It seems that CBD works primarily by increasing the levels of these endocannabinoids to enhance ECS function. This effect means that CBD could be more likely to relieve itching than cause it.
This study, unfortunately, had a very small sample size, and more research is necessary to confirm its results conclusively. However, these preliminary findings suggest that, unless you have a CBD allergy, the compound is more likely to act as a solution to itching than a cause.
A 2006 study for the German journal Der Hautarzt tested a compound called N-palmitoyl ethanolamine (PEA) in 22 patients with itching due to various skin conditions. The chemical is a cannabinoid agonist, meaning that it stimulates receptors in the ECS. Of the 22 participants, 14 experienced reductions in itching. The average reduction was an impressive 86.4%.
CBD and Itching: The Problem or the Solution?
Anyone experiencing these side effects after taking Epidiolex or CBD oil should seek medical advice immediately.
As always, we only recommend buying CBD from reputable brands that publish third-party lab reports on their websites. Products that have not undergone testing may contain contaminants and increase the risk of adverse reactions like itching.
It seems that the most likely explanation for these adverse effects is an allergic reaction to CBD oil. So, how common is this problem, and are there any other symptoms?
However, over in the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had different findings. The MHRA runs something known as the Yellow Card Scheme. The scheme provides consumers with an opportunity to report adverse reactions after using a specific medicine or supplement.
Shamban also agrees. “Ingesting the product has to get through the entire digestive system to work inside out for inflammatory issues, whereas topically you can target the dermal cellular level if the product is pure and able to penetrate.”
The next question is whether an ingestible CBD oil or topical product containing CBD will help treat eczema better. “In my opinion, I think it is better to apply a moisturizing product that contains CBD as opposed to straight CBD oil,” explains Riggle. “The other ingredients will work together with CBD to help treat the symptoms of eczema — plus, pure CBD oil tends to be highly viscous and would be difficult to apply.”
Although CBD oil is considered harmless, there is not enough evidence or studies to back up its true effectiveness in treating eczema. There are many other ingredients on the market that can help treat and prevent eczema, including ceramides. “Ceramides are lipids found in our skin that help retain moisture and keep the barrier function working,” explains Shamban.
CBD purity: How does this affect eczema, if at all?
Although CBD oil is still a new industry in terms of medical applications, “it has been long observed and known since the first dermatology textbooks that cannabinoids do possess strong anti-inflammatory benefits as well as calming anti-itch properties,” says Shamban. “Until recently, there was no research to understand how and why, but it has been more ‘anecdotal reporting’ and community consensus, not clinical.” According to Shamban, CBD is not harmful against certain skin conditions, but doctors are unsure of how helpful it is. “Truthfully, there is probably a direct connection and benefit [of CBD oil for eczema], but the range of cannabis topicals in terms of type, amount and delivery systems … makes it more complicated for us as medical professionals to give accuracy on the specifics,” she says.
When purchasing a CBD product to treat eczema, Riggle suggests asking yourself a few questions. “For example, ‘What type of CBD extract does it contain — full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, isolate?’, ‘Where is the raw material sourced from?’, ‘Does the producer use organic and sustainable agricultural practices?’, etc.” Riggle also adds, “If you don’t use a high-quality CBD product, you risk exposure to pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents and possible skin irritation due to these contaminants.” In other words, do your research.
Atopic eczema is a chronic disease where the skin barrier has become leaky, and inflammation occurs.
J ust like any relationship, the connection between CBD and eczema is complicated. Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is an itchy skin condition that can creep up anywhere on the body but is usually found on the face, hands, wrists, back of the knees and/or the feet. Eczema affects millions with symptoms including “redness, irritation, dryness, flaking and itchy skin that has a rough appearance and touch,” explains California-based dermatologist Ava Shamban, M.D. “Eczema presents itself physically in a number of ways, [including] inflammation and cell proliferation.” Skin is our barrier from the outside world, and it keeps allergens, irritants, infection agents and other generally bad stuff out. Not only that but “it also wants to keep moisture in and avoid transepidermal water loss,” says Shamban. “When the barrier is not performing optimally is when we see the greatest intake of issues and the greatest loss of moisture, and the balance of the skin is part of the cause of the vicious cycle of eczema.” Atopic eczema is a chronic disease where the skin barrier has become leaky, and inflammation occurs.
Dr. Gordon Sussman, an allergist in Canada and professor at the University of Toronto, said there is very little published research on CBD oil allergies.
That being said, only male marijuana plants produce pollen, and are exceedingly rare in cannabis and hemp production because they produce less oil and CBD than female plants. Therefore, a consumer’s exposure to pollen would be extremely rare.
Allergies in the body
Such foods may include tomatoes and stone fruits containing pits such as peaches, he said. It’s a similar cross-reactivity to what is seen in people with ragweed allergies who might experience symptoms such as itchy mouth if they eat fruit in the melon family, he added.
CBD is the second-most-prominent cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant, after the intoxicating cannabinoid THC. CBD oil, extracted from marijuana or industrial hemp, has gained popularity for its potential benefits for a number of conditions, including inflammation, arthritic pain, depression, seizures, and anxiety.
“The same thing goes with cannabis and tomatoes and peaches and almonds and a number of other foods … eggplant, grapefruit, apples,” Silvers said.