topical cbd oil for conditions

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6 Chronic Skin Conditions that Topical CBD Products can Alleviate

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and fulfils numerous functions, one of which is to act as a protective barrier against a wide range of environmental challenges and pollutants. The skin also plays a key role in maintaining homeostasis, storing nutrients and synthesising Vitamin D. Various skin issues can inhibit these crucial functions resulting in detrimental effects on a person’s health. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to be an effective treatment for many skin conditions including acne, inflammation, wound healing, eczema and insect bites. The following article will discuss the use of CBD for skin conditions as well as recommended dosing to ensure the greatest effect of these skincare products.

Topical CBD Creams for Skin Conditions

Several conditions can lead to skin issues, each one with its own underlying cause. Several conditions result from impaired inflammatory processes which are responsible for shielding the skin and helping it heal following injury or infection. In addition, there are other factors which can also increase the severity of skin conditions, including, genetics, diet, and certain medications.

CBD has been shown to be most beneficial when used to treat skin conditions where inflammation is the main cause. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been linked to several multiple regulatory functions, both in health and disease. Researchers believe a functional ECS is present in the skin and linked it to many biological processes, including cell proliferation, growth, differentiation and apoptosis (programmed cell death). The ECS is also thought to play a key role in cytokine and hormone production of numerous cell types of the skin. The cutaneous ECS appears to regulate and control correct and well-balanced proliferation, differentiation and survival, along with immune competence and tolerance of skin cells. Imbalances of the ECS may lead to the development of various pathological disorders of the skin, including acne, irritation, hair growth disorders, systemic sclerosis and certain cancers. Topical CBD can be used to essentially boost this cutaneous ECS and ensure it’s functioning correctly.

Advantages of using Topical CBD products to Treat Skin Conditions:

Reduces viscosity of sebum – natural oil produced by the skin- in the pores to stop the development of acne.

Blocks antibiotic resistance of the skin during infection

Reduces the inflammatory response involved in certain skin conditions – e.g eczema and acne

Can eliminate the irritation and itchiness associated with most skin conditions

How to Use CBD

Ensure the topical skin products have a high concentration of CBD.

Do your research before purchasing – only buy from trusted CBD companies to avoid the chances of applying irritating chemicals to damaged skin.

Try and use topical CBD products that contain other nutritional and natural oils (e.g. hemp seed oil) as these possess greater health benefits.

Always consult a medical professional or doctor before using CBD, particularly if you have a diagnosed condition or are taking other medications.

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and fulfils numerous functions, one of which is to act as a protective barrier against a wide range of environmental challenges and pollutants. The skin also plays a key role in maintaining homeostasis, storing nutrients and synthesising Vitamin D. Various skin issues can inhibit these crucial functions resulting in detrimental effects on a person’s health. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to be an effective treatment for many skin conditions including acne, inflammation, wound healing, eczema and insect bites. The following article will discuss the use of CBD for skin conditions as well as recommended dosing to ensure the greatest effect of these skincare products.


Acne is the most common skin condition in humans; with ​95% of people being affected by acne at some point in their lives. C ​ BD​ is thought to reduce various forms of acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to control how the body produces sebum – a waxy, oily substance secreted by the skin.

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Sebum is secreted to help protect the skin, however, it can mix with dead skin cells and other pollutants which get trapped inside a pore, resulting in the development of acne. To date, the evidence is limited on CBD reducing acne, however, a ​systematic review​ on the antibacterial and anti-fungal effects of cannabis indicated these properties to be potentially beneficial in reducing dirt and other pollutants on the skin due to its antibacterial properties.

CBD moisturiser is recommended for individuals with mild acne, whilst a combination of ingested CBD oil and CBD moisturiser has been shown to have the greatest effect for those suffering from severe acne.


Eczema is another common skin condition which makes the skin dry, itchy, red, and often split. Eczema is a chronic condition, which exists in various forms, such as, atopic dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, and varicose eczema. Individuals suffering from eczema often experience several breakouts every year. At present, there is no fully effective treatment option or cure.

The mechanisms behind this chronic condition are still poorly understood, with traditional treatment using topical steroidal creams having varying results between individuals. Furthermore, long-term use of steroidal creams can result in unfavourable side effects, such as thinning and bruising of the skin which makes the area of infection more prone to damage and cracks. There are also documented cases of prolonged use of steroidal cream causing the infection to spread to other areas.

According to the ​ National Eczema Association (NEA) , ​ it is well accepted that cannabinoids contain anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-itch properties, with cannabis being established several decades ago as an effective agent in treating skin conditions.

Topical CBD products may alleviate eczema due to the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of CBD and may offer a natural alternative to commonly prescribed steroidal creams. In addition, ​a small-scale study,​ published in 2019, provided evidence of CBD effectively regulating natural skin processes and reducing the itch and sleep loss caused by eczema. In 2017, the ​World Health Organisation (WHO)​ declared topical CBD products as safe with no harm of abuse or addiction after several published studies described positive outcomes of CBD in treating eczema.


Another itchy and irritating skin condition is psoriasis which results from the accelerated synthesis of skin cells that collect on the surface of the skin. These affected areas often crack and bleed. Individuals suffering from psoriasis have also been found to experience inflammation and bloating in other areas of the body.

Many individuals are unaware of the impact liver dysfunction can have on the skin. The liver functions by breaking down toxic compounds in the blood by converting them into water-soluble or inactive compounds. These compounds are then transported to the kidney where they are broken down further and excreted. When the liver isn’t functioning correctly, the body tries to excrete these toxic compounds in other ways. Harmful compounds that cannot be broken down by the liver are often released through the pores of the skin instead. This is known to irritate skin cells and lead to irritation and inflammation.

Psoriasis predominantly results from excessive keratinocyte production – a primary type of cell found in the skin. The ​application of CBD balm​ has been shown to block the production of keratinocytes and reduce the development of psoriasis. Furthermore, CBD balm provide an effective level of moisture to the affected area which stimulates the repair of damaged and cracked skin. The powerful anti-inflammatory effects of CBD reduce the burning and peeling of the skin – reducing redness and dryness almost immediately after application. It is now becoming increasingly common for people to use CBD for psoriasis management.

Cold Sores

Cold sores are small, fluid-filled blisters which form on or around the lips as a result of the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). Cold sores are remarkably common due to the ease in which the virus spreads (predominantly through close human to human contact).

Cold sores often heal themselves within a few weeks, although the HSV-1 virus remains within the body’s bloodstream and can reappear frequently. In certain cases, cold sores have been documented as causing fevers in individuals.

Preliminary evidence​ has been published on CBD being an effective treatment for cold sores. Research has indicated CBD to not only hold anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties but indicated that it could possess anti-viral properties as well. Although, further investigations are required to confirm and fully understand the anti-viral properties of CBD.

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Topical CBD creams or ointments can be used to treat cold sores by gently applying the product to the infected area. Furthermore, CBD oil can also be applied to cold sores and may be of greater benefit as CBD oil tends to have a greater potency than most creams.


Rosacea is a chronic disorder which affects people with fair skin, resulting in redness and flushing of the face. Other symptoms include the formation of tiny, pus-filled spots, inflamed skin and burning sensations on the

infected area. These symptoms can be increased when an individual consumes spicy food, consumes alcohol, exercises or experiences stress.

As with the majority of other chronic skin conditions, at present, there is no proven cure. At present, individuals with rosacea are often prescribed oral or topical antibiotics and steroidal creams and gels. These treatments require prolonged use and many individuals experience adverse effects because of this. The continuous use of oral antibiotics can lead to stomach issues like sickness, and topical antibiotics can result in the development of other skin conditions such as eczema and hives.

A ​ study , ​ carried out in 2013, determined the topical application of THC to be beneficial in reducing symptoms of inflammation which are allergy-induced. The results of this study were analysed and suggested to have crucial implications for the design of future approaches that use cannabinoids to treat inflammatory skin disease. Leading on from this work, ​ studies​ have shown the symptoms associated with rosacea to be reduced or eliminated following the regular use of topical CBD creams or oils. This is thought to be due to the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, introducing CBD in your diet as a regular supplement can reduce the s ​ tress and anxiety​ which triggers flare-ups.

Skin Cancer

When the DNA responsible for producing skin cells is damaged, it can result in unregulated growth and loss of function amongst the infected cells. This can ultimately lead to the development of various skin cancers, including, melanoma, actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma.

Although research is only in its infancy, many cannabinoids of the cannabis Sativa plant are thought to hold anti-carcinogenic effects. For instance, a ​ study​ using cell cultures, demonstrated the activation of the ECS to have a fundamental role in the life cycle of melanoma cells. The study reported that this was partly due to the inhibition of a pro-survival protein (Akt) which is known to shield cancer cells from anti-cancer drugs, however, further investigations are necessary to fully elucidate the role of the ECS and effects of CBD on skin cancer.

Conclusion of CBD as a Treatment Option for Skin Conditions

CBD is increasing in popularity and is known to be an effective supplement or topical treatment option for various skin disorders. CBD is thought to alleviate these skin conditions due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties.

Currently, the most common skin conditions (such as acne and eczema) have no proven cure, however, many scientists are now highlighting topical applications and oral consumption of CBD as a significant treatment for managing these conditions. For minor skin ailments, applying topical CBD has been shown to effectively reduce symptoms including itchiness, dryness, and redness.

CBD is available in a variety of forms including creams, patches, oils, sprays, capsules and inhalers. It is important to ensure your CBD product is of high quality so always research the CBD company before purchasing any product. It is also recommended to use products containing at least 100mg of CBD per ounce of product.

Topical and Transdermal Applications of CBD

Our skin, or dermis, is the biggest organ in the body. It is considered our defined border and the shield of our immune system, containing within its tissues the majority of our white blood cells. These blood cells act as gatekeepers, which keep pathogens and foreign molecules from penetrating the skin and causing infections or allergic reactions.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is effective in regulating immune response. Topical and transdermal applications of CBD have been shown to treat a variety of dermal and musculoskeletal conditions and diseases involving pain or inflammation.

What is the difference between topical and transdermal applications?

The difference between topical and transdermal applications is in the level of skin penetration. Topical treatments penetrate about three layers of the epidermis, and do not reach the bloodstream. Transdermal applications, on the other hand, contain substances that help penetrate through the skin, and reach the musculoskeletal tissues and bloodstream.

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The most effective solutions depends on the condition being treated.

For dermal conditions such as irritation, inflammation, burns or wounds, topical solutions are sufficient and highly effective. CBD contains cannabinoids that bind to the endocannabinoid receptors in our skin (CB1 and CB2), and can activate the endocannabinoid system locally — reducing pain, irritation and inflammatory symptoms locally, without reaching the bloodstream.

With chronic conditions such as muscle pain and arthritis, allergic conditions including atopic dermatitis or eczema, and inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis, CBD must penetrate through the skin and into the bloodstream for effective treatment. In these cases, a multi systemic approach, combining internal and external CBD consumption, will yield the best results. This ensures that the CBD (and any additional beneficial substances included in the product) will reach the system or organ in which the condition first formed, and additional target sites in the body — providing more complete treatment.

What kinds of topical and transdermal treatments are there?

While there are numerous varieties of topical cannabidiol treatments on the market, the most common forms, which are all formulated and manufactured by Kiara Naturals, are oils, salves, and lotions. Each form of treatment has unique properties and should be chosen based on the characteristics of the individual and the condition at hand.

  • Oils: CBD oil is a topical that is applied directly to the required area of treatment. The cannabinoids in the oil will bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors and activate the endocannabinoid system, providing local treatment without reaching the bloodstream.
  • Salves/balms: Salves combine CBD with other substances, such as essential oils, which carry additional therapeutic benefits. Salves tend to absorb through the skin and carry other molecules into the bloodstream with them. They are made of oil and waxes only, meaning they are highly concentrated and remain on the skin for a long period of time.

Lotions/creams: Creams are another form of transdermal treatment that combines CBD oil and water through a process of emulsification. They are less concentrated than oils or salves but are more easily absorbed into the first layers of the dermis. Additionally, both oil and water-soluble substances can be added to creams, allowing a wider range of phytochemicals, or active ingredients, to work with. Creams do not leave the skin oily, which is important for conditions that worsen in humidity.

How do different kinds of CBD treatments treat different conditions? Which treatment is recommended for use?

  • Chronic musculoskeletal conditions: Cannabidiol has long been researched and used for effective pain management. CBD blocks pain promoting agents in the brain, and stimulates the immune system to reduce inflammatory responses. A multi systemic CBD treatment can help relieve the pain and other discomforting sensations that accompany conditions like arthritis, back pain and herniated discs — while furthering deep therapeutic treatment of the condition’s root cause. For such conditions, apply a CBD salve or balm topically, and take 20-30% CBD oil orally.
  • Inflammatory conditions: Research has shown that cannabinoids help maintain homeostasis of the skin, and can inhibit skin keratinocyte proliferation — one of the key factors contributing to chronic skin conditions. CBD is effective in treating several prevalent skin disorders, including atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, scleroderma, acne, pigmentation disorders, keratin diseases and itchiness. For inflammatory skin conditions, use a CBD cream or lotion topically, and take 20-30% CBD oil orally.
  • Neuropathy and nerve pain: Neuropathy refers to any condition that damages or impairs peripheral nerves in the body. It is caused by a wide variety of factors, including diabetes, arthritis, chemotherapy and autoimmune diseases. CBD has been shown to inhibit neuronal damage caused by chronic conditions, and to promote neurogenesis, the regeneration of new neuronal cells. To relieve neuropathy and nerve pain, use a CBD salve or balm topically, and take 20-30% CBD oil orally.
  • Skin repair: Various antioxidants, essential amino acids and B-complex vitamins are found in CBD, all components that are vital in maintaining healthy skin and preventing future damage. The most effective way to use CBD oil for skin conditions is to apply it topically, allowing for easy absorption and causing no side effects. Research has proven that topical treatment with CBD-enriched ointments and creams significantly improves skin parameters, and reduces inflammation, irritation and scarring. For skin repair, it is best to use a CBD cream or lotion locally.

So what should I keep in mind?

CBD products can effectively treat a range of dermal and musculoskeletal conditions. Various kinds of treatment types on the market address these conditions.