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Can CBD Work For Acne?

What is CBD?

CBD is a product derived from the hemp or cannabis plant that generally has less than 0.3% THC in it. It is important to note that hemp-derived CBD is federally legal (country-wide), however, cannabis-derived CBD is illegal federally, but allowed in certain states. Therefore, it is very important that you check your local laws to know what is legal in the area where you live and what is not—especially important if you are travelling.

Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved over-the-counter CBD products, because more testing is needed to accurately determine its possible uses and safety. Therefore, these products are sometimes inaccurately labeled, but there are watchdog websites that you can go to for each product who have tested what is actually in the product so that you can know what you are putting into, or on, your body.

What is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition that frequently causes pustules, bumps, and inflammatory pimples on the face or body. Acne is a common condition that can happen at any age and usually starts at the onset of puberty. Pimples associated with acne are caused by the oil glands in the skin getting clogged and infected, which leads to the pus-filled, red lesions.

There are many acne treatments commercially available both by prescription and over-the-counter, but there has been some recent evidence that CBD may be an effective treatment for acne because of its anti-inflammatory properties, reducing both its severity and quantity. In 2014, researchers studied the effect that CBD has on sebocytes, the sebum-producing cells in the skin that lead to acne. This research found that CBD prevented people from overproducing sebum, which helps to reduce the incidence, severity, and frequency of acne.

Acne-Treating CBD Products

More research needs to be done about CBD and acne, but the studies that have been done look very promising. The research did not study the effect of specific CBD products on acne, but there are several products available.

These products contain different concentrations of CBD, and some contain other substances that can help with acne, such as Vitamin C, oils, butters, and beeswax. These products also come in different types--some are topical balms, some are gummies meant to be taken orally, and some are lotions.

There are also different types of CBD used, as some of them contain what is called full-spectrum CBD, which contains THC and all of the other compounds from the cannabis plant, like terpenes and other cannabinoids. This is important to note, because the legalities about THC-containing products are different in different areas of the country. It is also important to note that some of these products are tested more than others, so it is prudent to do your homework as far as a little research goes before purchasing a product. Some products contain no THC at all, which may be what you’re looking for or what is legal in the area where you live.

Possible Side Effects and/or Risks

CBD is generally considered very safe, but there are some instances when you should  not take it. These include:

  • If you are already using certain medications, like valproate. The combination of the two drugs can cause liver damage, which may be serious.
  • If CBD products make you extremely tired and sleepy, as this may be dangerous or inconvenient, depending on your lifestyle.
  • If you are allergic to CBD or the compounds contained in it, which may present as itchiness and skin discolorations.


Acne is a common problem, but can be bothersome and affect your life or self-image adversely. Acne is an inflammatory condition that results from the overproduction of sebum, and CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that can be used as a treatment for acne. Ask your doctor if CBD products are right for you for the treatment of your acne.

Posted By : Jenny H.
On : 9.2.20