CBD Oil for Acne: Does it Work?

Acne can be devastating, and treating it is a frustrating experience.

For so many of us, it feels like trial and error, each new attempt with a new product resulting in more failure.

Today you’re using antibiotics, and they simply don’t work. The next day you try sulfur, but still there’s no change. The next week you’re on Accutane, and nothing. The cycle of frustration continues.

The marketing of acne medication has become more effective than the medication itself. And you don’t believe in any of them anymore.

Enter CBD oil.

If you haven’t heard of CBD oil as an acne treatment, that’s because the big companies are scared of it, and would rather their customers stay in the dark.

Luckily, this article will give you every fact and detail on CBD oil’s potential for treating acne.

What Causes Acne?

Okay, the basics. Acne occurs when excess facial oil (known as sebum) mixes with dead skin cells, dirt, pollutants, and other pathogens to form clogged pores on your face. Sebum protects your skin, but too much of it causes acne. Acne treatment involves keeping the skin clean, free from bacteria, and reducing excess sebum.

How Does CBD Oil Treat Acne?

Research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation has found that CBD has properties that prevent the production of excess sebum. Furthermore, cannabidiol has anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce the effects of any acne that does appear.

There are CB1 and CB2 receptors in the sebaceous glands and hair follicles. They communicate with the central nervous system to alleviate acne’s effects. With its anti-inflammatory magic, CBD reduces the visible inflammation that clogged hair follicles cause.

Unlike conventional treatments, cannabis oil attacks the cells that cause acne, allowing the skin to heal without experiencing irritation or dryness.

A survey by Frontiers in Plant Science also reveals that cannabis limits infections from pollutants and dirt on the skin because of its antibacterial and antifungal effects.

While these two studies are promising, human clinical trials need to take place before the science can be proved. But early evidence suggests that CBD oil has what it takes to kick acne to the curb for good.

Can CBD Oil Be Used on All Forms of Acne?

The good news is that cannabis-infused products can reduce body acne as well. As a result, many skincare manufacturers have started incorporating CBD into their body washes and soaps.

Although cannabis products are not marketed to people struggling with body acne, their inflammatory and antibacterial properties ease both the symptoms and effects. A study from the journal La Clinica Terapeutica found that patients who had psoriasis and atopic dermatitis related to scars improved their skin conditions when they used CBD oil.

Although the study was not performed on facial acne scar patients, it showed that cannabis can limit the appearance of such blemishes.

How To Use CBD For Your Acne?

Instead of using CBD oil right out of the gate (the serum won’t penetrate blocked pores, and applying it directly can further clog them, actually causing more acne breakouts), we recommend taking a CBD tincture or light serum under your tongue twice per day to decrease sebum production and limit acne outbreaks.

When your skin starts to clear, then you can use a CBD topical such as CBD oil or CBD lotion. That said, continue with the sublingual drops until your skin clears up.

All CBD-infused products are formulated using one of three types of CBD:

  • Full-spectrum CBD oil
  • Broad-spectrum CBD oil
  • CBD isolate

A full-spectrum CBD oil will have all the compounds in hemp, including THC; broad-spectrum CBD oil will have cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids but no THC; CBD isolate is pure CBD, plain and true.

CBD isolate is the best for body and facial acne because it’s pure, won’t clog skin pores, and is jam-packed with antioxidants. Reliable topical CBD skin products will ease the pain without simply masking it. This is because the skin has a high concentration of CBD receptors which are part of the endocannabinoid system, and cannabinoid receptors are associated with pain sensation, immune function, and more.

Clinical Therapeutics conducted a 20-patient study in 2019, and found that those who used CBD ointments over three months for acne scars, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis experienced improved symptoms and signs of the disorders.

Does CBD Oil Have Any Side Effects?

According to the Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, CBD has a “favorable safety profile.” It has found that most side effects, including fatigue, diarrhea, and appetite changes, are associated with patients who ingest CBD, rather than using it topically.

If you do, however, experience skin swelling, itchiness, or skin peeling, wash the area with soap and water, and use cold compresses to soothe the skin.


There is ample evidence that CBD oil is effective in treating acne. As we have seen in this article, CBD molecules and their anti-inflammatory properties directly impact the cells responsible for the affliction.

However, you can’t risk buying CBD oil from just anyone. At all times ensure you get it from reputable sources whose products have been tested and proven. Like CBD Box.