How Topical Marijuana Can Save Your Skin (And Hair And Body)

Photo Credit: Tony Leys

Allow me to introduce you to “marijuana,” a psychoactive plant you probably haven’t heard about because it isn’t legal everywhere in the United States. (If you live in Maine, in Massachusetts, or along the Pacific seaboard, feel free to skip to the next paragraph.) When ingested, marijuana imparts all sorts of fun and exciting side effects, like bloodshot eyes and brief, fleeting happiness. And, marijuana is great for your skin.

Cannabidiol or CBD, is the chemical compound that comprises most of the marijuana plant you perhaps know and also love. CBD accounts for the soothing, buoyant, good-vibes effects of weed (another, more casual term for marijuana). It’s the counterpart to THC, the compound which accounts for the Pink Floyd laser show in your head. But did you know that topical CBD, applied like any other lotion, can be a powerful anti-inflammatory, which is good for you both cosmetically and on the muscular level? Of course you don’t! I am just telling you now. It’s also a lip balm.

The benefits vary depending on what part of your body is getting high. Below, a topical marijuana ointment guide for your convenience (and responsible consumption):

The Face

CBD is found in hemp seed oil, which is one of the best oils you can put on your face, because it’s 1) lightweight and not pore-cloggy, while still being 2) lipid-rich for hydration. The application of CBD relaxes and soothes skin, and is especially useful in the treatment of eczema and psoriasis. There’s also some evidence to support CBD’s effectiveness as an acne treatment, although the studies are not so conclusive. (Your best defense against acne and best weapon for better skin in general is always a supreme moisturizer.) I like Apothecanna’s Everyday Face and Body Oil because the formula is simple and botanical. A little goes a long way all over the face, and the excess is great for rough patches on hands and elbows.

The Body

Perhaps the biggest breakthrough application for CBD is the introduction of targeted body lotions for pain relief. The reasoning involves a lot of science that I am not equipped to explain to you as a grooming blogger, so here is a link to a study in the Journal of Pain Research which calls out CBD as an effective analgesic. Science is confounding and sublime. Lord Jones, purveyors of chicly-packaged weed candy, have branched out into body care with an all-CBD lotion. They’ll ship it to you no matter how your state feels about weed (CBD is legal everywhere). Applying this stuff imparts the sensation of a warm bath—without the time commitment or the getting wet.

The Hair

Malin and Goetz’ Hair Pomade, which smells like the mane of a wealthy lion prince, utilizes CBD for its moisture-retention properties. Guys love it because it holds all day. Err on the conservative side, dosage-wise: That much moisture can weigh a head down.

The Lips

Recently, a stranger I met at a birthday dinner offered me his THC-infused lip balm, which made my mouth feel like it was going to simultaneously melt off of my face and burst forth into spores. Vertly’s Lip Butter does not contain THC and offers an extremely subtle calm, in lieu of terrifying sensations of decay. The balm itself is formulated with coconut oil, beeswax, and Shea butter for maximum hydration—the CBD, while not the star of the show, is a nice, relaxing touch. Give your lips a break from their debilitating anxiety and try a dollop. I promise you won’t regret it.