Updated on January 11, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Eczema is common skin condition affecting more than 30 million people in the United States alone. The disorder is long-lasting, and flare-ups of red, itchy skin can happen at any time. There are eight different types of primary eczema — however, each is related and shares similar symptoms, and some patients get multiple kinds of the condition at the same time.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. The disorder causes many unwanted side effects, including:
Researchers are not exactly sure what causes eczema. However, it’s thought that a series of environmental factors work against patients with the disorder to cause the body’s immune system to activate and go haywire. This leads to their skin cells to not behave as they should.
Sadly, there is no cure for eczema. Patients must work with their doctors to develop a treatment plan that could include medications, home remedies and an awareness of triggers that could cause a flare-up. CBD medications are used by eczema patients throughout the country to treat multiple symptoms caused by this irritating condition, and it could be the key to preventing future flare-ups.
The study of the endocannabinoid system has recently developed within the healthcare field, and researchers are discovering it plays an influential role in just about every major bodily system. Endocannabinoid receptors are found almost everywhere within the body, affecting the immune system, pain management and mood. There are even receptors located in the body’s largest organ — the skin.
One of the endocannabinoid system’s main jobs is to bring homeostasis to the body. It does this by acting as a mediator in many bodily functions, including the immune system. When an eczema patient experiences a flare up, the immune system is creating an inappropriate inflammatory response.
This inflammation is what creates eczema’s itching, redness and irritation, and the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids are unable to regulate the inflammation. Cannabinoid therapy — specifically the use of cannabidiol (CBD) medications — can help treat this.
CBD is one of the two major cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. Cannabinoids are what give marijuana its healing properties. Although cannabis gets a lot of negative attention for getting users high, it’s actually the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that’s responsible for causing this side effect. CBD is non-psychoactive and can be extracted from marijuana to be used as an effective medication.
CBD works much like the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids. When an eczema patient uses cannabis meds, they regulate the endocannabinoid system by binding to receptors found in the skin. Not only does this suppress the overactive immune system that goes haywire during an eczema flare-up, but it also resolves some of the accompanying side effects — pain and itchiness.
When a patient is diagnosed with eczema, they work with a physician to develop a treatment plan to both help uncomfortable side effects and prevent future flare-ups. This centers around discovering their individual triggers and receiving a course of medication. Unfortunately, these treatments are often unaccompanied by unwanted side effects and can even lead to serious complications.
CBD treatments are much safer by comparison. Associated side effects are very mild, and most patients don’t even notice them. The only reason these meds are federally banned is that they are derived from the marijuana plant and thus considered Schedule I drug.
Patients can choose from several different forms of CBD medications, including:
Although CBD medications can treat many different medical conditions, patients should consult their physician to find the right products to address their individual symptoms. This is especially true for eczema patients. Although taking oral CBD meds under the tongue as a tincture might alleviate some of the symptoms, it doesn’t supply targeted relief. The same can be said about vaporizing CBD-rich strains or ingesting infused edibles.
The best form of CBD treatment for eczema patients is infused topicals. A slew of products in the cannabis industry are made from CBD extracts in topical medications, including:
When CBD topicals are applied to the skin, they work with endocannabinoid receptors in the epidermis to dampen the immune system’s inflammatory response and suppress flare-ups. They also decrease pain and itchiness.
CBD medications are only available in states that have medical marijuana programs. To access these products, you must visit an approved physician in your state. Let MairjuanaDoctors.com help you find a doctor near you who can recommend a course of CBD treatments for your eczema.
Learn more about Eczema and what makes medical marijuana an effective treatment for Eczema’s symptoms.