Could cannabis become the ultimate cure for acne?
HERALDED the 'unsung hero of cannabis', research into parts of the controversial plant may lead to a new treatment to combat one the biggest struggles of puberty : acne.
Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Bolderstone said he's not surprised the uses of cannabis were being widely explored.
Anecdotally, he said those already using the plant to create their own skin care brews had achieved great results.
"We are going to see everyone jumping on the bandwagon,” Mr Bolderstone said.
Mr Bolderstone's claims come as Australian pharmaceutical company Botanix earlier this week reported to the Australian Stock Exchange its first safety study on humans using a synthesised cannabidiol.
Botanix is one of few companies exploring the potentials of a synthetic version of cannabidiol, which is found in parts of the Hemp plant containing non-psychotropic properties, to help fight pimples.
The study found the compound "has an excellent safety profile, with little to no skin irritation and no severe adverse events were recorded”.
Botanix executive director Matthew Callahan said phase two clinical trials of the treatment would begin on acne patients in Australia within months.
Others in the industry, such as Bangalow-based Paul Benhaim, hold concerns about using synthesised cannabidiol.
Mr Benheim, the founding director of multi-national company Elixinol, said US studies have shown synthesised cannabisdoids has more side affects such as vomiting compared to the whole plant.
"There are serious side affected in synthesised cannabidiol rather than natural cannabidiol, which have shown not to have any side affects,” Mr Benhaim said.
Elixinol is researching the potential for natural, whole plant cannabidiol to help treat acne as opposed to the synthesised cannabidiol.
For now, Associate Professor Saxon Smith said "it's too early to tell” if parts of the cannabis plant could be an effective acne treatment.
Dr Smith, who is also the chair of the NSW branch of the Australasian College of Dermatology, said there is a long lag time from the research idea to "truly proving” the effectiveness in a clinical sense.
He said research into the affects of cannabidiol isn't a new concept however he was hopeful the research could create "more in the armoury” for doctors to help their patients.