Acne – Natural Treatment
Acne is an annoying, yet common skin problem that many of us face on a regular basis. Apart from its negative effects on our skin, it can greatly reduce our self-confidence and self-esteem, which results in a negative body image of ourselves.
There have been many treatments for acne introduced to consumers like topical medicines, pills and even skin care products like soap and face wash specifically aimed at those living with acne. However, for many, these modern medications do not work effectively and do not give them the result they would like to see. So, in such cases, what can acne patients turn to for treatment? What can be done to achieve a clear and smooth skin? The answer, as research suggests, seems to lie in Cannabidiol (CBD).
What is CBD?
CBD, which stands for cannabidiol is one of the sixty or so natural components of cannabis known as cannabinoids. Even though CBD is produced by every Cannabis genus member, the one produced by the hemp plant is often considered one of the best since it does not produce a “high”, but instead activates different receptors in our body. It is important to note that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most abundant component in cannabis is psychoactive, while CBD, which is second in abundance is non-psychoactive.
The human body has a system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which receives cannabinoids that are produced by our own body. It then translates these cannabinoids into signals which can be intercepted by the endocannabinoid receptors, namely CB1 and CB2. However, CBD does not interact with these receptors directly. Rather, it indirectly affects signaling through these receptors, which is why it is not intoxicating. CBD, despite being a cannabinoid, activates several non-cannabinoid receptors as well.
Moreover, CBD affects the body in such a way that the level of natural cannabinoids the body produces, known as endocannabinoids, is increased. It does this by inhibiting enzymes which break down endocannabinoids.
CBD and Acne
According to this 2014 study published in the National Institute of Health and the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers found that among its many interesting and useful effects on the human body, CBD could be an effective treatment for acne.
For the study, researchers used CBD on the sebaceous gland – a small gland that excretes an oily matter known as sebocyte/sebum into our hair follicles for lubrication of skin and hair – of their human subjects. Their finding was that due to its anti-proliferative, lipostatic and anti-inflammatory effects, CBD has a high potential for being an effective treatment for acne. In other words, CBD inhibits lipogenic action – the process through which energy is converted into fat – and sebocyte production. Both these processes are known for their key roles in formation of acne.
CBD has so much potential for acne treatment that a well-known dermatological company, Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd., is working on a drug constituting synthetic CBD known as BTX 1503, which could treat acne. In fact, the company, in mid-2107, announced that it had completed the first phase of its clinical trial for the drug.
After its tolerability, safety and the amount of detectable drug in the patient’s bloodstream after usage were tested, Botanix concluded that BTX 1503 is completely safe and causes little to no skin irritation. In addition, it does not produce any serious side effects.
Even though there is very little knowledge on CBD as an acne treatment, Botanix used the 2014 study that we have mentioned above as basis for the development of their drug. As stated earlier, this study concluded that CBS may be used to effectively suppress acne formation.