CBD topical treatments are buzzing across the market lately, but could cannabidiol really help with common skin ailments like eczema, acne, or even psoriasis? There are a variety of skin problems that our Face Cream and Body Lotion could help resolve, which is what we'll be discussing today. CBD Oil For Seborrheic Dermatitis Please note that Internet Explorer version 8.x is not supported as of January 1, 2016. Please refer to this support page for more information. JID Innovations Using CBD for eczema may provide relief for dry, itchy, and inflamed skin. Here’s what the research says and considerations to know before purchasing topicals.
Managing These 4 Skin Problems with CBD
CBD topical treatments are buzzing across the market lately, but could cannabidiol really help with common skin ailments like eczema, acne, or even psoriasis? There are a variety of skin problems that our Face Cream and Body Lotion could help resolve, which is what we’ll be discussing today. Let’s look at how CBD can help with these common skin problems.
CBD to manage acne
According to the Mayo Clinic, acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It often results whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pimples, nodules, and in severe causes, cystic lesions.
The four main factors that cause acne are:
- Excess oil production
- Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
- Excess activity of a type of hormone (androgens)
Acne typically appears on your face, forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders because these areas of skin have the most sebaceous glands. The follicle wall may bulge and produce a whitehead; or the plug may be open to the surface and darken, causing a blackhead. Pimples, on the other hand are raised red spots with a white, pus center that develop when blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected with bacteria.
Before seeking out medical treatment from your local dermatologist, the consistent dosing of CBD topical ointments have shown positive results in diminishing the effects of acne due to the compound’s chemical properties in how it regulates sebum. Sebum is a waxy, oily substance that is naturally-occurring within the skin and helps protect our skin from the outside world.
In a 2014 study, researchers found that the CBD prevented these cells from creating too much of the sebum, thus severely limiting the frequency in which acne is generated. Researchers also revealed that the CBD oil triggered an anti-inflammatory reaction in the cells and prevented inflammatory cytokines from activating. Furthermore, in a 2016 review of the cannabis plant, antibacterial and anti-fungal effects are especially prevalent in the CBD compound, further solidifying the efficacy of CBD in acne treatment.
To incorporate CBD into your acne prevention routine, it is best to mix the oil with a carrier oil and apply it directly. Fortunately, our Face Cream features Full Spectrum CBD extracted under a full-plant extraction method directly from industrial hemp. The oil is then emulsified in organic shea butter among several other organic compounds to effectively delivery the therapeutic effects associated with treating the popular skin condition.
CBD to manage PSORIASIS
Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. The condition typically affects the outside of the elbows, knees, or scalp, but is prone to appear on virtually any location on the body. While scientists do not what what exactly causes this skin condition, it is universally understood that the immune system and genetics play major roles in its development.
There are five major types of psoriasis:
- Plaque Psoriasis – the most common form of the disease and appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells. These patches or plaques most often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back. They are often itchy and painful, and they can crack and bleed.
- Guttate – appears as small, dot-like lesion. It often develops in childhood or young adulthood and can be triggered by a strep infection.
- Inverse – appears as very red lesions in body folds, such as behind the knee, under the arm of in the groin.
- Pustular – characterized by white pustules surrounded by red skin and is often visible on the hands or feet.
- Erythrodermic – a severe form of psoriasis that leads to widespread, fiery redness over most of the body. It can cause severe itching and pain, and make the skin come off in sheets.
Since psoriasis is an auto-immune disease, its treatment starts with regulating the immune system to help mitigate and reduce the intensity in which breakouts occur. Research suggests that the endocannabinoid system constantly binds with some of the messaging molecules within our immune system, thus several physiological functions. The main role of the endocannabinoid system contributes to the control of cells’ balance, proliferation, tolerance and death; and when it comes to dermatological issues, the system helps to regulate the flow in which these cells behave.
When it comes to the psoriasis condition, the inflammatory state in the dermis causes the premature maturation of skin cells, leading to pain and skin tissue breakage. Research widely proved that cannabis is a potent anti-inflammatory; and in a 2010 review of CBD, substances that target the endocannabinoid’s CB2 receptor may provide treatment to inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
The inclusion of CBD into one’s skincare routine, or at least, reduce, the intensity of immune-triggered diseases goes one step further in that the compound’s chemical peroperties act as both immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory agents in skin diseases.
A consistent application of our Full Spectrum CBD-infused Body Lotion for instance, aims to dampen the body’s immune response, which is desirable for conditions related to an overactive immune system.
CBD to manage ATOPIC DERMATITIS
Known commonly as eczema, atopic dermatitis is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. This chronic skin condition does not have a cure and tends to be associated with other ailments such as asthma and hay fever. Typical symptoms of atomic dermatitis include:
- Dry skin
- Itiching, which may intensify at night
- Red to brown/gray patches located on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of elbows and knees, and the face
- Small, raised bumps which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
- Thickened, cracked, scaly skin
- Raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching
At the very fundamental levels, atopic dermatitis is simply the inflammation of the skin. Similar to psoriasis, this skin condition is immune-triggered, meaning that your immune system is overreacting to the inflammation, thus causing flare ups to occur. When it comes to treatment, the usual, de-facto response to managing eczema is through generous use of corticosteroid creams. Corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone and betamethasone are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs, and when applied directly to the skin, they offer fast and effective relief from eczema symptoms. Like all pharmaceutical drugs however, there are adverse side effects. The most common side effect is thinning of the skin, which leaves it more vulnerable to injury and infection.
Despite the side effects, there aren’t very many options to manage atopic dermatitis. One such alternative to look into however, is the use of Full Spectrum CBD applied as a Topical. In this case, our Body Lotions and Face Cream should do the trick! As we have mentioned several times in this article, CBD’s chemical properties feature an anti-inflammatory agent and when combined with our other organic compounds contained in both of our products, irritation will soon be a thing of the past!
CBD to manage SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS
Seborrheic dermatitis, otherwise known as dandruff is a common skin condition that mainly affects your face and scalp. Due to the limited area of the condition, its symptoms include:
- Skin flakes (dandruff) on your scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard or mustache
- Patches of greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales on the scalp, face, sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids, chest, armpits, groin area, or under the breasts
- Red skin
Seborrheic dermatitis’ causes are not known, but it can usually be contributed to a combination of different factors:
- Increased presence of Malassezia fungus caused by oily skin
- Stress and fatigue
- Hormonal changes
- Poor nutrition and alcohol abuse
- An impaired motor system
To understand the condition, seborrheic dermatitis occurs as a result of excessive secretion of tallow from the sebaceous glands. This excessive reproduction can be exasperated by an increased presence of Malassezia fungus. While there are several treatment options to effective remove the condition, the inclusion of CBD into your wellness routine can help to reduce the intensity of adverse side effects that are usually attached to other alternatives.
When it comes to the type of CBD product to use for such a condition, check out our Tincture / Oils. When consuming CBD oil, the compound works to affect the entire body from within and therefore help strengthen the immune system. To reiterate, CBD will NOT remove the condition, but rather, it will assist your body in getting rid of it.
the bottom line
There’s quite an array of skin conditions that CBD may help treat or relieve in some way. While CBD products are not designed cure any ailments you may be experiencing, the inclusion of them into your wellness routine are designed to help your body fight off the ailment itself. If you’ve been plagued with one of these skin issues we’ve mentioned and you’ve tried everything under the Sun to reduce the intensity and/or frequency of the conditions, consider looking into trying some of our premium, Full Spectrum CBD products to see if this is the step you’ve been missing. Due to the low toxicity of the compound, it is virtually impossible to experience adverse side effects should you consume too much.
What are you waiting for? Relief is within reach; but will you give us a chance?
CBD Oil For Seborrheic Dermatitis
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In recent years, cannabinoid (CB) products have gained popularity among the public. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBs have piqued the interest of researchers and clinicians because they represent promising avenues for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory skin disorders that may be refractory to conventional therapy. The objective of this study was to review the existing literature regarding CBs for dermatologic conditions. A primary literature search was conducted in October 2020, using the PubMed and Embase databases, for all articles published from 1965 to October 2020. Review articles, studies using animal models, and nondermatologic and pharmacologic studies were excluded. From 248 nonduplicated studies, 26 articles were included. There were 13 articles on systemic CBs and 14 reports on topical CBs. Selective CB receptor type 2 agonists were found to be effective in treating diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis and dermatomyositis. Dronabinol showed efficacy for trichotillomania. Sublingual cannabidiol and Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol were successful in treating the pain associated with epidermolysis bullosa. Available evidence suggests that CBs may be effective for the treatment of various inflammatory skin disorders. Although promising, additional research is necessary to evaluate efficacy and to determine dosing, safety, and long-term treatment guidelines.
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Cite this article as: JID Innovations 2022;X:100095
These authors contributed equally to this work.
© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier, Inc. on behalf of the Society for Investigative Dermatology.
Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. ScienceDirect® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V.
Does CBD for Eczema Really Work?
Lindsay Curtis is a health writer with over 20 years of experience in writing health, science & wellness-focused articles.
Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
Emily Dashiell, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor who has worked in group and private practice settings over the last 15 years. She is in private practice in Santa Monica, California.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant that can be prepared as oils, creams, and other products for use as a therapeutic remedy for many common ailments and health conditions. Some people use CBD oil for eczema.
Eczema (dermatitis) is a skin condition that causes patches of irritated, itchy, dry, inflamed skin. There are many types of eczema. While the exact cause is unknown, genetics, environmental factors, and the immune system are believed to be potential causes and triggers.
There is no cure for eczema, but there are ways to manage symptoms, including over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription treatments. For people who prefer using natural remedies, CBD oil may help soothe and reduce their eczema symptoms.
Photoboyko / Getty Images
What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabis plants contain unique chemicals called cannabinoids. The two major cannabinoids are:
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): Has psychoactive properties that can make a person feel “high”
- Cannabidiol (CBD): Has no psychoactive effects but may provide therapeutic benefits
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.
Research has suggested that the ECS contributes to the function and reproduction of skin cells. A dysregulated ECS is associated with dermatological disorders, including eczema and atopic dermatitis.
When applied topically to the skin, CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the top layer of the skin (epidermis) and may offer therapeutic benefits including moisturizing the skin, reducing itchiness and inflammation, and promoting wound healing.
CBD oil comes in many forms, including creams, salves, balms, lotions, and oils.
Hemp Seed Oil vs. CBD
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.
Understanding the differences can help you know what to look for when you’re shopping for whole hemp plant products for eczema.
: Created by pressing the seeds of hemp plants (Cannabis sativa L.). This oil is rich in fatty acids and other nutrients, and research shows it can be helpful in treating skin conditions, including eczema and dermatitis. Hemp seed oil does not contain cannabinoids—the chemical compounds in the hemp plant that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. : Made using the flower of the hemp plant, rather than the seed. Hemp oil contains a full spectrum of cannabinoids. CBD is just one of the cannabinoids in hemp oil. : Extracted from the entire hemp plant, including the stalks, flowers, and leaves. CBD oil does not come from the seeds of the cannabis plant (the seeds do not contain cannabinoids).
CBD for Eczema Symptoms
There are many types of eczema, and they can show up in different parts of the body. Eczema of all types can cause itchy, dry, flaky patches of skin. In some cases, it may cause painful sores and blisters, which can leave the skin more susceptible to infection.
Types of eczema that may benefit from topical CBD include:
- Atopic dermatitis (AD): This is the most common type of eczema. It is associated with dryness and itching. The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to be triggered by an overactive immune system. People with asthma and/or hay fever are more likely to develop AD. : This type of eczema is caused by an allergic reaction from contact with irritants such as fragrances, dyes, metal, some medications, and poison ivy/oak. Symptoms include intense itching, and burning or blistering of the skin. : This type of eczema is triggered by stress, seasonal allergies, and change in humidity. It causes itchy, irritating blisters on the bottom of the feet and palms of the hands. : This type of eczema is associated with pink or brown circular (sometimes oozing) spots on the skin. It is often triggered by dry, sensitive skin, insect bites, injuries to the skin, or chemical burns. : This type of eczema is commonly caused by cold, dry weather, genetics, and stress. It produces scaly, dry patches of skin on the scalp or body which tend to form where the skin is most oily, including around the eyebrows, mid-chest, upper back, and groin area.
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.
A study published in 2019 found that CBD ointment helped reduce itchiness, soothed redness and inflammation, and enhanced sleep in people with eczema.
A 2014 study found that hemp seed oil was useful for treating eczema and other skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne rosacea, and seborrheic dermatitis. The study also showed that hemp seed oil strengthens skin and makes it more resistant to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
What Causes Eczema Flares?
Though eczema affects everyone differently, a number of common triggers can cause a flare-up of symptoms.
Common causes of eczema flares include:
- Dry skin: Brittle, rough, and tight skin can worsen eczema symptoms.
- Chemical irritants: Fragrances, chemicals found in shampoos and lotions, cigarette smoke, and environmental toxins can worsen or trigger eczema symptoms.
- Stress: Emotional stress can trigger or worsen eczema symptoms. Anecdotally, many people use CBD to help manage stress. Early research has shown that it might be effective at relieving stress, anxiety, and sleeping problems.
Is CBD for Eczema Safe?
CBD is generally considered to be safe for use in treating eczema and other skin conditions. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD oil might help reduce irritation, pain, swelling, and redness from skin conditions like 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.
To do a patch test, apply CBD oil to a small area and watch for 24 hours to check for any side effects (e.g., itching, redness, swelling).
Talk to your primary care physician or dermatologist before you try CBD, as they will want to discuss the potential side effects of using CBD products, as well as make sure that it will not interact with any other medications, supplements, or treatments that you are using.
Best CBD for Eczema Flare-Ups
Topical CBD comes in many forms, including creams, lotions, serums, balms, and salves.
One of the best defenses against eczema is keeping your skin well hydrated. Thicker topicals that contain ingredients for both skin protection and moisturization can be especially helpful.
CBD products also come in different preparations. The availability of these products (especially those that contain THC) will vary from state to state.
- Isolate: CBD is the only cannabinoid contained in the product. : Contains multiple naturally occurring cannabis plant extracts, including terpenes and other cannabinoids, including up to 0.3% THC.
- Broad: Contains CBD and other components/cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but does not contain any THC.
How to Buy CBD
With many CBD and hemp oil options for eczema, it can be challenging to know what products to choose. Here are some key points to consider when you’re picking a product:
- Hemp source: CBD is derived from hemp plants. The quality and cultivation of the plants are important considerations. Look for products that come from organic hemp plants when possible.
- Certificate of Analysis (CoA): Responsible, reputable manufacturers should offer a CoA that details the quantities of a product’s cannabinoids. CoAs are conducted by an independent, accredited lab.
- Read the label: Read the full list of ingredients for CBD topicals. Make sure that any product you are considering does not contain fragrances or other potential irritants that could worsen eczema.
- Type of CBD: To get the best results, look for full-spectrum or broad CBD products, which may offer an “entourage effect” (combining multiple cannabis compounds that work in synergy to offer the most benefits).
A Word From Verywell
While there are many OTC and prescription treatments for eczema, if you are looking for a natural way to manage your symptoms, CBD products might be an option.
Research on how effective CBD is for treating skin conditions like eczema is limited, but has shown that products that contain CBD might help reduce the dry skin, itchiness, and inflammation that is associated with eczema.
It’s important that you talk to your doctor before you try a CBD product, as it can have side effects and might interact with other treatments that you use for eczema.
Before you use CBD on your skin, do a spot test on a place that does not have eczema on it to make sure that you do not have a sensitivity or reaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does CBD help with itchy skin from eczema?
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce irritating eczema symptoms such as itching, pain, and dry skin.
How does the ECS work?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps regulate many physiological processes, including sleep, immune function, and pain.
Research has shown that the endocannabinoid system also plays a role in skin health. A dysregulated ECS is associated with dermatological disorders such as eczema and atopic dermatitis.
When applied topically, CBD’s anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and pain-reducing properties interact with the ECS, which might make it an effective treatment for many skin conditions.
Is CBD good for skin conditions?
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD is commonly used to treat skin conditions and soothe symptoms—especially the dryness, itching, and pain often associated with eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.
Is CBD for eczema safe?
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.
Apply CBD to a small patch of unaffected skin and wait for 24 hours, watching for symptoms of irritation such as itching, redness, and pain. If no symptoms develop, you can safely apply the product liberally to any eczema patches.
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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