Cannabis for the Complexion
As someone who dozed off while attempting to watch Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke, the voter approval of Initiative 71 here in Washington, D.C., last November elicited nothing more than a polite yawn on my part. I began taking a less somnolent approach to the subject, however, once I learned more about the medicinal and beautification uses of this versatile plant; I now understand the true value of that two ounces of cannabis (and the six plants cultivated for personal use) allowed by the law. As long as one refrains from smoking it, cannabis sativa can confer excellent beauty benefits.
While hemp-based skin care products have long been widely available, a new crop of potent marijuana-infused products are beginning to infiltrate the market. Industrial hemp and marijuana are both subspecies of the plant cannabis sativa; the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) differentiates the two. Hemp contains only trace amounts of THC (0.3 percent) while marijuana contains higher amounts. THC is the cannabinoid most known for its psychoactive effects, but it also has remarkable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can improve various skin conditions and counter the signs of aging.
Clinical research has shown that cannabinoids have powerful antioxidants that can promote and regulate lipid production, control acne and reduce pain. The human body actually has receptors that are part of the endocannabinoid system, which interface with the cannabinoid like compounds that the body produces. The THC and CBD (cannabidiol) found in cannabis also work with these receptors and have been found to relieve pain, calm inflammation, reduce itching, improve circulation and encourage healthy skin cell function and growth. When combined with other skin care ingredients, such as nutrient-rich hemp oil, it can be highly effective in treating skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and combatting fine lines and wrinkles.
Remember my earlier admonishment to not smoke cannabis — smoking anything accelerates aging! You don’t need me to lecture you on the dangerous carcinogens found in any kind of cigarette smoke and the irreparable damage that it does to the collagen in your dermis with the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Instead, try slathering cannabis sativa on your epidermis. You DIY enthusiasts will love whipping up these homemade hemp-based skin treatments, found here and here.
If you’re feeling emboldened, try products from one of newest high-end, cannabis-based lines: Cannabis Beauty Defined. I’ve heard great things about their Anti-Aging Salve, which nourishes and rejuvenates the skin with a blend of CBD-rich hemp oil and Asian herbs. Denver-based Apothecanna, offers skin creams as well as pain relieving skin ointments that contain higher doses of THC. However, these are currently only available in medical marijuana stores in California, Colorado and Oregon. You can buy their low-THC versions online, which are superb for alleviating dry, irritated skin. Try adding cannabis sativa to your beauty routine — the results may just blow your mind!
DC on Heels in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under federal law, regardless of state marijuana laws.