How CBD Can Help in Acne, Dosage & How to Take It

CBD (Cannabidiols), is an active component of cannabinoid; it is classified as a non – psychoactive compound found in cannabis.

CBD in the form of oils is the most common form in which it is accessible.

CBD oils for acne can be used as a serum for applying on the face on affected areas; the oil is absorbed directly into the underlying skin.

The oil shows the immediate effect as the skin contains endocannabinoid receptors and is always active.

Moving on, let’s understand some more about Acne; what it is, why is it caused, etc.

What is Acne?

Acne is a very common skin condition, known by many names; pimples, zits, Acne vulgaris, etc.

It can result in whiteheads, pimples, scarring, inflammation and red patches.

Acne occurs when pores (hair follicles) on skin surface become clogged with dead cells and oil (sebum). It is believed to be most common amongst teenagers, however, it can affect people of all ages.

Acne can be caused due to a number of reasons, however, genetics is believed to be the main cause in most cases. Other causes include; excessive hormonal activity, diet regime (although not much concrete proof is available ), etc.

There are many options available for treating acne, most commonly; changing lifestyle choices and self-care.

Since acne is persistent, people often tend to go on the antibiotic route and purchasing countless products, usually resulting in side effects and spending money.

Benefits of CBD for Acne

CBD presents several benefits which makes it an ideal approach for treating acne; it can control/regulate oil production, it is an antioxidant, an effective antibacterial agent, an amazing anti-proliferative agent, a good anti-inflammatory agent and has anti-stress property.

Let’s focus more on how CBD benefits as an acne cure.

CBD is Good in Controlling Oil Production.

CBD works through the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and it has been implicated that ECS is involved in regulating the sebum (oil) production of skin cells.

The endocannabinoid receptors are reported to be present throughout the hair follicles on skin and scalp.

The hair follicles contain sebaceous glands, responsible for producing sebum (oil) of which lipids form the major constituent.

The endogenous endocannabinoid receptor and ligand system increase the lipid synthesis in sebocytes (sebum producing cells), consequently producing more oil.

Thus, external intake of CBD can exert a sebostatic (regulating sebum production) effect by binding to specific endocannabinoid receptors and positively inhibiting lipid production in acne prone skin, where the lipid (sebum) production is naturally high.

Inhibiting lipid production effectively controls oil (sebum) production and brands CBD as an effective treatment for acne.

CBD can regulate the sebum production of skin cells by inhibiting lipid production.

CBD is a Good Anti-proliferative

Dead skin cells are formed regularly and need to slough off to give way to new cell formation.

However, sometimes, dead skin cells tend to accumulate and get trapped within the pores leading to acne formation.

The ECS is said to be associated with an increased dead cell formation (apoptosis) process and successfully halting the proliferation of sebum producing glands within the sebocytes.

In this scenario, CBD works as an agonist and enhances the cell death.

Thus, external CBD can be proposed as an effective method for preventing or reducing acne by halting the proliferation of excessive sebocytes thereby regulating the oil production.

An important factor which makes CBD a good agent is that although it kills the oil-producing (sebaceous) glands in the sebocytes, and halts its proliferation, it still maintains the viability of the cell, and thus overall regulates the oil production.

This is important since a little bit of sebum is required for maintaining the protective outer layer of the skin which acts as a primary defence mechanism.

CBD halts prolifethe ration of sebum producing glands while maintaining the overall cell viability and can thus control acne formation.

CBD is an Amazing Anti-inflammatory Agent

Skin inflammation generally surrounds the pimple area, making it swollen and red. Inflammation can often be painful in chronic conditions.

ECS performs a pivotal role in protecting the skin against allergic skin inflammation.
Hence, external CBD treatment (either as serum oil or oral intake) can benefit in reducing

the extent of inflammation.

CBD exerts anti-inflammatory properties, beneficial in reducing inflammation surrounding pimples.

CBD is a Good Antibacterial agent

Pimples are skin infections and persisting pimples can also spread to other locations on skin surface leading to even more growth of acne.

CBD is reported to possess antibacterial properties, and can thus be used as a potential agent for halting the extent of growth of acne.

However, its effectiveness against specific acne-causing bacterial strains, such as

Propionibacterium acnes has not been explored and established.

CBD is an effective antibacterial agent and can be used to reduce the spread of acne.

CBD is an Amazing Antioxidant

Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), such as peroxides, superoxides, etc., are known to disrupt the normal cellular function of various organs, including skin, causing it irreparable damage.

A study asserts that these ROS are involved in the origin as well as the progression of acne. As CBD possess antioxidant properties, it can be proposed as a possible treatment for acne.

Since antioxidants buffer these free radicals it may prevent inflammation and halt any breakouts. Antioxidants are also known to maintain an overall healthy skin by filtering out any toxins and environmental stresses such as UV radiations.

Thus, supplementing CBD can be used for promoting a healthy and acne free skin.

Oxidative stress can cause and spread acne; CBD has antioxidant properties and can be proposed for treating acne.

CBD can Help Reduces Stress

Although stress is not a causative factor of acne, it can be a side effect of stress, anxiety, etc. and may worsen the skin condition by enhancing acne progression. Stress can often lead to anxiety, restlessness, elevated blood pressure, fatigue, etc.

CBD possesses anti-stress or anxiolytic properties and is capable of suppressing stress. CBD can successfully lower the heart rate, which can otherwise induce stress.

A study published also asserts that CBD has positive anxiolytic effects as it successfully prevented the development of Chronic Unpredictable Stress (CUS) on animal models.

Stress can worsen acne, and since CBD possess anti-stress properties, it can be beneficial in treating it.

Select Studies linking Acne and CBD

Study 1

A 3% cannabis seed extract was effectively tested on the subject as a potential treatment for acne.

Over a period of 12 weeks, it was observed that the extract well tolerated and the extent of acne was also reduced.

Study 2

A study on induced lipid synthesis in cell lines has positively outlined that following a 24 hour CBD treatment it was successful in inhibiting the excessive lipid synthesis and thus exerting a lipostatic effect.

It should be noted, that any of the studies mentioned above have been carried out in controlled conditions and as such should not be imitated without consulting a doctor.

The dosage of CBD for Acne

CBD oil for treating acne can be used both; by ingesting it or as an external facial treatment.

Although there is not any official recommended dosage for CBD following can be suggested:

As a spot treatment, apply the oil as a drop on just the affected areas. Do not massage/rub it in. CBD oil can also be mixed (few drops) with other carrier oils or kitchen items to be used as a facemask.

For oral intake, start by small doses, notice for any visible changes and then increase it according to judgement. It is always advisable to separate out with small doses over the day.

However, it should be understood that acne is a general and very common problem and the same treatment and/or dosage will not affect everyone similarly or equally. CBD is also not a magic cure for acne, as, with all treatments, it takes time and patience.

Additionally, consult with a doctor before beginning the treatment to ensure that CBD does not interfere with any continuing medications or persisting conditions.

It should be kept in mind that large-scale studies of CBD therapy for acne along with parallel control studies over longer time periods, which are extremely essential for documenting its effectiveness, tolerance, and optimal dosage on a different group of subjects is lacking and remains underwhelming.


Under any circumstances CBD should not be used as a substitute for Cannabis/Marijuana; both have different compositions and will not stimulate the anticipated effects.

CBD is not shown to induce any severe negative side effects, and it was found to be safe concerning blood pressure, body temperature, liver profile and heart profile.

However, certain negative effects such as decrease of reproduction ability, impairment of specific receptors, and diarrhoea in lab animals have been reported.

Nonetheless, due to lack of well-established and well-documented research, those approved by regulatory authorities, it is not advisable for pregnant women, breastfeeding women and children to start a CBD treatment without consulting with a doctor.

CBD oils come in various different brandings and concentrations, and it can often get confusing as to which product should be bought. Thus, some points which should be kept in mind while purchasing a CBD product:

  • Only purchase the product from an authorised outlet.
  • Always check the exact CBD concentration of the product.
  • Ensure that the company is not making any unproven statements regarding its benefits.
  • Remember, that a cheap product does not necessarily mean uncompromised quality.
  • Ensure that the product being bought is not bogus, and actually contains CBD.


CBD Oil is a very familiar and commonly available form of CBD, it is reported to have several benefits for treating acne.

Due to ever growing interest in more natural/herbal routes, CBD presents several benefits for treating acne; it is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, regulates sebum production, is an anti-proliferative, antibacterial agent and reduces stress.

It appears to be well tolerated with a rather harmless side effect profile.

However, CBD as a budding novel therapeutic agent for treating acne is still lacking research studies on humans and animal models to establish the efficiency and safety of CBD therapy, proper clinical trials are required to establish the stability and certainty of CBD for treating acne.