Dry and itchy skin are common symptoms of eczema, which tends to worsen during winter. Moisturising treatments and topical corticosteroids are just some of the methods recommended to soothe skin, but they don’t always work for everyone. For some people, more natural remedies are more effective forms of treatment. One suggested by Holland & Barrett is CBD oil.
CBD is a cannabinoid which derives from the cannabis plant but doesn’t cause the ‘high’ effect like another cannabinoid THC.
Over the last couple of years CBD, which is legal, has appeared in all kinds of forms on the high street, such as oils, creams and capsules, with claims it can treat a number of different health conditions.
One of its health claims is that it can help tackle skin problems.
The high street health store explains: “Scientists are only beginning to discover the benefits of CBD oil but emerging research shows it has a positive effect on a number of skin conditions including acne, dermatitis and psoriasis.
“CBD also has an antioxidant effect, helping to protect skin called from the potentially damaging effects of free radicals.”
And it goes on to suggest how CBD can stimulate the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) – the production of our own cannabinoids that bind to specific receptors in the body and brain – to soothe dry or itchy skin.
It cites: “In 2006 German scientists discovered that 14 patients with dry or itchy skin conditions – either prurigo, lichen simplex or pruritus – who were given a cream containing a substance that could stimulate the ECS, reported an 86.4 per cent reduction in itch.
“The skin also has its own ECS receptors, which may make topical application of CBD oil particularly effective.
“According to evidence presented by the American Academy of Dermatologists, further studies have found that CBD can ease symptoms of atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.”
Cannabis-based products have also become available to buy online, as well as the high street, but their quality and content is not known.
The NHS warns: “They may be illegal and potentially dangerous.
“Some products that might claim to be medical cannabis, such as “CBD oil” or hemp oil, are available to buy legally as food supplements from health stores. But there’s no guarantee these are of good quality or provide any health benefits.”
Dr Andrew Thornber, chief medical officer at Now Patient, also recently advised Express.co.uk: “I would always talk to your GP before taking any medication to discuss your own medical needs and potential side effects.
“Research is still limited about the actual effectiveness and long-term impact on health.
“Like with any medication, patients should be careful not to consume too much and for pro-longed periods without chatting to their GP.”