It started when I was about 14. The sides of my nose got really red. Then they got flaky. Then they got weepy. Then I got weepy. I didn’t love it. But I also had no recourse to address it, let alone fix it. I didn’t want to draw attention to it, so I just ignored my own face in the hopes that it would fix itself. Once Using CBD for eczema may provide relief for dry, itchy, and inflamed skin. Here’s what the research says and considerations to know before purchasing topicals.
This CBD Oil Saved My Skin From Full Blown Painful Itchiness
It started when I was about 14. The sides of my nose got really red. Then they got flaky. Then they got weepy. Then I got weepy. I didn’t love it. But I also had no recourse to address it, let alone fix it. I didn’t want to draw attention to it, so I just ignored my own face in the hopes that it would fix itself. Once that was no longer an option, I went to the doctor.
I had seborrheic dermatitis, which is kind of like dandruff but red and scaly and on your face. Love that for me! I was quickly given a lotion whose only ingredients were sulfur and mineral oils, and sent on my way. In the years that followed, I treated seasonal and stress-related flare ups with soap-free face wash, cortisone cream, and that’s pretty much it. The idea of using a daily moisturizer—let alone an all-out face oil—was terrifying to my uneducated brain. My motto was pretty much “Don’t touch it!!”
In the last few years, however, I’ve become acquainted with a little concept called clean beauty and rose hydrosol and 100 percent argan oil have become my new best friends. I’ve been able to slowly decrease applications of the aforementioned medical lotion, as my new skincare regimen keeps my overactive sebum production in check. For the most part. Flare ups still happen. That’s where CBD comes in.
As you can imagine, working at Miss Grass has meant CBD has infused itself into almost all aspects of my life. But only now, having been enabled by our ecommerce manager, have I tried incorporating a high-strength CBD oil into my daily skincare regimen. And not just any CBD oil.
I’m talking about the luxe leaders of CBD and skin, Lord Jones. I’m talking about their most potent product yet; their Royal Oil. I set myself the task of using it every day—as a facial oil and as a tincture—and this (not to be dramatic) is my story.
Like everything related to cannabis, some initial research into the efficacy of CBD as a treatment for skin buggers like dermatitis as yielded promising results, but there’s not enough studies at this point to know why, when, and how it all works. Generally speaking, managing skin issues via the endocannabinoid system (ECS) makes sense.
After all, the skin that covers our bods has a functioning ECS going on, right there. Which makes sense, given the skin’s role in maintaining homeostasis and acting as the vanguard of the human body in fighting off injury and infection.
The superstar endocannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, are present in practically all cell types of the skin, too. These guys help prevent inflammation, and with some help from CBD, they have the potential to do a lot more. One study from Nottingham University points to the potential for CBD to play a role in the slowing down of the proliferation of skin cells linked to skin like mine. Another 2014 study published in the journal of the American Society for Clinical Investigation proposed that CBD also slows down the secretion of sebum a.k.a. literally the cause of seborrheic dermatitis.
Having researched the above, and with all signs pointing to promising, I set about covering my face in CBD oil at any opportunity. And at 1000mg of CBD per 30ml bottle of Royal Oil, that was a lot of CBD.
My (New) Royal Regimen
The potency of Royal Oil is what it’s known for, as you can imagine. Each full dropper contains about 40ml of CBD. Normally, that’d be enough to get a lightweight with no prior CBD experience a little fuzzy-headed. But Lord Jones products contain broad spectrum CBD; they contain all the natural cannabinoids and terpenes, minus the trace amounts of psychoactive THC. So even if you drank the whole bottle (please don’t) you wouldn’t be a trace high.
But back to my skin. It responds much better to all-natural ingredients, it turns out. And for skin care purists, you’ll be pleased to know that Royal Oil contains two essential ingredients; broad spectrum CBD suspended in grape seed oil. No flavorings, colors, or additives—just a subtle, gorgeous cannabis scent.
Having stalked the Sephora reviews for Royal Oil to compare my experience, it seems that some people have found applying ample amounts of grape seed oil to their face causes them to break out. Not to brag, but I’m not one of those people. It’s been almost two weeks and I have the same amount of pimples I always do. Which is average. If anything, that amount’s dropped slightly—no small feat considering my experimentation overlapped with the onset of my period.
How’s the dermatitis, you ask? Zero flare ups. At one point about a week ago, I found I was developing some related dryness on my neck. I slapped it with Royal Oil each night before bed (the only time face oils should be applied, by the way) and after three or four nights? It calmed all the way down to non-existent status. And considering that means it went all the way from red and scaly, to straight up my-skin-color and smooth, that’s kind of a big deal.
But my favorite part of using Royal Oil is the ritual of a multipurpose CBD oil with such potency. In the mornings, I would drop some into my AM beverage (a protein drink, most days) and at night, I would put a dropper’s worth under my tongue and another on my face after cleansing and hydrosol spritzing. Then I would jade roll that shit right into my epidermis with all the tenderness and self-love I could muster.
Yes, I’m describing all of this in past tense, but believe me: I’ll be doing this exact same thing with this exact product for the rest of my life. At least while I have a Miss Grass staff discount code. Because at $100 a pop, it’s an investment for sure. But hey, this is your largest organ we’re talking about.
Does CBD for Eczema Really Work?
Lindsay Curtis is a health writer with over 20 years of experience in writing health, science & wellness-focused articles.
Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
Emily Dashiell, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor who has worked in group and private practice settings over the last 15 years. She is in private practice in Santa Monica, California.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant that can be prepared as oils, creams, and other products for use as a therapeutic remedy for many common ailments and health conditions. Some people use CBD oil for eczema.
Eczema (dermatitis) is a skin condition that causes patches of irritated, itchy, dry, inflamed skin. There are many types of eczema. While the exact cause is unknown, genetics, environmental factors, and the immune system are believed to be potential causes and triggers.
There is no cure for eczema, but there are ways to manage symptoms, including over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription treatments. For people who prefer using natural remedies, CBD oil may help soothe and reduce their eczema symptoms.
Photoboyko / Getty Images
What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabis plants contain unique chemicals called cannabinoids. The two major cannabinoids are:
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): Has psychoactive properties that can make a person feel “high”
- Cannabidiol (CBD): Has no psychoactive effects but may provide therapeutic benefits
Both CBD and THC interact with a communication system in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex biological system that plays a role in appetite, mood, memory, and sleep.
Research has suggested that the ECS contributes to the function and reproduction of skin cells. A dysregulated ECS is associated with dermatological disorders, including eczema and atopic dermatitis.
When applied topically to the skin, CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the top layer of the skin (epidermis) and may offer therapeutic benefits including moisturizing the skin, reducing itchiness and inflammation, and promoting wound healing.
CBD oil comes in many forms, including creams, salves, balms, lotions, and oils.
Hemp Seed Oil vs. CBD
In your search for plant-based remedies for treating eczema, you may have come across different options that derive from cannabis and hemp plants, including hemp seed oil, hemp oil, and CBD oil.
Understanding the differences can help you know what to look for when you’re shopping for whole hemp plant products for eczema.
: Created by pressing the seeds of hemp plants (Cannabis sativa L.). This oil is rich in fatty acids and other nutrients, and research shows it can be helpful in treating skin conditions, including eczema and dermatitis. Hemp seed oil does not contain cannabinoids—the chemical compounds in the hemp plant that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. : Made using the flower of the hemp plant, rather than the seed. Hemp oil contains a full spectrum of cannabinoids. CBD is just one of the cannabinoids in hemp oil. : Extracted from the entire hemp plant, including the stalks, flowers, and leaves. CBD oil does not come from the seeds of the cannabis plant (the seeds do not contain cannabinoids).
CBD for Eczema Symptoms
There are many types of eczema, and they can show up in different parts of the body. Eczema of all types can cause itchy, dry, flaky patches of skin. In some cases, it may cause painful sores and blisters, which can leave the skin more susceptible to infection.
Types of eczema that may benefit from topical CBD include:
- Atopic dermatitis (AD): This is the most common type of eczema. It is associated with dryness and itching. The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to be triggered by an overactive immune system. People with asthma and/or hay fever are more likely to develop AD. : This type of eczema is caused by an allergic reaction from contact with irritants such as fragrances, dyes, metal, some medications, and poison ivy/oak. Symptoms include intense itching, and burning or blistering of the skin. : This type of eczema is triggered by stress, seasonal allergies, and change in humidity. It causes itchy, irritating blisters on the bottom of the feet and palms of the hands. : This type of eczema is associated with pink or brown circular (sometimes oozing) spots on the skin. It is often triggered by dry, sensitive skin, insect bites, injuries to the skin, or chemical burns. : This type of eczema is commonly caused by cold, dry weather, genetics, and stress. It produces scaly, dry patches of skin on the scalp or body which tend to form where the skin is most oily, including around the eyebrows, mid-chest, upper back, and groin area.
What Research Shows
There are limited studies on the effectiveness of topical CBD for people with eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. However, some of the research suggests that CBD oil may have therapeutic potential for treating eczema, healing skin wounds, and soothing skin symptoms.
A study published in 2019 found that CBD ointment helped reduce itchiness, soothed redness and inflammation, and enhanced sleep in people with eczema.
A 2014 study found that hemp seed oil was useful for treating eczema and other skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne rosacea, and seborrheic dermatitis. The study also showed that hemp seed oil strengthens skin and makes it more resistant to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
What Causes Eczema Flares?
Though eczema affects everyone differently, a number of common triggers can cause a flare-up of symptoms.
Common causes of eczema flares include:
- Dry skin: Brittle, rough, and tight skin can worsen eczema symptoms.
- Chemical irritants: Fragrances, chemicals found in shampoos and lotions, cigarette smoke, and environmental toxins can worsen or trigger eczema symptoms.
- Stress: Emotional stress can trigger or worsen eczema symptoms. Anecdotally, many people use CBD to help manage stress. Early research has shown that it might be effective at relieving stress, anxiety, and sleeping problems.
Is CBD for Eczema Safe?
CBD is generally considered to be safe for use in treating eczema and other skin conditions. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD oil might help reduce irritation, pain, swelling, and redness from skin conditions like eczema.
As with any topical treatment, it’s best to test CBD oil on a small patch of unaffected skin before applying it to larger areas where you have eczema.
To do a patch test, apply CBD oil to a small area and watch for 24 hours to check for any side effects (e.g., itching, redness, swelling).
Talk to your primary care physician or dermatologist before you try CBD, as they will want to discuss the potential side effects of using CBD products, as well as make sure that it will not interact with any other medications, supplements, or treatments that you are using.
Best CBD for Eczema Flare-Ups
Topical CBD comes in many forms, including creams, lotions, serums, balms, and salves.
One of the best defenses against eczema is keeping your skin well hydrated. Thicker topicals that contain ingredients for both skin protection and moisturization can be especially helpful.
CBD products also come in different preparations. The availability of these products (especially those that contain THC) will vary from state to state.
- Isolate: CBD is the only cannabinoid contained in the product. : Contains multiple naturally occurring cannabis plant extracts, including terpenes and other cannabinoids, including up to 0.3% THC.
- Broad: Contains CBD and other components/cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but does not contain any THC.
How to Buy CBD
With many CBD and hemp oil options for eczema, it can be challenging to know what products to choose. Here are some key points to consider when you’re picking a product:
- Hemp source: CBD is derived from hemp plants. The quality and cultivation of the plants are important considerations. Look for products that come from organic hemp plants when possible.
- Certificate of Analysis (CoA): Responsible, reputable manufacturers should offer a CoA that details the quantities of a product’s cannabinoids. CoAs are conducted by an independent, accredited lab.
- Read the label: Read the full list of ingredients for CBD topicals. Make sure that any product you are considering does not contain fragrances or other potential irritants that could worsen eczema.
- Type of CBD: To get the best results, look for full-spectrum or broad CBD products, which may offer an “entourage effect” (combining multiple cannabis compounds that work in synergy to offer the most benefits).
A Word From Verywell
While there are many OTC and prescription treatments for eczema, if you are looking for a natural way to manage your symptoms, CBD products might be an option.
Research on how effective CBD is for treating skin conditions like eczema is limited, but has shown that products that contain CBD might help reduce the dry skin, itchiness, and inflammation that is associated with eczema.
It’s important that you talk to your doctor before you try a CBD product, as it can have side effects and might interact with other treatments that you use for eczema.
Before you use CBD on your skin, do a spot test on a place that does not have eczema on it to make sure that you do not have a sensitivity or reaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does CBD help with itchy skin from eczema?
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce irritating eczema symptoms such as itching, pain, and dry skin.
How does the ECS work?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps regulate many physiological processes, including sleep, immune function, and pain.
Research has shown that the endocannabinoid system also plays a role in skin health. A dysregulated ECS is associated with dermatological disorders such as eczema and atopic dermatitis.
When applied topically, CBD’s anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and pain-reducing properties interact with the ECS, which might make it an effective treatment for many skin conditions.
Is CBD good for skin conditions?
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD is commonly used to treat skin conditions and soothe symptoms—especially the dryness, itching, and pain often associated with eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.
Is CBD for eczema safe?
CBD is generally considered to be a safe alternative treatment for eczema. However, as with any skincare product, you’ll want to do a patch test first to make sure that you do not have a sensitivity or allergy.
Apply CBD to a small patch of unaffected skin and wait for 24 hours, watching for symptoms of irritation such as itching, redness, and pain. If no symptoms develop, you can safely apply the product liberally to any eczema patches.
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Río CD, Millán E, García V, Appendino G, DeMesa J, Muñoz E. The endocannabinoid system of the skin. A potential approach for the treatment of skin disorders. Biochem Pharmacol. 2018;157:122-133. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2018.08.022
Tabassum N, Hamdani M. Plants used to treat skin diseases. Pharmacogn Rev. 2014;8(15):52-60. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.125531
National Eczema Association. Atopic dermatitis.
National Eczema Association. Contact dermatitis.
Baswan SM, Klosner AE, Glynn K, et al. Therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD) for skin health and disorders. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2020;13:927-942. doi:10.2147/CCID.S286411