Study Reveals THC-like Active Could Treat Skin Conditions

A recent scientific report by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) online journal suggests that a compound produced in the body that is similar to the active ingredient in marijuana may aid acne and skin dryness. The study, "The Body's Own 'Cannabis (Marijuana)' is Good for the Skin," conducted by researchers in Hungary, Germany and the UK suggests that the body's "endocannabinoids" may help to treat some skin conditions.

Tamás Biró, MD, PhD, a senior scientist involved in the research, stated in the press release that preclinical data encouraged the exploration of whether endocannabinoid system-acting agents could be exploited to manage common skin disorders. "It is also suggested that these agents can be efficiently applied locally to the skin in the form of a cream," said Biró. 

According to the research, the body's endocannabinoids system-acting agents are similar to the active in Cannabis sativa (marijuana), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These agents can be applied topically to exhibit protective characteristics similar to the marijuana plant. THC has reportedly been found to possess high UVB (280-315 nm) absorption properties. In addition, it has been proven to protect the seed buds from harmful radiation; it is also a neuroprotective antioxidant. 

Researchers came to this conclusion by treating cell cultures from human sebaceous glands with various concentrations of endocannabinoids, then measuring the production of lipids, cell survival and death, and changes in gene expression and comparing these outcomes to those in an untreated control group. The results suggest that the body's cannabinoids may help it to maintain healthy skin and protect it from pathogens.

To view the report, visit


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