Study Finds CBD May Be Effective in Treating Acne

Researchers at the Seoul National University College of Medicine have found that cannabidiol (CBD) may offer promising treatment options for acne due to its anti-inflammatory and lipid-modulating properties.

The study, published in the journal Archives of Dermatological Research and made available online by the US National Library of Medicine, aimed to quantitatively assess the effects of CBD on acne-related cellular pathways. The research involved exposing SEB-1 sebocytes and HaCaT keratinocytes to various concentrations of CBD.

The findings revealed that CBD exhibited a concentration-dependent impact on cell viability, significantly reducing SEB-1 viability. At higher concentrations, CBD induced apoptosis, increasing the apoptotic area notably. Additionally, CBD effectively reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines, including CXCL8, IL-1α, and IL-1β, which are commonly associated with acne inflammation.

One of the significant discoveries was CBD’s ability to inhibit lipid synthesis by modulating the AMPK-SREBP-1 pathway. This inhibition helps in reducing hyperkeratinization-related protein keratin 16, which is often linked to the development of acne. Furthermore, CBD was found to stimulate the synthesis of elastin, collagen 1, and collagen 3, contributing to healthier skin structure.

The study highlights the potential of CBD for managing acne due to its multi-faceted effects, including anti-inflammatory, apoptotic, and lipid-inhibitory actions. The modulation of the Akt/AMPK-SREBP-1 pathway by CBD presents a novel mechanism that addresses the pathogenesis of acne, offering new insights and potential therapeutic approaches.

These findings underscore the growing recognition of CBD in dermatological applications and its potential as an effective treatment for acne, a condition affecting millions worldwide. According to a meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences in November, cannabinoids may help improve “eczema, acne, pruritus, psoriasis, hair growth, and skin cancer and have anti-aging effects on skin.”

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