Can CBD make your skin healthy?

Skin is the largest organ in the body. It’s responsible for maintaining our internal body temperature, protecting our internal organs, storing nutrients, and manufacturing vitamin D.

CBD offers a similar level of benefit for many different skin conditions — ranging from inflammatory conditions like psoriasis or eczema to cosmetic disorders like acne or wrinkling. 

1. CBD For Acne

Acne is caused by an overproduction of sebum, which promotes bacterial growth inside of the pores. This leads to inflammation, swelling, and redness around the pore.

CBD oil and CBD skincare products offer similar benefits against the formation of acne.

CBD topicals provide a direct dose of CBD to the surface of the skin, while CBD oils are better for alleviating many of the underlying causes for acne (such as inflammation or excess oil production).

The benefits of CBD oil for acne include:

  • Reduce redness & inflammation
  • Regulates oil production in the skin
  • Makes sebum less-viscous
  • Inhibits bacterial growth in the pores

Evidence: CBD & Acne

A study exploring the potential anti-acne effects of cannabinoids noted the most significant improvement came from the novel cannabinoid THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) [Oláh 2016]. 

CBD and CBDV also showed dramatic improvements in controlling sebum production, reducing inflammation, and activating vanilloid receptors in the skin. Each of these effects contributes to the overall anti-acne benefits of a full-spectrum CBD extract.

 

2. CBD For Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin condition caused by an autoimmune disorder that causes rapid regeneration of skin cells. This leads to characteristic itchy, red, scaly patches that can form anywhere on the body.

There’s no cure for this condition. Most patients experience cycles of flare-ups and remissions — each lasting several weeks or months at a time.

CBD has been shown to offer three distinct benefits for managing or preventing the symptoms of psoriasis. Topical products that contain high concentrations of CBD may be useful for reducing the severity of the condition and preventing flare-ups before they occur.

The benefits of CBD for psoriasis include:
  • Regulates excessive skin cell growth
  • Inhibits inflammation
  • Helps manage pain associated with psoriasis

Evidence: CBD & Psoriasis

A study published in 2013 found a set of cannabinoid receptors located in the skin could reduce excessive skin cell growth associated with psoriasis [Ramot 2013]. Due to the ability for CBD to regulate these receptors, researchers suggested topical CBD products may be able to inhibit the formation of psoriasis patches on the skin.

Another study found that CBD directly inhibits an inflammatory messenger molecule known as nuclear factor-kappa-b (NFkB) [Silva 2019] — which is considered one of the primary inflammatory mediators involved with the formation of psoriasis. 

 

3. CBD For Eczema

Eczema is an inflammatory disorder affecting the outer layers of the skin (epidermis). Rough, dry patches caused by eczema can be extremely itchy and painful.

The benefits of CBD oil for eczema include:

    • Alleviates pain and itchiness in the skin
    • Inhibits inflammation in the skin

Evidence: CBD & Eczema

A clinical study consisting of 20 patients with inflammatory skin disorders (psoriasis or eczema) were given a topical CBD cream and instructed to apply it twice per day for three months [Palmieri 2019]. At the end of the study, researchers reported a significant improvement in the inflammatory status of the skin for both conditions after using CBD ointment.