Marijuana and Your Skin: Can Smoking Weed Cause Acne?

Marijuana and Your Skin: Can Smoking Weed Cause Acne?

Does Smoking Weed Cause Acne?

Acne is always annoying and sometimes you don’t know what’s causing it. If you’re among the people who enjoy smoking weed for recreation or even for medicinal purposes, fear not. We did a deep dive into marijuana and how it really affects your skin health.

Although there aren’t many conclusive scientific studies linking marijuana directly to acne, there are still some factors that you should take note of. 

Can Marijuana Cause Acne?

So far, there have been no conclusive studies suggesting marijuana is the direct cause of breakouts. But that does not mean it doesn’t. Like many other consumables, it affects parts of your body that may also affect your skin.

How Does Marijuana Affect Your Body?

man smoking

Since everything in our body is interconnected, even if marijuana doesn’t directly cause you to get breakouts, it can still affect your body in ways that will increase those chances. 

So what does marijuana do to you that’s giving you acne breakouts? Changes in hormone levels, increase in appetite, producing smoke, and even causing extra stress. These changes could manifest as acne breakouts, so let’s go over each of them.

Hormonal Imbalance

One reason why teenagers going through puberty are very acne-prone is the increase in hormone production as their bodies mature. In that same way, marijuana also triggers a change in hormonal levels. 

According to Medical News Today's study, marijuana may cause a small rise in your testosterone levels, and much like during puberty, this can also trigger acne breakouts. However, it’s important to note that there haven’t been enough studies to say this is 100% the cause conclusively.

It also triggers a bunch of other hormones in your body since THC, a major component in marijuana, affects your hypothalamus, and with it, your endocrine system. That’s what produces and regulates the hormones in your body.

So what happens when we, adults, experience hormonal imbalance? Well, it’s the same as teenagers. Your skin starts producing more sebum and becomes more likely to trap bacteria and foreign materials causing acne breakouts. 

Increased Appetite

junk foods

Don’t worry eating more food doesn’t automatically mean you’re making your acne worse. What you really need to look out for is what’s in the food you’ve been eating a lot more of.

Sugar, fat, and refined carbohydrates found in a lot of fast food or processed foods will undoubtedly raise your blood sugar levels. Even if you’re a healthy person, with high blood sugar levels, your body might experience inflammation; to which your body’s first response will be to produce more sebum and we all know what comes next.

Besides those types of food, you should be fine with a little more food than you typically eat. You could also try eating up before smoking so you won’t get hungry later. Of course, you should still try to avoid foods high in sugar or fat.


Smoke is one of the most commonly seen pollutants of air and it definitely does not bring anything good with it. Smoke contains free radicals that, when comes in contact with your skin, can cause irritation and inflammation

When your skin is irritated, breakouts are more likely to happen. This isn’t something exclusive to smoking weed but since it also produces smoke, it could be contributing to your irritated skin.

On top of that, smoke can also speed up aging and damages your skin’s ability to repair skin cells. This makes it hard for your skin to get rid of your acne or heal up the remnants of old ones.

Increased Anxiety and Stress

Man with Anxiety and Stress

We all know marijuana is supposed to help you feel better or happier but those feelings appear to be temporary and actually contrary to the possible long-term effects. According to CDC, marijuana, when used quite frequently, can cause feelings of anxiety and some long-lasting mental disorders

With anxiety comes stress and although stress is also not a direct cause of acne breakouts, they are known to contribute. Stress can trigger a hormonal imbalance which, I mentioned above.

Take note, this happens when taken very frequently so if you’re not using marijuana often, you might wanna leave this for last.

How to Get Rid of Acne

Marijuana or not, it doesn’t change the fact that those red bumps on your skin we call acne are very annoying. So how do we get rid of it?

Start or Maintain a Nighttime Skincare Routine

Skincare routines go a long way in protecting your skin. With a proper routine, you can keep your skin clear and hydrated all day long and even prevent breakouts. 

It’s even more important at night because of all the things your skin goes through all day, gathering dirt, bacteria, and any cosmetics you might put on when you start your day. These can cause inflammation and irritation on your skin, which will aggravate your pre-existing acne or even trigger breakouts.

Maintaining a simple skincare routine before you go to sleep is easy. Start off with a facial cleanser to remove all the grime and unwanted bacteria on your skin to clear up your pores. 

You can use the Mantisfy Facial Cleanser and Shaving Mousse which is gentle but thorough on your skin. It also helps remove any excess oils on your skin to prevent inflammation. Its main ingredient, Edelweiss, keeps your facial oils balanced and has an antibacterial effect on mild acne in the long term.

The next step is to apply moisturizer generously. After cleansing, your skin moisture could evaporate or other foreign materials could attach and irritate your skin again. 

To avoid this, apply a decent amount of moisturizer, enough to cover your entire face in order to give your skin that extra moisture. Moisturizers also act as a barrier between your skin and the outside world and it protects you from foreign irritants.

This nighttime routine will help you prevent acne from breaking out and even leave your skin feeling clean and hydrated.

Use Anti-Acne Serum

Skincare isn’t a one-size-fits-all so if you find yourself still struggling with acne, chances are you just need 1 more step in your routine. Apply anti-acne serum on your skin after cleansing and before moisturizing. 

Anti-acne serums contain salicylic acids which work great against acne-causing bacteria. Its serum form also helps your skin absorb it easier and you can see better results.

Try the Mantisfy Anti-acne and Repairing Serum for a start. Not only does it fight bacteria on your skin, but also repairs already damaged skin cells. Its main ingredients are Salicornia and Edelweiss, hydrating and anti-bacterial. 

Use Concealer

There’s no instant solution to acne but there is an easy way to cover it up while you’re getting rid of it. After your everyday skincare routine, you can use a concealer. 

You can cover up anything you want with the concealer like eyebags, acne scars, etc. It’s easy and convenient. Just remember to buy a concealer that matches your skin tone. The best way to check is to apply it on your skin directly.

A Little F.Y.I. about Marijuana

Marijuana smoking rolls

Even though marijuana may not be causing your acne breakouts, it may be affecting you in some other way. There are quite a number of side effects especially when marijuana is used frequently.

Increased Anxiety

We talked about this earlier but only its implications for your skin. However, increased anxiety could very well affect your daily life more than you might want. 

THC is what’s causing this increase in anxiety levels. If you don’t want to risk this side effect, try looking for ones that only contain CBD or minimal THC. CBD is what’s typically sought after and it even helps with anxiety.

This isn’t a universal experience but the chances of it happening are not negligible. If you find yourself feeling more anxious or paranoid after smoking weed, then it’s not you, it’s the weed. 

Memory Impairment

Not only does marijuana affect your state of mind, but it also affects your brain’s ability to retain information in the long term. Studies from National Institutes of Health have shown that THC disrupts the development of the hippocampus, the part of your brain that stores your memories. 

For older guys, it can hasten the aging of your brain and you lose your brain cells faster. This is normal as you age but sometimes it can happen twice as fast just because of frequent use of marijuana.

Faster Heartbeat

Marijuana could also cause your heart to beat faster and increase your blood pressure. This could lead to a number of conditions like stroke or heart disease. A common pattern in the studies suggesting this result is their method of marijuana use which was smoking.

Although more research on this topic is necessary so that we can really understand the extent of the effects, existing studies do show significant results and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Will Secondhand Marijuana Smoke Affect Your Skin?

man smoking in front of another man

The extent to which it can affect your skin is how smoke typically affects your skin externally. As to whether it affects your mental health and body in the same way, it’s still unclear

Does Vaping or Edibles Affect Your Skin?

Between smoking marijuana and vaping or eating edibles, the THC content remains the same except without the smoke. Depending on how long you vape or how many edibles you consume, it could have similar effects on your skin but it has not been confirmed as of now.

The Verdict

Marijuana doesn’t cause acne directly. But it causes other conditions that can or have been previously linked to acne. Hormonal imbalance, increased appetite, smoking, and stress are what could be causing your acne breakouts. 

There’s no clear answer as of yet whether or not these are truly what’s causing your acne because there are a lot of different factors in play that make it hard to single out any one cause.

The best thing to do to get rid of your acne is by maintaining a simple skincare routine both at night and in the daytime to provide extra protection to your skin 24/7. 

If you think your acne is being aggravated, smoking marijuana could be what’s causing it but it’s best to consult with a professional about your concerns rather than deciding on your own just to see if there are possible links and what you should do about it.

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