Acne is one of the most common diseases that humans suffer from. Estimates vary, but it could be as many as 90% of people develop acne in their lifetimes. However, even though we have put people on the moon, peered into the depths of the universe, and created devices we carry in our pockets that are better than anything Star Trek ever thought up, there is still no proper, safe cure for acne.
There are treatments that are very successful, but they carry risks that many find to be not worth the effects. The most effective treatments are usually reserved for people with the most severe acne, so people with mild to moderate acne can be left with some moderately effective treatments that will not get rid of their acne as well as oral antibiotics might.
Chin acne is particularly visible. It can be particularly painful too, as the skin on the chin and jawline is drawn tight, cystic acne can be put under pressure and cause neuropathic pain.
If you are considering using cannabis, you have probably tried other, less novel, treatments before. Using salicylic acid, glycolic acid, AHA or BHA exfoliants, or benzoyl peroxide (or a combination of the three) is common and usually has a significant effect. However, some people find that these treatments (especially benzoyl peroxide) can irritate or dry out their skin types, even making the acne worse
People are turning to cannabis creams and oils as an alternative treatment. If you were to go only on the anecdotal evidence available, you might think that using cannabis for your chin acne is better than any alternative. This is probably untrue. There is some evidence for cannabis working against acne, and some of the anecdotal evidence is clearly genuine success, but the state of the research is so poor that it is not a treatment that can currently be assessed properly.
As you are probably aware, cannabis has until recently been illegal in all its forms across the Western world. This has changed slightly, with Canada and Uruguay recently legalizing even recreational use, and some states in the United States legalizing medical marijuana and/or recreational use. Prohibition meant that it was extremely difficult to do experiments on cannabis for its medicinal effects. The recent easing of legal status has meant more evidence than ever before is available to the public for making decisions about whether to use cannabis.
It might be a hopeful time for cannabis advocates but the science has yet to catch up. So far, the studies that have been carried out are small and preliminary. Large-scale studies are impossible to find for cannabis and acne, but there are enough data from studies of the endocannabinoid system (which cannabinoids interact with) that conclusions about the possible effects of cannabis on acne can be assumed.
This is far from reassuring for most people who just want a simple treatment for their pimples. Other drugs, like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, have been extensively researched and evaluated for their efficacy and safety. Not so cannabis.
Using a cannabis cream for your chin acne might work because. some cannabinoids have been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory and sebostatic effects. The sebaceous glands produce sebum or skin oi. During puberty or at times of the menstrual cycle, excessive oil is produced because of the change in hormone levels. This sebum clogs pores with dead skin cells and provides the perfect habitat for the usually benign acne-causing bacteria to thrive.
Using CBD, a cannabinoid found in cannabis, on human sebocytes, the sebum producing cells, has shown that it reduces oil production. This should lead to less acne, though the follow-up studies have yet to be carried out.
Another potentially useful quality of cannabis is that it has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects. Whether the antimicrobial effects work against P. acnes, the acne causing bacteria has yet to be proven, but it might be worth a try anyway.
More importantly, the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis, in particular, CBD, could be useful at reducing the itching and swelling that makes acne so irritating. Less itching means less scratching, less scratching means a lower chance of secondary infection and proliferation of spots. Because the inflammation is part of the body’s natural defences against acne, to reduce inflammation in this way could actually increase the length of an acne outbreak. A longer but much more tolerable acne outbreak could be worth it. Cannabis is a generally safe drug but there can be side effects. Talk to your doctor about how to use it best.
Using Cannabis Creams
Cannabis creams can be included in any skin care regime. Applying them several times a week should work, but the user should always record and evaluate their treatments. Putting cannabis in foods like ice cream could be an effective way of getting a good dose of cannabinoids for your chin breakouts.