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If you've got an itch that just won't quit, check out our essential guide to CBD for eczema. Eczema is a skin condition that can lead to itchiness, inflammation, and a rash-like appearance.
All you need is the right, or shall we say wrong, irritant or allergen to flip the switch in your immune system and cause these irritating symptoms. Luckily, CBD may be able to relieve this discomfort over the long haul.
CBD and the Skin
For decades, scientists have been aware of the effects that cannabinoids have on the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS spans the entire body including the skin. Our ECS helps regulate physiological processes and maintain internal homeostasis.
Because of their close interaction with cannabinoid receptors, cannabinoids such as THC and CBD can affect pain, sleep, stress, and immune system function. While our body creates natural endocannabinoids, cannabis-based cannabinoids can help enhance the therapeutic effects.
CBD, in particular, is big in the world of dermatology. Its anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties are known for treating skin breakouts and damage. Plus, it’s non-intoxicating, so you can experience relief without the high.
How Does CBD Help Eczema?
There is very little research into the effects of CBD on people with eczema, But many patients and even researchers have experienced first-hand relief after consuming cannabis products.
In fact, Dr. Henry Granger Piffard, one of the founders of dermatology research, wrote about the power of “a pill of cannabis indica at bedtime” for relieving “the intolerable itching of eczema.”
Since then, some clinical research has focused on the effects of cannabinoids and skin conditions, although at an excruciatingly slow pace due to federal restrictions.
A small study in 2019 investigated the effects of CBD topicals on severe skin chronic diseases and their outcome scars.
The study analyzed the effects of CBD on 20 patients: 5 with psoriasis, 5 with atopic dermatitis, and 10 with outcome scars. The treatment involved applying the CBD ointment to the affected area twice a day for three months.
The study found that CBD ointment improved skin elasticity and hydration while reducing the severity of itch and sleep loss.
Additional research shows that CBD has antimicrobial properties. Some data shows that its microbe-killing power is comparable to antibiotics that destroy Staphylococcus aureus. People with atopic dermatitis are particularly vulnerable to staph infections.
How to Use CBD For Eczema
CBD can be found in cannabis and hemp. Generally, hemp-derived CBD contains less than 0.3% THC, a negligible amount that wouldn't cause any psychoactivity, especially as a topical. Cannabis-derived CBD can contain higher levels of THC. CBD can come in the form of extracts, tinctures, or topicals.
One of the easiest ways to use CBD is through tinctures. Tinctures can be directly added to your food or beverages. Ingesting CBD takes longer for the effects to kick in compared to other methods but can provide longer-lasting relief.
Tinctures can also be directly applied under the tongue for fast sublingual absorption. Just add your desired dose under your tongue and leave it there for at least 1 minute to 90 seconds for maximum absorption.
CBD edibles such as capsules, gummies, baked goods, or other infused creations are fun and convenient ways of dosing CBD whenever you need it.
Regardless of the type of edible you choose, it's important to start off with the lowest dose possible. This is especially important if you're a first-time user. Even if you're a chronic smoker or vaper, edibles are a completely different beast. It's better to take it slow and gradually increase the dosage over time to your desired effects.
Even in high doses, CBD is unlikely to cause any significant and negative side effects. However, your body may not be used to CBD if you're a first time user and take a high dose. Ideally, you want to start low to determine the lowest dosage needed for the highest efficacy.
Finally, CBD topicals are an easy and non-psychoactive way to relieve the inflammation and discomfort from eczema outbreaks. Simply apply the cream, lotion, or salve to the affected area and let the CBD do the heavy lifting.
If possible, look for topicals with natural ingredients to avoid irritating your skin further. Some topicals even have ingredients such as coconut oil or lavender oil which can soothe the skin. You can even create your own cannabis topicals using your own flower or extracts.
Is CBD Safe for People With Eczema?
Generally, CBD is safe for use on patients of all ages. CBD topicals, in particular, are a safe and low-dose method for eczema treatment. Before you cover yourself completely with a CBD topical, it's important to test it out over a small area. Applying the topical over a small area can determine its personal effects on your skin.
Eczema patients should pay special attention to the products’ ingredients. CBD topical formulas contain varying ingredients. These include irritating terpenes from botanical and cannabis sources. Make sure to choose topicals focused on skin relief, inflammation, and pain. Avoid choosing ones made for relieving muscle and joint pain.
Finally, buy from reputable companies that third-party lab tests for contaminants. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate products on the market. It's up to you to check for a certificate of analysis (COA). Only then can you be sure of the product’s potency and contaminants.
Final Word on CBD For Eczema
Eczema is an all-too-common and irritating skin condition. When conventional treatment fails or if you’re looking for a natural form of relief, CBD may work for you. Generally, CBD lacks the side effects of some high-strength eczema treatments. Best of all, CBD provides longer-term relief.
While the research still needs to catch up to its reputation, CBD is slowly growing to be eczema patients’ favorite form of natural relief.