Today, cannabidiol (CBD) is an increasingly popular ingredient in skincare products, found in everything from beauty creams to salves for inflammatory skin conditions. A cursory Google search will reveal CBD-infused products touted as effective treatments for rashes, bug bites, dry skin, acne, and hives. As anyone who has ever dealt with these itchy red welts knows, hives can be a miserable experience, and the quest for relief can be urgent — but research on the efficacy of CBD in treating hives and similar conditions is in its infancy and new knowledge is being gained every day. Keep reading to learn more about CBD and hives from Massachusetts medical marijuana doctor Jordan Tishler.
Benefits of CBD for Skin Inflammation
CBD can benefit a wide variety of medical conditions. The evidence that CBD benefits for hives and other skin conditions hinges on its general anti-inflammatory properties. However, as noted in a thorough overview of CBD’s growing ubiquity in beauty and skincare products by Self magazine, this evidence is largely limited to lab and animal studies.
One especially popular study from the Journal of Dermatological Science in 2007 found that when isolated CBD was applied to human skin cells in the lab, it inhibited the overproduction of skin cells that drives the common skin condition psoriasis. It’s important to make a distinction here between long-term diseases like psoriasis, which may show an inflammatory response due to an underlying problem, versus skin conditions that are acute reactions some outside stimulus — as is often the case with hives, bug bites, and rashes. In other words, evidence that CBD has therapeutic potential for psoriasis is not necessarily evidence for its potential in treating hives.
CBD Oil and Topical Pain Relief
One of the best-established medical uses of marijuana is in the management of pain. However, it is not reasonable to infer that CBD necessarily has these same properties. In one study from the European Journal of Pain using rats showed that topical CBD was able to reduce pain and inflammation from arthritis in the animals. This study, however, used very high doses that would necessitate covering a human from head to toe if the CBD were to be applied topically.
Another wrinkle in the CBD use story is the fact that in all studies, human or mouse, when benefit has been shown, it has always been a very high dose. The dose has consistently been shown to be 10-20mg per kilogram of body weight. Obviously, this is not a problem with tiny mice, but in humans this means 700-1400mg per day, or a whopping $50-100 per day. This is clearly not affordable for most people.
Worse, we know that tiny doses, such as you’d get from the products available at the gas station or even at most dispensaries, do nothing. People claiming “miraculous” benefit are simply getting placebo effect.
Circling back to hives, it’s possible that these pain-relieving effects of CBD may help with the discomfort of hives, but it seems unlikely in light of the data we have at present.
Is There Potential for CBD to Treat Hives?
The bottom line is: no notable studies have been performed addressing the effect of CBD, taken orally or topically, on hives. Any products currently claiming to treat hives (and most other skin problems, for that matter) using CBD is really just marketing to people’s hopes. As a recent article in the journal Clinics in Dermatology put it: CBD has become a “trendy” additive to skincare products, but “data are limited regarding its efficacy and safety.”
Contact a Medical Marijuana Healthcare Professional About Treating Your Skin Condition
With so much still unknown about the benefits of CBD, a specialist in medical marijuana and its derivatives is your best source of information on its potential for helping manage hives and other inflammatory skin conditions. Boston medical marijuana doctor Jordan Tishler is a Harvard Medical School cannabis expert and stands ready to help you determine if marijuana may be the right medication for you. To learn more, contact the team at InhaleMD by calling (617) 477-8886 today.
Image Source: American Academy of Dermatology