By Emily Ledger
Cannabidiol, or CBD, has been widely used in a huge variety of products in recent years, helping to bring the benefits of cannabis into the mainstream. Among the most popular products are tinctures, edibles, and even drinks – but topicals have also gained popularity among a diverse audience. These products are often used with the hope that they will provide benefits to the skin – in some cases for skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. So, we’re asking the question – could CBD help with symptoms of eczema?
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a group of some of the most common skin conditions, including atopic, contact, seborrheic and stasis dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, and nummular eczema. These conditions affect the surface of the skin, leading to itchy, red, and inflamed areas. There is currently no cure for eczema, however, there are various treatments, including emollients, available making the condition relatively manageable.
The exact cause of eczema is still unknown. However, researchers and doctors agree that the condition is caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. It is believed to be a result of an immune malfunction which causes abnormal behaviour in skin cell development.
Current Eczema Treatments
There are a number of treatments for eczema including many over-the-counter products. These treatments often focus on easing the symptoms of eczema including flakey and itchy skin, and inflammation. A large proportion of these treatments are topicals that are applied directly to the affected areas. However, immunosuppressants and biologic drugs are also sometimes used.
How Could CBD Help with Eczema Symptoms?
Cannabidiol has been implemented in the development of a number of topical products, including face creams and moisturisers. The cannabis derivative has gained a reputation as a potentially effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. These potential characteristics of the compound may make it useful in treating conditions associated with Eczema.
CBD has been found to interact with cannabinoid receptors within our bodies. These receptors are found throughout our immune system and central nervous system and are even thought to be expressed in the skin. These receptors form part of the human endocannabinoid system, which has been found to influence various physiological and biological functions.
CBD as an Anti-Inflammatory
Although there have been few studies assessing the use of CBD in eczema cases specifically, there has been a large number of studies assessing the anti-inflammatory potential of the compound. Researchers have suggested that CBD could be beneficial to the treatment of eczema by helping to reduce inflammation and irritation caused by the condition.
CBD as an Antioxidant
Skin affected by eczema is also especially sensitive and vulnerable to secondary infections. This can lead to increased inflammation in the affected area. In addition to being an anti-inflammatory, CBD is also believed to have some antioxidant potential. This could add to protection against free radicals, which often cause flare-ups in eczema-affected skin.