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Here’s What Marijuana Does to Your Skin

We’ve told you before about marijuana’s effect on lungs, bones, cancer cells, breast cancer, metabolism, and sex drive. But what about how you look?

It’s been well-documented that cigarette smoking has decidedly negative side effects on your appearance, but should cannabis be looped into the same category? As it turns out, it depends on how you use it and how your body responds.В

How it can help your skin.

In interviews conducted by the Huffington Post two years ago, two New York-based dermatologists, Dr. Bobby BukaВ and Dr. Ariel Ostad said that while some marijuana use can have potentially negative side effects on skin health, certain forms of use could prove beneficial.В

The science isn’t exact, butВ Buka and Ostad pointed to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of marijuana and its main active compound, THC, in their discussion of the benefitsВ for skin health. HuffPo notes that antioxidants found in THC have been linked to blocking harmful oxygen particles that can cause aging, even likening moderate cannabis use to drinking a glass of red wine. Other research examiningВ the anti-inflammatory properties of marijuana has found credible links between the effectiveness ofВ both topical and yet-to-be-determined treatment options for inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea—though it depends on the user, of course.В

Last year, Elle magazine even vetted THC’s effectiveness in face masks. “We concocted a cannabis facial that gave our own tired, dry skin a new lease on life,” the magazine wrote.

Big Stock / Iriana Shiyan –

The downside.

There are negative side effects for skin healthВ that can result from marijuana use. THC in excessive quantities, Ostad warns, also tends to immediately increase testosterone levels 3 to 5 percent, potentially resulting in increased sebum oil production from the skin’s oil glands. Those oils can lead to acne breakouts, especially for those already prone to acne.В

One thing that is clear, however, is that the drug’s effect on a user’s skin is influenced most by the method by which it is ingested or applied. “The delivery system is really critical,” Buka told HuffPo. Critically, Buka said that there is no real distinguishing factors between marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke when it comes to skin, and both can derail collagen production, leading to accelerated aging, and potentially irritating skin diseases like psoriasis and rosacea.В To avoid the harmful effects of smoke, he recommended using methods that don’t involve smoke: more technically advanced methods like dabbing, vaporizing, and even water pipes, are less damaging.

For more on the positive effects of marijuana, check out this ATTN: video:

Depending on the method, marijuana could show promise for skin health and treatment.

Marijuana effects on skin

Consuming cannabis can have a direct impact on your skin, but depending on how you use it, it can either be positive or damaging. It’s an odd relationship, but one that can be better understood when you consider how cannabis is used.

Using marijuana or marijuana products can impact your skin in two ways, based on how you consume it: internally when you smoke and inhale it or externally when you apply infused products on your skin. We’re not talking about topicals or tinctures, but rather cosmetic products that are infused with hemp. Upon looking into how cannabis can affect your skin, we’ve outlined the perks as well as the drawbacks that you should consider when deciding how best to take care of your skin.

Cannabis has various effects on the body that counteract others, particularly when it comes to your skin. Marijuana can boost the testosterone level in users, which can lead to the development of acne and unusual hair loss. Don’t let these effects scare you away from cannabis, though. Much like with too much of anything, you would have to ingest exorbitant amounts for these negative effects to become an issue.

The larger debate related to cannabis’ effect on the skin comes in the form of rapid aging. Cannabis has the potential to act as an anti-aging product, but only when infused in a cream or beauty product. Smoking cannabis, on the other hand, can result in rapid aging—the exact opposite of what you hope for. Collagen, a structural protein responsible for your skin’s health, needs to be developed in order to keep your skin looking youthful. THC smoke blocks the development of these proteins, leading to your skin aging more quickly. This can be avoided by using a vaporizer, consuming edibles or choosing any other method of consumption that avoids combustion.

The real benefits of cannabis on your skin come when it’s ingested without combustion or infused into lotions with hempseed oil. The cannabis family of plants contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that battle dry skin and rashes. The other perk of consuming cannabis? Less stress. By reducing stress you lower the likelihood of developing acne and other skin conditions. That along with a healthy diet can go a long way towards benefiting your skin.

When it comes to cannabis, the benefits of the plant normally outweigh the bad and skincare is no exception. By balancing your cannabis use, diet and other important practices, marijuana can go a long way towards contributing to your overall dermatological health.

How is cannabis affecting the way your skin looks and feels?