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Marijuana in Skin Care Products, High on Your Beauty List?

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2013-01-13 15:47

Skin care products that contain the marijuana ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are being offered by a Denver-based company. Before you add these items to your must-have beauty list, there are a few things you should know about them and about marijuana and the skin in general.

Why put marijuana in skin care products?

Since the recent passage of Amendment 64 in Colorado, recreational marijuana use is legal in that state, and it also clears the way for another way to use cannabis: skin care products. A company called Apothecanna, which makes lotions, body sprays, and creams that contain cannabis flower oil, now finds that their formerly illegal skin care items (because of their high THC levels) can join the legal ranks.

For now, however, these marijuana products are available only to medical marijuana patients. That will change in January 2014, when retail marijuana stores will be allowed to open in the state.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, industrial products (e.g., cosmetics) that contain THC are exempted from drug controls if the cannabinoid does not enter the body. Apothecanna owner James Kennedy stated in an ABC News story that their products contain THC “to enhance the properties of the other ingredients” and are “not meant to be inebriating in any way.”

News of these products prompts questions about the ability of marijuana to benefit the skin. What have researchers discovered about cannabinoids (e.g., THC, cannabidiol, and others) and their impact on the body’s biggest organ?

Could marijuana compounds help the skin?
While THC is known as an exogenous (coming from the outside) cannabinoid, the human body also produces its own cannabinoids (referred to as endogenous cannabinoids). Research has indicated that cannabinoids generally have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities.

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