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Acne overview

Published on December 4th, 2019

Last updated on June 3rd, 2020

Acne is a common type of skin condition that results in red, bumpy, and blotchy skin, and this typically occurs on the face, when hair follicles become clogged with oil or dead skin cells. This process leads to several types of skin problems, including pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads.

While it primarily affects adolescents, the truth is acne can affect people at any age. The symptoms vary quite significantly from person to person. However, they all involve painful or uncomfortable bumps, which can be discomforting to those affected.

Though there are effective treatment plans, acne is known to have the propensity to keep reoccurring in some cases. In such an instance, the painful pimples and papules will slowly heal over time, but the relief is short-lived, as new bumps seem to appear as soon as the older ones start to heal. According to the Global Burden of Disease Project, acne has a global prevalence rate of 9.4%.

Those with mild acne typically experience both whiteheads and blackheads. The difference between them is merely whether or not the pores are open, with blackheads having open pores and whiteheads having them closed. These issues can lead to inflammation when bacteria build-up, causing what is known as inflammatory acne.

When this inflammation persists and gets worse, it can even permanently scar the skin. After puberty, people have a higher amount of the hormone androgen in their system, which increases the skin’s oil production. This oil, also known as sebum, is useful in protecting and moisturizing the skin. However, when pores become blocked with dead skin cells, the sebum builds up and leads to blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.

The most commonly referenced risk factors of acne are things such as diet and not washing properly. However, there is very little scientific evidence supporting either of these theories. Researchers believe that stress, hormones from certain medications, and skin-care products can cause more blocked pores.

Acne is a prevalent condition that is estimated to affect 80–90% of people before they get to 21./ Acne does not only affect teenagers, but it also affects adults. About 40-55% of adults, aged 20-40, have been diagnosed with a type of acne.

As such a common condition, which can scar skin for life, it’s crucial to find new and effective treatments for acne. If you or a loved one is dealing with acne, be sure to consult a doctor before starting any new medications. Especially if your acne is severe, they will provide the most relevant and useful information.

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Table of Contents

CBD Research For Acne

potencial impact research overview

Acne - Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Acne?

  • O’Shaughnessy’s Online
  • 2010

related conditions:


This article discusses a presentation by Tamas Biro, indicating CBD may be used to treat various skin conditions. They believe the endocannabinoid receptors in sebaceous glands and hair follicles play an essential role. Biro and others believe that cannabidiol can be used effectively to treat a wide range of conditions that are currently treated with harsher and more dangerous chemicals.

Acne - Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes

  • The Journal of Clinical Investigation
  • 2014

related conditions:


Research shows that utilizing CBD is highly effective at correcting the sebaceous glands which are responsible for producing the skin's oil. That aspect, in combination with CBD's anti-inflammatory effects, showed it to be effective at treating skin blemishes and abnormalities. Overall, researchers found that CBD is highly promising as a therapy for skin conditions.

Acne - Endocannabinoid signaling and epidermal differentiation

  • University of Teramo
  • 2011

related conditions:


Researchers explore the endocannabinoid system's response to treatment with CBD. They look particularly to its effect on the differentiation or regulation between skin cell growth and death. The disruption of this regulation is the cause of a plethora of skin conditions and diseases. Ultimately they found that treating the endocannabinoid system shows great promise for the treatment of these conditions.

Acne - Endocannabinoids enhance lipid synthesis and apoptosis of human sebocytes via cannabinoid receptor-2-mediated signaling

  • University of Debrecen
  • 2008

related conditions:


Researchers took a look at how skin reacts when treated with cannabinoids. They found that skin cells treated with cannabinoids, such as CBD, showed an improved regulation of lipid production and cell death. This proved that the use of cannabinoids ought to be researched even more for the management of various skin conditions, particularly those related to the sebaceous gland.

Acne - The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities

  • University of Debrecen
  • 2009

related conditions:


In this study, researchers looked at the endocannabinoid system and its presence in human skin, particularly at hair follicles and sebaceous glands. They found that cannabinoids, such as CBD, can affect the needs of the skin. The use of cannabinoids to protect the skin's delicate balance is promising for the treatment of various skin conditions and diseases.

CBD Research That Might Be Useful for Symptoms of Acne

potencial impact research overview

Inflammation - Anti-inflammatory role of cannabidiol and O-1602 in cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis in mice

  • Tongji University School of Medicine
  • 2013

related conditions:


A study of mice concluded CBD has significant anti-inflammatory effects. The researchers also saw evidence that the expression of the GPR55 receptor was improved after starting on CBD. Treatment with CBD was shown to significantly decrease the levels of several inflammation-related chemicals in test subjects.

Anxiety - Plant-based medicines for anxiety disorders, part 2: a review of clinical studies with supporting preclinical evidence

  • University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2013

related conditions:


A comprehensive review of all the plant-based medicine which has had both preclinical and human clinical trials conducted about their anxiolytic-like effect. An analysis of over 1500 papers identified 21 plants which had been adequately tested, with one of the most successful of these plants found to be CBD enriched Cannabis species.

Pain Relief - Control of pain initiation by endogenous cannabinoids

  • University of Naples Federico II
  • 1998

related conditions:

Pain Relief

Researchers concluded CBD significantly reduces discomfort and pain, in part, due to the interaction between two substances, PEA and anandamide. According to tests, they “act synergistically, reducing pain responses 100-fold more potently than each compound alone”.

Acne & CBD Research Overview

It hasn't taken very long for CBD to grow from an alternative medication, only known by the most devout homeopaths, to a worldwide phenomenon. There is a reason for this, and we will be talking about it in this paper. Research has pointed to several key ways in which CBD could benefit those suffering from acne.

A research, using human immortalized SZ95 sebocytes,/ and human skin organ culture (hSOC) technique, found that CBD could normalize the spreading of 'pro-acne' LA-T combination, a key cytokine in acne vulgaris pathogenesis. The paper then suggested that CBD may exert anti-inflammatory actions on human sebocytes.

Researchers are currently working to have a better understanding of the effectiveness of CBD in the treatment of acne and other skin conditions. There are suggestions that CBD might be useful in protecting the delicate balance of the skin because of the endocannabinoid system. Since active receptors can be found in almost everything, from hair follicles to the sebaceous glands, there is a possibility that CBD holds potentials in the treatment of acne.

Though a few cannabinoid compounds have gained approval for treatment in some specific set of conditions, this cannot be said to be true for the current role of cannabinoids for the treatment of dermatologic conditions though they are promises about its efficacy in treating acne and other skin conditions. Other reports have also suggested that CBD might be effective at regulating lipid production and skin cell death. It is believed that more research is warranted to uncover the full impact of CBD, and how it's anti-inflammatory benefits might play a role in the treatment of acne and other skin conditions.


Commentary by Ahmed Diab M.D

"The evidence for the usefulness of CBD in treating acne is not present in the currently existing literature. CBD has been suggested by various reports to have some anti-inflammatory effects. Some reports on cultured human cells have explored the role of the endocannabinoids system in regulating skin differentiation, proliferation, and sebaceous gland regulation. Rigorous clinical trials are warranted to assess if there is a role for CBD in the management of acne."

Best CBD for Acne

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Pure CBD Oil Capsules, (50mg)

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NoteCBD Capsules (25mg)

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Enjoy the benefits of hemp extract with the convenience of a capsule. Each capsule contains a pre-portioned dose of full-spectrum hemp extract and MCT oil.

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Suggested CBD Dosage for Acne

Dosage Per Day


30 mg


45 mg


60 mg

The most common question asked by users is precisely how much CBD should be taken for a given condition. Unfortunately, the human body is extremely complex, and as such, everyone’s ideal medication may be slightly different. As such, we suggest each person try a bit of experimentation to determine what a perfect dosage is. That said, we can still suggest a starting point of around 20mg of CBD twice a day to decrease sebum production, but this should be done with the advice or supervision of a physician.

It’s also essential to remember that while CBD has become commonplace in many areas, it’s still not legal everywhere. Some places even still treat CBD and THC as the same, despite all the clear and distinct differences. As such, you should always double-check any laws when purchasing CBD, and especially before traveling.

We should also mention that while a majority of CBD products tend to be THC-free, there are plenty out there which still contain a bit of the psychoactive cannabinoid. As such, you should ensure any product you buy is 100% THC-free if you have an inebriation problem.

Regardless of how you decide to take your CBD, we sincerely hope you choose to leave your experiences here for others to learn from. All it takes is a short overview of your time using CBD, along with a score for the major symptoms. Together we can build a much more well-informed and healthy world.

This disclaimer informs readers that ONLY COMMENTARY expressed in this file belongs solely to Ahmed Diab, M.D., and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee, or other group or individual.

Tracking CBD Effectiveness For Acne

One thing that many people find difficult when first starting to take CBD is how to zero-in on precisely how well it’s working for you. This can be quite frustrating, as even when working properly, the effects of CBD are usually quite subtle. Luckily, when it comes to acne, the results should be a bit more clear.

That said, it’s still essential to try CBD for a few weeks, while keeping track of your results, to truly understand whether or not it worked for you. Everyone has a different system, and as such, may require a slightly different ideal regimen. Something we suggest to everyone starting CBD is to keep a small journal of doses and subsequent symptoms. This little tip can make a huge difference.

Some people may start to notice a difference in the health and clarity of their skin in just a few days, while for others, it might take a couple of weeks if it ends up working at all. Between CBD being a relatively new medication option, and the overall complexity of human systems, finding the perfect dosage for you is going to require some hands-on experimentation.

People often ask if they “have” to keep a journal for CBD to work effectively. While it’s not technically required, we do strongly suggest following this routine to maximize the effectiveness of your CBD, as well as more rapidly determine how effective it is for you.

If you do decide to keep track of your progress with CBD, we hope that you consider leaving your experience below to help others learn. All we need is a short description of your time using CBD, along with a score for how well you think it improved your acne, inflammation, and pain. The more accessible information we have for newcomers, the easier it will be for people to treat their ailments with CBD successfully.

Written By
John Mace Alois is lead content creator at the Did CBD Work? project. He’s analyzed over 400 research papers related to Cannabidiol and helped publish over 55 works related to different conditions for the project. He majored in Cultural Anthropology, with a minor in English, from the University at Albany. He is an avid collector of art supplies and refurbishes old furniture in his spare time.
Reviewed By*
Ahmed Diab, M.D is a graduate of Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. Senior He is currently Senior Medical Writer at NegidaClin. He has written dozens of manuscripts for pharmaceutical enterprises. He published works also included drug safety and efficacy for those with Parkinsons Disease and a historical analysis of the performance of prostheses in femoral neck fractures.

*The information contained here does not constitute medical recommendations. Ahmed Diab does not recommend a certain dosage or a certain indication for any of our products. Please consult your personal physician before using any product.

1 CBD Experience From Acne Suffers


    • May 5, 2020
    This is another test


    Also effective for:

    • Acne
    • Inflammation
    • Pain Relief



    CBD Type:

    CBD & Terpenes

    How Did You Take It?:

    Bath Bomb

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