A cannabis plant. JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

In a world first, researchers have developed a cannabis-based cream that can help treat skin conditions such as acne.

Australian dermatologist Rod Sinclair is currently conducting a trial of the skin solution, which is made with cannabidiols – natural compounds found in cannabis.

"It is an anti-inflammatory. It targets some of the molecules in the inflammatory pathways that are involved in acne and pimples," Sinclair told 9NEWS.

The cream, which is manufactured by Australian company Botanix, is being tested by Sinclair on patients suffering from moderate to severe acne.

"It can really have a profound effect on self-esteem. A lot people with severe acne start to withdraw socially," he said.

Volunteers in the study have to apply the cream every day, for a month, after which researchers will examine any improvements in skin condition, as well as potential side effects.

When cannabis is consumed, the high is caused by a compound known as THC. "The chemical we are using for this study is not the chemical that produces the high. So, it is not the THC. It is the cannabidiol," Prof Sinclair said.

There is no need to grow marijuana plants to make the product as the cannabidiol is manufactured synthetically in a lab.

The hope is that the tonic will be just as effective as prescription treatments for acne such as Roaccutane, but without the potentially negative side effects. No new treatment for the condition has been developed in 20 years.