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Did you know the skin is the largest organ in the human body? It also happens to be one of the most important. Not only does our skin protect us from the elements of the outside world, it helps fight disease.
Many studies suggest our skin plays a role in controlling the immune system.
But what happens when our skin isn’t healthy? People with chronic skin conditions like eczema understand the importance of healthy skin first hand. Causing the skin to develop red and itchy rashes, eczema is a painful condition. It is estimated that over 30 million people in the United States are affected by eczema.
There is, unfortunately, no known cure for the condition. However, cannabis is proving to be an effective and natural treatment option. A powerful anti-inflammatory, cannabis can alleviate chronic skin conditions for lasting relief.
If you’ve ever considered treating eczema with cannabis, here’s what you need to know.
Treating eczema with cannabis
The root cause of eczema is still up for debate.
However, it is now believed that eczema is brought on by a strained immune system, which in turn causes an overreaction in the skin. Stress, soaps, dehydration, milk, and soybeans are all known triggers for the condition. While irritants can be avoided to stop outbreaks, eczema is a lifelong disease.
Corticosteroid creams and ointments are commonly prescribed to control itching and inflammation. However, these treatments come with a wealth of side effects like bruising, stretch marks, and discoloration to name a few.
Cannabis, on the other hand, can treat eczema without the harsh side effects of steroids. When cannabis is applied topically, it binds to CB2 receptors in the skin and diminishes the inflammatory response. In other words, cannabis soothes instantly. As a bonus, cannabis topicals also possess hydrating oils for maximum relief.
Because it is applied topically, there is no psychoactive component. Which means patients can use cannabis topicals generously.
Cannabis reduces inflammation
Eczema occurs when an inflammatory reaction develops in the skin. For eczema sufferers, this inflammatory response is out of control. Triggers such as environmental factors and stress cause an overreaction in the skin, leading to an outbreak.
THCA in combination with CBD can alleviate inflammation along with the pain associated with it. This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect. CBD and THCA act synergistically to reduce inflammation and pain.
Although very little research has been done on the effects of cannabinoids and inflammation in eczema patients, there is ample anecdotal evidence.
Numerous patients have shared the life-changing effects of cannabis topicals for eczema. Experiencing relief and in some cases a total loss of symptoms, eczema patients are finding cannabis to be a powerful aid in alleviating inflammation.
Cannabis eases itching
Inflammation isn’t the only issue associated with eczema. For many patients, it is the itching that can be the most irritating of all.
Rashes can become severely itchy before even appearing. Once a rash does develop, oozing blisters and discharge often follow. Not only are these blisters itchy, they can cause the condition to spread to other parts of the body. This can lead to a nasty cycle for eczema sufferers.
A study in 2005 examined the effects of using a cream containing cannabinoids for itch relief. During the study, participants were given a twice-daily application over the course of three weeks. By the end of the study, 52.4 percent reporting itching was significantly reduced while 38.1 percent reported the sensation diminished completely.
Although it should be noted that this study was preliminary, the results are nevertheless astounding.
Cannabis soothes stress levels
Did you know stress is a leading cause of flare-ups in chronic skin conditions, including eczema? When the body is stressed, it produces an inflammatory response. For eczema sufferers, stress only makes the symptoms worse. So reducing stress is one of the most important steps to alleviating the condition.
Cannabis is a highly effective aid at reducing stress.
When used topically, these effects can be amplified for those with eczema. Once applied, a cannabis balm, salve, or oil can help relax the tissues and surrounding blood vessels. Cannabinoids enter the skin and significantly reduce the inflammatory response to the stressor.
Better yet, cannabis topicals are ideal for stress relief because the very act of using them can be soothing. This is particularly true if cannabis topicals are used in combination with a massage. Not only is the area being treated directly, the very act of using the cream can be therapeutic.
Which may explain why so many eczema patients find cannabis topicals to be highly effective for stress relief.
Cannabis provides pain relief
It is well established that cannabis is effective for alleviating pain. So it comes as no surprise then cannabis can reduce pain for eczema sufferers.
When an eczema flare up occurs, the skin becomes inflamed and painful. This reaction is far more than just dry skin. Eczema is especially painful because the skin produces a tender inflammatory response. What you’re left with is cracked, raw, and sometimes oozing skin.
Many treatments for eczema suggest cream-based moisturizers and the avoidance of hot showers. However, cannabis is capable of targeted relief. Cannabis topicals work directly where applied.
A potent pain-killer and anti-inflammatory agent, cannabis treats the heart of the condition without nasty side-effects of steroids. So not only can cannabis topicals provide pain relief, they also can reduce the inflammatory response altogether. In some cases, almost eliminating the condition completely.
Because topicals are a natural treatment option, there is minimal (if any) risk associated with using them. So it is no wonder then why so many patients are seeking a more natural option like cannabis. While there is certainly a need for more research on this topic, the patient testimonials alone are incredible.
Have you tried treating eczema with cannabis? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments below and share this article.