Are you struggling with acne and haven't found a reliable solution yet? Regular creams and lotions just don't seem to work? Maybe it's time to consider CBD oil.
The natural compound Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is just one of many health-promoting ingredients found in the cannabis plant.
Our crucial question is: Is it possible to positively influence acne with CBD oil or even treat it completely?
Acne is far from a problem that only teenagers have to deal with. No, it affects all age groups and natural remedies are often tried.
There are already some test results suggesting that CBD oil should have a calming effect on the skin. There is no "correct" form of application yet, but many users report positive results from direct application of the oil to individual pimples.
Others swear by regular intake to prevent acne permanently.
What is Acne (Acne Vulgaris)
Acne is a skin disease that has occurred at least once in 85% of the US population. Here, hair follicles are clogged by dead skin cells, oils, or heavy creams, causing white-headed/black-headed comedones (more on this later).
Mostly, these occur in the forehead, face, chest, shoulder, and upper back areas. Acne can also cause emotional distress and significant internal stress.
In cases of particularly severe acne, pus-filled pimples, papules, and pustules form, which are often squeezed out without professional knowledge, leading to ugly scars. Immediate treatment is therefore more than advisable!
What Causes Acne and How Do I Recognize It?
What is suspected as the cause of acne? Studies have shown that the excessive production of male hormones (androgens) provokes the development of acne.
These hormones cause an excessive fat production of the sebaceous glands, while at the same time the skin narrows its outlets.
The fat on your skin no longer has a chance to be transported away, causing small and larger inflammations of your pores. But bacteria, dirt, and an unhealthy diet, as well as a stressful phase of life, can also be the cause of acne.
Acne Vulgaris usually occurs in fat-rich skin regions. Pore openings of sweat glands are usually rarely affected.
Symptoms can be stronger in cystic acne and weaker in common acne:
- Cystic lesions: large bumps filled with pus that form under the skin's surface.
- Nodules: red hard knots under the skin's surface.
- Pustules: Pimples = papules with a pus-filled head.
- Papules: small red tender bumps.
- Blackheads: opened, contaminated pores.
- Whiteheads: closed contaminated pores.
When You Should See a Doctor
Your self-treatment hasn't worked? Then you should see your primary care physician. They can prescribe you special medications and creams to treat acne conventionally. If all this hasn't changed anything so far, the next step is to see a dermatologist.
In the world of women, it is notoriously "normal" for the skin to break out with pimples about a week after ovulation.
This behavior of the skin can persist for years but should regulate itself again with the intake of hormonally induced contraceptives.
Often, fundamental diseases in people in advanced adulthood are only noticed through an acne outbreak, so it is particularly advisable for this age group (30+) to see a doctor immediately.
If your skin only starts to change negatively after you have started trying a certain cleanser or new medication, this usually has nothing to do with acne.
Conventional Treatment Methods for Acne
There are not only various home remedies for acne, but also a whole range of medical treatment methods for acne:
These include prescription medications, available as lotions, creams, and gels, such as
- Retinoids & retinoid-like drugs prevent the clogging of hair follicles
- Antibiotics reduce redness and kill excess skin bacteria
- Azelaic acid & salicylic acid work antibacterial through the natural acid
- Dapsone is particularly helpful in women
Therapy for oral intake:
- Spironolactone (Aldactone)
Also helpful for severe acne can be various therapy options in combination with medications. These are usually carried out by a dermatologist or specialist.
- Chemical peeling, followed by professional extraction of white and black comedones.
- With photodynamic laser therapy or a direct injection of steroid into individual cystic lesions and nodules, acne can also be treated.
However, these treatments are very aggressive.
Are Cannabinoids an Alternative Treatment Method and How Do They Work?
Sebum is quite natural, it forms a protective layer for our skin to protect us from damage from negative environmental influences. However, when it mixes with dirt or dead skin cells, the sebocytes (sebaceous glands) become clogged, resulting in unwanted acne.
With CBD oil, it is indeed possible to reduce acne outbreaks. It not only regulates the excessive production of oily sebum, but also remedies the inflammation of your stressed skin.
This has also been proven by individual research results since 2014, so it is proven that CBD oil prevents sebaceous glands from producing inflammatory cytokines.
Moreover, since 2016, the antifungal and antibacterial effect of the hemp plant has been confirmed by various studies.
How Do I Use CBD Oil Against Acne and Does It Work at All?
You can use CBD oil in various ways in the fight against acne. If you decide to apply it to your affected skin, you just need to mix it beforehand with a so-called carrier oil like argan oil, olive oil, shea butter, or coconut oil.
It's best to choose an oil that you already know your skin tolerates well.
If you just want to prevent your acne, there are some cases of positive results when CBD oil was taken orally. This way, the antibacterial active ingredients spread from the inside out in your body.
Studies show that direct application to the inflamed pore is best suited and thus achieves the best results.
Possible Side Effects
Manageable side effects of CBD oil occur, if at all, only with oral intake. They manifest themselves through the stimulation of appetite, fatigue, and diarrhea.
With topical application, an allergic reaction can be triggered, in which the application of CBD oil should be stopped immediately. Symptoms can include unpleasant itching, skin flaking, and skin swelling.
The behavior of your skin can also be caused by additives and does not necessarily have to be related to the active ingredient CBD.
Can Cannabinoids Help with Already Formed Acne Scars?
Since research in this area is still in its infancy, we take our information from similar and comparable studies.
In these studies, the positive effect of CBD on scars caused by psoriasis and atopic dermatitis was examined. 
The result: three months later, the skin texture was significantly improved. The study participants applied a CBD-containing ointment to their scars twice a day and were subsequently pleased with hydrated and elastic skin.
We can only assume that a similar result can be achieved in the treatment of acne scars.
Can CBD Alleviate Other Skin Conditions?
The use of CBD can also be beneficial for other skin diseases.
For example, it can reduce the excessive growth of skin cells, which could be particularly interesting and helpful for people suffering from psoriasis. Moreover, there are some researchers who already claim to know that cannabinoids may be able to stop excessive skin cell formation.
Such results have so far only been found in skin from corpses and not yet in living skin.
In hemodialysis patients, CBD-containing products can alleviate the itching of the skin that arises. It is assumed that CBD can switch off the signals sent out by the body that trigger a feeling of itching.
Conclusion on CBD Against Acne
For a definitive conclusion, dermatologists and we simply lack the research results in this area. Studies have indeed been conducted, but mainly only on non-living skin.
So there is no clear evidence that CBD works against acne at this point in time. Moreover, the estimation of possible long-term effects, in view of the still lacking knowledge, is not possible.
Therefore, when buying CBD-containing products, be sure to choose a professional and trustworthy manufacturer.
Have you already had experiences with CBD against acne? Feel free to leave us a comment!
-  Olah A et al., Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. 2014, J Clin Invest, Here in Full text
-  Olah A et al., Differential effectiveness of selected non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids on human sebocyte functions implicates their introduction in dry/seborrhoeic skin and acne treatment. 2016, Exp Dermatol
-  Ständer S et al., Topical cannabinoid agonists: An effective new possibility for treating chronic pruritus. 2006