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Cannabis and CBD for Eczema

Medical marijuana for eczema has been shown to relieve the symptoms of itching, swelling, and redness caused by this disease and other types of inflammatory skin conditions.

If you have eczema, you may have learned by now that you can’t scratch your itchy skin — or, more appropriately, you shouldn’t scratch it. Scratching can make your eczema worse and can lead to infection, especially if you claw so much on it that you bleed.

A doctor and cannabis researchers describe the theory behind the plant as an atopic-dermatitis-eczema cure. Weed cream. THC lotion. CBD salve. They go by many names, and there is a lot of interest and hope in the dermatological community that marijuana—or cannabis—may provide an alternative treatment pathway for a variety of skin diseases, especially atopic dermatitis (AD).

What is Eczema

There are more than 30 million eczema patients in the USA. Eczema, defined as a category of medical conditions, irritates and inflamed the skin. Itchy and red make your skin, Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. It is typically most common for children but can affect any person in any generation. The pathology is chronic, long-lasting and regularly flares. Eczema may include fever or asthma.

Eczema affects about 10% to 20% of babies and about 3% of adults and children in the U.S. Some children who inherit the disorder outgrow it by their 10th birthday, while some people continue to have symptoms on and off throughout their lives.

No cure for atopic dermatitis has been found, but remedies and self-care can alleviate itching and prevent new infections, such as to avoid harsh soaps, frequently moisturize the skin and use medicated creams or ointments.

Eczema isn’t contagious — you can’t give it to other people. Although the precise causes of the disease are not understood, the researchers are aware that people develop it because of a combination of environmental triggers and genes. When an allergen or irritant “switches on” your immune system, eczema flares up because your skin cells don’t act as they should.

Below are some key points about eczema;

  • Certain foods can trigger symptoms, such as nuts and dairy.
  • Symptoms vary according to the age of the person with eczema, but they often include scaly, itchy patches of skin.
  • Eczema can also be triggered by environmental factors like smoke and pollen. However, eczema is not a curable condition.

Symptoms of Eczema

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) signs and symptoms vary widely from person to person and include:

  • Itching, which may be severe, especially at night
  • Raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching
  • Thickened, cracked, scaly skin
  • Dry skin
  • Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
  • Red to brownish-gray patches, especially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows and knees, and in infants, the face and scalp

Atopic dermatitis most often begins before age 5 and can continue in adolescence and adulthood. This happens occasionally for some people and then clears up for a while, even for many years. Eczema is almost always itchy, regardless of which part of the skin is affected. Sometimes the itching begins before the rash appears, but when it does, the rash appears most commonly on the face, back of the knees, wrists, hands, or feet. It can also impact other fields.

In general, the affected areas tend to be very dry, thickened or scaly. These areas can initially appear reddish in fair-skinned people, and then turn brown. Eczema can affect pigmentation among darker-skinned people, making the affected area lighter or darker.

Symptoms in infants under 2 years old

  • Constant rubbing and scratching can lead to skin infections, which can interfere with sleeping.
  • Rashes commonly appear on the scalp and cheeks.
  • Rashes usually bubble up before leaking fluid.

Symptoms in children aged 2 years until puberty

  • Rashes commonly appear behind the creases of elbows or knees.
  • They are popular on the back, wrists, knees, and between the buttocks and legs.

Over time, the following symptoms can occur:

  • In a process known as lichenification, rashes can thicken. Rashes may then develop knots and persistent itching.
  • Rashes can become bumpy.
  • Rashes can lighten or darken in color.

Symptoms in adults

  • Rashes commonly appear in creases of the elbows or knees or the nape of the neck.
  • Rashes cover much of the body.
  • Rashes can be especially prominent on the neck, face, and around the eyes.
  • Rashes can cause very dry skin.
  • Rashes can be permanently itchy.
  • Rashes in adults can be scarier than those occurring in children.
  •  Rashes can lead to skin infections.

Adults who have acquired atopic dermatitis as a child but no longer experience the condition may still have dry or easily irritated skin, hand eczema, and problems with their eyes.

The skin appearance affected by atopic dermatitis may depend on how much a person scratches and if the skin is infected. Scratching and rubbing further irritate the skin, increase inflammation, and make itchiness worse.

How Cannabis Can Help Relieve the Symptoms of Eczema

It has been known for a long time that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-itch properties, but high-quality work has not been conducted until recently to explain the physiological effects that underlie such anecdotal reports. Several features of AD, especially dry skin, histamine release, and sensory nerve fibers, contribute to itching. Nevertheless, cannabinoids have a strong anti-itch effect. There are skin receptors that interact with cannabinoids that may reduce AD’s symptoms and appearance. Such effects occur through a series of Phytocannabinoid interactions with our endogenous cannabinoid system.

One-way cannabinoids hold promise as a cure is by controlling the colonization of Staphylococcus aureus, which is both a risk and an AD driving force.

Since the 1980s, cannabinoid antimicrobial characteristics have been referenced, but a more detailed analysis of individual cannabinoids found that all five major cannabinoids showed powerful activity against a variety of S. aureus strains.

What does it mean? Cannabinoids have an anti-microbial effect, but there is a need for more research to understand cannabinoid risks and benefits in dermatology.

There are also anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids. Researchers demonstrated that through activation of CB1 receptors, topical THC suppresses allergic contact dermatitis in mice. Certain molecules have also shown important anti-pain effects in rat models, similar to those found in cannabis.

Direct improvement of AD with topical cannabinoids has been reported. A recent study has shown that a molecule interacting with the endocannabinoid system has inhibited mast cell activation. Mast cells are immune cells that, when activated, release histamine, resulting in intense itching and inflammation.

The endocannabinoid cream has reduced the severity of itch and sleep loss by an average of 60 percent among subjects in a human trial for AD patients. 20% of people could quit using topical immunomodulators, 38% stopped using oral antihistamines and 33,6% no longer felt that they had to keep their topical steroid scheme before the end of the study.

Medical cannabis treatment for Eczema

In addition to the obvious medical hindrance of eczema rashes, scratching is the most common complaint of patients. It can be painful and disturbing enough to disturb or avoid sleep from coming at all.

More than 38 percent of a 2,500-eczema patient study reported complete loss of eczema symptoms within three weeks of starting treatment, according to a study evaluating the effectiveness of medical marijuana in an anti-itch cream. More than 50 percent reported a noticeable decrease in symptoms. Although this is not a complete victory, it is better than many treatments for eczema.

There is no remedy for eczema, and relief for one patient is not relief for another. Most patients will have to go through trial and error before they find a treatment that works with their symptoms if they find one. Of course, eczema can and does go away on its own, but in the meantime, the sufferers are tormented by symptoms.

Applying marijuana and eczema to the affected areas with topical oils or creams will reduce the inflammatory response, reduce inflammation and encourage the skin to recover. There are also no known side effects of cannabis cream such as steroids.

According to studies published in the journal Experimental Dermatology, authors have documented that many times marijuana can effectively relieve eczema symptoms and other skin problems. The cannabinoids have immunosuppressive effects in medical weeds and can be used as a possible therapeutic agent for the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions.

Personalized Cannabis Consultations

Whether you are new to cannabis and need to learn the basics, or are simply trying to achieve more positive cannabis experiences, Veriheal’s coaches are here to help. You have the opportunity to become informed about this wonderful plant. Book an appointment today with one of our compassionate coaches to have a private discussion about your cannabis journey.

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Data Last Updated 03/16/2020