Maybe you forgot to reapply suncream to your nose, after taking your mask off, or you accidentally used out of date sunscreen, we’ve all been there. We’re we’re here to tell you that you might be able to use hemp oil for sunburn! If you’re tired of sunburn treatments that don’t quite do the job, it might be time to give CBD oil a try. Here’s what you need to know!
Hemp Oil for Sunburn: Does CBD Really Help Heal Sunburn?
With weather like this, we’re sure one of the top Google searches in Ireland/UK will be something along the lines of “how to heal sunburn quickly”. Luckily, we’re here to tell you that you might be able to use hemp oil for sunburn!
With things heating up, weather-wise, we’re sure there are quite a few of us out there who are sporting a slight shade of pink at the moment. We always harp on about wearing SPF but let’s face it, even the most careful of us get caught out sometimes.
Whether you forgot to reapply suncream to your nose, after taking your mask off, or you accidentally used out of date sunscreen, we’ve all been there. We’re all too familiar with the prickling heat and itchiness of healing sunburn.
Before we delve into using CBD and hemp oil for sunburn, let’s take a closer look at what sunburn actually does to our skin.
What is sunburn?
We all love getting out in the fresh air and feeling the gentle heat of the sun on our skin. It’s a great way to boost your vitamin D levels, along with your mood. But we know that too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage our skin.
There are two types of UV rays (UVA and UVB) and unfortunately, they can both harm our skin. UVB rays have a shorter wavelength, so they tend to burn the outer layers of our skin, resulting in what we fondly know as sunburn.
UVA rays, on the other hand, penetrate the skin on a deeper level as they have a longer wavelength. Exposing your skin to these particular rays tends to increase signs of ageing, as well as increasing the risk of developing skin cancer.
When our skin is exposed to heat, whether it’s from the sun or from hot water, for example, our immune response is triggered. Typically this means extra blood and fluids are rushed to the injured skin to help heal it. For us, this means, that the area will become red, swollen, hot, and inflamed.
There are three main types of burns:
- First-degree burns: this is when the outer layer of the skin is damaged. The skin stays intact but it becomes red and painful. This type of burn typically fades after a couple of days. This is the most common type of sunburn.
- Second-degree burns: this is when the under-layer of the skin is also damaged. Second-degree burns are far more painful as the skin tends to blister to protect itself. This type of burn is more associated with exposure to hot water but it can happen with severe sunburn too. Second-degree burns will heal over time but there is a risk of sensitivity to the sun, as well as scarring.
- Third-degree burns: this is a severe type of burn where both the skin and underlying nerves are damaged. Third-degree burns are usually the result of exposure to fire or acid, rather than exposure to the sun. This type of burn needs to be treated in the hospital, usually with skin grafts.
Luckily, our skin is fantastic at healing itself and most of the time, damaged cells can be repaired over time. But, if the cells can’t be repaired, they peel off to reveal new, healthy skin underneath. While accidents happen, it’s not a good idea to let your skin get burned on a regular basis!
What are the best ways to soothe sunburn?
Although sunburn will heal itself over time, there are a couple of things that we can do to speed up the process, and ease the discomfort that comes along with it. This is where using hemp oil for sunburn comes in!
Keeping your cool
As we know, when we get sunburned, the area of damaged skin becomes super red and warm to the touch. This can be extremely uncomfortable and painful at times, especially if your clothing is rubbing against your sore skin.
When the body is repairing the damaged skin, it increases circulation in the area and warms it up to help with the healing process. This can also lead to swelling and tightness of the skin.
So, what do we do when we’re too warm? Cool off! You can simply use cold water or ice to cool down the affected area. This will help reduce the flow of blood to the area too, reducing redness as well as swelling.
If you’re using ice, remember to wrap it in a towel before applying it to the skin. This will help to protect the skin against further damage, and it will keep you from losing the feeling in your fingertips too.
With just a little encourage-mint
Another wonderful way of soothing hot and swollen skin is to use menthol. Experts recommend using over-the-counter menthol-infused creams or lotions to help provide a cooling sensation, without actually having to bring down the temperature of your skin.
This is ideal if you’re sunburned but can’t walk around the office with a cold compress on your forehead!
Menthol works with the receptors in your skin, tricking them into thinking that it’s cold. So, your skin cools down, without having to carry a bag of frozen peas around the office. This is especially handy if you have a mild sunburn, as it’ll help relieve tightness and discomfort.
However, if your skin is cracked or broken, this isn’t the one for you. Applying menthol to broken skin may sting and irritate your skin further. We recommend doing a tiny patch test before slathering your whole body in menthol cream!
Using hemp oil for sunburn is also a good idea because it can help ease the discomfort associated with sunburn. Hemp oil works with the receptors in your skin to help reduce pain in the area where the balm is applied. Using a product like our Recovery Cooling Balm, you get the best of both menthol and hemp oil for sunburn.
When using menthol and hemp oil for sunburn, we would suggest doing a patch test first. Menthol is recommended by experts to help soothe sunburn, but it can sting if the skin is broken or cracked.
If your skin is moderate to severely damaged, we recommend skipping this step. Menthol and raw skin might not be the best combination and you could end up irritating your skin further.
Water you waiting for? Hydrate!
One of the symptoms of sunburn is dehydration. We’re not just talking about your thirst level though, we’re talking about your skin too. Sunburn, like other types of burns, can severely dry out your skin.
Hydration is key to keeping your skin healthy and it’s absolutely essential for your skin to heal damaged cells.
Of course, it’s important to up your water intake, but you’ll also need to deliver some hydration directly to the affected area with a moisturiser. As your skin is quite sensitive, you’ll need to be careful.
Try to use a moisturiser that offers intense hydration, but won’t irritate your skin further. Keeping the skin hydrated will help to repair the moisture barrier, repair the cells, and keep the skin from becoming cracked, itchy, and tight.
Poko product pro-tip:
One of the reasons why you can use hemp oil for sunburn is because it offers hydration. For example, our Ultra Hydrating Moisturiser combines the nourishing qualities of hemp oil with aloe vera, to offer intense hydration.
Aloe Vera juice contains a whopping 99.5% water which means our skin loves it. We have been using Aloe Vera for thousands of years as it is also a well-known anti-inflammatory, and so is a popular choice when it comes to healing sunburn.
Is hemp lotion good for sunburn when it comes to hydrating? Using hemp oil for sunburn is beneficial because it helps to restore moisture to the skin without irritating it further. CBD is known to be extremely gentle on the skin and it is perfectly suitable for those of us who have extremely sensitive skin. Therefore, it’s unlikely to irritate your sunburned skin.
Our Ultra Hydrating Moisturiser is also packed with natural oils like apricot kernel oil and olive oil. Both of these substances mimic oils that your skin naturally produces, like squalene and sebum.
Using these along with hemp oil for sunburn is perfect as they help to lock in hydration and nourish the skin’s moisture barrier. Therefore, they’re perfect to help hydrate the skin, without irritating it.
This can also be said for oat silk, another ingredient in our moisturiser. Oat silk is a powerful and fast-acting anti-inflammatory. It has long been known to help calm rashes, bug bites, and sunburn, as well as skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Although this isn’t technically using hemp oil for sunburn, we thought it’s worth noting. After a couple of days, you may notice that your skin has started to peel. As tempting as it is to peel it off, you need to exercise your utmost willpower and leave it alone. Trust us.
Damaged skin cells will eventually peel off but the skin underneath is still new, and sensitive. If you go pulling off the outer layers, you’ll expose the sensitive skin to the elements, potentially damaging your skin again!
If your skin is peeling a lot, you can use a soft muslin cloth to gently remove the excess. But don’t go scrubbing or picking!
We love a chemical exfoliator but now is not the time for it. When your skin is already sensitive, it’s best to avoid exfoliators that might irritate it further. It’ll come off when it’s ready to come off!
The same goes for blisters. If you have severe sunburn, you may notice small blisters forming. Leave them be. It’s your body’s way of protecting the damaged skin by cushioning it and protecting it from the outside world.
Popping blisters will not only increase your chances of infection, but it’ll take longer to heal. As you have exposed the sensitive skin underneath, your skin may take longer to heal and it’s more likely to scar.
Using hemp oil for sunburn: What does science say?
Some studies (like this one) show that we may be able to use hemp oil for sunburn, because it may have anti-inflammatory qualities. Experts believe that the CBD compound, present in hemp oil, interacts with receptors in our bodies to influence certain immune responses.
Whilst we need more research to fully understand how CBD works, experts believe it helps to stabilise key functions in our bodies, this includes immune responses like inflammation, pain perception, and body temperature.
Therefore, we may be able to use hemp oil for sunburn, as it can help in the recovery process, as well as dulling discomfort caused by the burn.
Does using hemp oil for sunburn really work?
Whilst we need more clinical studies to definitively say that you can use CBD for sunburn relief, all of the evidence that we have so far certainly pointed in that direction. Hemp oil may help reduce pain, swelling, and redness while helping to restore moisture to the sunburn area.
Whilst you can use hemp oil for sunburn, it is not a replacement for SPF. The best way to treat sunburn is to prevent it in the first place, and that means protecting your skin. To do this, you should liberally apply a high SPF several times a day!
Luckily, we have tonnes of other blogs all about SPF – how much you should be using and how you can apply it without disturbing your make-up. Check them out right here!
Sunburns & CBD Oil: Fighting Inflammation & Repairing the Skin
Too much time in the sun can leave unprotected skin vulnerable to scarring, infection, and cancer caused by UV rays.
Researchers have found CBD oil to have possible anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties. Because of this, CBD oil may be effective in relieving the painful and itchy symptoms of sunburns.
CBD oil has already become a popular addition to topical creams and lotions for its potential to relieve pain. In fact, many people with joint pain and arthritis report success in managing their pain with the CBD oil creams, salves, and gels.
If you’re looking for relief that could be more than skin deep, here’s all you need to know about using CBD oil for sunburns.
Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Sunburns
The treatment options for people who have sunburns are fairly limited. While many products exist to help prevent sunburns, few are able to actually treat the burn.
Unfortunately, some of these products, like benzocaine, can irritate the skin or cause a potential allergic reaction. With few side effects , and many reported health benefits , CBD oil may be useful in treating pain and inflammation of the skin without the risk of allergic reaction or irritation.
For a double whammy, try looking for a sunburn product that contains cannabidiol (CBD) and aloe vera , which is widely known to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and provide moisture to sunburned skin without the risk of serious side effects.
Effectiveness of Using CBD Oil for Sunburns
To understand how CBD may be effective as a treatment for sunburn, it is helpful to know what a sunburn is.
After prolonged exposure to infrared or ultraviolet (UV) radiation, the skin becomes damaged. As a result of this damage, or burn, inflammatory cells are released in order to heal and repair the skin. As a result, the skin becomes extra-sensitive to touch, and there may be swelling, blistering, and heat radiating from it. CBD oil may be able to help mitigate some of these inflammatory symptoms.
CBD Oil to Fight Infection
After suffering from a sunburn, the skin becomes increasingly susceptible to infection. As the skin blisters and peels, it becomes extremely vulnerable and if infected, could leave you with permanent scarring or markings.
Recent research has shown CBD to have antibacterial and antioxidant properties that could make it useful in combating infection.
During one study, five cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), were shown to be effective in fighting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). All of the cannabinoids showed “potent activity” against the bacterium, pointing to CBD’s potential for fighting bacterial infection.
CBD Oil for Pain and Inflammation
One of the ways CBD oil may best be able to help with sunburns is through its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
The anti-inflammatory actions of CBD have been well researched and studies indicate that it is very effective at suppressing the immune responses that cause inflammation without suppressing the entire immune system. Because of this, CBD may help reduce the inflammatory swelling and redness of a sunburn while also protecting against possible infections via the mechanisms mentioned above.
Pain can be one of the most difficult things to deal with when experiencing sunburn. Some people with particularly bad sunburns can experience nerve pain. CBD has been shown to potentiate, or increase the effects of, the inhibitory glycine receptors found in the central nervous system. These receptors play a significant role in the experience of nerve pain. By increasing the effectiveness of these receptors, nerve pain can be decreased.
Scientific research into all of the potential uses of CBD oil is ongoing but given its anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antibacterial, and antioxidant effects, using CBD oil for sunburns may be an effective option for sunburn treatment.
CBD Oil for Skin Repair
CBD oil may be helpful in repairing dry and damaged skin. Many of the compounds found in CBD are also found in health and beauty products formulated for skin repair.
CBD oil contains Vitamin A and Vitamin E, which are commonly found in anti-aging and anti-scarring skin repair serums.
Vitamin A is a group of vitamins that includes retinol, retinal, and beta-carotene. These substances have been shown to improve skin firmness and help it withstand injury .
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can absorb ultraviolet light , increase photoprotection, and mitigate damage to the skin from free radicals . Damage from the sun’s UV rays causes the production of free radicals and leads to oxidative stress. All of this can lead to DNA damage in your skin cells, and increases the risk for skin cancer. Because CBD contains Vitamin E, it’s a great candidate for protection against free radicals and the potential damage they may cause.
CBD oil also contains essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6. These fatty acids play a role in producing and protecting the skin’s natural oil barrier, helping burned skin stay hydrated during recovery.
When all of these compounds work together, they can help protect and repair sunburned skin, while reducing dryness and peeling by helping the skin retain moisture and stimulate oil production.
How to Take CBD Oil for Sunburns
CBD oil comes in a wide range of products and delivery formats, and some will be more effective than others when it comes to soothing sunburns.
For most sunburns, a CBD oil topical will be best. These CBD creams, gels, and salves can be applied directly to the site of the burn, delivering anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits where it is needed most. But, CBD topicals take time to be absorbed, so it may be a while before you feel their effects. However, once the CBD is absorbed, the effects can last for 5 hours or more.
If waiting for relief is too much, you can also use a CBD vape oil , CBD flower , or CBD oil tinctures for faster relief stemming from the inside out.
CBD vapes and flower go to work almost immediately. The effects do not last long (typically an hour at most) but sometimes, with conditions like a sunburn, speed is more important than duration! CBD oil tinctures or drops also work quickly, within 30 minutes, and the results last much longer than vaping, typically 2 to 4 hours.
Sunburns often require multiple treatment efforts and it isn’t any different with CBD oil. You may find a combination of CBD products provides the most relief, or that using CBD oil in conjunction with aloe vera or some other natural soothing agent is best. CBD oil is considered to be relatively safe , so you can experiment without too much concern.
But, before you begin using CBD oil for sunburns, talk to your doctor. CBD oil can interact with some commonly prescribed medications like antidepressants , and you will want to make sure that it is a safe option for you.
Unfortunately, there is no single standard dose of CBD oil for sunburns. It is best to start with the lowest recommended dose listed on your CBD product. If you’re using a CBD lotion, gel, or salve, remember that a little goes a long way, so start off with just enough to cover the area of the burn.
When it comes to other CBD oil products, we at CBD Oil Review have come up with a standard serving suggestion of 25mg of CBD taken twice daily . If your CBD oil product doesn’t come with a dosage recommendation, this amount should give you a good baseline to work with.
For more dosing recommendations, check out our dosage guide or speak with a naturopathic doctor, who can give you the most personalized advice for your condition.
The best treatment for sunburns is preventing them in the first place! But, if you’ve had a little too much fun in the sun—and suffered the consequences—CBD oil may be the right option. The more we learn about CBD oil, the more realize its full potential. While the research is ongoing, it appears at present that CBD oil may be an effective way to reduce the inflammatory and painful symptoms associated with sunburns.
If you liked this article, you may also enjoy:
- Porntip Puvabanditsin et al. Efficacy of aloe vera cream in prevention and treatment of sunburn and suntan – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16623024/
- Giovanni Appendino et al. (2008) Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18681481/
- Prakash Nagarkatti et al. (2010) Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs – National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/
- Wei Xiong et al. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors – National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3371734/
- Reza Kafi et al. Improvement of naturally aged skin with vitamin A (retinol) – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17515510/
- Vitamin E and Skin Health – Oregon State University https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-E
- R. T. Narendhirakannan et al. (2012) Oxidative Stress and Skin Cancer: An Overview – National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3613501/
- Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health – Oregon State University https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/essential-fatty-acids
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