News Opinion

Do Dermatologists Support CBD Skincare?

Written by Lance Griffin

Did you know that our skin has its own endocannabinoid system?

Endocannabinoids affect skin growth, hormone production, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands.[1] In addition, an article published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that cannabidiol (CBD) shows potential as an acne treatment since it reduces proliferation of sebocytes and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.[2] CBD may even relieve the symptoms of other skin conditions.

Sounds good–but are dermatologists on board?

There are certainly a wide array of hemp and CBD skincare products on the market. But the position of dermatologists across the nation is nuanced. The legality of CBD was not completely clear until the recent passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. This presented a legal grey area for physicians.

Some dermatologists have expressed concern that products might not deliver the best quality, as labeling accuracy has been a recurring issue in the industry. With hemp-derived products now legal at the federal level and regulated at the state level, dermatologists may be more likely to entertain CBD as a viable skincare treatment.

The American Academy of Dermatology has demonstrated a leaning towards support of CBD in recent years. A 2017 article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reported that CBD has promise for treatment of itch, also called pruritus.[3]

At the 2018 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting, Jeanette Jacknin, MD told meeting attendees that “Cannabis’s strong anti-aging and protective capabilities make this herb the next big thing in skin care, providing more than just moisturizing and nutritive properties of hemp oil with only miniscule amounts of CBD.”

She added, “We are at the forefront of a whole new science, biochemistry, and industry.”

Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD, of Modern Dermatology in Connecticut, writes that she “sometimes will recommend integrating a CBD skincare product.” Board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD of New York City believes that CBD has potential for acne and inflamed and painful skin.

But others have concerns.

In an article for the Sunday Edit, the Schweiger Dermatology Group confessed that they don’t often recommend CBD since it’s not covered by insurance. The lack of studies comparing CBD skincare products to other prescription products is another factor that causes hesitation.

There is therefore a mix of sentiment about CBD among dermatologists on CBD skincare products. However, with the recent legalization of industrial hemp and a mounting body of research validating its benefits, CBD is likely to eventually be added to the toolkits of dermatologists across the nation.

Image Credit: Carolina Heza

Image Source:


  1. Bíró T, et al. The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: Novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. 2009;30(8):411-420.
  2. Oláh A, et al. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2014;124(9):3713-3724.
  3. Mounessa JS, et al. The role of cannabinoids in dermatology. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2017;77(1):188-190.

About the author

Lance Griffin