Acne is a very common skin condition — in fact, it’s the most common one in the United States. And while it primarily affects teenagers, acne can last well into adulthood. It occurs when pores get clogged with dead skin cells, bacteria, sebum (the oil that our skin produces), or a combination of those. Depending on what gets trapped in the pore, you might develop a whitehead, a blackhead, pustules (or pimples), papules, cysts, or nodules. Acne typically appears on the face, neck, back, chest, and upper arms.
While anyone can get acne, some people are more prone to it than others. You’re more at risk if you have a family history of acne, if your hormones change (like during the menstrual cycle), and if you’re stressed. Acne can leave dark spots on the skin, as well as scars, and it’s not just the blemishes themselves that are a concern — people with acne also tend to experience low self-esteem or depression. If you have acne, ignore the myths: Eating less greasy food or washing your face more won’t make it go away or prevent it. One option for fighting acne is topical treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicyclic acid, or retinoid. But acne can be stubborn, and doctors sometimes recommend oral antibiotics or birth control to counter cystic acne.
Cannabidiol (CBD) and marijuana are now emerging as potential acne treatments, thanks to their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial components. According to a 2014 study published by the American Society for Clinical Investigation, CBD may also help reduce the production of sebum. Keep reading cannabisMD for the latest news and expert opinions on how cannabis and CBD might help your treat acne.