In your search for plant-based remedies for treating eczema, you may have come across different options that derive from cannabis and hemp plants, including hemp seed oil, hemp oil, and CBD oil.
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce irritating eczema symptoms such as itching, pain, and dry skin.
What Research Shows
There are limited studies on the effectiveness of topical CBD for people with eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. However, some of the research suggests that CBD oil may have therapeutic potential for treating eczema, healing skin wounds, and soothing skin symptoms.
Understanding the differences can help you know what to look for when you’re shopping for whole hemp plant products for eczema.
As with any topical treatment, it’s best to test CBD oil on a small patch of unaffected skin before applying it to larger areas where you have eczema.
“I have been able to eat bread and other things I haven't eaten in a long time without flare-ups – and even had a glass of wine.”
At her wit's end Cheryl decided to try CBD oil, a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in cannabis, and found it had a remarkable effect on her skin after inhaling the natural remedy through a vape pen.
“It started on my back and cleared up after a course of steroids but straight away it flared up on my face and neck and has been constant ever since.
FIND OUT MORE What are eczema and dermatitis, what are the signs and causes and how can you treat the painful skin condition?
“Alexis has noticed the difference as she always had to stay in the house with me.
“On bad days I wasn't even able to take my daughter to nursery or would be unable to work or leave the house and a combination of antihistamine and painkillers would make me drowsy.”
Cheryl, a careworker from Elgin, Scotland, said: “It really began when I fell pregnant with Alexis when I was around 23 years old.
“It seemed there was never going to be an answer.”
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration doesn’t verify how well specific CBD products work, whether they’re safe or if they contain the labeled compounds. Lio suggests asking your dermatologist to vet specific products.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid, a chemically active molecule found in plants in the cannabis sativa family, which includes both marijuana and hemp. Unlike the best-known cannabinoid, THC (delta -tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD isn’t “psychoactive.” In other words, it won’t get you high. Like THC, however, CBD has some potentially potent health effects.
Since the 1990s, scientists have known that humans (and many other animals) have a complex system of cannabinoid receptors running throughout the body, including in the skin. This endocannabinoid system helps regulate and normalize many physiological processes, including pain, mood, stress, sleep and immune system function.
What else do I need to know before buying a CBD cream or oil?
Some CBD products are labeled “isolate,” which means CBD is the only cannabinoid they contain. Broad- and full-spectrum CBD products are made with multiple cannabinoids, sometimes including THC.
The body makes its own cannabinoids that activate the system, and CBD and other plant-based cannabinoids also stimulate its healing effects. “Specifically, CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-itch and anti-pain properties that make it extremely attractive as a medicinal compound, particularly in dermatology,” said Lio.
“I think topical CBD is a very promising treatment for eczema; in theory, it could decrease itch, pain and inflammation. In the correct vehicle, it could also help heal the skin barrier,” said Peter Lio, MD, who is clinical assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the founding director of the Chicago Integrative Eczema Center.
Research to date shows topical CBD is safe.