Could Cannabidoil and the Endocannabinoid System  Offer New Treatment Options for Acne?

Could Cannabidoil and the Endocannabinoid System Offer New Treatment Options for Acne?

Acne is a common and chronic skin condition that most likely conjures up an image of a miserable teenager with a face covered in pimples. Nationwide, there are about 50 million people who have had issues with acne at some time in their life. Usually it affects people from age 11 – 30, but anyone can suffer from it. In 2016 just under $5 billion dollars was spent on acne treatment, and it’s estimated that about $400 million was lost due to reduced productivity. Although it is not a life-threatening disease, the emotional distress caused by unsightly white and black heads, irritated skin, cystic bumps, pustules and scarring on the face and upper body can be damaging to quality of life. People who have a recurrence of symptoms can experience low self-esteem and depression and so it is critical to find good quality solutions.

Skin is a complex organ designed to serve as a barrier to toxins, infection and abrasions. To understand how acne gets started, we must first know more about one of the skins protectors; the Sebaceous Gland. It is attached to hair follicles which are all over the surface of skin and its purpose is to secrete oil (sebum) through the follicle duct. The oil is necessary to keep skin flexible, moisturized and able to repel water.

When the Sebaceous Gland becomes overactive it causes the follicle canal to be blocked with too much sebum. Then dead skin cells and bacteria collect which causes swelling, irritation and redness with visible pimples or cysts. The catalyst for overactive sebum production can include any of the following:

  • Hormone fluctuations for teenagers and adults
  • Medications that include corticosteriods, testosterone or lithium
  • Nutrition
  • Stress
  • Trauma to the skin
  • Family History

Treatments for acne vary greatly depending on the severity of symptoms. The most common are over-the-counter washes and topical gels or creams that include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinoids or antibiotics. These can be effective to reduce swelling and clearing bacteria for mild or moderate breakouts. However, side-effects can include skin discoloration, dryness or irritation.

Other methods include oral medications like anti-androgens, antibiotics and contraceptives. For serious cases, doctors may use the prescription level Isotretinoin, but patients must be monitored closely because of the significant side-effects such as; ulcerative colitis, depression and suicide, and severe birth defects.

One significant advancement in the research of skin disorders has been the suggestion that our skin has its own Endocannabinoid System (ECS) with the same purpose as in our other biological systems; to maintain balance within the skin cells, such as the hair follicle and Sebaceous Gland. This direction of study has opened the door to the development of treatment options for skin diseases and chronic conditions that target the functioning of the ECS.

In recent years, Cannabidoil (CBD) has been included in several studies relating to skin conditions with positive results and virtually no adverse side-effects. CBD has shown remarkable anti-acne effects by reducing inflammation and oil (sebum) production and when infused in a topical application, the antioxidants in CBD have promoted faster healing from sun damage and environmental pollution. CBD is showing promise as an alternative to current treatments because it mimics our own bodies process of healing by working with the ECS to maintain homeostasis, targeting the source of disorders and diseases rather than just the symptoms.

As more research findings are published, Canbiola will be keeping clients up to date as to those findings.

FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


Aug 22nd 2019 Margreit McInnis

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