Acne very often shows up not only on our face, which is probably the most annoying place to have it, but all over your body. Facial acne isn’t always the most painful place to get acne. Anyone that has ever had a cyst on their back can tell you – popping bacne hurts! Acne also seems to want to crop up on different parts of your face and your body at different stages of your life. If you remember when you first started getting pimples, right as you were beginning puberty, you usually started to pop your pimples on your forehead and down your nose and chin.
This area is called the T-zone. And for teens, the T-zone is particularly prone to acne. But if you are lucky enough to continue to get acne as you’re simultaneously getting more wrinkles, you may have noticed that your T-zone clears up, and you start to get acne along your jawline and neck and back. Back acne is the worst. This is because sometimes there are different reasons you get acne in different places and at different stages of life. Even some food intolerance might contribute to acne.
With the ebbs and flow of life, there has to be a more natural way to treat acne. Something that can help to target hormonal imbalances, heal your gut from inflammation caused by a poor diet (or a diet that includes eating foods your body does not find easy to digest) and knock out the overproduction of sebum and unhealthy bacteria that causes acne. Thankfully, something like this does exist. There is a remedy known as CBD oil (or cannabidiol) and is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of the Cannabis sativa L plant.
The reason CBD can target acne at every stage of life and help to treat it all over your body is because it is a compound that looks almost identical to the compounds that are supposed to be ‘naturally occurring’ in your body and are responsible for bringing your body and your mind to a state of whole body health, or homeostasis
CBD oil is a purified oil made from extracting a chemical compound known as cannabidiol (CBD) from plants. The most common plants currently used to extract this compound are the hemp and cannabis plants in their varying different types. You may be thinking, “what do you mean by types of cannabis/hemp plants?” Well these plants can be altered to produce more of a certain cannabinoid if needed which can result in different strains being created i.e. hybrid/sativa strains of cannabis. This is a similar process carried out by farmers who create genetically modified crops (GMC’s) to produce a bigger harvest. In relation to cannabis this has bee done to create plants with more THC than CBD to get people high but it could also be attributed to hemp to ensure all plants produce more CBD or seeds with a greater concentration of healthy acids.
Like Tea Tree oil, CBD oil has some natural antibiotic properties. In fact, some of the same terpenes found in tea tree oil are also found in CBD oil. Terpenes are the chemical compounds found in plants (and a few insects) that give them their various aromas. Many terpenes are known to be therapeutic for treating various human and animal ailments. So why not just use Tea Tree oil to fight off the bacteria that causes acne? It seems cheaper and more available, and is also a better over the counter natural alternative to some of the more costly and (frankly dangerous) prescriptions used for treating acne. CBD oil has other properties that are necessary in order to treat acne most effectively. CBD oil not only contains terpenes that are useful as a therapeutic agent to treat acne, CBD is also a phytocannabinoid.
Acne is not merely a problem of bacteria overgrowth. Some studies show that acne is also a problem of having an imbalance of the types of bacteria that can help prevent acne. There are friendly bacteria that can help balance the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, not only in your gut, but even on the surface of your skin. The bad bacteria that causes acne is primarily the P. acnes bacteria now known as cutibacterium acnes. Using an antibiotic that kills all the bacteria on your skin is not a good idea for the treatment of acne because it kills the good bacteria.
Acne lives and flourishes on the fatty acids that are found in sebum. Sebum is a secretion of oil from our skin which is beneficial in hydrating it. It makes sense then that if P. acnes thrives when there is sebum present, a lot of sebum production might mean more acne. Another cause of acne is a proliferation (of abundance) of dead skin cells. These three agents working together are the most common reasons acne starts to flare up. Overgrowth of bacteria, overactive sebum production, and dead skin cell proliferation. So for a very potent treatment, CBD is something that can work very effectively at treating inflammatory based causes of acne.
CBD slows Sebum production and is lipophilic (which means it is fat soluble). In excess, sebum can cause trouble for our skin. Sebum in the correct amounts is necessary for healthy skin, however, if our skin is dry, sebum can become an irritant and lead to our acne symptoms getting worse. CBD is capable of reducing the amount of sebum our bodies create, leading it to be considered as a potential acne treatment. Cannabidiol has be recorded as being able to weaken the structure of the sebum and causes it to break down. With this reduction, we could expect for the irritations mentioned to also decrease. This provides more evidence for CBD oil to be considered as a viable acne treatment especially when applied directly onto the skin, which is what studies are testing.
CBD may kill even the most stubborn bacteria without killing good bacteria. The common use of antibiotics to fend off acne has contributed to strains of bacteria that are resistant to many types of antibiotics that might eradicate the healthy bacteria. CBD has the unique ability to destroy harmful bacteria that causes acne, including Staph and MRSA
We have already mention Sebum as being a contributing factor in acne but another factor that leads to it is dead skin cells. The entire process relates to both sebum, and dead skin cells blocking pores (black/whiteheads) which lead to acne and further skin irritation. CBD is capable of reducing how fast our skin cells die (cell proliferation) therefore, in regards to acne treatments, it can reduced the number of increasing dead skin cells which can clog our pores.
What we eat and stress may cause acne. Our hormones may become affected and imbalanced because of what we eat, and if we are overly or constantly stressed, we may begin to see more breakouts. Hormones may also be imbalanced for other reasons and as many teenagers know, hormonal imbalances can contribute to acne. The reasons behind why this happens are varied. CBD can’t change factors that contribute to acne such as your age or your skin type, but it may help ease or regulate the underlying causes of stress, hormonal imbalances, and the inflammation that occurs in the gut from a poor or inappropriate diet. Here’s what we think we know about how CBD oil can help regulate and balance your system to prevent and heal acne flare-ups.
CBD has the ability to heal the gut from inflammation. Cannabis has been used to treat gastrointestinal issues for millennia, and perhaps even more specifically, CBD. Cutting edge research is discovering many links between inflammation in the gut, or leaky gut, which can lead to a number of problems throughout the body. This is sometimes called the ‘feedback loop’ between the brain and the gut.
There are receptors to the endocannabinoid system found in both the brain and the gut. In fact, our digestive system is where we produce many of our neurotransmitters. Including the endocannabinoids produced by the body in digestive system. A healthy gut may lead to healthy skinvsince the skin itself is an organ and needs to be set in balance, i.e. homeostasis, just like any other organ in the body.
CBD has the ability to reduce stress and anxiety as an anti-anxiolytic agent. If a balance of the hormones such as cortisol and testosterone are out of whack, there may be an obvious reason for an increase in cortisol–stress. Not only can CBD help manage the hormonal imbalances that cause acne, CBD may also contribute to easing symptoms of stress and anxiety. It has a calming effect because it contains the phytocannabinoids and terpenes that are helpful and effective at stress reduction.
It is also interesting to note that there is some evidence that shows there are parts of the body where acne crops up that may be an indication as to some other system that is out of homeostasis. For instance, research suggests that many adult women with hormonal imbalances begin to see acne, even cystic acne, crop up along the jawline and neck. So, are there other parts of the face and body where acne crops up that may be an indication, for example, that your body is out of whack in your digestive system? Like maybe what you are eating is giving you acne? There isn’t a lot of evidence to support this theory, but we may have some suggestions.
Bacne: Acne that crops up on your back and shoulders might be caused by problems with your digestion. As well as acne that crops up on your buttocks. Checking out your diet and eliminating common food intolerances (such as dairy or gluten) to see if it clears up might be a way to determine the actual cause of acne in this area.
Chest and Upper Arms: Digestive issues and stress might cause acne to appear in these areas.
Jawline and T-Zone: It is common for acne to flare up here due to possible hormonal imbalances.
Upper Thighs: Acne may crop up here due to allergies and skin sensitivities and intolerances.
Lower Abdomen: Possible imbalance of sugar intake may cause pimples to appear in this area.
Genitals: Poor hygiene, or STD’s may cause pimples to appear here (if you do suspect STD’s, please consult a physician).
The exact causes of acne to appear in these areas of the body are not well researched, but seeking a dermatologist or medical doctor with specific training in treating acne can help you eliminate other possible underlying causes. What is becoming better understood is that CBD could help bring the body, including the skin, back to a state of homeostasis and health. If you are considering the use of any Cannabis based treatment you should seek medical advice from your doctor or registered medical professional before doing so.