CBD: The Oil Control Savior! Top Experts Reveal Its Miraculous Sebum-Regulating Effects

CBD: The Oil Control Savior! Top Experts Reveal Its Miraculous Sebum-Regulating Effects

Sebum regulation involves controlling the production and release of sebum by the skin’s sebaceous glands. We have elaborated in a detailed article how sebum can be a double-edged sword for the skin. It’s essential for skin health as it maintains moisture balance, protects against environmental damage, and supports the microbiome. However, imbalances can occur; excess sebum can clog pores, leading to acne and other issues, while too little can cause dryness and irritation. Thus, balanced sebum production is vital to prevent various skin conditions and maintain the skin’s integrity.

CBD: Top Experts Reveal Its Miraculous Sebum-Regulating Effects

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its psychoactive counterpart THC, CBD does not produce a “high” and has gained popularity for its potential therapeutic benefits. Renowned dermatologist Christos C. Zouboulis, the most published expert globally on acne, and Dr. Tamás Bíró, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., Professor and Chair of the Department of Immunology at the University of Debrecen in Hungary, has found that cannabidiol (CBD) exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, inhibits increased lipid production in sebaceous glands, and suppresses pathologically accelerated cell proliferation within the sebaceous glands. [1, 6]

Taming Oil Production: CBD's Role in Regulating Sebum

CBD plays a crucial role in combating acne development by regulating sebum production. Sebum, an oily substance produced by sebaceous glands, can lead to acne formation when produced excessively, clogging pores. CBD regulates the cellular signaling pathways that influence sebum production, such as the activation of the endocannabinoid system, thereby normalizing sebum production. This regulatory action is essential for reducing the hyperactivity of sebaceous glands and their impact on hair follicles, thereby preventing the formation and progression of acne. [1, 4, 5]

Curbing Overactive Cells: CBD and Cell Proliferation

Another factor contributing to acne is the overactivity of cells in the sebaceous glands. This can lead to enlarged glands and even more sebum production. Research suggests CBD controls cell growth and division by affecting various phases of the cell cycle and regulating the expression of key proteins that control cellular proliferation, such as by reducing the activity of cell cycle-related proteins. CBD can suppress this abnormal cell growth, preventing sebaceous glands from going into overdrive and producing excessive oil. [1, 4, 5]

Balancing the Oil Scales: CBD's Lipostatic Effects

CBD’s lipostatic effect involves regulating lipid production, especially in the sebaceous glands. Acting directly on sebaceous gland cells, CBD reduces sebum production by affecting the lipid biosynthesis pathway. It regulates key enzymes and signaling pathways involved in lipid metabolism, such as inhibiting the expression of critical regulatory factors in lipid synthesis like Sterol Regulatory Element-Binding Proteins (SREBPs). Additionally, CBD can inhibit excessive lipid production in sebaceous glands by activating receptors and channels associated with sebum production regulation, such as the Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 4 (TRPV4). Through these multifaceted mechanisms, CBD helps maintain normal sebum levels, reducing the likelihood of acne formation. [1, 4, 5]


In summary, CBD’s regulation of sebum production and cellular behavior is crucial for treating and preventing acne. It not only regulates sebum generation and suppresses the excessive proliferation of sebaceous gland cells but also controls lipid production through its lipostatic effects, aiding in the management of acne conditions.

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  1. Oláh, A., Tóth, B. I., Borbíró, I., Sugawara, K., Szöllõsi, A. G., Czifra, G., Pál, B., Ambrus, L., Kloepper, J., Camera, E., Ludovici, M., Picardo, M., Voets, T., Zouboulis, C. C., Paus, R., & Bíró, T. (2014). Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. The Journal of clinical investigation, 124(9), 3713–3724. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI64628
  2. Burney, W., Bosanac, S. S., Nguyen, C., Isseroff, R. R., & Sivamani, R. K. (2018). Short-term exposure of human sebocytes to 13-cis-retinoic acid induces acnegenic changes. The British journal of dermatology, 179(5), 1201–1202. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjd.16837
  3. Lephart E. D. (2023). Cannabidiol (CBD) with 4′,7-Isoflavandiol (Equol) Efficacy is Greater than CBD or Equol Treatment Alone via Human Skin Gene Expression Analysis. Frontiers in bioscience (Landmark edition), 28(7), 154. https://doi.org/10.31083/j.fbl2807154
  4. A. Oláh, A. Markovics, J. Szabó-Papp, P. Szabó, C. Stott, C. C. Zouboulis, T. Bíró, Exp. Dermatol. 2016, 25, 701.
  5. Oláh, A., Markovics, A., Szabó-Papp, J., Szabó, P. T., Stott, C., Zouboulis, C. C., & Bíró, T. (2016). Differential effectiveness of selected non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids on human sebocyte functions implicates their introduction in dry/seborrhoeic skin and acne treatment. Experimental dermatology, 25(9), 701–707. https://doi.org/10.1111/exd.13042
  6. Shao, K., Stewart, C., & Grant-Kels, J. M. (2021). Cannabis and the skin. Clinics in dermatology, 39(5), 784–795. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2021.05.006

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