A problem with acne? Cannabidiol can help!

by in About CBD 25 February 2019

Acne. This is certainly a medical condition that you does not need intoducing. Most of us deals or have dealt with it especially during puberty period, and we certainly know someone who has had a huge problem with it. Although acne does not threaten life, it has a significant impact on our well-being, comfort and self-confidence. There are many methods to combat this disease, both natural and pharmaceutical, but we still have not found safe and effective therapy. Why? Because the formation of acne has a rather complex mechanism and by simply excluding only one factor, we are not able to completely defeat it. In the fight against this uncomfortable enemy, we try to reduce the inflammation of the skin. From the natural first-aid kit, chamomile in wraps is often used. Trying to remove skin lesions mechanically, we have to go to the beautician. The doctor may try the method of exfoliating the epidermis with acid or administering drugs with isotretinoin to fight the disease from the inside, trying to reduce the activity of sebaceous glands. Although this last method seems to be effective, it requires constant control of blood parameters due to its side effects. Do we have a golden mean, then?


How to win with acne?

To fight against acne, we need something that will provide us with a multifactorial effect. First of all, the sebostatic action- in short, the action that will lead to the reduction of activity of the sebaceous glands and more precisely the sebocytes contained in them – the cells of this gland. Because acne is the result of excessive activity of these glands and overproduction of sebum, their restriction will inhibit the formation of skin lesions. Secondly, the production of sebocytes producing sebocytes should be suppressed so that the problem does not return. Thirdly, anti-inflammatory effects are required because skin lesions lead to dermatitis. Can cannabidiol help with this? Let’s check what research has to say about this subject.


CBD in the fight against acne.

In studies on the influence of CBD on the functions of the sebaceous glands, it has been found that CBD behaves as a highly effective sebostatic agent. Administration of CBD to cultured human sebocytes and human skin culture inhibited the lipogenic effects of various compounds, including arachidonic acid and the combination of linoleic acid and testosterone, and inhibited the proliferation of sebocytes by activating TRPV4 receptors. This activation interfered with the proliferative ERK1 / 2 MAPK pathway and regulated the protein-1 interacting nuclear receptor (NRIP1), which affects glucose and lipid metabolism, thus inhibiting sebocyte lipogenesis [1]. There is evidence that the endocannabinoid system (which is affected by CBD) has a decisive influence on the regulation of sebum production [2], it also has an influence on the growth and differentiation of skin cells [3,4].

Another desired effect of an appropriate anti-acne agent would be to suppress unwanted growth of sebaceous cells [5,6]. CBD has been shown to have anti-proliferative activity of sebocytes and thus inhibits their formation. Research shows, however, that it does not eliminate excess (in the case when there are many at the beginning of the treatment), but it certainly inhibits their further multiplication [1].

The third action required from an anti-acne drug is anti-inflammatory, and as you know it has already been widely proven, as indeed we have already written here:

The anti-inflammatory effect by affecting A2a adenosine receptors perfectly closes the clamp of the necessary actions to fight against acne. In total, the findings suggest that due to the combined actions of sebostatic, anti-proliferative sebocytes and anti-inflammatory, CBD has a very large potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris.


References and research used in the article:

  1. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. Attila Oláh, Balázs I. Tóth, István Borbíró, Koji Sugawara, Attila G. Szöllõsi, Gabriella Czifra, Balázs Pál, Lídia Ambrus, Jennifer Kloepper, Emanuela Camera, Matteo Ludovici, Mauro Picardo, Thomas Voets, Christos C. Zouboulis, Ralf Paus and Tamás Bíró.
  1. Dobrosi N, et al. Endocannabinoids enhance lipid synthesis and apoptosis of human sebocytes via cannabinoid receptor-2-mediated signaling. FASEB J. 2008;22(10):3685–3695. doi: 10.1096/fj.07-104877.
  2. Telek A, et al. Inhibition of human hair follicle growth by endo- and exocannabinoids. FASEB J. 2007;21(13):3534–3541. doi: 10.1096/fj.06-7689com.
  3. Tóth BI, et al. Endocannabinoids modulate human epidermal keratinocyte proliferation and survival via the sequential engagement of cannabinoid receptor-1 and transient receptor potential vanilloid-1. J Invest Dermatol. 2011;131(5):1095–1104. doi: 10.1038/jid.2010.421.
  4. Schneider MR, Paus R. Sebocytes, multifaceted epithelial cells: lipid production and holocrine secretion. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2010;42(2):181–185. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2009.11.017.
  5. Layton AM. Disorders of the sebaceous glands. In: Burns T, Breathnach S, Cox N, Griffiths C, eds. Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology. 8th ed. Oxford, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell; 2010:42.1–42.89.


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