Guide to Treating Dermatitis with Cannabis Topicals
Dermatitis is the general term used to describe conditions of skin irritation. Although dermatitis isn’t contagious it makes many people feel uncomfortable and self-conscious which leads to the exploration of a number of treatment options including cannabis topicals.
Cannabis topicals are any cannabis products applied directly to the skin. They show promise in being an effective treatment for dermatitis and other skin conditions.
What is Dermatitis?
Dermatitis is a group of common skin conditions that has a number of causes and manifests in a number of forms. It typically involves itchy, dry skin or a rash on swollen, reddened skin. It may also cause the skin to blister, ooze, crust or flake off.
Common types of dermatitis include:
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema): Usually beginning in infancy, this red, itchy rash usually occurs where the skin flexes — inside the elbows, behind the knees and in front of the neck. The rash may leak fluid when scratched and crust over. People with atopic dermatitis may experience some improvement with seasonal flare-ups.
- Contact dermatitis: This red, itchy stinging rash occurs where your skin has come into contact with substances that irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction. Some people may develop blisters.
- Follicular eczema: With this type, the affected skin thickens and develops bumps in hair follicles.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: This condition causes scaly patches, red skin and stubborn dandruff. It usually affects oily areas of the body, such as the face, upper chest and back. It can be a long-term condition with periods of improvement and then seasonal flare-ups. In infants, this condition is called cradle cap.
There are a number of potential causes of dermatitis including but not limited to; inflammation of the skin, immune dysfunction, allergic reaction or irritant to the skin.
Treatment typically includes medicated ointments, creams and shampoos.
Cannabis and Dermatitis
The endocannabinoid system is known for helping to regulate important functions in the human body including; mood, sleep, appetite and other critical functions like immune system functioning and managing inflammation.
Cannabis has proven its ability to reduce inflammation in the body, but do we see the same result when it’s applied to the skin? Research has found that the cannabinoid receptors that are tasked with regulating the endocannabinoid system (and how cannabis interacts with our bodies) are found throughout the body – including in our skin.
What the Research Says
A 2019 study showed preliminary evidence that CBD topicals have a positive overall impact on inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis. In this study, CBD topicals were used twice daily for three months and participants experienced an overall reduction in visible symptoms and expressed an increase in quality of life. It’s also important to note that none of the participants experienced adverse reactions to the CBD topical.
Dermatitis and Cannabis Topicals – CBD or THC?
Cannabis topicals are applied directly to the site of irritation and discomfort and absorbed into the skin. Due to the fact that cannabis is not absorbed into the bloodstream when applied to the skin, a person will not experience psychoactive effects regardless of whether or not THC is present. Therefore, there are potential benefits of using a cannabis topical product that contains both THC and CBD to receive the complementary benefits of both.
Dosing Cannabis Topicals
Cannabis topicals are easy to use as they’re typically in a bar, cream, or salve and applied to the skin at the site of irritation in the same manner as a typical moisturizing lotion. The only problem with cannabis topicals is that it’s hard to determine the dose of the product you’re applying. There is no easy way to determine the exact amount of product per use. Also, there is also no accepted effective dose for cannabis topicals as the research is still preliminary.
That being said researchers have not seen any adverse effects of cannabis topicals at high doses. If further irritation does occur it is a result of other ingredients in the topical product, not the cannabis. So, it’s important to use products with quality ingredients.
Miss Envy and Cannabis Topicals
Miss Envy’s Buddha topical products have won first place for cannabis topicals at the Karma Cup three years in a row. These cannabis topicals come in two variations (1) a roll-on salve, and (2) a body cream.
Buddha-Bar roll-on salve is made from cocoa butter, shea butter, candelilla wax, coconut oil, arnica oil, methol and essential oils including lemongrass. It’s uniquely formulated to alleviate chronic muscle pain, inflammation, and bruising.
Buddha Buddha Cream is made from shea butter, coconut oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, essential oils, and THC distillate. It’s uniquely formulated to increase the skin’s ability to attract, hold and distribute moisture to alleviate muscle pain.