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CBD for Acne: Does It Work?

CBD is the answer to everything.

Why Do People Get Acne?

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It causes whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples.”2

Four of the main reasons why acne happens are:

  • Inflammation
  • Bacteria
  • Excessive oil is produced
  • Hair follicles are being clogged by oil and dead skin cells

Although typically acne tends to appear on the face, it can also show on your forehead, chest, back, and shoulders, due to these areas having the most oil glands.

There are a few factors that can prompt or make an acne breakout worse. These include stress, diet, medications, and hormonal changes in the body.

CBD and Inflammation

Research has shown in recent years that inflammation plays a large role in the acne process.

Inflammation occurs when the body senses that an infection is present in a part of the body. White blood cells are sent to the area to stave off the infection, and the end result is inflammation in the area.

So, why would CBD assist someone who has acne?

Well, CBD has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body.

In fact, “CBD has a wide spectrum of biological activity, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, which is why its activity in the prevention and treatment of diseases whose development is associated with redox imbalance and inflammation has been tested” in many studies.3

Since there is anecdotal evidence, along with a growing amount of studies that are beginning to show the positive effects that CBD has on inflammation, it’s no wonder why CBD may work in assisting one in combating inflammation, and possibly someone’s acne issues.

CBD for Acne, Does it Work?

This occurs due to a system in the body that was discovered in the mid-1990s called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD also helps the body regulate how much oil, or sebum, the body produces.

The ECS is all over the body, and while this system is not fully understood, the body produces its own cannabinoids (remember CBD is a cannabinoid), called endocannabinoids.

The ECS is believed to maintain balance and homeostasis within the body. Endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors and help to keep cells alive and healthy.

CBD plays a role because it is believed that CBD helps in keeping the endocannabinoids from deteriorating which assists the body in maintaining homeostasis.

Best Type of CBD Product for Acne

So with all of the information that we know about why CBD for ance issues may be something worthwhile to try, does one type of CBD product work better than others?

All CBD products are not created equal, as the additional ingredients in a product, the way the CBD was extracted, and whether the hemp plant was grown organically, affect the quality of CBD.

Let’s discuss the different types of CBD products and why it matters in attempting to combat acne.

CBD Topicals

CBD topicals are a great way to provide localized relief with CBD. There are CBD soaps, CBD lotions, and CBD serums on the market that utilize the benefit of CBD infused with other ingredients that may have the ability to provide you with the acne relief you seek.

As mentioned, the ECS is all over your body, including the skin. While not everyone may find relief from using a CBD topical to either clean or moisturize the skin, it may assist you.


Consuming CBD in a CBD oil tincture is one of the ways to have the CBD remain in your system for the longest period of time. While it does take a longer period of time to show possible results, it is one of the more beneficial ways to take CBD.

Besides consuming CBD via CBD flower or CBD cigarettes, in which smoking is needed, CBD oil usually has the least amount of ingredients vs CBD edibles. While there is a time and place for CBD gummies, consuming ingredients that may not be too healthy to counteract acne doesn’t seem like a beneficial way to go.

Many CBD brands use only CBD and a carrier oil to make their tinctures which allows you to benefit from the CBD without adding additional ingredients into the mix.

CBD Capsules

Another great way to provide your body with a pre-dosed amount of CBD using the fewest ingredients is by consuming CBD capsules or CBD softgels.

If you are familiar with taking daily vitamins or supplements then you should be aware of capsules and softgels, and why they may be a good way to go when it comes to taking CBD.

How to Use CBD for Acne

As mentioned above, find yourself a CBD topical or CBD oil that resonates with you and the issue you are dealing with. Most brands will provide you with recommended instructions for how to use their products.

If you feel CBD oil is the way to go for your acne issue, the common recommended CBD dose is between .15-.25mg per pound of bodyweight.


Although additional research needs to be performed on CBD to fully understand many aspects, including the long-term efficacy, CBD has shown itself to potentially provide people with some acne relief.

Based on recent research acne may be affected by inflammation more than was previously known, which also potentially parallels the benefits that CBD provides.

While there are some mild side effects, CBD is relatively safe, although you should speak with your doctor prior to consuming it, especially if you take medication due to drug interactions (even CBD topicals may have a drug interaction).

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