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Cannabis: A beauty boon?

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Women spend almost a month every year worrying
Women spend almost a month every year worrying

The plant that’s often used in cosmetics is said to have many skin boosting benefits, experts comment.

It may not be the first ingredient you would look for in your skin care product. But, cannabis is slowly becoming commonly used in beauty items. Over the years, hemp — the fatty acid-rich oil — has been a part of shampoos, conditioners and creams of well-known brands. Medical Marijuana Inc is taking cannabis to the next level with their new anti-ageing skin care line which utilises  cannabidiol-rich hemp oil as its star ingredient in its line of exfoliant, cleanser, eye cream, gel masque, moisturiser, and serum. Research shows that cannabis has antioxidant properties that can help soothe dry, irritable skin, is rich in omega 3, 6, and 9 oils and even has anti-cancer properties.

Dr Apratim Goel, dermatologist, Goel’s Cutis Skin Studio, explains that hemp and marijuana are both products of the same plant cannabis but different species. “However, they have different properties and hemp has been used extensively in various cosmetic products. I would recommend this ingredient in beauty products. It is a great plant with anti-inflammatory, moisturising, as well as soothing properties. There are many publications in scientific journals supporting its use in dry skin conditions like Psoriasis and Xerosis. It is very good in omega 3 fatty acid and also contains a large amount of vitamin A, B, D and E, which are natural antioxidants.” Dr Goel further adds that cannabinoids may be useful in treating the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment. It also has antiviral and cell growth blocking properties and prevents the growth of blood vessels that supply tumours. Since it contains active ingredients that increases the testosterone hormone, it can have some effect on aggravating seborrhoeic conditions like acne.

Dr Abhay Talathi, dermatologist, Skin Space Clinic Mumbai, says there are some reports about its anti-inflammatory properties. “Hemp oil also helps in wound healing and for the treatment of dry skin as per reports. I personally do not recommend use of these products as I am not sure about their safety profile. Remember, your skin is sensitive and you must take care of it.”

Hemp seed oil has been used in cosmetics throughout says Dr Anup Dhir, senior consultant and skin surgeon, Apollo Hospital, Delhi. “This is because it contains only trace elements of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in marijuana. Hemp is ubiquitous in shampoos and conditioners as it’s a great emollient for hair. There is clinical research to show cannabinoids have anti-ageing properties.”

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