Weed and skincare are two breakout crazes following the COVID pandemic. After more than a year inside alone, people everywhere have taken to enjoying cannabis at much higher rates — thanks in no small part to loosening regulations around the country, which have allowed adults greater recreational access to the drug. In addition, the extra time (and extra resources regarding healthy practices) has encouraged many to adopt a more rigorous skincare regimen, which has resulted in brighter, clearer skin all around.
Perhaps as a result of the increasing cultural awareness of cannabis and skincare both, or perhaps for another reason entirely, cannabis has begun appearing in skincare products. Many proponents of cannabis and skincare suggest that compounds within the drug help soothe the skin in various ways, resulting in an improved complexion.
So, should you use weed to better your skin? Read on to find out.
What Are the Claims for Using Cannabis in Skincare?
Though humans have been using cannabis for millennia, prohibition through the 20th century has resulted in a lack of fundamental knowledge about cannabis’s effects. Now that weed is becoming legal once again, we are gaining access to more reliable research.
Even so, the effects of cannabis on skin haven’t been studied fully, so most claims about weed’s effects are just that — claims. They might be based on an abundance of anecdotes from regular cannabis skincare users; they might be based on knowledge about cannabis’s other effects; or they might just be made up, whole cloth. It is important to address each claim and evaluate the evidence for it before determining whether you need cannabis in your skincare regimen.
Here are some of the most common cannabis skincare claims:
Cannabis reduces acne. Acne is caused by the immune system fighting bacteria inside pores. There are a couple ways cannabis could help with this: by killing the bacteria and by reducing inflammation. Though there is some evidence that compounds in cannabis like THC and CBN have antimicrobial properties, their effects on acne-causing bacteria aren’t well-known. However, because CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, it is possible that cannabis skincare products would take some swelling, redness and pain away from acne to reduce its visibility.
Cannabis fights skin aging. There are many variables that impact how skin ages, from genetics to sun exposure to makeup products and more. Any skincare regimen that introduces moisture and lipids can help to slow signs of aging, but there isn’t much evidence as yet that cannabis compounds do anything more to preserve skin’s youthfulness.
Cannabis boosts skin moisture. Skin has a layer called acid mantle, which helps to keep moisture in and environmental toxins out. There are some skincare products that help keep the acid mantle intact, which keeps skin looking and feeling healthy — but it isn’t clear that cannabis products do anything to strengthen the acid mantle. Instead, any extra moisture skin might have after the application of cannabis products is likely due to other compounds in those skincare products, like oil or hyaluronic acid.
Cannabis is useful for treating skin conditions. Eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and other unsightly and uncomfortable skin conditions are often exacerbated by inflammation, so cannabis compounds can be useful in reducing the severity of symptoms. However, if you are suffering from a skin condition, you should talk to your healthcare provider about the possibility of introducing cannabis as a treatment before you start slathering yourself with anything you find at a dispensary in Tucson.
It is possible that more research into cannabis’s effects will prove these claims right — but it is equally possible that research proves them wrong. Ultimately, you should use cannabis in your skincare regimen if you feel comfortable and confident doing so and if your healthcare provider gives you the go-ahead.
You Should Avoid These Cannabis Skincare Mistakes
Regardless of whether you start buying cannabis skincare products, you should consider how other cannabis habits might be affecting your skin. For example, it is a well-known fact that tobacco smoke has deleterious effects on skin; you don’t need to be a pack-a-day smoker to see unpleasant pigmentation and wrinkles form as a result of smoking nicotine cigarettes. Though there are fewer toxins in cannabis smoke, the combusted material and the hot, dry air can still impact your skin’s health, so you might want to choose alternate methods of consumption, like vaping or edibles.
Additionally, you want to be certain of the quality of the cannabinoids in whatever products you consume. Because the industry is new and relatively unregulated, many unscrupulous cannabis manufacturers are leaving toxins in their products — compounds like formaldehyde, arsenic, lead and butane. It is imperative that you do your research and purchase cannabis products only from trustworthy sources.