The medicinal properties of marijuana extend into various different uses, some of them life-saving; it has been proven effective at treating everything from anxiety to seizures to chronic pain, and even cancer. The therapeutic and restorative benefits of cannabis extend even farther, however, into cosmetic applications. Most people are aware that marijuana can be smoked or taken orally in the form of a pill or spray, but one of the uses of marijuana that is less often discussed is its topical use as a treatment for skin and hair health.

Hemp oil, when applied directly to the skin or hair, is excellent at improving the overall health of these parts of the body. When applied directly to the skin, the cannabinoids, vitamins, and minerals found naturally in the hemp oil derived from the cannabis plant are absorbed into the skin. Rather than entering the bloodstream, the naturally-occurring THC and CBD compounds in marijuana target cannabinoid receptors in the skin, working directly where they’re needed on a range or skin conditions. Hemp oil is an all-natural alternative to synthetic ingredients and chemicals found in most health and beauty products. Here are the main skin and hair benefits of medical marijuana:

Skin

Hemp oil, which is legal everywhere, contains a variety of vitamins (A, B, C, D, and E) minerals, proteins, and fatty acids, in addition to CBD and THC, that your skin needs to stay healthy. All of these work together to combat wrinkles, inflammation, sun damage, skin cancer, and acne. Cannabinoids act as powerful antioxidants that work to keep skin smooth and protect it from damaging free radicals like UV waves, smoke, and environmental pollutants. Over time, these free radicals can lead to skin cancer, which hemp oil protects against. Fatty acids help protect against sun damage when combined with antioxidants like THC, cannabinoids fight against inflammation, and CBD is an effective acne treatment in that it inhibits lipid production in skin cells contributing to oily skin. CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties also make it a powerful acne treatment. Studies have shown that cannabinoids can even be used to treat a variety of more severe skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, and melanoma.

Hair

The same ingredients in hemp oil that contribute to healthy skin also promote hair health. The vitamins C and E found in hemp oil strengthen hair to protect against split ends and sun damage. They protect collagen and elastin, which keep hair looking soft and youthful, from free radicals. Healthy levels of vitamin B are also essential for the body to avoid dermatitis and hair loss. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in hemp oil help to soften and smooth hair as well.

Scientists are still conducting studies to prove the positive correlations between a range of skin conditions and cannabinoids. However, since hemp oil is legal everywhere, it is not hard for anyone to experience marijuana’s skin and hair benefits for themselves.