If you struggle with acne, you’re not alone. Did you know that the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that acne is the most common skin condition in the world, affecting approximately 50 million people annually in the U.S alone? That being said, because of its prevalence, there are any number of treatments that may or may not help people with acne achieve clearer, healthier skin. From topical creams to prescription medications, the list is nearly limitless when it comes to acne treatments. One natural approach for addressing acne that is gaining more and more notoriety, however, is hemp. Keep reading to learn how hemp may help you manage acne-prone skin.
Hemp and Acne: What’s the Connection?
You may have heard about the therapeutic benefits for hemp for pain, anxiety, and insomnia, but you may be less familiar with hemp as a form of skincare. Hemp is a naturally-occurring chemical compound of the Cannabis sativa plant. As one of two primary components of cannabis (THC being the other), hemp offers many of the same therapeutic benefits as that of THC, but with no psychoactive properties that cause you to feel high. While more research is needed to make a succinct link between hemp as an acne treatment, hemp has shown great promise for helping regulate various systems in the body through the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), such as reducing inflammation.
What is Acne?
Acne is a common inflammatory skin condition that manifests as different types of bumps typically on the face, neck, chest, back, and arms. While acne generally occurs during the hormonal changes that take place during puberty, acne can affect people of all ages, including adults in their 40s and 50s. During the hormone changes that occur during adolescence, or even as a result of stress, medication, or hormonal imbalances among adults, the oil glands on the skin that normally produce sebum, a natural lubricant for the skin and hair, can go into overdrive.
As a result of the overproduction of sebum, pores can easily become clogged with dirt, bacteria, and other pollutants that can then become trapped in the skin cells. The body’s natural response to foreign objects causes redness and swelling of the pores in an attempt to get rid of the foreign body, which is how acne is formed. Acne can present different levels of severity as blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and pimples that appear just below the surface of the skin.
How Can Hemp Help Acne-Prone Skin?
In a recent article, we explored the ways that Hemp interacts with the ECS to help bring balance to the body and regulate various functions. Let’s explore the ways that hemp may work in tandem with your ECS to help control acne.
May Regulate Sebum Production
As we mentioned, sebum is the oily substance that helps naturally lubricate the skin and hair. However, too much sebum production allows for dirt and bacteria to become trapped in the pores, which can negatively affect the skin cells causing redness and inflammation to occur. While more research is still being conducted, studies do show great promise for hemp’s potential to reduce sebum production. In fact, a report in The Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests that hemp “exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes” and “behaves as a highly effective sebostatic agent” to help regulate triggers of an overproduction of sebum. As a result, a hemp regimen could help reduce acne as a result of sebum overproduction.
May Alleviate Inflammation
The Mayo Clinic reports that cytokines, the naturally occurring inflammatory cells in the body, can trigger an acne breakout. That being said, numerous studies highlight the anti-inflammatory properties of hemp-derived hemp to combat cytokines and reduce inflammation. These studies also suggest that by suppressing cytokine activation, hemp may be able to prevent acne breakouts for healthier skin.
May Ease Stress That Can Trigger Breakouts
More studies are connecting hemp’s therapeutic properties for managing stress and anxiety. Because researchers recognize hemp for its calming effects, this could be a natural solution for limiting the triggers such as stress and anxiety that can cause an acne breakout. By implementing hemp into your wellness routine, you may not only be helping your overall well-being by limiting stress, boosting your mood, and getting better sleep, but you may also be contributing to the health of your skin.