cbd oil for acne before and after

Does CBD Oil Help With Acne? Using Hemp Oil to Get Rid of Pimples

CBD is a natural compound found in Cannabis sativa plants. It’s only one of over 100 cannabinoids, which are the active ingredients in cannabis, but it has a plethora of potential health benefits. Can CBD oil also help with acne?

Acne affects over 90% of the global population at some point in their life. And despite being a common issue, for some people, it can be a bashful problem that affects their mental health and lays a shadow over their social life due to its telltale signs.

And if you’re wondering if CBD oil can help you fight acne, we provide the latest research from dermatological studies.

We’ve also prepared the list of the most reputable brands that offer CBD oil online.

Read on to find out what type of CBD is right for you.

CBD Oil for Acne: The Best Products for Healthy Skin (2022 Update)

CBD oil can be a fine addition to your daily skincare routine. The Internet is full of high-quality CBD products if you know where to look for. It’s important to do your homework before you trust any company with your hard-earned money. You should pay attention to how the hemp is sourced, what extraction methods the company uses to produce its oils, and whether or not these products are certified by independent laboratories.

If you live a busy life and don’t have the time to dig into the quality criteria, we have prepared our list of the best CBD products for acne after reviewing over 30 brands that sell CBD oil online.

Continue reading to find the right product.

1. Royal CBD (Best CBD Overall)

Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.

Product Details

Potency 250 mg – 2500 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Berry, Mint, Vanilla
CBD per serving 8.3 mg – 83.3 mg

Why Royal CBD is the Best CBD Oil for Acne

Royal CBD is a Nevada-based manufacturer specializing in full-spectrum CBD oil from organic hemp. The plants used for the production of Royal CBD oils come from farms in Colorado, which is known for some of the finest conditions for growing hemp. The brand makes its products using CO2 extraction to ensure the highest purity and consistent potency of its extracts with no toxic solvents on the way. The entire Royal CBD collection is rigorously tested in a certified laboratory for its CBD content as well as for the presence of potential contaminants. You can ask the guys at Royal CBD for lab reports and they will provide it to you via email.

When it comes to using CBD oil for acne, I have two favorite products from Royal CBD: full-spectrum oil and broad-spectrum salve.

The oil is available in 4 strengths (from 250 mg to 2500 mg of total CBD) and 3 flavored options (Berry, Mint, and Vanilla). This product is made from the whole hemp plant, meaning it contains all the non-psychoactive cannabinoids, traces of THC (less than 0.3%), terpenes, and flavonoids. These compounds contribute to the entourage effect, which is a synergy between all phytonutrients from hemp that makes them more effective together than in isolation.

The salve is infused with 500 mg of broad-spectrum CBD, containing all of the above except that there’s no THC in the formula. The salve is also enriched with a cayenne pepper extract to boost the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. It has a nice warming effect and actually makes a difference when it comes to the painful discomfort of skin breakouts.

  • Made from locally grown organic hemp
  • Extracted with supercritical CO2
  • Infused with full-spectrum CBD
  • Available in 4 strengths and flavors
  • Up to 2500 mg of CBD per bottle
  • 3rd-party tested for potency and purity
  • Great natural flavor
  • Not available in local CBD stores (this may soon change)
  • No vapes in its product line up

2. Gold Bee (Best Organic)

Product Details

Potency 300 – 1200 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Honey, Kiwi
CBD per serving 8.3 mg – 33.3 mg

About Gold Bee

Gold Bee is another great CBD brand from Nevada. Our runner-up makes unique CBD oils that carry a delicious honey flavor that masks the distinct earthy taste of natural hemp extracts. This is actually one of the best-tasting CBD oils I’ve tried during my 5-year journey with CBD products. The guys at Gold Bee have created their blend of organic CBD-rich strains by partnering with farmers from Colorado.

Gold Bee offers CBD oil in three concentrations: 300 mg, 600 mg, and 1200 mg of CBD per bottle. Similar to Royal CBD, these are full-spectrum extracts, so you’re getting the synergistic effects from the original hemp plant. Studies have shown that full-spectrum CBD works better for pain and inflammation than CBD isolate, so these are very decent products if you’re looking for something to deal with acne.

However, Gold Bee doesn’t have any high-potency oils in its selection, which is why they score second place in our ranking of the best CBD products for acne. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the release of a stronger product in the future.

  • Sourced from US-grown organic hemp
  • Contains full-spectrum CBD
  • Up to 33 mg CBD/mL
  • Great potency range for beginners
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • Great honey flavor
  • No high-strength CBD oils

3. CBDPure (Top Transparency)

Product Details

Potency 100 – 1000 mg
Available Flavors None
CBD per serving 3.3 – 33 mg/mL

About CBDPure

In my opinion, CBDPure is the best company for those who have never used CBD oil for acne. The potency of these oils is great for beginners, starting at 100 mg of CBD per bottle, which translates to 3.3 mg of CBD per milliliter. CBDPure has recently added a 1000 mg concentration to their lineup to cater to users who have some experience with CBD but don’t need more than 30mg of CBD in their routine.

CBDPure’s products are designed for mild-to-moderate symptoms of acne, so if you’re looking for something stronger, we recommend that you choose something from the two above brands. One thing is certain: you won’t be disappointed with the quality of its CBD oil. CBDPure is a living example of transparency, plus they have a 90-day return policy that allows you to get a full refund for your product if you’re not satisfied with the results.

  • Sourced from organic Colorado-grown hemp
  • Extracted with supercritical CO2
  • Lab-tested for potency and purity
  • 90-day return policy
  • Only two forms of CBD available
  • Low potency
  • No topicals available

4. Hemp Bombs (Best CBD Isolate)

Product Details

Potency 125 – 4000 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Acai Berry, Orange Creamsicle, Peppermint, Watermelon
CBD per serving 4 – 133 mg/mL

About Hemp Bombs

Hemp Bombs offers the best products for those with acne who are looking for THC-free CBD oils. The company specializes in making pure CBD extracts in a very wide potency range, with up to 4000 mg of CBD per bottle.

This CBD oil is a good choice for people with acne who don’t want to take any amounts of THC in their routine. Hemp Bombs offers both broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate, so if you undergo drug tests at work, this is your best bet. While full-spectrum products won’t get you high, taking high doses daily may result in a false-positive result on the drug test.

Keep in mind that using CBD oils with zero THC only provides some part of the entourage effect, or no entourage at all when you take CBD isolate. This means that you may eventually need to take more CBD oil to experience the desired effects.

  • Sourced from organic hemp
  • Extracted with CO2
  • 0% THC
  • Available as broad-spectrum or isolate
  • Third-party tested for CBD and contaminants
  • Up to 4000 mg of CBD per bottle
  • 5 strengths to choose from
  • Infused with synthetic flavorings
  • No “entourage effect” from other cannabinoids and terpenes
  • Most people don’t need such high doses of CBD oil in their routine

5. CBDistillery (Most Affordable)

Product Details

Potency 250 – 5000 mg
Available Flavors None
Potency 8.3 – 166 mg/mL

About CBDistillery

CBDistillery blazed the trail for other companies when they started to sell CBD oil over five years ago. Since then, the brand has not only become one of the largest suppliers in North America, but it has also managed to maintain high quality and uphold its reputation in the cannabis community. On top of selling an impressive range of different CBD products — available as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD (pure oil) — CBDistillery also provides education to its customers under the hashtag #CBDMOVEMENT.

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One of the great things about this company is the potency choice it offers. CBDistillery covers the entire potency range for CBD oils, from 250 mg to a massive 5000 mg of total CBD. At 166 mg of CBD per milliliter, the strongest bottle provides enough CBD to get you supplied for months to come.

CBDistillery offers the most affordable products, with prices starting at $20 per bottle of CBD oil (250 mg), so while the company doesn’t use organic hemp (which is a little downside), it still has the best CBD oil for those shopping on the budget.

  • Available as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD
  • Extracted with CO2
  • 5 potency options to choose from
  • Up to 166.6 mg of CBD per bottle
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • Very affordable
  • Made from non-organic hemp
  • No flavored options

What Causes Acne?

Acne typically affects teenagers, particularly throughout puberty, but it can happen to people of all ages. Acne is a skin condition that causes white-headed or dark-headed breakouts due to clogged hair follicles on the face and upper body.

The area around the face and upper body have the highest concentration of sebaceous glands, which are responsible for oil production in the skin and are connected to hair follicles.

There are four main causes of acne:

  • Excess sebum production: the sebaceous glands can produce too much oil, giving the skin a greasy look. This, in turn, can block the follicles.
  • Dead skins due to the clogs: when the follicles get clogged, they become inflamed and cause dead skin cells to amass. The problem gets continuously worse because more oil and dead skin gathers in one place, resulting in cyst-like lumps.
  • Bacteria build-up: dirty pores can result in bacterial infections, which can deteriorate inflammation and increase the size of the breakouts.
  • Stress, medication, and hormones: these three factors can make acne worse, especially when it comes to androgens, which are hormones released during puberty. These hormones cause the sebaceous glands to swell, causing more clogs. Certain medications and excessive stress have also been identified as potential causes of acne.

Contrary to common myths, acne can’t be caused by poor hygiene or eating greasy foods.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a natural compound found in cannabis that has been a hot topic in the medical world for the past few years. Touted for its wide range of health benefits, CBD oil is widely used for a variety of conditions, from anxiety and depression to pain, insomnia, seizures, and neurodegenerative disorders.

CBD oil is actually a worldwide phenomenon because it provides the benefits associated with using cannabis without the high feeling of marijuana. CBD itself is non-intoxicating, and the majority of CBD oils are made from hemp plants, which contain less than 0.3% of THC.

CBD also has no known overdose limit and is non-addictive. Even high doses such as 1,500 mg daily are well-tolerated in humans.

CBD belongs to a group of molecules known as cannabinoids. It’s actually one of over 100 naturally occurring cannabinoids within the cannabis plants. These compounds interact with a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

CBD Oil and the Endocannabinoid System

The human body is a very complex organism. It consists of over 37 trillion individual cells on average. The human brain alone is made from millions of neurons that can send thousands of different messages every second. Many of the pathways in our bodies are well understood, whereas others remain a bit fogged by the lack of long-term research. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is one of the latter, although scientists and medical researchers are learning more every day.

The ECS is the major regulatory network present within all animals, from primitive sea life to monkeys, domesticated animals, and humans. Each body naturally produces its own cannabinoids internally; these molecules control a wide range of biological processes through a network of cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system is just as important as our ability to breathe.

That’s because the ECS helps maintain homeostasis in the body, which is a state of biological balance between all vital functions.

Consuming plant-derived cannabinoids, such as CBD, will cause them to interact with the ECS. By signaling the cannabinoid receptors, they can produce beneficial effects for physical and mental health. One such benefit is reducing the symptoms of acne.

Does CBD Oil Work for Acne?

There’s a growing amount of research supporting the theory that CBD oil may be helpful for acne. The effects may vary from person to person depending on what type of acne a person suffers from and what causes it.

CBD oil may help reduce various forms of acne thanks to its ability to influence the production of sebum in the body. Sebum is a waxy, oily substance produced in the skin. CBD oil also has remarkable anti-inflammatory qualities, which makes it a good option to consider as an acne treatment.

Why is this trait important for acne and its symptoms? Sebum helps protect the skin from environmental risks. However, it can mix with dirt, dead skin cells, or other pollutants, causing the pores to clog. Clogged pores then become inflamed and cause skin breakouts.

In a 2014 study, researchers examined the effects of CBD on human sebocytes, which are the cells that produce sebum [1]. The research team found that the CBD prevented these cells from releasing excess sebum. They also discovered that the CBD oil prompted an anti-inflammatory reaction in the cells, preventing inflammatory cytokines from activation. Cytokines may cause acne, so reducing their concentrations may prevent future breakouts.

Finally, in a 2016 review of the cannabis plant, cannabinoids such as CBD were mentioned for their antibacterial and antifungal effects [2]. These properties may help reduce infections from pollutants on the skin.

That being said, we still lack human clinical trials to recommend CBD oil products as a direct anti-acne treatment. If you feel that CBD oil could help with your condition, consult a holistic physician who will be knowledgeable on natural skincare remedies.

CBD Oil & Body Acne

Body acne is triggered by the same processes as facial acne, so there’s a chance that CBD-rich products could help reduce it. Many skincare companies incorporate CBD into bath bombs, soap bars, and lotions. Although CBD products may not be specifically advertised as anti-acne, their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects may provide some relief.

What About Using CBD Oil for Acne Scars?

Sometimes, when a pimple gets enlarged and the skin is picking, you may suffer from acne scars. In a study published in the journal La Clinica Terapeutica, 20 participants with scars from atopic dermatitis and psoriasis used CBD-enriched ointment to affect areas on the skin twice daily for three months.

After that period, the researchers found that the skin’s appearance improved when it comes to elasticity and hydration thanks to the CBD treatment. Although the study didn’t tackle pitted scars, it does show promise that CBD oil could help reduce the appearance of scarring.

How to Use CBD Oil for Acne?

There’s a common misconception about using CBD oil for acne, namely that you have to apply it directly to the skin. While CBD has anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically, pores that are already blocked pores will be more difficult for CBD to get through. CBD is an oil, so putting it directly on the trouble spot can cause further clogs to the pores which could subsequently spur the onset of acne or worsen it.

If you want to use CBD oil for acne, keep in mind that it can reduce inflammation and influence sebum production by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. To ensure the most efficient route of administration, place a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue twice a day to reduce excessive sebum release.

Once the skin is able to cleanse itself, you can begin to use CBD-infused topicals to enhance the effect and provide your skin with other nutrients, such as essential fatty acids, vitamins, and trace minerals. Still, we recommend that you continue to ingest CBD for acne.

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How Could CBD Oil Help with Other Skin Problems?

Wondering if CBD oil may be helpful in treating other skin conditions on top of acne? Below you’ll find some examples.

Itchy Skin

CBD was mentioned as a potential treatment for itchy skin in a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD) [3]. The journal cited a 2005 paper that found 81 percent of patients with itchy skin who treated their problem with a CBD cream experienced complete regression of their symptoms [4].

The authors of the JAAD article suggested that cannabinoids may be able to block signals transmitted to the brain from nerve endings in the skin that indicate skin itching. When combined with skin-soothing ingredients like menthol in topical products, the effect can be even stronger.

Psoriasis

A study published in the journal Peer J Life & Environment revealed promising findings for people with psoriasis [5]. The study found that cannabinoid receptors located in the skin can reduce excess skin cell growth, which is a common issue among those with psoriasis.

The researchers stated that cannabinoids could have the potential to turn off the receptors that are involved in excess skin cell buildup in patients.

Because the researchers used human cadaver skin instead of living skin, it’s difficult to say if they could achieve the same results with the latter. Nevertheless, the study holds promise for those looking to try CBD products to reduces the discomfort resulting from psoriasis.

Sensitive Skin

The same benefits that apply to conditions like eczema or psoriasis may also help with general irritation of the skin and its appearance. However, people need to make sure that their products don’t contain other skin irritants that could compromise the efficacy of CBD and further irritate sensitive skin.

Aging and Wrinkles

Not only is CBD a potent anti-inflammatory, but it also has remarkable antioxidant qualities, which may translate to better skin health and reduced age lines and wrinkles. If you want to maximize the benefits of using CBD oil in your anti-aging routine, make sure to include other antioxidants, such as those from fruits and vitamin E.

Is CBD Oil Safe for Acne?

CBD has a “favorable safety profile,” as stated by the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research [6].

The researchers found that the most common side effects of taking CBD oil include fatigue, diarrhea, dry mouth, and changes in appetite. However, these side effects were mostly experienced by people who took CBD under the tongue or in a capsule form, not topically.

If you experience symptoms like swelling, itching, or skin peeling after applying CBD-infused products, wash the irritated area with water, and apply cold compresses if needed.

Key Takeaways on Using CBD Oil for Acne

Studies show promising results when it comes to using CBD oil for acne, but until researchers conduct large-scale trials on living skin, official government agencies won’t acknowledge it as an official treatment.

If you buy CBD products for acne, make sure that they come from a trusted source — one that uses organic ingredients and doesn’t include any skin irritants. Always check if the company you’re about to buy from provides third-party lab testing reports. Certificates of Analysis from an independent laboratory are proof that the oil contains the advertised amount of CBD and is free of potential contaminants and unwanted additives such as solvents or pesticides.

Do you use CBD for acne or other skin conditions? Does it work?

Nina Julia

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

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The Exact Skincare Products That Helped Clear This Woman’s Cystic Acne in Just 3 Months

Many of us have dealt with acne at some point in our lives, whether it was hormonal pimples in high school, birth control breakouts, or acne that took us by surprise in adulthood (wait, now I have to pay off my student loans and combat zits that just won’t go away?!). WT-actual-F, universe? And why does it seem like adult acne is ten times harder to get rid of than uneven adolescent skin? At this age, a bottle of Proactiv just won’t cut it.

Reddit user DdoesKeto knew this struggle all too well—until she was able to get rid of her adult acne through the use of a few simple products. The Redditor posted a viral before-and-after photo of her acne treatment, and the difference in her skin is night and day. Her incredible results have us dying to know exactly what products she used to clear up her breakouts—and surprisingly, it’s all thanks to a very pared down routine, without the help of prescription medications or acne-targeting products. Seriously!

She begins her Reddit post in the thread r/SkincareAddiction with a side-by-side image of her skin: two photos that were taken only three months apart. She was so thrilled with her progress that she decided to share her journey and skincare routine with the rest of us. The best news? DdoesKeto may have discovered a natural product that works to banish acne for good.

DdoesKeto says that once she hit puberty, she began to experience problematic skin (like so many of us do). Her skin had always been tight, dry, and sensitive, but when pimples began to crop up, she started reaching for products tailored toward oily skin and acne.

At the start of December 2017, her skin was the worst it had ever been—covered with painful cystic pimples, pustules, and what felt like a million closed comedones—and she couldn’t pinpoint why. She tried using AHAs and BHAs (acids like glycolic acid and salicylic acid), signed up for Curology, and at one point even treated her breakouts as if they were fungal. Everything seemed to make her face worse.

One day, DdoesKeto walked into Sephora, where an employee in the skincare section suggested it wasn’t that her skin was oily and causing acne, but rather that her face was reacting to being extremely dry and irritated. The woman suggested she switch to an oil-based cleanser, cut out all additives, and make moisturizing a priority.

After practicing a ‘less is more’ approach to skincare for three months, DdoesKeto’s results are jaw-dropping. Ready for the super affordable hero products this Reddit user swears by to transform irritated skin into a brighter, smoother complexion?

Her morning routine consists of simply splashing her face with water, followed by hydrating with Stratia Liquid Gold, a skin repair moisturizer that includes ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. “It’s definitely not moisturizing enough on its own, but layered with other stuff it adds just the extra oomph for me,” DdoesKeto says. Afterward, she applies a mixture—just a few drops of each—of Jason Vitamin E Oil ($8; amazon.com) and Now Foods Rose Hip Seed Oil ($13 for 2-pack; amazon.com) and then moisturizes with CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($15; amazon.com). She finishes with EltaMD UV Shield Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 ($48; dermstore.com), an oil-free sunscreen that contains vitamin E to prevent damage from free-radicals and zinc oxide to protect from UV rays.

Other affordable rose hip oils to try for similar results: The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil ($10; sephora.com), an organic oil with a cult following, and Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil ($23; amazon.com), which is so effective that a bottle sells every 20 seconds on Amazon.

At night, she oil cleanses using natural Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Oil ($11; amazon.com). When she first started using hemp oil, she would massage it for a few minutes and get “grits.” Now she massages it around her face once, uses a warm baby washcloth (we suggest trying this hypoallergenic option by Bamboo Organics, $13; amazon.com) to wipe away all of the dirt and oil, and repeats until she feels her skin is clean. Afterward, she rinses her face with warm water, and follows up with Stratia Liquid Gold, her vitamin E and rose hip seed oil mixture, and CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. On extra dry days, as a final step, she’ll smooth on a thin layer of Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($13; amazon.com) to ensure that she wakes up with hydrated, glowy skin.

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Someone who has really irritated and inflamed, flaky skin—like DdoesKeto describes—is probably dealing with underlying rosacea, says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a New York-based dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. To treat conditions that cause severe dryness, like rosacea and eczema, you want to repair the skin barrier and improve hydration with emollients and humectants, which will also help calm skin, she adds.

The fatty acids in the Stratia Liquid Gold keep the skin hydrated and plump, while the ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide in the CeraVe moisturizer protect the skin's barrier, lock in moisture, and even out skin color, New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD tells Health. Vitamin E and rose hip seed oil can help to neutralize free radicals, slow down the aging process, minimize fine lines, and give the skin a radiant glow, she adds. DdoesKeto’s sunscreen choice is one of Dr. Jaliman’s favorites, and is a great option for anyone with oily or acne-prone skin.

As for the Redditor’s evening routine, not only is hemp oil anti-inflammatory, but it’s also deeply moisturizing , can regulate the skin’s level of oil production, and is non-comedogenic (read: won’t clog your pores.) Rich in GLA-Gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid), it can even help you achieve younger-looking skin by improving inner health, Dr. Jaliman notes. Even better news? It’s safe for all skin types.

One potential problem with oil cleansing is that if you do not follow up with a traditional cleanser, you could leave oil residue on your skin, and this film won’t allow skin-healthy ingredients to penetrate afterwards, Dr. Nazarian warns. You may want to consider using a gentle, hydrating cleanser—like this dermatologist-approved option from CeraVe ($14; amazon.com)—as a second cleanser.

While oil cleansing took some getting used to at first, DdoesKeto says that after sticking to her routine for three months, she’s now a convert for life. “My skin is no longer flaky, dry, and tight,” she shares. “I still am dealing with some bumps here and there as well as blackheads, but for the most part all of the gunk I had trapped beneath the surface has gone away.”

Can CBD Oil Really Help Cure Acne?

Over the last year, and especially in the last six months, there’s been a lot of conversation surrounding CBD oil. It’s been touted as a supplement to help calm your pets, as a way to alieviate persistent pain in humans, and even as a potential treatment for acne. It’s also been heralded for its moisturizing and acne-curing capabilities.
For example, Milk Makeup just launched its KUSH Mascara , which contains industrial hemp-based CBD oil, and there are a number of face creams, serums, and oils that utilize the hemp-y goodness, too. To see if it’s as effective as companies claim, we reached out to a handful of experts for their input. Here’s what we learned.
What Is CBD Oil? And Is It Legal?
Interestingly, CBD as a skin care ingredient has been around for quite a while. However, it’s having a real moment right now thanks to a wider discussion around pot legalization, as well as a handful of studies regarding its medicinal merit that have been published in recent years. Before we dive into all that, though, let’s first wrap our heads around what CBD is.
“ CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol, which is a type of cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are a group of more than 104 biologically active chemical agents which are present in our nervous systems (endocannabinoids), produced by plants (phytocannabinoids), or developed artificially in laboratories (synthetic cannabinoids),” says Caren Campbell , a board-certified dermatologist based in San Francisco.
To answer the question you might be asking yourself… No, you cannot get high from CBD. Campbell explains that CBD is extracted from the hemp part of the marijuana plant. Therefore, it contains zero to trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is what’s responsible for that psychoactive high associated with marijuana.
As for legality, “CBD oil supplements derived from industrial hemp are legal as long as they contain no THC, or less than .03% THC,” notes Gabrielle Francis , a naturopathic doctor and the founder of New York City’s The Herban Alchemist. “CBD oils from marijuana, [however], are a regulated substance and are only legal in states that allow medical marijuana with a prescription or have legalized recreational use.”
But Is It Actually Effective in Skin Care?
Campbell says there have been a small number of studies specifically on CBD and phytocannabinoids. However, she noted that many of these studies were conducted on mice or were uncontrolled human topical studies with synthetic cannabinoid agonists and antagonists, rather than phytocannabinoids.
Clearly, we still have a long way to go in terms of research. As of right now, though, results are favorable in terms of CBD’s topical and oral benefits.
“ Studies show cannabinoids have immunosuppressive properties, and could be considered as potential anti-inflammatory drugs,” says Campbell. “They reduce the chemical signals that elicit inflammatory responses and show a decreased recruitment of inflammatory cells. Endocanaboids users have also shown reduced itch by reducing the number of recruited mast cells, [which are] immune cells that release histamine and cause itch. There is also evidence on pain relief.”
To put that in easier-to-understand terms, CBD oil may prove to have a nti-inflammatory benefits that may help with eczema, itching, and pain. Additionally, a 2015 study discovered that using CBD oil in dermatology helped reduce oil and redness, which was particularly beneficial to those with acne, rosacea, and dandruff. And interestingly, Campbell pointed out that the United States’ Department of Health and Human Services has a patent on cannabinoid as an anti-oxidant, which would potentially have anti-aging and protective benefits for the skin.
So, to address the “is it effective?” question head on, the answer is that the jury is still out, but that signs are promising. Before casting all your hope in CBD, Campbell advises we wait for results from randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled studies in acne, eczema, itch and pain.
Using CBD Oil to Treat Acne
If you’ve taken the aforementioned information to heart and want to experiment with CBD oil as a potential treatment for your acne, here’s what you need to know.
“Like any over-the-counter product, there is variability in the quality of brands,” notes Anna Guanche , a cosmetic dermatologist at the Bella Skin Institute. “ There are many claims that CBD oil-containing creams are making, and we won’t know for sure which are true until either more studies are done or there is more anecdotal evidence. Websites say it cures eczema, warts, [and so on]. Right now, it looks like the acne treatment is gaining the most steam.”
Ultimately, we recommend using legal products that contain high-quality CBD oil, and that ideally contain other ingredients known to soothe, heal, and treat acne-prone skin.
Francis adds, “ It is essential to use only CBD hemp derived from organic, non-GMO hemp. The CBD is an oil, and the oils of plants are storage centers for toxins and chemicals. Whenever supplementing with any oils, it is essential to only use products from plants grown with organic and Non- GMO methods.”
She noted that most industrial hemp is cultivated in Northern Europe and Spain, but that in recent years there’s been a boom in hemp cultivation in the United States. Good quality hemp may come from Kentucky, Oregon, Colorado, and California, she said, adding that New York has started a research initiative on industrial hemp, as well.
If you’re buying straight CBD oil, Guanche said to seek a product that has third-party lab results, that the oil is pressed via CO2 extraction, and that it contains less than .03% THC.
Bottom Line
This is about as far as we can take you on this CBD journey. We urge you to shop smart, and to understand that there’s no concrete answer (yet) about CBD’s dermatological benefits. Personally, we’ll be waiting patiently for those double-blind studies, and will stick to the ingredients that have already been proven effective until then!