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Cannabis - Why it could be an acne cure

Is a Solution for:
Rosacea
July 8, 2008 Reviewed by Marta 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

  • July 23, 2012

    by brayan

    i think this is completely true...i always see complete changes on my skin when i smoke, i think this is about the stress thing...whenever i smoke even the acne in my back starts cleaning up,i feel like its just different with everybody.....but you should try lol

  • July 11, 2012

    by Hemp is not marijuana

    Agree with Ann

    The Body Shop sells hemp which is NOT marijuana by another name.

    Marijuana is addictive, just because YOU aren't addicted, still does not disprove the statement.

  • June 21, 2012

    by Jack

    I think everyone who is disagreeing are d bags. Its theyre choice whether to smoke it, or any of that whorseshit, i think if it works, hell yeah ima go on it, my family has really bad acne from both sides, so bad my brother went on accutane, would u rather take 4 months of straight hell from accutane (750 dollars =30 day supply) or a couple grams of pot for like 1 to 200 hundered dollers? we know the answer

  • May 30, 2012

    by Eva Lee

    My adult cystic acne that no prescription had cleared was resolved within 2 months of eating a small cannabis brownie each night. Not enough for a "high" as I can't stand the feeling of being "high" but enough to fix my endocannabinoid deficiency and allow me to return to work after being disabled for 5 years with ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis).

    Until I tried it, I thought cannabis was for losers looking to get high. Now I view it as a dietary essential. No arthritis pain, no acne and no asthma... also has reduced my eczema. Amazing plant!

  • November 29, 2011

    by TrishatheBrat

    @Ann... Cannabis is NOT addictive.

  • September 10, 2011

    by Tracy

    The people who are going a little nutso over this post need to realize that it's about applying topically as skin care, not smoking the stuff to get high. Get over yourselves!

  • September 10, 2011

    by Ann

    I am concerned with the casual attitude represented here toward mariijuana use. First of all, it is illegal whether you like it or not and that can lead to arrest and jail time which we can all surely agree is detrimental to your health. Secondly, it is an addictive substance which also is also detrimental to your mental if not physical health. Thirdly its most common application is being used by smoking which has been proved to be detrimental to your health whether it be tobacco or pot. Fourth it is grown and sold by outlaws and there is no regulation as to what you are actually getting when you imbibe(you are also supporting an illegal Industry that ruins many, many lives). Fifth, while no one may have overdosed on pot it cetainly leads to impaired thinking which can cause everything from car accidents to the contraction of infectious, life
    threatening diseases. Finally, the "evidence" used here to support it's use for curing acne are specious at best and certainly do not comply with accepted scientific research practices. While you may enjoy getting high it is not appropriate to pass it off as "medicinal" any more than having more than 1 glass of wine is medicinal. PS marijuana and hemp are two different plants in the same family!

  • September 9, 2011

    by Rofl

    Haha some old history documents are saying that jezus christ also used cannabbis for curing ppl

  • July 7, 2011

    by yo

    The people that come on here and BLAST Cannabis even after never even REALLY giving it a try, are just ignorant and very uneducated! YOU ALL know for a FACT that Cannabis relieves a HUGE list of ailments and has been used as a medicine for over 5,000 YEARS! Did you know, you IGNORANT people, that QUEEN ELIZABETH was prescribed CANNABIS to relieve MENSTRAL CRAMPS!

    Look...simply put, before you post your personal lame opinions, research the dang subject...and by that I dont meen keep reading the B.S. "JUST SAY NO" PROPAGANDA and all that other crap. Im talking about putting your money where your mouth is...Get a Dr.'s Rec. or Letter that says the Sate of CA says you can consume Cannabis, try it for yourself, and then give it an HONEST review! If you still absolutely HATE it...then well, its not for YOU! But to keep this UGLY drama on here and keeping Cannabis under a lame PROHIBITION is GOING to END! Face the facts, Cannabis is America's NUMBER ONE CASH CROP, and a little insider info. for you...R.J. Reynolds and Phillip Morris you know the people respobsible for MILLIONS of DEATHS ( and in over 5,000 documented years there have been LITERALLY 0 deaths as a result of consuming Cannabis) have bought property in the "Emerald Tri-Angel" in HUMBOLT COUNTY, so if your still recovering from this Cannabis PIMP SLAP, ill give you a second to recover...YES its correct they have purchased land up there to GROW and IMPORT REGULATED and 100% legal Cannabis! I pray to GOD your in awsome health, and are able to be here for the day when PROHIBITION is lifted! Have a great day, and remember, if you dont understand, try OVERstanding, get positive, STAY LIFTED!!!

  • April 16, 2011

    by Cbre

    I am a 17 year old kid who has had high inflammationed acne for 2-3 years. I did not believe in the usage of marijuana my sophmore year and thought it was bad... as a couple years went by I kept going to the dermatologist and have had been given several medications to "cure" my acne and was not pleased with the results... I have recently just started like 2 months ago to use marijuana and my acne has completely gone away... I have a couple here and there but it is amazing how much is has gone away. no medicine has helped this much not even doxycyclin which cost like 500 dollars per perscription... It is also proven that marijuana shrinks tumors which might relate to why it cut down my acne?

  • March 29, 2011

    by edna

    Cannabis cosmetics without THC. I´m using just this baby body lotion also for my sensitive face with some acne, it´s promotes healting.
    http://www.cannabis-cosmetics.com/robatko-body-milk/d-70309/

  • January 4, 2011

    by Nirobr

    this is retarded misinformation. if you read the study (and others) you will see that activation of cannabinoid receptors in the skin (yes we have CB1 & CB2 receptors in the skin, liver, & GI tract amongst other places) induces lipid production and exacerbates acne. the treatment lies in cannabinoid receptor blockers (competitive inhibitors or inverse agonists) not in consuming more cannabinoid agonists (e.g. the phytocannabinoid THC)! smoking marijuana would be a good treatment for dry skin as it induces production of sebum. google or pubmed the "endocannabinoid system" and the skin and see for yourself

  • August 26, 2009

    by arey

    okay, first off my brother is a HUGE pothead. We both inherited acne from both sides of the family. When he was thirteen he started smoking heavily and in a couple of years his acne (which had been way worse than mine) was totally cured. He smokes at least once everyday and NEVER gets a breakout. I, on the other hand, chose not to smoke it and I am now nineteen and have had acne since I was 12. I've smoked it a few times every now and then and when I do I notice a significant difference in my face--so I'd have to agree with the article :)
    Just like alcohol and junk food, though, I believe weed should only be smoked every now and then not routinely.
    I support the smoking of marijuana for pain relief, stress and recreation.
    It's your life. It's your body. Do what you want with it.

  • July 6, 2009

    by Mike

    Jolly Green - Hemp DOES produce THC, usually less than 0.5% though.

    Hannah - stfu

  • June 14, 2009

    by hannah

    i started smoking marijuana on june 12 and since then its only been 2 days and my acne is curing a lot
    i found whenn i smoke pot my acne cures a lot

  • May 8, 2009

    by Jolly Green

    The hemp plant doesn't produce THC.

  • April 1, 2009

    by io

    Michelle, did you read the article. It said you don't smoke it, its like a skin cream. I agree people shouldn't smoke it, but it is a miracle medicine for certain diseases. It has a good use and people should have free will to choose as they wish.

  • February 21, 2009

    by Michelle

    Sigh.........I was REALLY REALLY hoping this would be a negative article about marijuana. I am absolutely AGAINST this illicit drug! >_< "A rose by any other name still smells as sweet," but pot by any other name still smells as BAD!! ugh! And on a side note, I know someone who is a major pothead with major acne; I somehow always thought his excessive weed-smoking had to do with it. I kept thinking how all those toxins he's smoking and inhaling had to do something bad, and they had to get out somehow, and that they were probably excreted through his skin in the form of acne!

  • September 16, 2008

    by peterheins

    <p>As Red Wine prevents cancer it is very great progress in the pharmaceutical industry and it may help to findthe medicine for the cancer.<br />
    ================<br />
    peterheins<br />
    <a href="http://www.marijuanaaddictiontreatment.com" rel="nofollow">http://www.marijuanaaddictiontreatment.com</a></p>

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