Can CBD Help to Prevent Acne? A Look at the Evidence

28th May 2020

Health and beauty products are increasingly being infused with Cannabidiol – the most prevalent cannabinoid found in the Hemp plant. Over the last few years, the list of reported benefits of CBD has continued to grow. Many dermatologists and beauty companies even claim that the plant derivative can help prevent acne…

What is acne?

Acne, which is usually characterised by a number of stubborn red spots or lumps on the skin, is most often caused by an over-production of sebum. In small quantities, sebum acts as a protective oily layer for the skin. However, when too much is produced, the sebum causes pores to be blocked and results in acne.

Other factors that influence the development of acne are hormonal imbalances, diet, stress levels, and medications.

How can CBD treat acne?

CBD has anti-inflammatory properties which have led to its use for a number of ailments. In the case of acne, these properties can help to minimise the healing time of the skin following a breakout and reduce irritation such as pain and itching around the affected area.

More significantly, however, may be the effect that CBD could have on the cells that create sebum – sebocytes. It is believed that Cannabidiol has the ability to regulate the production of sebum, in turn helping to prevent clogged pores and acne.

CBD also has a less direct potential in the treatment of acne through targeting the potential causes of the skin condition. For example, CBD has been seen to reduce stress levels in some people – a possible contributing factor to the over-production of sebum.

Is there any proof?

There has been a number of trials that support these claims, including a 2014 study, which analysed CBD’s sebostatic and ant-inflammatory effects on human skin. This study found “that CBD behaves as a highly effective sebostatic agent.” There have additionally been a large number of animal studies, revealing similar results.

The ability of CBD products as an anti-inflammatory has been demonstrated in many studies, which have been carried out over decades. However, despite the promising existing evidence, as always, there is still a long way to go in the clinical trialing of the cannabinoid before its implications as a potential acne treatment is fully understood.

It is not recommended that you substitute existing medication for CBD products. When deciding to use CBD products, we advise you to first check with your doctor.


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