With marijuana being increasingly legalized for both medical and recreational purposes, many questions are raising. Is it healthy? What are the side-effects? One of the major questions searched around this is, does smoking weed cause acne? 

Well, we have got you covered. We would be discussing all the effects of marijuana and acne through this article. 

There is some talk around smoking weed causing oily skin and hence increasing chances of acne, while on the other hand, marijuana is said to help in improving the skin. So far, there is not enough research on the same to give any concrete answer. Through this article, let’s see claims of marijuana and skin health.

Marijuana contains some natural compounds which affect the central nervous system. The plant has gained a reputation for its cannabidiol (CBD) content, which might affect your brain but doesn’t get you high. Another chemical present in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which makes one high when consumed. 

Though marijuana is not directly associated with causing acne, it may contribute to factors that can make acne outbreaks worse. The use of marijuana can change hormonal levels, cause stress, increase appetite, etc.

These factors can cause acne; we will look into them one by one:

Change in hormones 

A study suggests that smoking weed can increase testosterone levels, which could be one of the factors for acne-prone skin. 

Marijuana, or the weed that contains THC, are known to affect the hypothalamus of the brain. Hypothalamus is in charge of the nervous system, which is in charge of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for hormones in our system. 

Smoking marijuana could be responsible for mood swings. When there is a change in mood, sebaceous glands expand and produce large amounts of sebum. Hence, the increased production of sebum causes acne. 

Increased appetite

The chemicals in marijuana impact certain parts of the brain that are related to appetite. It alters basal ganglia, which enhances eating pleasure. This way, smoking weed can increase appetite, also increases sweet and savory cravings. Increased appetite can make people consume high carbonated foods, or which contains a lot of calories. Consuming a lot of sweets or having a high-carb diet may lead to acne-prone skin. 


There is no clear study on links between smoking and acne, but smoking can increase the speed of aging, reduce the blood flow to the skin, and increase the healing time. Research by Arisa Ortiz MD and Sergei A. Grando MD, Ph.D., DSc, suggests that people who smoke have a higher risk of inflammatory skin disease. Smoking weed with tobacco is likely to have some negative effect on the skin over time. 

Other effects of smoking weed 

Smoking weed affects people differently, depending on the method of taking/ consuming and active ingredients. Marijuana releases dopamine, creating a high feeling which people associate with drugs. It can thus affect how the brain functions, processes the information, breathing, heart rate, etc. 

Here are more possible effects, though more research is needed. 

  1. Memory and focusing problems.
  2. Increased heart rate
  3. Feeling anxious
  4. Lung damage and increased risk of lung diseases
  5. Feelings of paranoia

Other reasons for acne

Some of the main factors that cause acne are excess oil production, hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells, inflammation, bacteria.

Acne generally appears on the face, chest, forehead, shoulders as these areas have the most oil glands. Changes in diet, sleeping patterns, stress levels, and other components also contribute to acne production.  

How to deal with acne-prone skin?

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne is most common in teenagers, but this can affect any age group. 

Smoking Weed

Wash your face before sleeping

One must remove all the make-up and wash their face before going to bed. This not only helps in keeping your skin fresh but also helps in giving you a good night’s sleep. Bad sleeping habits or low quality sleep can cause stress and can trigger acne-prone skin. One must have enough and good sleep for the overall health of a person. Rest is as important as skincare for the skin to glow. 

Don’t over-exfoliate your skin

Over-exfoliating your skin does more harm and good. Scrubbing your face with scrubs every day causes redness, inflammation, and/or irritation. Exfoliating a pimple can take away healthy skin, and makes the wound exposed to the environment. 

Maintain a healthy diet 

It is a very old saying that what goes in shows out. To ensure that our skin is glowing and fresh, we need to consume foods that enrich us wholesomely. Studies show that consuming a lot of greasy or oily food may increase the chances of acne. Not only for acne but having a healthy and well-balanced diet 

Here is an article about carrots for acne. 


Exercise daily releases toxins from our body and helps in blood circulation. When we exercise through sweat we release toxins, and this also helps in opening the pores. Exercising is one of the best ways to make our skin breathe. 

One must ensure that they are washing their faces after a workout. The open pores can take in toxins from the environment which could cause acne and other skin conditions. 

Try to give up smoking 

Some research supports, smoking can lead to acne problems. Cigarette smoking can be a risk factor for acne inversa. Giving up smoking can be hard, especially in the initial days. One needs to constantly remind oneself that they are in a process of quitting. Research finds out that writing down the reasons to quit smoking and pasting it somewhere visible can help in motivating to quit completely. 

Bottom Line

Though there is no concrete link between smoking weed and acne, a few factors can make healing time worse. Other than acne, there could be some other side effects of smoking weed. Like, memory or focusing problems, increased heart rate, etc. 

Acne is caused due to excess oil production, and there could be various reasons for this. If one is careful with the products there are using, having a healthy diet, exercising regularly, they can reduce the acne problem.