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Can Smoking Weed Cause Acne? (Everything You Need to Know)

Acne is a common skin condition affecting millions worldwide. One question that often gets asked is, "Can smoking weed cause acne?" 

With the increasing legalization of recreational marijuana and its prevalent use, it's essential to understand the potential impacts of marijuana on our bodies, especially on our skin health. This blog post delves into the topic, shedding light on the connection between marijuana and acne.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • While not definitive, several indirect links exist between marijuana use and acne, including effects on testosterone levels, appetite, and general skin health.
  • Marijuana does not directly cause acne in all users; factors such as genetics, diet, lifestyle, and skincare routines also play significant roles.
  • Whether weed or tobacco, smoking can cause skin irritation and inflammation, potentially worsening existing acne.
  • Despite potential acne triggers, products like Exposed Skin Care effectively manage and reduce acne, regardless of the underlying causes.

Cannabis stick being passed to woman

Understanding Acne

Before we delve into the question of whether smoking weed cause acne, let's understand what acne is.

What is Acne?

Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples. Severe acne can also cause scarring.

Causes of Acne

There are several factors that lead to the development of acne. These include:

  • Excessive production of oil
  • An accumulation of dead skin cells
  • Bacteria
  • Hormonal changes
  • Certain medications
  • Dietary choices

Woman in supermarket

Exploring the Effects of Marijuana on Acne

Now, let's explore if smoking weed can cause acne. Marijuana may, directly and indirectly, affect acne. However, the evidence is complex and sometimes contradictory. Here are more information on this relationship:

Marijuana Use and Testosterone Levels

One of the arguments is that marijuana can affect testosterone levels, a hormone that can affect acne development. Several studies have found a link between marijuana use and testosterone concentrations.

Elevated testosterone can stimulate the sebaceous glands, increasing oil production and potentially leading to an acne breakout.

Marijuana and Increased Appetite

It's no secret that marijuana use can increase appetite. People who smoke weed often reach for high-sugar, fatty foods, popularly known as 'the munchies.' Regularly consuming such foods can lead to changes in your skin health and indirectly contribute to acne.

Cannabis Use and Skin Health

Interestingly, some compounds found in marijuana, known as cannabinoids, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. This discovery led some to claim that smoking weed could even help treat acne. However, this is likely more applicable to topical treatments than to smoking.

Man checking face skin with mirror

Smoking, Inflammation, and Skin Health

Regardless of what you're smoking, be it tobacco or marijuana; smoke can irritate the skin. Marijuana smoke, much like tobacco smoke, contains several toxins and carcinogens that can accelerate the skin's aging process, cause skin irritation, and potentially trigger acne flare-ups.

Can Smoking Weed Cause Acne? Unpacking the Debate

In answering the question "Can smoking weed cause acne?" it's clear there's no straightforward answer. However, it's undeniable that there are several ways marijuana use may indirectly cause or worsen acne.

Indirect Causes of Acne

While marijuana itself may not directly cause acne, the side effects of smoking weed can indirectly lead to acne.

  • Increased appetite: As mentioned earlier, marijuana users often report increased appetite, leading to the consumption of unhealthy foods that can trigger acne.
  • Mouth breathing: Regular marijuana smokers may breathe more through their mouth, especially if they suffer from smoking-induced nasal congestion. This could lead to dry mouth, which can cause overgrowth of bacteria, leading to acne around the mouth area.
  • Decreased immune response: There's evidence that smoking weed can suppress the immune system. A weakened immune system might have a harder time fighting off bacteria-causing acne.
  • Poor sleep: Regularly smoking weed can affect your sleep patterns. Poor sleep can lead to increased stress, another contributing factor to acne.

Image of man having insomnia

Impact of Marijuana on Existing Acne

In individuals who already suffer from acne, the effects of marijuana can potentially make existing acne worse. The inflammation and irritation caused by marijuana smoke can exacerbate skin conditions, leading to more severe acne.

Debunking Misconceptions About Marijuana and Acne

Amidst the debate, it's essential to debunk a few misconceptions about marijuana and acne:

  • Marijuana as an acne treatment: While some cannabinoids in marijuana have been found to reduce inflammation, there's no solid evidence that smoking cannabis can effectively treat acne. Topical treatments might hold potential, but more research is required.
  • Everyone who smokes weed will develop acne: Not everyone who uses marijuana will experience skin problems or develop acne. Genetics, lifestyle, diet, and skincare routines also significantly affect acne formation.

Exposed Skin Care: An Effective Solution for Acne Management

While it is still being researched whether marijuana can cause acne or make existing acne worse, what's definite is the need for an effective acne treatment. This is where Exposed Skin Care comes in.


Exposed Skin Care Ultimate Kit


This product line offers several benefits:

  • Acne Reduction: The products are designed to help reduce acne production and severity, making it a practical solution for those who still have acne despite lifestyle adjustments like reducing smoking tobacco or marijuana.

  • Comprehensive Skin Care: Beyond just treating existing pimples, it can help prevent future breakouts by keeping the skin clean and pores clear.

  • Manage Effects of Lifestyle Choices: If you think smoking weed or consuming marijuana products impacts your acne, using Exposed Skin Care can help manage the potential skin issues.

  • Reducing the Impact of Stress on Skin: Stress and acne often go hand-in-hand. Regularly using these products can help manage the skin inflammation that stress can trigger.

In summary, if you're linked to acne due to your lifestyle choices like marijuana use or if you're affected by external factors like secondhand marijuana smoke, Exposed Skin Care could be a solution for you. It's designed to work where others might not, offering a ray of hope for those facing persistent acne issues.


The link between marijuana use and acne is complex and layered. While it's not definitively proven that smoking weed can cause acne, various side effects of marijuana can influence a person’s skin health, potentially triggering acne or worsening existing skin issues.

The likelihood of acne can increase with consistent marijuana use, and its impact on acne severity is still being researched. Substances like tobacco smoke are well-known to harm skin health, but studies on marijuana use and its specific impact on the development of acne are still ongoing.

Our understanding of how smoking weed affects acne, whether it's likely to cause an allergic reaction or if it might indirectly contribute to acne through its effects, is far from complete.

The good news is, despite these potential triggers, options like Exposed Skin Care exist to help manage acne. Such products can mitigate the severity of acne, even in the face of external factors like smoke from marijuana or cigarettes.

So, whether weed impacts your skin or some other factors, solutions are available to help maintain your skin health. In conclusion, while marijuana use can potentially impact your skin health, effective care routines, and products can help manage and reduce acne.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can smoking weed cause acne?

A: The relationship between smoking weed and acne is complex. While marijuana may not directly cause acne, some of its side effects could trigger or exacerbate acne.

Q: Does marijuana smoke affect your skin?

A: Yes, like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke can cause skin irritation and inflammation, which could potentially lead to acne flare-ups or worsen existing acne.

Q: Does marijuana increase testosterone levels and contribute to acne?

A: Some studies indicate that marijuana use can affect testosterone levels, which might increase oil production and lead to acne. However, this is still being researched.

Q: Can marijuana help treat acne?

A: Some compounds in marijuana, known as cannabinoids, have anti-inflammatory properties, leading some to suggest they could potentially help treat acne. However, there's no definitive evidence that smoking marijuana can treat acne, and more research is needed.

Q: Can smoking weed make my acne worse?

A: Yes, smoking weed could worsen existing acne, mainly due to skin irritation and inflammation caused by the smoke.

Q: Do all marijuana users develop acne?

A: No, not all marijuana users develop acne. Several factors, including genetics, diet, lifestyle, and skincare routines influence acne development.