Ageing is most apparent on your skin, the body’s largest organ. With time, skin loses elasticity, dries out and loses its ability to heal itself. Cannabis might just be the solution. The benefits of cannabis-derived topical treatments have been sung endlessly elsewhere. This article will concentrate on taking the drug directly.
Cannabis – a powerful anti-oxidant
Free radicals are harmful compounds that divert resources from your cells. The ultra-violet light of the sun is effectively a free radical. The more you’re exposed to free radicals, the more stress your skin receives.
Anti-oxidants neutralise free radicals. The two main ingredients of cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both are anti-oxidants. CBD is more powerful in this respect than vitamin E or vitamin C.
Cannabis moistens the skin
As you age, your skin secretes less oil. This makes it dry and flaky. Cannabis is already known to be beneficial in the face of dry skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema. Stelara is a prescription medicine that treats eczema. One psoriasis sufferer used it but, alas, it didn’t help with the itching, which he described as “maddening”. When he smoked cannabis, the itch went away.
Dr Henry Granger (1842-1910) was a pioneer in the field of dermatology and founded the journal JAMA Dermatology. He wrote the first ever textbook about dermatological remedies. This included the line “A pill of cannabis indica at bedtime has at my hands sometimes afforded relief to the intolerable itching of eczema.” The reason for the success of cannabis in treating eczema is that it controls staphylococcus aureus. This is a bacterium that often causes eczema.
Cannabis makes skin cancer less likely
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. Cannabis is good for cancer. In 2003, a study found that cancer cells treated with cannabinoids were more likely to die. Healthy cells were left unaffected.
Cannabis reduces stress
You’ll be well aware that cannabis reduces stress. Stress worsens skin conditions, one being acne.
Just don’t smoke it
The properties of cannabis are good for your skin. Smoking is bad for it. This is evident from the fact that smokers often appear older than non-smokers who are the same age. Smoke contains free radicals and carcinogenic compounds that age the skin. These compounds hamper production of collagen. The skin will consequently be less firm. Cannabis smoke contains 33 carcinogenic chemicals. Smoking the stuff delivers four times as much tar to your lungs as does tobacco. Cannabis dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow. This is where bloodshot eyes come from. Prior to this, however, cannabis constricts blood vessels. This deprives the skin of oxygen, just like a regular cigarette, which ages the skin. As dermatologist Dr Bobby Buka explained in an interview with the HuffPo, “Even a bong would be preferable.” Or you could use a vaporiser.
The benefits of cannabis to the skin are extremely exciting. The medical marijuana business is worth $2bn a year. The anti-ageing cosmetic business, meanwhile, is many times larger.