At this point, there’s more than enough evidence to prove that consuming weed carries a number of important health implications. The cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant impact all sorts of things including mood, memory, pain, physical sensations, appetite and even your skin. But can smoking weed cause impetigo? Can it cure impetigo?
What Is Impetigo?
Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection. Most commonly, it produces sores that look yellowish and crusty. These lesions show up most often on the face, arms and legs. In rare cases, the bacteria causes painful blisters that tend to show up around the armpits and groins.
If you get impetigo, it will usually first show up as a red sore on your face, typically somewhere around your nose. These initial sores will typically leak pus and will soon turn into the tell-tale yellowish scabs.
The sores caused by the infection don’t cause very much pain. But they can be very itchy and can lead to long-term scarring. Additionally, if you scratch the sores too much the infection can spread to other parts of your body.
For this reason, it’s most common to contract the infection when you’re around a lot of other people. If you accidentally come into contact with infected skin, there’s a decent chance you could also get the bacteria. Impetigo is most common among children, who frequently pick up the infection at school or daycare.
Since it’s a bacteria that spreads through physical contact it’s not likely that smoking weed can cause impetigo. If you were to share a joint, blunt, bowl, bong or other smoking devices with an infected person, you could theoretically get it that way.
In reality, though, it shouldn’t really be a problem if you use a little common sense. Just watch out for people with oozing, scabby, yellow sores all over their face and you should be fine. Hopefully, that goes without saying.
Can Cannabis Treat Impetigo?
Fortunately, it’s not likely that smoking weed will give you impetigo, but it may help treat the condition if you ever get it.
In fact, it seems likely that weed can help treat a number of skin disorders. For example, a 2007 study looked at the ways that cannabis can treat psoriasis. Researchers concluded that there is “a potential role for cannabinoids in the treatment of psoriasis.”
More specifically, they found that weed did two main things: it decreased inflammation and inhibited the overproduction of keratin associated with psoriasis.
While this study focused exclusively on psoriasis, it also has important implications for other skin disorders such as impetigo. The researchers pointed out that “cannabinoid receptors are present in human skin.” As demonstrated in this study, when cannabinoids interact with these receptors, it can decrease swelling, pain and other abnormal skin conditions.
If you ever come into contact with someone who has impetigo and you notice yourself breaking out with sores and lesions, smoke some weed. As it reduces swelling and decreases pain and itchiness, it will offer you relief from the most obvious and annoying symptoms of impetigo.
So can smoking weed cause impetigo? Probably not, unless your sesh somehow brings you into contact with someone who’s already infected. But if you ever get the infection, cannabis can be an effective form of treatment.