on this subject, it can be argued based on existing research that CBD may restore self confidence in acne sufferers. It should be recalled that acne is not only troublesome and annoying, but it could as well damage an individual’s self-esteem, thereby affecting a person’s ability to function socially.


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