Remember back when we thought acne was just a teenage thing? That was hilarious. It turns out that it happens in the teenage years….and the decades that follow. It’s persistent, annoying, and totally affecting all of our careers as supermodels.
Acne: In a Nutshell
Almost everyone has experienced acne at one time or another: it’s the most common skin condition in the country. And, while it is frequent during the high school days, it can happen at any age, from babies to Baby Boomers, and appear in a variety of areas on the body.
Interestingly, acne is an umbrella term not limited to just pimples: blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, nodules, and papules all fall under the definition as well. It’s caused when a pore on your skin becomes clogged with dead skin cells. Bacteria sometimes plays a role too, inflaming the skin until it’s red and swollen.
The surest way to get acne is to schedule a photography session: senior photos, wedding shots, birthdays pics – pimples have a way of appearing out of nowhere an hour before the camera clicks. But, the true causes of acne include hormones, certain medications, and diet (most often those high in dairy and carbs). Stress doesn’t technically cause it, but it does increase cortisol, a hormone that releases oil and makes skin more inviting, all but asking pimples to pop on over.
While some people believe acne-suffers must simply let it run its course, medical professionals disagree. If untreated, it causes scarring and dark spots. It even influences self-esteem and plays a role in depression.
Yes, it’s the pits. But, now, it’s also the pot.
A Marijuana Makeover
While you probably shouldn’t replace your dermatologist with Dr. Mary Jane, cannabis possesses a natural talent for skincare. In particular, the cannabinoid CBD has proven to be effective against acne, challenging Clearasil in the race of the face.
CBD acts on receptors that help reduce inflammation as well as anxiety (thus reducing the hormones conducive to outbreaks). A study conducted by the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the National Institute on Health found that CBD also offered antiproliferative effects (making it able to stop the spread of cells) and skin regenerating properties.
The study based its theory on the use of CBD on sebaceous glands (these glands secrete oily sebum, which obstructs pores). The experiment found that CBD acted as a sebostatic agent, giving it the ability to reduce sebum and, in the process, acne.
Research conducted by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology uncovered similar findings: cannabinoids are responsible for lipid products and, ultimately, helping the skin regulate itself against dryness and blemishes.
What’s more, both studies found that the benefits of CBD might not be limited to Z-I-T. It may also possess anti-aging effects and treat more serious conditions like dermatitis and psoriasis.
Cannabis as Acne Treatment
Although the above studies attest to the acne-fighting powers of cannabinoids, it’s not a condition yet treatable with cannabis, at least not on a regulated level. In order to become an official condition in which medical cannabis is authorized, the policy-makers associated with health must consider the research. Acne simply isn’t a priority. It’s easy to see why: it’s hard to focus on curing the cosmetic, when you can focus on curing cancer.
Still, this doesn’t mean anyone looking for a marijuana makeover is up a creek without a paddle (or a powder puff). Luckily, there’s this thing called the internet where you’ll find almost any product you want.
The Products Worth Trying
Anyone interested in using cannabis-based treatments can purchase them through places like eBay, GNC, and, naturally, Amazon. Because the industry is new, there isn’t a go-to company the way there is for things like organic cleaning products (Seventh Generation, for example) or online shopping (the aforementioned Amazon). Even so, there are certain products worth a dabble. These include:
Cibaderm: The first commercially available beauty product to contain 100 percent organic CBD, it’s high in antioxidants and balanced for a variety of dermatologic needs. Its product line isn’t just skin deep, either; they offer serums for hair and nails too.
Carun All-Purpose Hemp Ointment: This ointment is designed especially for problems like acne. It’s also helpful for eczema, cold sores, irritated skin, burns, and insect bites.
Organic Hemp Hippie Body Butter Cream: The ingredients might make you smear it on a cracker, rather than your skin: coconut, apricot, hemp oil, sunflower oil, and shea butter. This product offers acne treatment, as well as anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and oil balancing properties.
Smoking Marijuana for Acne
While CBD may hog all the glory (at least in this article), pot contains hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenes that work together as antioxidants and anti-stressors. All of this is conducive to health of body and mind, which reduces the outbreaks of acne and, really, everything else. But this doesn’t mean you should use your pipe as your pimple popper. There’s more to consider.
As many people know, smoking tobacco is something that ages you: The Marlboro Man stopped getting carded at the local bars when he was only 15. Cigarettes simply don’t mix with the cosmetic. But is it the same for joints?
THC offers some protection from the harmful byproducts of smoking anything. Yet, the net effect of joint after joint could potentially decrease collagen and lead to an older-looking appearance. This doesn’t mean you need to choose between Mary Jane and Father Time. Instead, use a vaporizer or, at the very least, a bong.
Bongs reduce many of the harmful byproducts of smoke. Vaporizers, because they heat marijuana at lower temperatures than bongs (or joints, for that matter), eliminate even more.
When vaping you might want to consider a strain high in CBD. Strains like Sour Tsunami are rich in CBD, while having enough THC to give you a high.
None of this insinuates that rolling a joint or lighting a pipe is suddenly going to result in people asking you about the good old days, but if you’re concerned about wrinkles, consider a vaporizer. Save the skin and, if you’re in charitable mood, the whales too.