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  • September 14, 2022 5 min read

    Does CBD Face Cream Work for Acne?

    CBD face creams are taking over the skin care scene by storm. This results from the numerous studies that claim these special creams can help with acne. Do CBD face creams work for acne? How do they work? How can use CBD face cream to treat acne? What are the tips for choosing the best creams?

    Acne describes the formation of pimples on the skin. From what science knows, this skin condition stems from blocked hair follicles. While acne can attack people of all ages, it is more common among young adults. Acne has a bad reputation. Often, it lowers self-esteem and confidence. That is why acne sufferers are always ready to try remedies that offer promising results. The common big guns include prescribed topicals, oral antibiotics, and home remedies (apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and zinc supplement). CBD products, including creams, face masks, and serums, can also reduce the symptoms of this skin condition.

    What Exactly Are CBD Face Creams?

    CBD face creams are creams and lotions that harbor CBD. Derived from industrial hemp or marijuana, CBD is one of the cannabinoids that are widely studied. Most people like this cannabinoid because it does not cause a high sensation. It is non-psychoactive because it contains low amounts of THC. Also known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is responsible for the "high effect." This explains why it is deemed illegal in many states in the USA.

    What Is the Form of CBD Used in CBD Creams?

    There are three forms of CBD; Full spectrum CBD, Broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. Most manufacturers use the second option because it contains lower amounts of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD generally contains cannabidiol, cannabichromene, and terpenes, including limonene, pinene, and myrcene. Some broad-spectrum CBD products harbor traces of THC, while others are pure.

    Full spectrum CBD is home to cannabinoids (THC and CBD), terpenes, and flavonoids. Due to this, full-spectrum CBD products are touted as a safe means of achieving the entourage effect. This relatively new theory is said to be caused by various compounds in cannabis plants. When two compounds work together, they boost each other's effect, resulting in promising results.

    CBD isolate is simply pure CBD. This means it lacks other cannabis compounds. CBD isolate is a great way to step into the cannabis community. Being THC-free means enjoying the products without worrying about the high sensations. CBD isolate mainly comes in crystal form. That is why some refer to it as CBD crystals.

    How Does CBD Face Cream Work?

    Fine & Rosenfeld (2013) suggested that CBD face cream binds to the CB 1 and CB 2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. The study above also showed that the endocannabinoid system is heavily involved in inflammatory and immune responses, learning and memory, emotional processing, pain control, and sleep. When CBD face cream interacts with the said receptors, it reduces inflammation, slashing acne.

    How Does CBD Face Cream Help with Acne?

    Prevents Overproduction of Sebum

    Sebum helps the skin to retain its natural moisture. It also protects against deadly UV rays. However, overproduction of skin oil can cause your hair follicles to clog. This heightens the risk of acne. When CBD face cream enters your system, it stops lipogenesis. Your body produces reasonable amounts of sebum.

    Protects Against Free Radicals Damage

    According to Fiani et al. (2020), CBD face cream is an excellent source of antioxidant properties. It can protect against free radicals damage that mostly causes breakouts.

    Reduces Swelling

    Peyravian et al. (2022)suggested that CBD face cream is highly anti-inflammatory. It can reduce swelling, irritation, redness, and pain associated with acne.

    Can CBD Face Cream Help with Other Skin-Related Conditions?

    Due to its heavy antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profile, it is believed CBD face cream can improve psoriasis. More research must be done before people can make these creams their go-to psoriasis treatment.

    How to Use CBD Face Cream to Treat Acne

    You can use CBD face cream instead of your normal facial oil, moisturizer, or serum. Wash your skin and leave it to dry to integrate the cream into your skincare routine. After that, apply the cream to the affected area. It is worth noting that the cream delivers excellent results when used two times a day. You can apply it in the morning and before bedtime. CBD face creams may require you to make diet changes. This further promotes effective results.

    How Long Does CBD Face Cream Take to Work?

    They will interact with the receptors on the skin after applying CBD face creams. This means the effects are instantaneous. You can expect improvements in your skin after 10 to 15 minutes. CBD topicals and CBD edibles follow a different channels. Edibles go through the digestive system, explaining why they work after hours.

    What Are Other Conditions CBD Face Creams Are Said to Improve?


    Arthritis is a common chronic inflammatory disease. Pisanti et al. (2017) suggested that  CBD face creams are said to help with this condition, thanks largely to their anti-inflammatory properties.

    Jaw Pain

    Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD face cream is believed to cure inflamed jaw points, promoting relaxation.

    Peripheral Neuropathy

    Serpell et al. (2014) suggested that CBD face creams suppress peripheral neuropathy. This effect is also linked to the anti-inflammatory properties of the creams.

    What to Look Out for When Buying CBD Face Creams

    Brand's Reputation

    Avoid brands that have trouble with the FDA or the law.

    Third-Party Lab Testing

    Third-party lab testing will help you buy pure CBD face creams. They lack contaminants, including heavy metals, mold, and pesticides. The third-party lab will also disclose whether or not the amount of CBD and THC matches the one on the label.


    Ingredients are always disclosed on the label. Checking them before buying the creams will help you get something that will address your acne accordingly.

    The Bottom Line

    Honestly, no one knows the relationship between CBD face creams and acne. Due to this, it is difficult to say that creams can relieve this skin-related condition. Most manufacturers use the second option because it contains lower amounts of THC. CBD face creams are also believed to help with psoriasis, arthritis, jaw pain, and peripheral neuropathy. Although the medical claims sounding CBD products are not confirmed, you can integrate them into your daily routine. The existing body of research shows that these products' therapeutic effects can increase your quality of life.


    Fine, P. G., & Rosenfeld, M. J. (2013). The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, And Pain. Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal, 4(4).

    Fiani, B., Sarhadi, K. J., Soula, M., Zafar, A., & Quadri, S. A. (2020). Current Application Of Cannabidiol (CBD) In Managing And Treating Neurological Disorders. Neurological Sciences, 41(11), 3085-3098.

    Peyravian, N., Deo, S., Daunert, S., & Jimenez, J. J. (2022). The Anti-Inflammatory Effects Of Cannabidiol (CBD) On Acne. Journal Of Inflammation Research, 15, 2795.

    Pisanti, S., Malfitano, A. M., Ciaglia, E., Lamberti, A., Ranieri, R., Cuomo, G., ... & Bifulco, M. (2017). Cannabidiol: State Of The Art And New Challenges For Therapeutic Applications. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 175, 133-150.

    Serpell, M., Ratcliffe, S., Hovorka, J., Schofield, M., Taylor, L., Lauder, H., & Ehler, E. (2014). A Double‐Blind, Randomized, Placebo‐Controlled, Parallel-Group Study Of THC/CBD Spray In Peripheral Neuropathic Pain Treatment. European Journal Of Pain, 18(7), 999-1012