Your parents were exaggerating, your fifth-grade class’ D.A.R.E. officer lied, and Reefer Madness was alarmist propaganda from a country afraid: Marijuana isn’t a gateway drug, the devil’s flower, or a “deadly scourge that drags our children into the quagmires of degradation.” It’s a preparation of the Cannabis plant, largely decriminalized in many states, that can be used as a medicinal drug for a long list of ailments. Plot twist!
As such, a search for the benefits of cannabinoids, the chemical compounds found in the plant, hardly leads you into the corners of the dark web. Rather, it’ll take you to numerous pieces of research that provide evidence supporting the theory that cannabinoids like THC could be novel anti-inflammatory drugs, a panacea for nausea, or a breakthrough way of treating symptoms associated with central nervous system diseases. Forget a tinted lip balm that you can also use on your cheeks — marijuana is the ultimate multitasker.
As a new study published this month in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology revealed, cannabinoids might also play a surprising role in skin care — one that does not involve using rolling papers to blot your T-zone. Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus examined existing medical literature and found that the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis may also make it particularly effective in treating a range of skin diseases, including chronic conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
“Perhaps the most promising role for cannabinoids is in the treatment of itch,” the study’s senior author, Robert Dellavalle, MD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said in a press release. “These are topical drugs with little or no psychotropic effect that can be used for skin disease.” So there you have it — one more thing that a little bit of the good shit can supposedly help make more bearable, along with anxiety, chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, PTSD, Parkinson’s disease, and more.
Of course, marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug in the U.S., so no formal preparation is approved in all 50 states as of yet. Until then, though, maybe you have a friend who knows a guy who can get you a little something to treat those stress hives you mysteriously break out in every time a New York Times breaking news alert pops up on your iPhone?