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Cannabis - Why it could be an acne cure

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Reviewed by Marta July 8, 2008 24 Comments
I have tended, throughout my life, to subscribe to the view that everything bad for you could somehow be good for you. I was thoroughly vindicated by the discovery that red wine prevents cancer, heart disease and wrinkles. Like me, you may be reluctant to accept that resveterol, the active that is responsible for these good things, is much more abundant in peanuts than red wine. Anyhow, I have now found out that cannabis is good for your skin. (Not in spliff form- I just couldn't resist the picture).

Here's the science: Researchers in Germany, the UK and Hungary say that marijuana's active ingredient, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the stuff that gives you a high), is very similar to a substance produced naturally in humans. Do you think that's why some people appear stoned all the time even though you know that they have never imbibed?

These 'cannabinoids' are essential for healthy skin. The scientists' findings will be published later this year in the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Essentially, they have discovered that cannabinoids are responsible for lipid production and, therefore, for regulating conditions such as dry skin or acne. "Our preclinical data encourage one to explore whether endocannabinoid system-acting agents can be exploited in the management of common skin disorders," said Tamás Biró, a scientist on the team. "It is also suggested that these agents can be efficiently applied locally to the skin in the form of a cream."

So far, I've only found one product with cannabis. It is by The Balm. Some, such as The Body Shop, are rather more coy and list hemp (which is marijuana by another name).

  • October 27, 2014

    by Katie

    When I smoke, I can see my skin changes. Less oil, porcelain almost. I'm not sure if it's all the time, but I definitely see this more often than not. I wonder what it is.

  • November 18, 2013

    by Ben

    @ Anne - I am concerned at the overbearing controlling attitude of some people on the subject of legality. If it was not illegal it is obvious that it would no longer be produced by outlaws and the health risks you so piously rant about in regards to a prison term would be nullified. The laws therefore would seem to be worse than the substance they govern in this regard. Surely anyone without "impaired" thinking can see that. Further I find the evidence that marijuana is detrimental to mental health "specious at best", marijuana use is far more likely to be a SYMPTOM of poor mental health than a cause. No-one should drive whilst under the influence of ANY substance, on THAT "we can surely agree". Finally, so what if people enjoy getting high - I find people who begrudge others enjoyment spiteful at best. Why don't you run off and join the fun police

  • September 11, 2013

    by John303

    I live in Colorado, so I have pretty easy access to THC :-). The men in my family tend to struggle with cystic acne (deep breakouts under the skin). In high school I was so desperate to get rid of my acne that I went on accutane. My breakouts came back a couple years ago. Luckily, as of right now I have no zits because my friend gave me a stick of "THC Medicated Extreme Relief Salve" to use of my face. I would say that 50% of my acne was gone within 48 hours. Now that it has been a couple of weeks, the wrinkles under my eyes went away, my pores have shrunken, and my complexion is the best its been since I was a baby.

  • January 20, 2013

    by Soupra

    I'm typing this while I'm stoned (medicinal purposes, as licensed by the state of course).

    I can assure myself knowing that any of the special folks who posted the ignorant, wrongly biased comments against cannabis above clearly have never enjoyed the stuff and really should just be a little quiet.

    There's a VARIETY of things that exacerbate sebum production and other skin or even physical issues. The real key is to make sure you are eating and being healthy (like not binge drinking on weekends, consuming refined carbs and sugars, getting regular exercise, try running or yoga). Depending on your body type, some foodstuffs will bother you more than others and it is identifying and abstaining from these that will keep you (and your skin) healthy for decades to come.

  • December 3, 2012

    by Tristen420

    @Jack - If your paying 1 - 200 dollars for a couple grams... acne is the least of your problems lol

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