Anyone who’s ever had a pimple knows that they pop up the day before your big date or senior picture day. The best way to get a pimple is to schedule any important event. Wait for it. Just when you need to look your best is when pimples decide to rear their ugly black or white heads and destroy your day. Everyone tells you that you’ll outgrow it. But what if that never happens? What if you’re one of the millions of people who suffer more than an occasional blemish? The multi-billion dollar acne industry offers some relief. Creams, scrubs, soaps, and ointments fight for retail space, but anyone with a pimple knows these are hit- or miss at best. Why not consider an all-natural alternative source for acne treatment? Cannabidiol (CBD), a powerhouse chemical found in the cannabis plant has proven results in skin care.
What is Acne?
Simply put, acne is a condition where the skin over produces sebum, an oily lipid used to waterproof your skin. It is created in the sebaceous glands. If you produce too much sebum, you wind up with pimples, blackheads or whiteheads. Produce too little and you could wind up with eczema. In recent years, scientists have discovered that your sebaceous glands have endocannabinoid receptors. Those receptors respond to cannabinoids like those found in cannabis, hemp, and even marijuana.
Hungarian researcher Tamas Biro presented CBD findings in 2009 on the effectiveness of CBD on skin cells. Biro found that by applying endocannabinoids directly on the skin resulted in regulated lipid production. If your skin produces too much lipid, the endocannabinoids blocked production. Too little and they increased production. Biro said he started his research with CBD because it’s not psychoactive like tetrahydrocannabinol (TCH). TCH is another compound found in cannabis. Unlike CBD, TCH is psychoactive, which means it’s the component that makes people high.
Why CBD Works
Findings suggest that acne can be seen as an inflammatory skin condition. Biro points to CBD’s anti-inflammatory nature as the reason it works on acne. Sure, there are other treatments on the market for acne. Accutane and Vitamin A are widely prescribed. However, some scientists have called it one of the deadliest drugs in western medicine. Contrastingly, CBD has few of the side effects associated with acne treatment. If you’ve ever used over-the-counter medications, you know that they can dry out your skin. Biro explains this as “CBD doesn’t suppress basal lipid synthesis in normal cells”. In other words, CBD only attacks your zits. It regulates the lipid production in the inflamed skin and leaves your healthy skin alone.
CBD as an alternative medication is still gaining ground. It’s being used to treat everything from glaucoma, cancer, diabetes, and epilepsy. Because cannabis is a highly regulated and illegal substance in many states, use of CBD as a medication is not exactly mainstream. Although acne is not a life-threatening condition, people who suffer from it often experience periods of low self-esteem. After all, you want to put your best face forward. Acne takes that from you but CBD has the potential to increase your zit-free days.