5 Surprising Truths About Marijuana & Acne

It is common knowledge that smoking weed may cause acne. However, many people do not know the science behind why this happens. 

Acne occurs when sebum (oil) and dead skin cells clog pores in your skin to create a pimple or cyst. Smoking weed causes an increase in oil production within the body. 

This increased level of oils will mix with other substances in your system that can also cause acne, such as bacteria on the surface of your skin.

5 Facts about Weed & Acne

1: Smoking Weed Can Dry Out Your Skin

Weed contains THC, which is a psychoactive ingredient that stimulates your brain cells to release dopamine. If you have acne, smoking weed can make it worse because the process dries out your skin. 

When the outer layer of your skin loses its moisture and natural oils, it becomes more vulnerable to inflammation from bacteria on the surface of your face or within pores deep inside this layer of dead cells.

2: Weed Increases Oil Production

Oil production is natural, but weed causes an abnormal amount of oil released into the skin. This excess sebum then gets caught in hair follicles (pores) that are already blocked with dead cells and dirt, resulting in acne breakouts on your face. 

This is why people who smoke weed often have shiny skin. It is not because their face moisturizer is not working; it is because they are breaking out all over! 

Additionally, smoking weed can cause your blood vessels to increase in size (dilate), allowing more oxygen into the body and resulting in redness or flushed-looking skin that you may think looks healthy but just makes acne worse by feeding bacteria sitting on top of your pores.

3: Weed Makes It Harder To Fight Off Bacteria

Bacteria can become harder to fight off due to weed, which can cause acne. THC binds to vitamins A and E, which are good for the skin as they help fight off bacteria that cause acne. 

To add to this, weed can reduce the skin’s ability to shed off dead cells, which causes pores to become clogged more easily. 

Furthermore, smoking weed makes it harder for your body to absorb zinc and selenium – both of these things are good for acne-prone skin because they help destroy bacteria that cause acne.

4: Weed Alters Hormone Levels In The Body

When smoking weed, hormones can become imbalanced because of their active ingredients, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinol. 

The high concentration of these chemicals stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, which can cause acne or worsen existing breakouts. 

Make sure to use an oil-free moisturizer when smoking weed to help prevent breakouts. If you are worried that your acne may be caused or exacerbated by smoking weed, see a dermatologist for the best course of treatment.

5: THC Is An Immune Stimulant That Increases Inflammation

In addition to hormonal changes occurring from smoking marijuana, THC is an immune stimulant that increases inflammation in skin cells under the pores where your pimples form. This causes a blockage between the top surface of your skin and the pore opening below it. 

As you know well by now, this creates trapped bacteria that results in blemishes on the face – another reason why those who smoke weed are likely to develop acne problems!


There are ways to minimize the issue, like getting enough rest, using CBD oil or topical creams, which help inflammation pores on the skin. Smoking weed can also irritate dry patches on the face, so keep that in mind as well! 

While smoking weed does cause acne, it can be managed to help minimize the effects. CBD oil helps treat acne at least topically; smoking pot may make things worse when it comes to acne.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my breakout last once I stop consuming cannabis?

If you have quit eating chocolate because it gives you zits, then this advice applies to anyone trying to clear up their skin. The breakout will only last as long as it takes for the problem to go away.

Is weed good for sleep?

Yes, smoking weed helps you sleep, which can help prevent acne due to getting a good night’s sleep. But, on the other hand, a lack of sleep can cause acne due to a host of reasons like hormone imbalance and stress.

What is CBD oil good for?

CBD oil has been proven helpful in treating acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties, which may reduce redness caused by inflammation of pores on the skin and also reduce stress which can also


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Analyzed by Sam Wood

Sam has battled acne for a better part of his life. He created this website after his skin cleared up when he changed his diet and lifestyle. He built GoodGlow.co to be the ultimate guide to clear skin from within. Read more of Sam's articles.

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