CBD: A Natural Treatment for Acne?
CBD for Acne: What works best
Natural treatments for acne have been around for thousands of years. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used honey to treat acne to promote clear and healthy skin. Cannabidiol (CBD), is a substance found in the cannabis plant that is gaining popularity as a natural treatment for acne.
Read on to learn more about how CBD is being used as a potential treatment for acne and how to find the best CBD for acne control.
Does CBD work for acne?
Acne is a condition that affects nearly 85% of teenagers which can persist into adulthood. Acne is a caused by a number of factors including excess sebum production, clogged pores, and microbial colonization by Propionibacterium acnes. Diet and genetic factors may also play a role in the development of acne.
The most common signs and symptoms of acne vary depending on the severity of the condition, and include:
- Whiteheads (clogged, closed pores)
- Blackheads (clogged, open pores)
- Pimples (pustules)
- Small, red, tender bumps (papules)
- Large, solid, painful lumps under the skin (nodules)
- Painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin (cystic legions)
Complications that can occur with acne include permanent scarring, poor self-image, depression, and anxiety. The direct cost estimate of acne is thought to exceed $3 billion per year.
Acne can be treated by antibiotics and anti-inflammatory therapies. Gently washing the affected area twice daily will help prevent excess oil and dirt from clogging pores. It is important to allow acne legions to heal naturally on their own by avoiding the temptation to pop or scrub them. Avoiding irritation will reduce the chance of bacterial infection, flare-ups, and permanent scar damage.
Research on how CBD is related to the treatment of acne has been focused on CBD’s ability to treat the underlying causes of acne, such as excessive oil production.
A promising laboratory study found that CBD applied to human skin and sebaceous gland cultures inhibited excess oil production and also exerted anti-inflammatory actions on the oil-producing glands.
The researchers concluded that “CBD has a potential as a promising therapeutic agent” for the treatment of acne.
Does CBD work for body acne?
Acne is most commonly thought to appear on the face, but in fact it may occur in other areas of the skin, such as the back (commonly known as “bacne”), shoulders, neck, and chest.
Body acne is triggered by the same underlying causes as facial acne, and it is treated in similar ways. Therefore, CBD products may help reduce body acne through the same mechanisms, namely by naturally reducing overactive sebum glands and fighting inflammation.
Manufacturers of skin care products are now adding CBD to many soaps, body washes, and lotions. These products, along with CBD oil, may help reduce body acne even though they may not be specifically marketed for their anti-body acne effects.
Can CBD reduce acne scars?
Acne scars are caused by untreated severe acne, or by picking, scratching, and squeezing at the site of acne. Acne scars leave permanent marks on the skin, which can lead to social anxiety and depression in some people.
The best treatment of acne scars is prevention. Treat acne early to prevent it from becoming severe, which can increase your chances of scarring. Consider using CBD as a natural remedy to reduce acne along with a dermatologist-recommended skin care regimen.
If the acne condition is severe or treatment is delayed, scarring can occur early in about 95 percent of patients in three classification types:
- Atrophic (an indented scar that heals below the skin surface)
- Hypertrophic (a raised scar caused by excessive collagen deposits)
- Keloidal (smooth, hard scar growths usually larger than the original wound)
The most common type of acne scar is atrophic, and there are many treatments available. Most of the effective treatments for acne scars require a dermatologist visit, such as chemical peeling, dermabrasion, laser treatment, punch techniques, fat transplantation, other tissue augmenting agents, needling, subcision, and combined therapy.
A study which applied CBD ointment, without any THC, to scars caused by psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (eczema) twice daily for three months found that the CBD treatment significantly improved skin parameters such as hydration and elasticity.
The study concluded that CBD can be a safe, effective, and non-invasive alternative therapy for scar treatment, which is promising news for people suffering from acne scars despite the study focusing on scarring caused by other inflammatory skin disorders.
Does CBD help with other skin problems?
CBD may be able to help treat other skin conditions besides acne.
Psoriasis is a common skin disorder that causes skin cells to multiply rapidly on the surface of the skin, causing itchy and sometimes painful inflamed red patches and scales to form.
Psoriasis is thought to be caused by an autoimmune disorder, and there is no cure, so treatment is focused on reducing the severity and frequency of its symptoms.
A study on CBD for psoriasis treatment found that endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors in cultured human skin samples are able to reduce excessive skin cell formation, one of the main problems associated with psoriasis.
The experts who worked on the study believe that cannabinoids such as CBD can regulate the receptors that cause abnormally rapid and excessive production of skin cells in people with psoriasis.
The study is promising for people who wish to use CBD products to manage their psoriasis symptoms.
Itchy skin conditions
The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD) wrote an article on the role of cannabinoids in dermatology. It cited a study on a CBD-containing cream used on hemodialysis patients suffering from itchy skin (uremic pruritus) over a three-week period.
The study found that 81 percent of patients experienced a complete reduction of dry skin with significant reduction in itchiness, and in 38 percent pruritus was completely eliminated.
The JAAD article authors believe that cannabinoids such as CBD are able to regulate the transmission of signals from nerve endings which inform the brain of skin itching.
CBD side effects
CBD is generally well tolerated and is considered safe. However, it may cause some adverse reactions.
The most commonly experienced side effects found in studies include:
- Changes in appetite and weight
CBD has drug interactions with certain medications. Speak to a medical professional about CBD prior to starting any treatment.
One mice study showed that CBD-rich extracts may cause acute liver toxicity. However, it must be noted that some the mice in the study were administered extremely large doses of the extract.
Summary: Although CBD is generally considered safe, it may cause adverse side effects like tiredness and diarrhea in some people. It may also interact with certain drugs. Speak to your doctor before trying CBD if you are taking any medications.
Tips for the CBD beginner
As CBD has become more popular due to its efficacy at treating a wide range of conditions, including pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, and insomnia, it is available in many stores and online. It is important to know that your CBD is contaminant-free.
Find CBD from a reputable source and read the product’s certificate of analysis (COA). The COA should show the amount of CBD in the product as well as any residual contaminants from the production process.
Where to find the best CBD products for acne
Wellness Garden Medicinals offers a CBD sublingual tincture in three concentrations and two flavors which has been shown to be very effective at treating skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, itchiness, and inflammation through anecdotal evidence.
Additionally, Wellness Garden Medicinals produces two CBD topical salves which combine pure CBD with all-natural and powerful essential oils and herbal extracts which complement CBD’s skin conditioning effects.
Wellness Garden Medicinals customers have reported improvement in their conditions by using a combination of sublingual tincture and topical salve, which administers CBD to the body through two separate vectors.
Laboratory studies have shown CBD to be a promising natural treatment for acne. However, more large-scale clinical studies are needed to determine if CBD is an effective cure for acne and other skin conditions such as psoriasis and itching.
Is CBD Legal? CBD products derived from hemp and with less than 0.3 percent THC are federally legal in the United States. CBD products derived from marijuana are federally illegal, but are legal under certain state laws. Check your local laws and the laws of anywhere you travel with CBD. Note that non-prescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled. All Wellness Garden Medicinals products are made from U.S. hemp and contain 0% THC, which means they are federally legal in the United States.