We often hear about CBD and how it can help with a plethora of medical ailments, with it being cited as being useful for people suffering from everything from insomnia to fibromyalgia. But another area which is using CBD to its maximum effect (given what we know about CBD so far) is the beauty industry.
Whether it is moisturisers, toners, bath bombs or CBD lip balm there is evidence to suggest that CBD can be helpful on the outside as well as on the inside.
And one theory that has been suggested is that CBD can help people who suffer from acne.
What is acne?
It is true to say that all of us suffer from acne to some degree at some point in our lives. Whether it is a few spots or a more significant amount, it can cause a lack of self-confidence and scarring to some people. It often develops during our teenage years but can also affect people who are older as well.
Acne occurs when there is a build-up of oil which has been made by the sebaceous gland. This often occurs when hormone levels change in the blood, leading the sebaceous gland to produce more oil – known as sebum. The build-up of this oil, along with the skin’s inability to properly shed dead skin from the pores can cause a blockage, resulting in blackheads or whiteheads.
Sebum is normally good for our skin as it helps to protect it and keep it healthy. However, when it is in excess, it can start to cause problems.
The bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes is present on the skin and also doesn’t usually cause problems, but it can breed in the excess sebum oil, causing the body to produce puss-filled or red spots.
What is CBD?
CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid which is found naturally in the cannabis plant. Unlike the cannabinoid, THC, CBD won’t make you high, but scientists believe that it has numerous health benefits to humans.
Some of these benefits include:
- Help with sleeping
- Helping with low mood and anxiety
- Helping with pain relief
- Helping with insomnia
One of CBD’s most important traits is that it has anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists also believe that it can help to regulate the sebaceous gland – the gland that produces sebum – the oil which seems to one of the main reasons why people get acne.
The hope, therefore, is that CBD can help to at least help people to treat their acne.
How can CBD help people with acne?
There is a lot more research which needs to be carried to really determine the potential that CBD has for our health in general, but also people who suffer from acne. However, there has been significant work done already.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties
It is well established that CBD has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers believe that this means that CBD might be able to help with numerous health problems, from some autoimmune diseases to pain relief.
Acne is known to be an inflammatory skin condition, meaning that inflammation could be one of the causes of acne, as well as a factor in making it worse. It stands to reason, then, that CBD could likely be a good option for sufferers to try, in an attempt to prevent, reduce or calm their acne.
Regulation of the sebaceous gland
Another way that it is thought that CBD can help people with acne is that scientists believe that it can help to regulate the sebaceous gland and therefore the production of sebum. A study carried out in 2014 showed that when CBD was applied to sebum-producing cells, it inhibited the production of sebum. This led to the researchers concluding that they believe CBD to be useful in the regulation of sebum and therefore as a possible treatment for acne.
In other words, by being able to reduce the amount of sebum which is produced, the likelihood of the development of acne is reduced.
There is also evidence to suggest that CBD is anti-microbial – in other words, that it can help to protect the body from bacteria. Although there has not been enough investigation into the specific effects of CBD on Propionibacterium acnes, scientists are feeling optimistic that it can help thanks to its effectiveness if fighting other types of bacteria.
Other benefits of CBD for acne
Although not necessarily being the cause of acne, some factors which can make it worse include stress and diet and lifestyle.
CBD can be effective for some people in lowering their stress levels. It can help to regulate levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, helping you to relax and reduce anxiety. By keeping your body free from stress and anxiety, you can reduce the chance of triggering or accentuating acne.
It can also be used for pain relief, helping people to have a more active and therefore healthier lifestyle.
Most of the research which has been carried out with regards to how CBD can help with acne has focused on topical CBD products such as creams, moisturisers and balms. These products are readily available both online and in the high street in the UK and Europe.
Many people like to take their CBD through sub-lingual drops, capsules, edibles or vaping. There is little evidence, however, to show how CBD taken by these delivery methods has any effect on acne. However, it is very possible that the anti-inflammatory and anti-stress effects of CBD will still be of value even if it is not directly applied to the trouble area.
Topical CBD products can fight acne on many fronts, however. They can be applied as much or as often as you like, and you cannot overdose on them.
If you suffer from acne and it is affecting your life, it might be possible that CBD can help you. There is no evidence to suggest that it can cause harm to you, so it might be worth seeing if it can help you to reduce and deal with your acne.