Acne affects as many as 250 million people around the world every year, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It may be a common condition, but it can be quite devastating to the self-confidence of those who experience it. Acne is often treated with expensive creams or oral antibiotics, but ‘Cannabis for acne’ has become one of the most searched terms on the internet over the past year or two.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in the cannabis plant, is becoming popular for the treatment of various skin conditions, including acne. Amazing claims are being made about the use of Cannabis products to deliver glowing, youthful blemish-free skin. But can Cannabis really help for acne? Read on to find out if there is any substance to the claims.

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is believed to have many medical benefits due to the way it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of the human body. This system was only discovered fairly recently, and so it is not as well understood as some of the other systems. However, research scientists are learning more about it every day.

The ECS has many functions in the body, such as regulating appetite, mood, pain, and memory. Endocannabinoids send messages to receptors located all over the body, including the organs and skin. This helps to keep the body in a state of balance or homeostasis. Cannabis mimics the activity of the endocannabinoids in the human body and interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors in much the same way as those produced in the body.

Cannabis for Acne

In one study, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers measured the effects of Cannabis on oil-producing glands in the skin using human skin samples. The researchers found that Cannabis inhibited oil production and triggered an anti-inflammatory reaction in the cells. It prevented inflammatory cytokines from activating. They concluded that Cannabis had promise as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of acne.

The fact that Cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties means it could help with acne, which is an inflammatory condition. One of the ways the body responds to injury or infection is with inflammation. The swelling, redness, and pain that come with acne are part of this immune response. There is hope, therefore, that the use of Cannabis could reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne.

As excess oil production is one of the triggers of acne, the fact that Cannabis appears to inhibit oil production, as found in the above-mentioned study, is an exciting one. Cannabis could help to keep the skin from producing too much sebum, meaning less likelihood of acne developing.

Another culprit mentioned in the cause of acne is bacteria. Cannabis may just be able to help with bacteria, too, as it appears to have powerful anti-bacterial properties.

Without question, further research and clinical trials are needed to determine the efficacy of using Cannabis for acne, as well as to find the best delivery methods. However, preliminary findings in the use of Cannabis for acne show promise.

What about acne scars?

Claims are being made that applying a Cannabis-enriched ointment to acne scars can significantly improve their appearance. A study published in the journal La Clinica Terapeutica had 20 participants applying Cannabis to scars caused by atopic dermatitis and psoriasis twice every day for three months. The results were positive, and the participants reported improvements without experiencing any allergic reactions or irritation. The hydration and elasticity of their skin improved.

This was a small study, and the scars were not caused by acne, but the researchers concluded that topical Cannabis is a safe and non-invasive alternative for improving the lives of people suffering from some skin disorders, especially those of an inflammatory type.

Is it safe to use Cannabis on the skin?

There is no research yet to prove that one method of consumption is better than another in the treatment of a skin condition. However, many people appear to prefer to use Cannabis topical products for the treatment of acne.

At a time when many topicals contain harmful ingredients like sulfates and parabens, Cannabis is plant-based and has few to no side effects. The most commonly reported side effects from using Cannabis are diarrhea, fatigue, and changes in appetite, but these usually occur when ingesting Cannabis, not when applying it topically.

Research published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research found that it has a “favorable safety profile.” It is non-addictive and has no known overdose limit.

There is a huge range of topical products containing Cannabis available for purchase online, including creams, balms, and salves. They all contain different strengths of Cannabis. It is important to check the labels of products to see how much Cannabis they contain as well as whether they contain any other ingredients that could irritate the skin, such as certain essential oils.

As a consumer, you need to make sure you buy high-quality products. Juicy Fields is one such platform which provides quality cannabis. is basically a crowd growing platform which connects cannabis cultivators with financers.

Companies should be transparent about where they get their hemp and willing to disclose what is in their products. Look for one that uses independent laboratory testing to confirm that products are labeled accurately.


Preliminary studies show promise in the use of Cannabis for acne, but many more large-scale studies are necessary. Cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties that could help with acne, which is an inflammatory condition.

Cannabis’s anti-bacterial properties and potential to inhibit oil production are other reasons why using it could help to reduce the problems associated with acne. Cannabis is well-tolerated and has a good safety profile, so it may be worth giving it a try.

About the author

Jennifer Kurtz

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