Struggling to pick the best CBD cream for eczema? Here is a list of high-quality CBD creams for eczema so you can see what works for your skin.

Benefits of CBD for Eczema

Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound from cannabis plants, is gaining attention because of its potential health benefits in different medical conditions. Some of these ailments include pain, anxiety, and depression(1).

Consumers may also use topical CBD products, like CBD creams, to address various skin conditions, including eczema.

CBD may help treat eczema through its potential antipruritic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, analgesic, and antioxidant effects(2–5).

Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a skin condition that causes inflamed, irritated, and often itchy skin(6). It can also refer to conditions that include atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, or stasis dermatitis.

According to the Mayo Clinic, while eczema is common in children, it can occur at any age(7).

Symptoms of eczema include itchy, dry, and sensitive skin, inflamed and discolored skin, rough, leathery, or scaly patches of skin, oozing or crusting, and swelling(8).

While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, some researchers noted that people develop eczema because of a combination of genes and environmental triggers(9).

Dry skin, metals, cigarette smoke, and soaps and household cleansers may trigger an eczema flare(10). These eczema attacks can happen some time after exposure to the mentioned possible causes.

When irritants or allergens “switch on” the immune system, they produce inflammation(11).

While there is no known cure for eczema, most cases are controllable with a customized skincare plan, including the use of moisturizers, prescription medications, and strategies that eliminate the triggers, like using cotton clothes.

CBD’s Antipruritic Effects

Cannabinoids, the active compounds often found in the cannabis plant, may have antipruritic or anti-itch effects that may combat the itchiness coming from eczema. One of the major cannabinoids includes CBD, a non-psychoactive compound from cannabis plants.

A 2019 study published in Molecules showed that cutaneous (relating to the skin) cannabinoid signaling is deeply involved in maintaining skin homeostasis or balance(12). Impairment in cannabinoid signaling may worsen various conditions, like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, pigmentation disorders, and acne.

Acne results from excess oil and dead skin cells clogging pores, while psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease where skin cells grow and divide at an accelerated rate.

Skin receptors’ interaction with cannabinoids may reduce the symptoms and appearance of atopic dermatitis(13). This effect is possible through an assemblage of interactions between phytocannabinoids or naturally occurring compounds and the body’s cannabinoid system.

The researchers found that cannabinoids may produce anti-itch effects by activating CB2 receptors on the peripheral sensory nerve fibers, inhibiting the transmission of itch signals.

Moreover, researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus highlighted that cannabinoids contain potential anti-inflammatory properties that may help treat various skin diseases(14).

This study from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology noted that pharmaceuticals containing cannabinoids may be effective against eczema, psoriasis, atopic and contact dermatitis.

According to the study’s senior author, Dr. Robert Dellavalle, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, “Perhaps the most promising role for cannabinoids is in the treatment of itch.”

While these studies are not specific to CBD alone, they indicate the cannabis compound’s potential antipruritic effects.

CBD’s Anti-Inflammatory Effects

A 2018 study from the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics investigated CBD’s benefits in an experimental model of allergic contact dermatitis or eczema(15). Results revealed that CBD may produce anti-inflammatory effects.

Furthermore, a study on cannabinoids in managing difficult-to-treat pain indicated that CBD may reduce inflammation by promoting adenosine receptor A2A signaling(16). This receptor may suppress immune cells.

A 2019 study also investigated CBD ointment’s therapeutic effects on severe and chronic skin diseases, like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, and their outcome scars(17). Findings indicated that CBD’s topical application may reduce inflammation in patients with skin conditions and improve wellness and quality of life.

A 2020 study examined the use of cannabinoids in major dermatological inflammatory diseases(18). Results indicated that CBD may suppress the inflammatory reaction of allergic contact dermatitis without cytotoxic effects.

The study also showed that CBD may help treat other skin diseases, like acne, psoriasis, and melanoma.

Moreover, a 2013 study showed that topical THC application may suppress allergic contact dermatitis in mice by triggering CB1 receptors(19). Molecules similar to those found in cannabis have also manifested significant anti-pain characteristics in the animal models.

Although the study focused on animals, future research may show similar benefits of CBD for eczema in human subjects.

A review also noted the increased mast cells in patients with atopic dermatitis(20).

Mast cells are immune cells that release chemicals like histamine once activated. This occurrence results in inflammation and itching. However, these cells also mediate inflammatory responses, such as hypersensitivity and reactions to allergens.

According to a 2005 study, cannabinoids, like THC, may suppress mast cell activation(21). Although this study is not specific to CBD, results suggested cannabinoids’ potential anti-inflammatory effects that may benefit people with eczema.

CBD’s Antimicrobial Effects 

According to a few clinicians, bacteria contribute to eczema flare-up(22). A 1976 study was the first to document CBD’s potential antibacterial properties(23).

Moreover, according to a 2008 study, major compounds, including CBD and THC, exhibited potent activities against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)(24).

According to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), Staphylococcus aureus pathogen is the leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections, such as abscesses, boils, and cellulitis (red, swollen, painful, warm skin)(25).

The pathogen may also cause more severe infections, like pneumonia, bloodstream infections, and bone and joint infections.

A 2019 study from Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology showed that CBD may be used with other antibiotics to target certain bacteria, sensitize them to antibiotic treatment, and reduce their antibiotic resistance(26).

Moreover, a 2020 paper suggested CBD as a potentially useful compound that may be used along with bacitracin to kill Gram-positive bacteria, which have thick cell walls(27).

According to a 2011 study, cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, also have moderate antifungal properties(28).

While the study mainly tackled THC’s therapeutic benefits, it indicated that CBD may boost the effects of an extremely potent antifungal, caryophyllene oxide. Caryophyllene oxide is a primary terpene in cannabis plants, basil, and pepper.

In another study from Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, results indicated terpenes’ potential antifungal properties. The study noted that the essential oils were not as effective as purified CBD(29).

Another study indicated that essential oils containing alpha-pinene and delta-3-carene may have potent antifungal properties(30).

While the studies mentioned are not specific to CBD, they suggest cannabis compounds’ potential benefits, including their antifungal properties.

CBD’s Analgesic Effects

CBD may also be beneficial for eczema through its potential analgesic or pain-relieving effects. According to a study, CBD may help relieve neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis, intractable cancer pain, and rheumatoid arthritis(31).

A 2012 study from the Journal of Experimental Medicine investigated glycine receptors’ mechanism for chronic pain treatment(32). These receptors are involved in motor control and pain perception.

Results revealed that CBD may significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance in rodents.

Moreover, according to a 2020 review, CBD may provide therapeutic benefits in certain forms of epilepsy, impart analgesia in specific conditions, like chronic pain and induced diabetic neuropathy, and improve one’s quality of life(33).

CBD cream and other topical CBD products may also be useful for site-specific pain relief. According to a 2018 observational study, patients with epidermolysis bullosa experienced faster wound healing, less blistering, and pain relief with CBD use(34).

Epidermolysis bullosa is a rare blistering skin disorder that is hard to manage as skin fragility and repeated wound healing cause itching and recurrent infections.

Other topical CBD products may also include other ingredients, like jojoba oil, coconut oil, and olive oil, which may have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and skin barrier repair effects(35).

CBD’s Antioxidant Effects

CBD may also help prevent infections on the skin weakened by eczema through its potential antioxidant properties. A study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America showed that as an antioxidant, CBD may be 30% to 50% more potent than Vitamin C and Vitamin E(36).

Antioxidants help fight oxidative stress, which occurs when there is an imbalance of free radicals (oxidants) and antioxidants(37). Given CBD’s antioxidant properties, the substance may improve skin health.

A 2019 review also indicated CBD’s potential antioxidant properties(38). It noted that CBD may help treat diseases associated with oxidative stress.

Moreover, antioxidants come in the form of vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids. Full-spectrum CBD creams and other topical CBD products contain a complete range of compounds, including CBD, low levels of THC, terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and other minerals.

Terpenes provide a unique aroma to cannabis plants, while flavonoids provide vivid colors to most plants.

Essential fatty acids from CBD oil products include Omega-3 and Omega-6, vital for both the body and the skin. A study from the Journal of Dermatological Treatment suggested that dietary hempseed oil may help treat atopic dermatitis symptoms(39).

The study added that hempseed oil is a rich source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Full-spectrum CBD products produce the entourage effect, which means that the cannabis compounds combined may be more effective than individual compounds(40). Thus, consumers may use full-spectrum CBD topicals to maximize the compounds’ benefits for the skin.

CBD’s Moisturizing Effects

CBD’s potential moisturizing effects may also help address the dryness caused by eczema. According to a 2017 review published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, CBD may reduce itch and skin dryness(41).

Moreover, a 2019 study from Clinical Therapeutics examined individuals with psoriasis, eczema, or scarring(42). Findings revealed that CBD may help moisturize dry skin, enhancing skin elasticity.

CBD’s Anxiolytic Effects

According to the National Eczema Association, anxiety and stress are common triggers that cause eczema to flare up, leading to more anxiety and stress(43). CBD’s potential anxiolytic effects may help those suffering from anxiety caused by eczema.

A 2019 study measured sleep and anxiety scores in human subjects(44). Findings showed that CBD may provide benefits for anxiety-related disorders.

Another study indicated that CBD may produce anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects(45).

Furthermore, a 2015 review highlighted CBD as a potential treatment for anxiety through its interaction with CB1 and 5-HT1A serotonin receptors, which regulate fear and anxiety-related behaviors(46).

Serotonin is also responsible for one’s mood and feelings of well-being and happiness.

Other disorders that CBD may help treat include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder(47).

How CBD Helps With Eczema

CBD’s therapeutic benefits for eczema may be explained through CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS helps maintain balance in various bodily functions, such as pain perception, mood, and immune response(48).

Moreover, the ECS consists of two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2 receptors, configured to interact with cannabinoids or compounds. These receptors exist on cells throughout the body.

CB1 receptors are located in the brain, central nervous system, lungs, liver, and kidneys(49). These receptors help regulate bodily functions, like memory processing, appetite, pain sensation, mood, and sleep.

CB2 receptors are present in cells within the immune system and its associated structures(50). These receptors help combat inflammation, reducing pain and minimizing damage to tissues.

These anti-inflammatory effects may help treat various skin infections, like eczema, psoriasis, and acne(51).

Moreover, CBD activates TRPV1 and GPR55 receptors, which may help mediate pain perception and inflammation(52–53).

Another study indicated that CBD may reduce inflammation by promoting adenosine receptor A2A signaling, suppressing immune cells(54).

Thus, CBD’s potential benefits in eczema may come from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates skin and body functions.

How Soon Can CBD’s Effects Be Felt?

Topical CBD products for eczema and other skin problems may kick in faster or slower based on different factors. These include skin type, body weight, metabolism, administration method, and CBD potency.

Generally, topical CBD beauty products, like CBD creams, CBD lotions, and CBD salves, may take effect within an hour or two. CBD is absorbed through the skin’s surface to interact with localized cannabinoid receptors.

Thus, users may apply topical CBD beauty products liberally to compensate for the skin’s low cannabinoid absorption rate.

CBD topicals’ benefits for the skin may last for two to four hours(55). Others may last for a few days, depending on different factors, like skin sensitivity and metabolism.

Possible Side Effects of Using CBD for Eczema

While CBD may help treat various skin infections, including eczema, the compound may induce some side effects. These include(56):

    • Diarrhea
    • Dry mouth
    • Drowsiness
    • Fatigue
    • Tiredness
    • Reduced appetite
    • Changes in weight

Moreover, CBD may interact with other medications, like blood thinners.

A 2011 review also noted that CBD may induce side effects, including the inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism, decreased fertilization capacity, and decreased activities of p-glycoprotein and other drug transporters(57).

Thus, consumers should consult a dermatologist before using CBD creams and other CBD products for proper guidance.

How to Choose the Best CBD for Eczema

Consumers may purchase topical CBD products, like CBD creams, CBD lotions, and CBD salves, for eczema. However, they must observe the following steps to choose the best CBD oil for eczema:

  1. Select CBD products that use organic, GMO-free hemp plants. Reliable CBD brands grow their hemp from their farms or source the plants from licensed hemp producers.
  2. Choose cannabidiol products that use CO2 extraction techniques to maximize the compounds’ benefits. Also, select CBD brands that do not make unwarranted health claims and provide disclaimers on their websites.
  3. Confirm whether the product undergoes third-party lab testing. The certificate of analysis (COA), usually found on the CBD brand’s official website, should show the product’s potency and absence of pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, and other harmful contaminants.
  4. Compare product label claims with the COA. High-quality topical creams should show accurate CBD content aligned with the product label claim.
  5. Choose CBD companies with certifications, memberships to hemp organizations, or accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). CBD brands that meet these criteria are credible as they give excellent customer service and observe strict compliance, transparency, and ethical business practices.
  6. Research on state laws regarding cannabis use to ensure legality.
  7. Consult a dermatologist, especially if purchasing CBD products for the first time or taking other medications for skin problems to avoid possible allergic reactions and other complications.
  8. Know the difference among full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolates to help identify the right CBD based on individual needs and preferences.

Full-spectrum CBD products contain all cannabinoids or naturally occurring compounds in cannabis plants, including CBD, THC, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, fatty acids, and other minerals.

These combined compounds produce the entourage effect, which may be more efficacious than isolated elements of the cannabis plant(58). Users who want to maximize all the compounds’ benefits may use full-spectrum CBD products.

Consumers who want to avoid THC’s euphoric effects while still maximizing the compound’s benefits may use broad-spectrum CBD products.

Meanwhile, CBD isolates are pure CBD hemp extracts that allow consumers to maximize CBD’s benefits.

How to Use CBD for Eczema

Topical CBD products for skin problems, like eczema, are available in various forms, including CBD creams, CBD lotions, and CBD salves.

As CBD topicals are absorbed into the skin’s surface, users may apply a more significant amount of CBD to their skin. However, they should start at low doses to observe the skin’s reaction to CBD.

Users may increase dosage once they see positive effects after several days of use.

Effects of topical CBD products may be felt within 15 to 30 minutes and may last for two to four hours(59).

However, results may vary based on the administration method, skin type, body weight, metabolism, CBD potency, and product quality.

It is best to visit a health professional knowledgeable on CBD to determine the right dosage based on individual needs.

CBD Dosage for Eczema

Research showed that CBD dosage of up to 1,500 mg/day is well tolerated in humans(60).

However, the only FDA-approved CBD product is Epidiolex, used to treat rare cases of epilepsy in children(61). Its recommended starting dosage is 2.5mg CBD per kilogram of body weight, which can be taken twice daily(62).

Other than this, no official recommended CBD dosage is available for eczema.

However, the general rule is to start low and slow. Users can start with at least 5mg of CBD and increase dosage once desired results are reached.

Consumers should also consult a healthcare professional experienced in CBD use to determine the right dosage of CBD based on the individual’s needs and preferences.

Legality of CBD

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD products with 0.3% or less THC are legal at the federal level(63).

Tetrahydrocannabinol is a psychoactive compound that causes a euphoric high among users. While hemp-derived CBD products are removed from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), marijuana remains a Schedule 1 controlled drug(64).

Marijuana has a high risk of abuse because of THC’s psychoactive effects(65).

The 2018 Farm Bill also preserves the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate products with cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.

According to the FDA, products containing CBD or THC should not be sold legally as dietary supplements. The agency has approved one cannabis-derived drug product: Epidiolex (cannabidiol), and three synthetic cannabis-related drug products: Marinol (dronabinol), Syndros (dronabinol), and Cesamet (nabilone) only(66).

Epidiolex is a purified form of CBD derived from cannabis. It is used to help treat seizures linked to Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two rare cases of epilepsy.

Marinol and Syndros are approved to treat anorexia linked to weight loss in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Meanwhile, Cesamet is approved to reduce nausea linked to cancer chemotherapy.

As the FDA only approved these cannabis products, consumers should study state laws and buy CBD in areas that allow recreational or medical use of marijuana.

Product Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can CBD help with eczema?

CBD may help with eczema through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), regulating bodily functions, like pain perception and immune response(67).

What evidence or research exists to say that CBD helps with eczema?

Studies showed that CBD may have therapeutic benefits for eczema as it produces potential antipruritic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic, effects(68–71).

Is there any evidence that CBD can make eczema worse?

While research about CBD’s effectiveness for eczema remains inconclusive, no studies showed that CBD may worsen eczema. Current evidence suggests that CBD may produce anti-inflammatory effects that help treat eczema(72).

Will CBD interact with any current medication I may be taking for eczema?

CBD may interact with other medications, altering how the body breaks them down(73). Thus, users must consult a dermatologist to ensure safe CBD use.

Are there other treatments I should consider alongside CBD to help with eczema?

Other eczema treatments include over-the-counter (OTC) medications,

prescription topicals, steroid creams, and immunosuppressants. However, overuse of these conventional treatments may induce side effects, like thinning skin(74). Thus, users must consult a dermatologist to avoid adverse effects from these drugs.

Can I fail a drug test if I use CBD for eczema?

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, so it does not cause a euphoric high(75). However, other CBD products have low levels of the psychoactive compound THC. Frequent use of the products may result in a false-positive drug test result.

What is the dosage for eczema?

No official guidelines for CBD dosage for eczema are available. However, users can start taking CBD at low doses and gradually increase dosage once positive effects are evident.

Are CBD topicals safe for people with eczema?

While CBD is generally well tolerated, CBD topicals may induce some side effects on people with eczema, such as diarrhea, drowsiness, and fatigue(76).

Is CBD safe for children with eczema?

It is best to consult a pediatrician before using CBD for children with eczema. Moreover, avoid giving them CBD products containing the psychoactive compound THC to avoid possible harmful effects.

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