Medical Monday: Cannabis and Skin

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Your skin is your largest organ. It covers your entire body, offers protection and keeps all the important parts of us kept safely inside. That's why it is important to give our skin the love and care it deserves. Our skin experiences a lot of stress throughout our lives -- anything from sun damage, to cuts and scrapes to imbalances. Cannabis, just as it can help other parts of our bodies and minds, can also aid in caring for our skin. Here, we explore some of the ways cannabis can help out with our epidermis.

We all experience breakouts. Breakouts can be linked to our diets (oftentimes, too much sugar), stress, hormone imbalances or disease. There's nothing quite like a pesky zit appearing right before a date or an important occasion. Luckily, cannabis can actually help prevent and tame these breakouts. A 2010 study found:  "... Endocannabinoids play a major role in determining how much sebum is produced in the skin. Too much of the endocannabinoid anandamide, our body’s own THC, leads to increased oil production. Not enough leads to dryness and conditions like eczema." The study found that when applying CBD directly to the skin, anandamide was reduced and oil production slowed. Additionally, CBD has incredible anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities to calm an angry pimple. This is just another reason to keep CBD on hand.

So, you were outside for too long without any sunblock and now you're fried. The painful red burn extends down your arms and across your neck. It's hard to sleep, even clothes are uncomfortable. This is where cannabis infused topicals can definitely help you out. The cannabis plant itself is incredibly nourishing for our skin cells and, as mentioned above, has incredible anti-inflammatory qualities. So if you're skin is feeling puffy, painful, sensitive, it might help to apply a cannabis-based salve or lotion. Try some topicals and some aloe vera and you should be feeling back to normal soon!

Skin Cancer
If you suspect you may be developing skin cancer -- often in the from of melanoma (a malignant tumor found on the surface of the skin) -- it is important to contact your dermatologist or physician immediately. While cannabis has recently just begun to enter the mainstream as a treatment, there have been promising results in treating cancer with cannabis. A recent study found that THC may have a toxic effect on cancerous cells, and while more research is definitely needed, this is good news for anyone who is battling cancer. Rick Simpson, a Canadian cannabis activist, allegedly treated his own skin cancer with a concentrated cannabis oil - now called Rick Simpson Oil. You can learn more about treating cancer with cannabis here.

-- Words by Taylor Haynes