CBD Oil and Acne: Will It Help & What To Expect

a picture of CBD oil in a brown glass bottle

With each passing day, more individuals are learning about the benefits of CBD oil and its potential to alleviate a number of skin conditions. The properties of this natural remedy have been increasingly confirmed by science, with new research coming to light on what seems like a monthly basis.

With this newfound knowledge, an increasing number of people are turning to this alternative and all-natural treatment of acne.

But does it work? Is it safe? And how should you use it?

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know, from the causes and types of acne, to the ways that CBD oil can be used to treat it.

Read on to find out more about how CBD oil may be used to help clear up your acne and have you feeling confident and beautiful the next time you look in the mirror.

But First, What is Acne?

Acne is the medical term for a common irritating and visually unappealing skin condition usually caused by clogged pores. These breakouts are an inflammatory condition by nature and affect most individuals at some point in their lives.

The main symptoms of acne include oily skin, raised pimples, spots and skin that is hot to the touch. Symptoms can also vary in severity, and for some people, it can be quite painful. In more severe cases it may leave permanent scarring and scar tissue which can affect self-esteem.

What Causes Acne?

The exact cause of these breakouts remains unknown, but there are a number of likely causes and factors that most dermatologists agree contribute to its prevalence or appearance.

Acne is most commonly linked to puberty, during which major changes and fluctuations in hormone levels may contribute to recurring and/or persistent breakouts.

Hormones can cause the Sebum glands in the skin to become over-active and produce too much oil. When the skin produces too much Sebum, it can result in the skin’s pores becoming clogged. In the right amounts, Sebum keeps your skin hydrated and healthy, but clogged pores caused by the over-production of Sebum can result in acne. This is one of the reasons why it is important to wash your face at least once a day.

Certain strains of bacteria on the skin can also infect the blocked pores and make the problem worse. Hormones can also thicken the lining of hair follicles, which may lead to the blockage of the pores.

This combination of oil and bacteria is a primary reason that many people experience these types of breakouts and skin conditions more frequently during puberty.

Acne is also known to be genetic, which means it runs in families, and you may be more likely to develop symptoms if your mother and father both experienced it too.

Women are also especially prone to these skin conditions and can experience symptoms as a result of hormonal changes during their menstrual cycle or in pregnancy. In fact, research shows that more than 80% of adult acne occurs in women.

Acne May Also be Triggered by Other Factors Such as:

•    Cosmetic or skincare products
•    Certain medications
•    Smoking
•    Rubbing or pressure on the skin

Who is Affected by Acne?

According to research, about 80% of people experience symptoms between the age of 11 and 30. Acne is very common in teenagers, although it usually disappears when the person is in their mid-twenties. Acne can also affect adults over the age of 25, but this is less common.

Different Types of Acne

There are six main types of acne, with each varying in appearance. At any given time an individual experiencing a breakout may have more than one type of acne present at once.


Blackheads are small bumps that appear on the skin. They can be black or yellowish in colour. Contrary to popular belief, blackheads aren’t filled with bacteria or dirt, rather they are black in colour due to the inner hair follicle producing a dark pigmentation.

a picture of blackheads on someones skin


Whiteheads look similar to blackheads in appearance with a couple of slight differences. They are usually firmer to the touch and don’t produce pus if you squeeze them (we’ll get on to why this is a bad idea later!).

a picture of whiteheads on skin


Papules are small red bumps. They usually feel sore or tender to the touch.

a picture of Papules on skin


Pustules are similar to papules but they usually have a white tip, caused by a build-up of pus inside them.

a picture of Pustules on a man's cheek


Nodules are large lumps underneath the skin’s surface. They’re usually hard and often painful.


Cystic acne is a more serious type of condition that is initially caused by a regular breakout. Cysts are large lumps filled with pus and they look similar to boils. Cystic acne is also the type most likely to cause long-lasting scars.

Which Body Parts Can Acne Affect?

Acne is an inflammatory condition of the skin and it can appear on any part of the body. Some areas of skin are more prone to breakouts than others, particularly where there is a high concentration of sebaceous glands present – the glands that produce Sebum.

Acne most commonly appears on the face, particularly the part of the face referred to as the ‘T-zone’ which is the skin on the forehead, chin and nose, but may also be present on other areas of your body.

Non-facial acne is more likely to appear on the upper body in areas such as the scalp, neck, chest, back, shoulders, neck and upper arms.

Treatment of Acne – is CBD The Answer You’ve Been Looking For?

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol is one of the many compounds, known as cannabinoids, which are found in the Cannabis or marijuana plant. In fact, many plants contain cannabinoids, but this particular one is most commonly associated with marijuana.

a picture of a Hemp plant

It is an increasingly popular natural remedy and an increasing number of studies are showing the benefits of CBD oil.

CBD oil is believed to help in a variety of areas including:

•    Pain Relief
•    Reducing anxiety and depression
•    Alleviating symptoms related to cancer
•    Preventing diabetes
•    Reduce arthritis pain
•    Treating seizures and epilepsy
•    Treating insomnia
•    Reducing stress

CBD oil is most often made by extracting the compound Cannabidiol from the marijuana plant and adding it to an oil, such as coconut or hemp seed oil.

The range of benefits that Cannabidiol may provide has resulted in it becoming a general health and well-being staple remedy for many individuals. Although there is currently a limited amount of research into the benefits of Cannabidiol, reviews of an ever-increasing number of studies are showing it to be an effective and versatile remedy that offers a range of health benefits.

Will CBD Oil Get You High?

CBD oil is not psychoactive and it doesn’t have the mind-altering powers of marijuana. When you use CBD oil on your skin, you will not feel the ‘high’ that is associated with cannabis. This is because it does not contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the psychoactive substance found in cannabis. Cannabidiol is a completely different compound from the THC that people smoke to ‘get high’.

CBD Oil for Acne

The use of CBD for acne has gained an increasing amount of attention in the last few years with new research and positive customer reviews and feedback showing promise. Cannabidiol possesses a number of properties that can improve skin conditions including acne, dermatitis and dry skin. CBD oil is widely considered to be a very powerful treatment and even a potential cure due to its ability to reduce oil production, calm inflammation and decrease stress.

So how does Cannabidiol help acne? We know that an over-production of Sebum can clog the pore or hair follicle, making bacteria more likely to multiply in these areas. This bacterial growth results in the blackheads, whiteheads and other types of acne.

Cannabidiol Studies have found that Sebum producing glands have endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors play a key role in the production of Sebum in the skin. It is shown that the cannabinoid in CBD can tap into these receptors and reduce the amount of Sebum that they produce. The power of CBD oil to tap into these endocannabinoid receptors and slow the production of sebum is what makes it such an effective treatment against breakouts and a potential tool to cure repeated breakouts.

Cannabidiol also has anti-inflammatory properties. This is why many people turn to it for relief from pain caused by joint inflammation. Some people have found that CBD has a significantly positive effect on their joint pain, especially when compared to medical treatments.

As acne causes inflammation of the skin, Cannabidiol also naturally works to reduce this inflammation, meaning that it works in two key ways; to combat against the source of acne and to soothe and calm the skin.

a picture of a drop of CBD oil

Cannabidiol is also widely celebrated for its ability to calm stress and anxiety. Cannabidiol can help people to relax by lowering the heart rate and inducing a feeling of calm and clarity. Stress is scientifically linked to acne, as the stress hormone Cortisol can lead to increased sebum production. CBD oil can help to reduce the stress which in turn keeps breakouts at bay and prevents the likelihood of further breakouts!

The three key properties of Cannabidiol which tackle sebum production, reduce inflammation and calm stress make CBD oil the ultimate acne treatment. The properties of CBD work in collaboration to tackle both the cause and the symptoms of acne, lead to clearer pores, healthier, smoother skin and reduce acne. This combination of properties is what makes CBD oil the best all-around natural remedy for acne-prone skin.

Of course, as with all medications, CBD doesn’t work for everyone. Although thousands of people are discovering the power of CBD oil every day, for some, it may not be the right solution. The best way to find out what works for you is to start by testing a small amount and keep a close eye on the results.

Does CBD Oil Have Any Side Effects?

CBD oil is generally considered to be very safe and few people have reported any major side effects. Cannabidiol is reported to have fewer side effects than prescribed acne medications. It is also much gentler on the skin, reducing pain and inflammation.

Some reported side effects of CBD oil include:

•    Anxiety
•    Mood changes
•    Dry mouth
•    Dizziness
•    Nausea

Although these side effects are rare, everyone reacts differently to natural remedies. CBD oil can also interact with certain medications. If you are unsure about whether CBD oil is right for you, you should speak to a trusted expert who will be able to advise you.


Everyone’s skin is different. There are a number of different factors to be considered when calculating your dose including weight, skin type, diet and environment. This means that it is difficult to prescribe a universal dosage. Although there is no one-size-fits-all dosage for CBD oil, there are a number of different dosages of CBD oil available and most people will start off with the minimum recommended dose and build up from there.

When you’re deciding on which dose to take, make sure you choose a brand that you can trust. Do a little research and if possible, speak to an expert to determine how much Cannabidiol you should take at first. The length of treatment can also vary and some people will be able to see results sooner than others. Many people see results within a few weeks, for others, it may be a little longer. It helps to record the effects of CBD oil each week by taking a photograph of your skin so that you can review the results. This is the best way to monitor the before and after results accurately.

Does CBD Work for Acne Scars

Many acne sufferers experience scarring on the skin as a result of their acne. Sometimes these fade but for some people, they appear to be there for the long-term. Using CBD oil for acne can be very effective in the treatment of scars and scar tissue caused by breakouts.

CBD oil is understood to tap into the endocannabinoid system and reduce scarring by reducing inflammation. It is also thought to reduce the production of a certain strain of collagen, which can contribute to scarring.  For this reason, it is also thought to help wounds to heal more quickly, reducing the risk of scarring. CBD oil is also thought to promote new skin cell regeneration.

How to Use This Oil to Combat Acne

CBD for this condition can be used in different ways and it is important that you choose the one that is right for you. The most common ways to use it are:

Topically (Applied Directly on to the Skin)

Topical application of CBD oil for acne can be applied topically using a cream, lotion, balm or salve. The oil is applied directly to the skin and gently massaged in. When CBD oil is applied topically, it does not enter the bloodstream. Topical application is best for local healing such as dry skin, as this medium only works on the surface layers of your skin.


Cannabidiol can be consumed as a concentrate and applied under the tongue for fast absorption. This oral delivery method allows the CBD to be delivered into the bloodstream.


The simplest way to take CBD oil is orally. The best way is to swallow it via capsules or gummies. The oil can also be mixed with a number of products such as soups or juices. This method allows the CBD oil to enter the bloodstream.


CBD oil can also be inhaled using a vape pen.

How Long Will it Take to Work?

The time for Cannabidiol to take effect can vary from individual to individual. You may want to keep a close eye on the area that you are treating so that you know when you start seeing results. If you are using CBD oil for some time and you aren’t experiencing any results, it may be that you want to increase your dose or try a different method of delivery. It is all about tailoring your treatment so that it works for you.

Closing Thoughts

CBD oil offers many benefits that can help to reduce the provenance of breakouts, making it one of the more versatile and effective natural skin remedies on the planet and having potentially cured individuals from their acne woes.

The variety of applications and dosages make it easy to use and it is far gentler on the skin that most chemical acne medications. With more and more people discovering the benefits of CBD oil for skin every day, it has become a fundamental part of any acne-sufferers toolkit. And with so many benefits, you may find that it is the only acne treatment you ever need.