CBD Oil For Acne: Benefits And Side Effects Of Using It

A simple ingredient that soothes your skin and eliminates those pesky pimples!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sameeksha Chand, MBBS, MD DVL Dr. Sameeksha Chand Dr. Sameeksha ChandMBBS, MD DVL facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) Experience: 3 years

If your skin is acne-prone and you constantly look out for remedies, you might have heard about the efficacy of CBD oil for acne. It has emerged as a new natural remedy to soothe acne. CBD oil is extracted from hemp and is a close relative of marijuana. However, it is not psychoactive (1). While it may not eliminate acne-causing bacteria completely, it may still have some antimicrobial activity against acne-causing bacteria.

Acne flare-ups often affect emotional well-being and become severe if left untreated. From poor lifestyle to hormonal fluctuation, multiple factors may trigger acne. You may try using CBD oil if you have mild to moderate breakouts.

Wondering if CBD oil is worth the hype? Scroll down to understand how CBD oil may work for acne, its benefits, how to use it properly, cost, side effects, and more.

CBD Oil For Acne: How It Works

CBD oil primarily works in two ways to reduce or treat acne:

  • Reduces Sebum Production: Your skin has sebaceous glands that produce sebum, an oil that keeps the skin protected. However, due to hereditary predisposition, a poor lifestyle, and/or a hormonal imbalance, the sebaceous glands produce excess oil. The excess oil accumulates dirt and clogs the pores, which causes acne. Research shows that applying CBD can suppress the proliferation of human sebum-producing skin cells (human sebocytes) and activate a gene that helps reduce the production of sebum (2).
  • Reduces Inflammation: Inflammatory acne is caused by a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (3). CBD has shown activity against inflammation (4). It also reduces the production of pro-inflammatory molecules (5). This particularly explains why CBD is also used to reduce pain. A study conducted in Italy found that using CBD ointment has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin (6). In the coming years, more research is needed to establish a solid link between inflammatory acne and CBD oil.

Sarah Perkins, a YouTuber, shared her experience of using CBD oil and its effect on her acne flare-ups. She stated, “I keep an acne diary so I wanted to know when I’m breaking out and that sort of things, what I’ve been eating and how I’m feeling and all the other things that could be a tribute to breakout and I’ve noticed this as well that this has actually reduced as well since using CBD oil (i).”

protip_icon Trivia
Cannabidiol (CBD), a phytocannabinoid, was discovered in 1940 and its structure was documented in 1963.

Now that we know that CBD oil really works for reducing acne, let’s find out how to use it in the following section.

How To Use CBD Oil For Acne

There are many ways you can use CBD oil for acne:

  • Spray: You can use a CBD oil aerosol spray to spritz it below your tongue. Wait for 5-6 seconds before swallowing. Do this once every day.
  • Mix: You can also mix the CBD oil with other ingredients and apply it to your face. You can mix one or two drops of CBD oil with 10 drops of olive oil if you have dry skin or 10 drops of rose water if you have oily skin. Do this once every day.
  • Spot Treatment: You can also use CBD oil as a spot treatment for acne. Take a drop of CBD oil in your palm. Use the index finger of the other hand to apply it to your acne lesions.
  • Oral Intake: Gummies and capsules are also alternative ways to include CBD oil.

Make sure whether the CBD oil you buy is for taking orally or applying to skin. Both are formulated differently so will be effective when used as intended to.

These are the four ways you can use CBD oil unless your doctor recommends a different way. When you start using CBD oil, you will not only see a reduction in acne flare-ups, but it will also benefit you in other ways. Check out the proven benefits of CBD oil in the next section.

Benefits Of CBD Oil 

  1. Helps Treat Epileptic Disorders: Cannabidiol has anti-epileptic properties and has been successfully used to treat and manage Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome (7).
  2. Treats Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Cannabidiol is found to have an ameliorating effect on anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, and panic disorders (8). However, more research is needed with a large sample size to prove the same.
  3. Improves Sleep: Cannabinoids can help you fall and stay asleep (9), (10). Sarah also noticed an improvement in her sleeping patterns for a week. “I was sleeping super quickly, falling into a deep sleep, and I felt very well-rested when I woke up.”
  4. Reduces Joint Pain: The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD help reduce joint pain (11), (12).
  5. Reduces Gut Inflammation: The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of CBD make it a potential therapeutic treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (13), (14).
  6. Has Antioxidant Properties: CBD oil acts as an antioxidant by balancing out the harmful substances in the body. It stops the damaging chain reactions caused by free radicals, making them less harmful or capturing them altogether. It also prevents the formation of aggressive substances, reducing their impact on the body. CBD oil boosts the body’s natural defenses by activating protective genes and enzymes that fight these harmful substances. Doing this helps maintain a healthy balance and protects our cells from damage. By acting as an antioxidant, CBD oil may help regulate sebum production in the skin and alleviate inflammation, two key contributors to acne. Additionally, its ability to combat oxidative stress might aid in preventing the clogging of pores and reducing the formation of acne lesions (15).
protip_icon Did you know?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 113 identified cannabinoids found in cannabis plants.

CBD has many health benefits apart from treating acne. However, more research is needed in the coming years to determine the full potential of CBD in treating various ailments. In the following section, let’s take a look at what a CBD oil user has to say about her acne treatment and other ways CBD oil helped her. Scroll down.

CBD Oil User Review (Video) 

There are many other users of CBD oil who have experienced good results. If you want to try it out, you need to get your own bottle of CBD oil. Here are a few tips on what to look for while buying CBD oil.

What Should You Look For While Buying CBD Oil For Acne?

  • Buy CBD oil from a trusted brand.
  • Check the ingredients list. Do not buy a CBD oil that contains too many ingredients.
  • Look for the phrase “full-spectrum” on the label. It means the CBD oil contains natural cannabinoids.
  • If you are a new user, buy the lowest concentration of CBD oil. 

Currently, marijuana-based products like CBD oil are legal in some American states. However, according to a survey conducted on 1269 adults, 62% of Americans believe that marijuana may be legal everywhere in the states in the coming 10 years. The survey also mentions that 46% of women confirm that they would try CBD oil-infused products. This percentage for men is 34%.

Now, the biggest question is, how much does a bottle of CBD oil cost? Find out in the following section.

CBD Oil – Cost

CBD oil is expensive. A 30 ml bottle may cost you around $30 to $50. But, it is better to spend a few extra dollars instead of buying a cheap CBD oil that is not pure.

Before we come to a close, here are a few potential side effects of CBD oil you must be aware of.

Side Effects Of CBD Oil

Here are a few side effects of CBD oil that you may experience:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Change in appetite
  • Mood swings 

CBD oil may not directly impact acne lesions. However, it works by regulating excess sebum production, one of the many causes of acne. It also reduces inflammation and may help soothe acne lesions. While more research is required to prove its efficacy, follow the methods discussed in the article if you want to use CBD oil for acne. If you are using it for the first time, buy the lowest concentration of CBD oil. Though it does not cause any severe side effects, it is best to do a patch test before applying it to the affected area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does CBD oil tighten skin?

No, CBD oil does not help tighten the skin.

Is CBD oil good for scars?

Yes, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD oil may help reduce the appearance of scars.

Does CBD oil reduce hyperpigmentation

Yes, CBD oil may help reduce hyperpigmentation (16).

Is CBD oil good for age spots?

The therapeutic properties of CBD oil on skin may help reduce age spots. However there is not enough studies to support this.

Key Takeaways

  • CBD oil helps regulate sebum production by suppressing the rapid growth in sebum-producing skin cells.
  • Besides, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce/prevent inflammatory acne.
  • It can be directly applied to acne lesions as a spot treatment or mixed with other ingredients like olive oil and rose water.

Watch the following insightful video to learn about the antibacterial and antifungal properties of CBD oil that help improve acne. Explore its skin-soothing benefits and how it helps address breakouts.

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr. Sameeksha Chand

Dr. Sameeksha ChandMBBS, MD DVL

Dr. Sameeksha Chand Malhotra is a board-certified dermatologist with 10 years of experience. She is well versed in general dermatology, procedural dermatology, and aesthetic dermatology and certified in permanent makeup and microblading. She has a special interest in diseases like acne, alopecia, psoriasis, vitiligo and eczema. She has worked at esteemed institutions like Army College of Medical Sciences (Delhi), Base...read full bio

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