Does Smoking Weed Cause Acne? Marijuana and Skincare

14 Jan 2022
Does Smoking Weed Cause Acne

Does smoking weed cause acne? 

More than 5.6 million Canadian citizens suffer from the frustrating effects of acne.  Although acne affects 90% of adolescents, it is common for adults to develop acute breakouts, and our lifestyle, diet, and environment might play a larger role than you think. 

Today, with more Canadians embracing cannabis than ever before, questions about the effects of weed on the body are increasing as well. 

While some studies have found a correlation between smoking cigarettes and acne, the jury is still out on the effects of weed on the skin. 

Several factors can cause acne on the face and body, including genetics. But does smoking weed cause acne? 

Let’s find out! 

What Causes Acne?

Smoking Weed Cause Acne

Acne is an irritating skin condition that causes the formation of pimples, whiteheads, or blackheads when hair follicles become plugged with dead skin and oil. Some studies outline the causes of acne; which includes:

  • Cosmetics that clog the pores in the skin
  • High serum testosterone concentrations
  • High level of androgens
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Bacteria from dirty pillowcases, phones, or any other objects that come in contact with your skin
  • Oily hair care products that may come in contact with the face
  • A lifestyle lacking adequate sleep and balanced nutrition
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Eating junk food excessively.
  • Having poor hygiene or skin Certain health medications such as steroids
  • Use of dairy products and processed foods in some cases

Acne typically occurs when too much oil, called sebum, is produced by the body. These oils clog pores by combining with dead skin cells, trapping bacteria that cause swelling and inflammation. 

Although clinical investigations have failed to draw out specific causes of acne, the factors mentioned above are likely to play a role.


Why Might Marijuana Cause Acne?

Clinical investigation and peer-reviewed studies don’t necessarily indicate that marijuana causes acne. However, the use of weed can affect several factors that may cause inflammatory skin diseases.

While there’s no concrete evidence specifically stating that weed can cause acne, here are 5 potential reasons why it might!

Changes in Hormones

Smoking weed can upset testosterone levels, a hormone found in males and females. Fluctuating levels of this hormone can trigger and make acne worse in young adults. 

Marijuana use can trigger high testosterone levels, which affects the amount of sebum produced in the body. However, the rise in testosterone levels by marijuana use is minimal, and this field requires more research.

Increased Appetite 

Smoking weed affects our endocannabinoid system, a bodily system that controls appetite, among other things. 

For example, cannabinoids also affect the limbic forebrain, which increases food palatability, and alters the basal ganglia, areas that stimulate pleasure when we’re eating. 

As such, your appetite will most likely increase when you smoke weed. This means that marijuana users may opt for foods high in sugar, fat, and carbohydrates, contributing to raised blood sugar levels. All of this, in turn, affects the body’s largest organ: skin.

This weed-induced hunger has a name: the weed munchies. Read our guide on the munchies to learn more about how weed affects our appetite and what you can do to lessen its effects! 

Secondhand Marijuana Smoke Can Contribute To Acne

Although we still need more scientific research, secondhand smoke may contribute to acne vulgaris. 

Just as tobacco smoke can be harmful to users, exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke can affect the functioning of sebaceous glands. Once the hair follicles become trapped in the oil, there is no running away from this frustrating skin condition. 

So, you should always wash your face with warm water after smoking up!

Increased Stress and Anxiety

Smoking weed can either add to your anxiety or reduce stress, depending upon the person. Many tokers find that strong indica strains can induce feelings of paranoia, stress, and anxiety. Edibles can also users not used to them to green out, which can exacerbate feelings of unease and discomfort. 

Although stress and anxiety do not directly cause acne, they are significant contributing factors, and if you’re using weed daily even though it’s causing you to feel anxious; we first want to congratulate you for being so tough but also want to warn you that chronic exposure to stress via smoking can cause acne. 

Does Smoking Weed Worsen Existing Acne?

Smoking weed might make existing acne worse since its effects cause behavioural and hormonal changes in the body. 

For example, you may feel lazy, hungry, lethargic, or moody after smoking weed because certain chemicals in its composition affect the human brain. In addition, a person’s behaviour affects the skin in the long run.


How To Avoid Acne As a Cannabis User? – 5 Tips for Healthy Skin on Weed

Cannabis Skincare

Drink Lots Of Water

your water intake plays a vital role in maintaining clear skin. According to statistics, women should intake about 15.5 cups (3.7 litres) of daily fluid. In addition, the advisable daily fluid intake for men is about 11.5 cups (2.7 litres) of liquids daily.

Also, drinking water while using weed is just common sense. Who wants to suffer from dry mouth all the time? If you’re feeling thirsty already, it means you’re severely dehydrated. Remember, at least seven glasses of water a day! 

Having A Day and Nighttime Skincare Routine Is Essential

It is essential to have a day and night-time skincare routine specific to your skin type. For example, using salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide helps reduce acne and prevents more sebum production, atopic dermatitis, and other such skin-related complications.

You can also prevent acne by washing your face gently and regularly, moisturizing it, and using sunscreen generously.

Use Weed Topicals

Does Weed Cause Acne

Although not practical for skin-related medical emergencies, weed topicals can be an effective tool to treat a variety of skin conditions.

Available in CBD and THC formats, weed topicals won’t get you high, but they will ‘absorb’ into the cannabinoid receptors located on the body’s largest organ, the skin. 

Scientific studies suggest that hemp-Derived CBD products might help in treating acne. CBD, the primary cannabinoid in hemp, helps reduce inflammation in the skin. Many weed topicals now produce anti-inflammatory and acne-friendly concealers. 

However, using cannabis topicals may contribute to an increased risk of skin rashes, thereby making the previous acne worse, which makes purchasing from a trusted online dispensary such as Cannabismo all the more important. 

Avoid Overeating and Oily Foods

Although there isn’t enough evidence to prove that eating oily foods and snacks causes acne vulgaris, diet plays an important role in maintaining healthy skin. Cannabis enhances eating pleasure, so you should steer clear of oily foods when high.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise increases your heart rate and improves blood flow to the skin. This helps deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to the skin, encourage the production of new skin cells, keep the skin glowing, promote collagen production, and prevent ageing.

Do Cannabis Edibles Cause Acne?

Cannabis edibles won’t cause acne by themselves, but they can cause your skin to break out through causing stress (if you’re inexperienced with edibles), increasing your appetite through the munchies, and causing you to be more sedentary due to its psychoactive effects. 


Does Smoking Weed Cause Acne? The Bottomline

Medical marijuana users and cannabis consumers can breathe a sigh of relief: no hard scientific evidence considers smoking weed to impact acne significantly. However, secondhand smoke and eating habits related to cannabis use may worsen pre-existing pimples and clogged pores. 

Many dermatologists do not consider cannabis as a skincare remedy yet. Still, with more research efforts, it may be possible to see cannabinoid-based skincare products in the future! 

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