Eczema is most often caused by a combination of genetic factors and triggers to the immune system, such as contact with irritants or allergies. According to the National Eczema Association, over 30 million Americans struggle with this skin care issue. Since CBD and skin care play well together, it’s no surprise that there are CBD products designed to help.
Our Top Recommended CBD Lotion for Eczema
But actually, although we say “eczema” as though it’s one problem, it is really a few different skin problems combined that add up to inflammation, irritation, and many side effects:
Challenges of Treating Eczema with Topicals
For this reason, ointments are often the first line of eczema defense, especially since they usually don’t burn when they’re applied. On the other hand, products such as mineral oil and petroleum jelly that are high in oil content may be good for treating eczema, but they can feel pretty miserable to the user and ruin things they touch.
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.
Research also suggests CBD is anti-microbial, with some data showing it works about as well as antibiotics to kill Staphylococcus aureus. Staph can infect the skin of people with atopic dermatitis, triggering flares and other complications.
“I think that for adults who want to try a CBD topical, there’s little to lose,” said Lio, who noted he has many patients who said they benefit from the products. Like anything else applied to skin, CBD products can cause reactions, so test a small area over a few days before applying widely.
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.
What else do I need to know before buying a CBD cream or oil?
From creams to body oils to facial serums and more, there’s a good chance you can find a CBD-containing topical at a grocery store, pharmacy or specialty shop near you. Many of these products promise to clear, heal and otherwise soothe symptoms of eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions.
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.
Reputable manufacturers may also offer a certificate of analysis (COA). Often found on company websites, COAs are compiled by an independent, accredited laboratory and detail the quantities of a product’s various cannabinoids.
Is there any scientific evidence that CBD topicals improve eczema symptoms?
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.
“Evidence in humans is still pretty limited, which means it’s hard to know how well CBD works for eczema, or the key components necessary for success,” Lio said. Clearer answers about CBD and eczema may be available soon. The results from a trial of a CBD gel in about 200 people with moderate atopic dermatitis are due this year.
CBD oil comes in many forms, including creams, salves, balms, lotions, and oils.
Both CBD and THC interact with a communication system in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex biological system that plays a role in appetite, mood, memory, and sleep.
What Research Shows
CBD is generally considered to be a safe alternative treatment for eczema. However, as with any skincare product, you’ll want to do a patch test first to make sure that you do not have a sensitivity or allergy.
CBD for Eczema Symptoms
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.