The seemingly never-ending battle against pimples rages on, and it looks like cannabis could be an unlikely but powerful ally.
If you’re like the vast majority of us and still trying to find an acne solution that works, cannabis might be the answer you’ve been searching for. Believe it or not, the plant that has been such a source of controversy over the years is now revolutionizing the skin care world.
Cannabis is mostly known for its ability to treat things like pain, inflammation, and even epileptic seizures, but studies prove that cannabinoids (the chemicals in the cannabis plant) can have equally beneficial effects on the skin. There are four primary ways that using cannabis can affect your body and improve your skin.
Sebum is an oil that’s naturally produced by the skin. Experts say that CBD (one of the chemicals in cannabis) could help the skin to self-regulate and correct excessive levels of sebum. If they’re right, CBD could stop sebum from clogging your pores with dead skin cells and causing acne to develop.
The skin is very sensitive to stress and this is why stress is one of the biggest causes of pimples and outbreaks on the skin. Cannabis can help by reducing levels of stress and the impact that it has on your skin.
We all go through periods of disrupted sleep every now and again for various reasons, and the vast majority of us have seen the effect this has on our skin. Beauty sleep is real, and cannabis can help you get it, because it contains substances called terpenes that have a sedative-like effect and can promote a deeper, more restful sleep. CBD can also help you sleep, though it doesn’t work the way you might think.
Do you notice a breakout of pimples right before your period every month? The changes in hormone levels can wreak havoc with the skin. Researchers think that cannabis could help by stabilizing the hormones and minimizing the disruption they cause to your skin.
So, now that you know how cannabis actually affects the skin, how can you use it to get the most bang for your buck — and the biggest improvement in your pimple-prone skin?
1. Topical Cannabis Skin Care Products
Cannabis topicals include everything from spot treatments and cleansers to fask masks and serums. They let you target the effects of cannabis specifically on the affected area. They don’t come with any of the side effects of acne medications, and cannabis has the added bonus of being gentle enough on sensitive skin to be safe for use by people with skin conditions like eczema.
Other great ingredients to look for in cannabis skin care products include salicylic acid, essential oils like green tea, benzoyl peroxide, and glycolic acid. Studies show that these ingredients can fight acne and using a cannabis skin care product that contains them will undoubtedly improve your chances of getting rid of pimples.
(Word of warning: don’t buy CBD oil products that claim to be made from hemp seeds. They’re a scam — CBD can’t be derived from hemp seeds.)
2. Cannabis Tinctures, Capsules, and Edibles
Speaking of CBD oil, you can ingest it via tinctures, capsules, and edibles. Experts accredit pretty much all of cannabis’ pimple-fighting powers to CBD oil anyway, so this can be just as effective as using a topical.
Ingesting the oil does mean that the effects will be spread throughout the body as opposed to directed towards a specific area of skin, but this doesn’t mean you’re wasting your time or money. Scientists think that ingesting cannabis (and its derivatives like CBD oil) could be the most effective way for the oil to boost the skin’s internal self-regulation system, called the endocannabinoid system. Assuming this is true, “eating” CBD oil could be the best way to use cannabis as a pimple preventer.
3. Vaping Cannabis Oil
Cannabis oils that contain both CBD and THC (which, despite all the myths, is an incredibly versatile medicine) provides a double whammy of pimple-fighting power. This is because while THC can improve sleep and reduce stress, CBD can work on sebum levels and stave off acne bacteria. While THC gently guides you to the land of nod, CBD can work on your pimples overnight.
There are some issues with vaping, though. Research has revealed that vape oils can contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to the body, including cancer-causing metals. So if you choose to vape to get rid of acne, you need to take care in selecting an oil (and a vape device) that is safe to use.
There are so many pimple and acne treatments on the market today (not to mention the home remedies that so many people opt for) that it can be tough to figure out which is best for you. The addition of cannabis to the mix might seem confusing, but there is real scientific evidence to support it.
So will a cannabis-based skin care routine give you the glowing complexion you’ve always dreamed of? You’ll have to find out for yourself — but if nothing else, it’ll give you something to talk about at parties.