Monday, 20 May 2024 11:53

From Formation to Rehabilitation: Navigating Scar Treatment with Cannabis 

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Scarring is an inevitable part of having skin. Therefore, it is an inevitable part of treating skin. Whether your scope is as an aesthetician, nurse practitioner, or plastic surgeon, you’re going to be very familiar with scarring at one point or another in your career. 


Scarring is the overproduction of collagen after the dermis is injured and the wound has healed. The dermis is the layer of skin responsible for thermoregulation; it helps support and protect the deeper layers and aids in sensation. It could be considered the stocking that holds all skin together – it houses nerves along with blood and lymphatic vessels. When the dermis is damaged, scarring or fibrosis is more likely to form, especially in younger people, or higher Fitzpatrick types. Scars can be categorized as keloid or hypertrophic, amongst others, but this article will discuss them in the general sense. This wouldn’t be a cannabis column if I didn’t say “cannabis may help with that!”  

Cannabis and the compounds that make it therapeutic, known as cannabinoids, are fabulous anti-inflammatory agents. A critical part of any healing process is dealing with inflammation. Scarring is no different. The stages of scar formation following an injury are as follows: 

  • Stage One: hemostasis, when blood rushes to the site of the injury and clots.  
  • Stage Two: inflammation, usually a clot is formed within minutes followed by an increase in circulation, heat, and pain with a timeline of one to four days on average. 
  • Stage Three: proliferation, the tissues of the wound contract and draw in closer to each other, helping the trauma heal. Three weeks is the generalized length of time for the proliferation stage. 
  • Stage Four: remodeling, the last stage of scar formation when tensile strength of the tissue has dramatically increased. This is an interesting phase because 80% of tensile strength is regained within three months but can take up to two years to max out resulting in the maturation of the scar. 


Aside from the fascinating process of how we heal, along with skin’s ability to reconstruct, the great news is scars are very treatable depending on your scope of practice and cannabis once again has a place in the treatment room! 

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Antonia Schreiber is a New York state licensed massage therapist, cosmetologist specializing in aesthetics science, and electrologist. With over 16 years’ experience in the industry, Schreiber’s work has brought her everywhere from the classroom to her certified green spa, the Windham Spa, to the United States Olympic Training Center and beyond. Outside of the treatment room she is a writer, speaker, and consultant with the New York State Department of Education, leading education firms and industry magazines. Her current passion projects include treatment research and development for burn patients, and assisting in the development of the United States Paralymic Bobsled and Skeleton Team.  

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