Acne is a frustrating and persistent skin disease that can seriously affect an individual physically and socially. It is thought that approximately 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne, and the condition can expand far into adulthood with studies indicating around 70% of people over 20 experience acne at one time or another. Fortunately, a growing number of people are optimistic that cannabidiol (CBD) is a viable treatment option. Many studies show that CBD’s effects on the endocannabinoid system can prevent acne and help clear up skin conditions. This promising treatment could significantly help both adolescents and adults suffering from acne.
What Causes acne?
There are so many myths about what causes acne, that it can be hard to tell the fact from the fiction. Everything from poor hygiene to a bad diet has been blamed for causing breakouts and these common misconceptions are far from the truth. Acne is an inflammatory skin disease that manifests itself in the form of pustules (pimples), blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and nodules. It occurs when pores in the skin become blocked by a build up of dead skin cells and oil from the sebaceous glands. This gives bacteria the chance to multiply, resulting in blackheads, whiteheads, pustules, nodules and cysts. The skin on the face, chest, neck and back contains more pores, meaning acne is more likely to occur in these areas. So why do some people suffer from acne and not others? It seems people who suffer from acne are more sensitive to certain levels of hormones in the blood, which cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. And, while the acne bacterium (known as Propionbacterium acnes) lives on everyone’s skin, it only thrives when the build-up of oil provides it with ideal conditions. The main causes of acne include excess oil production, hair follicles that are clogged by oil and dead skin cells, bacteria, and excess hormones (androgens).
Although acne can be a phase that resolves itself in adulthood, many sufferers find it far more persistent and can experience breakouts throughout their adult life, meaning that sometimes acne doesn’t always disappear with age. Many people suffer into their 30s, 40s and even 50s. In fact, acne can appear for the first time in adulthood. Women are usually affected more than men due to fluctuating hormone levels during their periods, pregnancy and throughout the menopause. There is also some evidence to suggest that genes play a part in the likelihood of suffering from acne. So, if you have parents or siblings who have experienced breakouts it’s more likely you may have them too.
Things That Make Acne Worse
There are a number of different things that could trigger acne and potentially make it worse. They include pinching pimples or scrubbing skin, things that rub on the skin (headbands, hats, etc.), certain cosmetics & creams, certain medications, hormones during puberty and hormonal changes that come with pregnancy or with the use of birth control. Emotional stress and nervous tension can also contribute towards the worsening of acne. Contrary to popular belief, eating greasy foods doesn’t actually contribute to acne. Your diet does play a role, but acne is more often attributed to foods high in carbs, such as breads, chips, bagels, etc.
How Does CBD Oil for Acne Work?
It has been proven that the endocannabinoid system has receptors all throughout the skin and that it’s responsible for controlling the balance and general well-being of skin cells. But this is no surprise. The endocannabinoid system has receptors spread throughout our entire body, brain, and central nervous system, influencing various physiological processes. Research on CBD and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) offers promising results for the treatment of acne. Like the other organs in our body, our sebaceous glands and hair follicles contain CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors work to communicate with the nervous system to produce different effects, such as reduction of inflammation. CBD oil can reduce acne because of its anti-inflammatory properties that may work to reduce the visible inflammation caused by clogged hair follicles. In addition to the anti-inflammatory function, CBD oil may also help treat acne in a number of other ways. When CBD activates the endocannabinoid system, a neurological transmitter regulates cell growth. When this isn’t balanced, it can negatively impact the skin. The ECS has also shown to play a major role in hydrating the skin through the production of lipids. Anandamide appears to significantly enhance lipid production. CBD oil also may help inhibit overactive oil production, which is one of the key causes of acne. One other benefit of CBD over prescription medications is that it only targets the problem-causing cells, leaving healthy cells alone and reducing side-effects common to many acne medications, such as dry and irritated skin.
Studies Suggest CBD Effectively Treats Acne
In 2014, the JCI observed that CBD regulates the output of oil in the skin. It inhibits the lipid production in your skin cells. This means that CBD won’t work around your physiology and dehydrate your skin like a lot of acne products. CBD could literally normalise your skin’s oil production. This is fantastic news. Since then, researchers have probed even deeper into this exploration. There was another study that looked into CBD and skin appearance through a clinical procedure. To the surprise of the investigators, 100% of the participants noticed an improvement after just 14 days. This is extraordinary. It’s extremely rare to find any study with a 100% success rate, even in small sample sizes.
CBD As a Potential Treatment
Acne can not only can be troublesome and annoying but it also can severely damage an individual’s self-esteem. Additionally, it can negatively affect a person’s ability to function socially. Fortunately, the vast body of positive research surrounding CBD’s lipid inhibiting and anti-inflammatory properties show CBD is a viable treatment for acne. CBD also has a more favorable safety profile than some traditional acne treatments. For the millions who live with acne and for those who have tried everything out there with poor results or just don’t like the side effects that come along with many over-the-counter and prescription medications, consider CBD oil for acne. CBD could be the answer to restoring self-confidence and healthy skin.

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