JUN 03, 2020 6:44 AM PDT

CBD Oil May Treat and Prevent Acne

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in cannabis. Known for its relaxing effects, some research also suggests that it may be beneficial for skin conditions like acne. 

Acne is the most common skin condition among humans. It happens when sebum, an oily substance made by the skin, mixes with dead skin cells, dirt, and other pollutants, and gets trapped inside pores. Factors that cause it and make it worse include excessive sebum production, hormonal imbalances, genetics, high-stress levels, diet, and some medications. 

A study in 2014 found that CBD prevented human sebocytes, the cells that create sebum, from producing too much of the oil. The study also found that CBD oil triggers anti-inflammatory reactions in cells and prevents cytokines, known acne-triggers, from activating. 

Adding to this, a review from 2016 also found that CBD has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and thus may reduce skin infections.

The evidence so far thus seems to suggest that CBD may help get rid of acne and improve skin conditions. As there have yet to be any human clinical trials to confirm this evidence, patients will need to wait for some time before doctors recommend the oil to treat acne. 

In the meantime, CBD has shown to have some effect on other skin conditions. A small study of 20 people from 2019, for example, found that CBD was able to reduce scarring from psoriasis and atopic dermatitis when applied twice daily for three months. Upon further investigation, they found that CBD ointment significantly improved the skin’s natural elasticity and hydration. 

To use CBD oil, experts recommend mixing it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil to apply CBD oil to the skin. It may also be possible to take CBD orally and experience the same benefits as applying it topically as its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds will nevertheless be active in the body.


Sources: Natural Acne Treatments, Healthline, Medical News Today

About the Author
  • Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
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