CBD: A Promising Treatment for Eczema?
Your local or some online CBD shop might seem like the most unlikely place to look for skin condition treatments, but many studies say otherwise. With its rising popularity, more and more experts in the medical field are looking into cannabis plants’ therapeutic properties.
Recent experiments show its effectiveness in treating a common skin condition, affecting as many as 15 million Americans—Eczema.
If you or a loved one has been suffering from this condition, you’ve probably been searching high and low for the best cure. Furthermore, you’ve perhaps already heard about cannabidiol or CBD as the perfect match for it.
But is it really?
We’ve laid out the must-know basics for you to help you better understand how CBD products could bring the treatment you need for eczema.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a chronic condition where parts of the skin barrier become “leaky,” causing inflammation, itchiness, dryness, irritation, and redness. The good news is, it can’t be transferred from one person to another, meaning it’s not infection-related. However, this also makes it a bit harder to know where it comes from.
Doctors have yet to find its cause, but the general consensus is that its due to the immune system, genetic disposition, and various environmental triggers. The combination of these factors causes the skin’s inflammatory response to go in “overdrive” mode.
CBD for Eczema
CBD creams have a big potential in helping mitigate eczema symptoms, especially itching, inflammation, and pain. These responses are possible because of CBD’s effect on our endocannabinoid system (this system plays a significant role in maintaining the skin’s healthy condition.)
Aside from that, the endocannabinoid system helps regulate other processes like our mood, appetite, pain, memory, immune function, stress, and more. Scientists attribute the combination of these effects in dampening the symptoms of various skin conditions like eczema.
The largest organ in our body, the skin, is technically part of our immune system. At the same time, the endocannabinoid system is forming part of our immune system control. Thus, eczema and other skin issues can be a sign of a weakening immune system.
Recent science has found that the endocannabinoid system responds to external cannabinoids like CBD, which is a perfect compound for skin issues because it’s plant-based and natural.
Does it Have the Science to Back it Up?
CBD might still be a relatively new industry for medical applications, but we’ve already observed its anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties in numerous studies and even standard dermatology textbooks.
With that said, it was only until recently that there was little available research in attempting to understand the cause for these effects. Most published studies back then only used community consensus and anecdotal reporting instead of actual clinical trials.
Even in the past, medical experts already agree that CBD isn’t harmful against most skin conditions, but their treatment effectiveness remained uncertain. While we can already see a lot of cannabis research being done, what we currently know about it is far from conclusive. We can attribute this to the vast range of cannabis products in terms of their type, amount used, and system of delivery.
However, many recent studies show promising results. And from them, we already know that CBD-based products can help inhibit our body’s cell activation when it comes to histamine response (when this is activated, we experience intense inflammation and itching).
Be careful, though, because using the wrong kind of product might impart the opposite effects and worsen your symptoms.
Using the Right Form of CBD
Instead of buying the nearest CBD product you can find, take the time to make sure it’s the right one for the job. For instance, is it categorized as an isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum? Does it come from organic raw materials? Does it meet government safety standards?
Getting a high-quality product removes the risk of exposing yourself to heavy metals, residual solvents, pesticides, and other skin-irritating contaminants. To put it simply, do your due diligence.
Now one other decision remains: use an ingestible oil or a topical CBD product?
Several experts and some studies suggest that the latter might be more effective. When we ingest a CBD product, its components have to go through the whole digestive system before reaching the targeted inflammatory tissues. So it takes a bit longer before we notice its effects. Topical treatments, on the other hand, allow us to target the symptoms at a dermal cellular level.