Does Smoking Weed Cause Acne?

Nobody wants acne, right? It’s so sore, it’s super painful, and for a lot of us, it can create some really bad self-confidence issues. So it’s definitely something that you’d want to avoid where possible.

Does Smoking Weed Cause Acne

The issue with acne is that it can be caused by so many different factors. From the food you put in your body to hormonal imbalances, there are lots of different reasons why you may have this frustrating condition.

And if you are a casual to serious smoker, you may be wondering if smoking a spliff could be another one of the very many different causes of acne.

Well, that’s what we’re going to look at in more detail throughout this article, so if you’re interested, keep reading.

Marijuana & Its Effect

Marijuana has many different names. You may have heard this green-grey mixture of ground-up leaves be referred to as green, weed, cannabis, mary-jane, or something else entirely.

Marijuana can be consumed using a variety of methods, from smoking it to consuming it.

In these leaves, there is a chemical known as THC that is responsible for the high. It can cause sedation, relaxation, stimulated hunger, dry mouth, and in extreme cases hallucinations.

While many use marijuana for its sedating and pain-relieving effects, it can also have some adverse effects on a user such as physical dependence. It may also lead to habits that are responsible for acne.

Does Weed Cause Acne?

Sort of.

It won’t directly cause acne itself, however, the effects of the high can lead to behaviors that do indirectly cause acne or aggravate preexisting acne.

You see, smoking marijuana as I stated above can stimulate hunger. You may have heard this be referred to as the ‘munchies.’ This can impact the types of food that you eat and certain foods can cause acne.

Cannabis can also alter your hormone levels which can also affect whether you develop acne. It can also impact your hygiene and stress levels, and all these things can add up to a really unhealthy environment for your skin.

Let’s take a closer look at how weed indirectly causes acne.

Marijuana Indirect Acne Development

Does Smoking Weed Cause Acne

Okay, so we briefly went over how smoking can indirectly impact the development of acne, but let’s take a closer look at how and why this happens.

1. Increased Appetite – The Munchies

One of the most notable effects of smoking marijuana is that users get the munchies. This is essentially where you feel so hungry that you would eat just about anything and everything.

This happens because the chemicals activate the basal ganglia in your brain which is responsible for feeling pleasure when you eat.

Not only this but it also impacts your limbic forebrain which essentially makes the food you do consume taste even better.

So when you’re high you’re feeling hungrier, the food you eat tastes better, and you get more pleasure from eating it (see also “How To Boost Your High“).

What this does mean, is that while you are high, you’ll eat a whole lot more of those tasty treats that aren’t exactly the best for your health.

Eating foods that are high in fat, sugar, and carbs all push your blood pressure higher and can cause acne.

So though it isn’t the marijuana itself that is causing your acne directly, you wouldn’t be eating half as much of the food responsible for acne should you not smoke it.

2. Hygiene

Cannabis is often known for making you pretty lethargic, tired, and sedated. You can go into a bit of a daze and get pretty couch-locked. This essentially means that you are too high to go about your day as usual.

For those that smoke fairly consistently, this can lead to a decrease in hygiene. You might not be bothered to take your makeup off that night, or you might post-pone that much-needed shower for example.

And as we know, skin can be pretty sensitive to that kind of thing. The lack of hygiene can mean that you’re pores are more clogged and your face is less clean and this can cause the development or aggravation of acne.

3. Hormone Levels & Changes

We all know that acne and hormones go pretty hand-in-hand. It’s why acne is often at its most prevalent during puberty.

Well, cannabis can also affect your hormones and this may cause an imbalance that results in the development of acne.

Testosterone is the hormone that usually causes acne during puberty and research has shown that cannabis can also up your levels of testosterone which may lead to acne.

You may also notice that you get hungrier and thirstier during smoking, and this is because marijuana can affect the hypothalamus which is the part of the brain responsible for regulating temperature, thirst, and hunger.

But more than this, the hypothalamus also connects your nervous and endocrine systems.

These are responsible for hormone regulation. When you lose that perfect balance from smoking, it can enlarge your sebaceous glands and make them release more oil which can lead to acne.

Final Thoughts

While marijuana itself won’t directly cause acne, it can definitely do it indirectly. So, it’s important to keep this in mind before you engage with it. Most of the indirect causes can be managed somewhat.

For example, you can place more importance on ensuring that you don’t eat tons of chocolate, chips, and cookies while smoking.

Keeping unhealthy foods out of the house can help stop you from over-indulging in fatty foods that are responsible for acne.

Similarly, you also have the power to ensure that you keep up your hygiene regardless of smoking. You could set rules that you aren’t to smoke until you’ve washed your face and had a shower for example.

However, you can’t really enforce any rule to stop the impacts of a hormone imbalance. So, if you are absolutely certain that you want to avoid marijuana-based acne, the only true way to do so is to abstain from consuming it.

Zack Finch
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