CBD in the Treatment of Acne

CBD and the Treatment of Acne

A study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the National Institute of Health has found that the compound cannabidiol, or CBD, may provide a potential treatment for acne. Acne is one of the most common skin conditions world wide. It is the result of over active sebaceous glands in the skin which are stimulated by male hormones produced by both male and female adrenal glands. The sebaceous glands secrete sebum, a lipid – oily substance – to waterproof the skin. In dry skin conditions such as eczema, lipid production is too low. In conditions such as acne it is too high. CBDs inhibit the production of sebum.

Acne can also be considered an inflammatory disease since the acne pimples are highly inflamed. CBD has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Acne affects the face, back, shoulders and chest. It occurs when the hair follicles get clogged with dead skin cells and oil. Blocked glands are prone to bacterial infection producing the characteristic lesions of the skin. It is common in adolescence. About 8 in 10 people have acne between the ages of 11 to 30. When hair follicles are blocked with sebum and skin cells, dark spots called blackheads form. When the follicles stay blocked, they become inflamed forming white bumps containing fluid - cysts. These cysts may be painful, tender to the touch and hot. Another feature of acne is its propensity for scarring.

Men and women produce more testosterone during puberty which increases the production of sebum in the skin. Acne doesn’t necessarily indicate an overproduction of testosterone. Instead, the individual’s body may simply be highly sensitive to its effect.

CBD applied topically can play a role in both treatment and prevention. It affects the glands under the skin that produce the oil activating the receptors inhibiting the secretion of oil thus reducing acne production. As the report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation states:

“Administration of CBD to cultured human sebocytes and human skin organ culture inhibited the lipogenic actions of various compounds, including arachidonic acid and a combination of linoleic acid – testosterone and suppressed sebocyte proliferation via the activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid-4 (TRPV4) ion channels”

The treatment currently being tested is of the CBD in a methanol-ethanol solution. In trials it has proven more effective than Vitamin A derivatives like Accutane. It also only targets the affected cells and not the normal cells.

The report concludes:

“Our findings suggest that, due to the combined lipostatic, anti-proliferative, and anti-inflammatory effects CBD has potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris.”



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