If you suffer from eczema, you know that it can be an especially frustrating and difficult disease to deal with: both the cause and an effective treatment often remain elusive, confounding those desperate for some relief. Well, as it so happens, Hemp Oil—which has been astounding the medical profession and the public at large with its wide array of healing capabilities—is now being used to effectively treat eczema, alleviating symptoms and providing comfort for countless individuals.
The Cannabis plant, from which Hemp Oil is derived, contains anti-itch, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It works in large part through its modulating effect on the only newly understood Endocannibinoid System within the human body. We’ll explain what all of this means, but first, let’s take a quick look at Eczema, and why it sucks.
Eczema and Why It Sucks
Eczema is a skin condition that affects a huge percentage of the population. While it can manifest in different ways on different people, it typically includes dry, itchy, red and inflamed skin. It can even include blisters, peeling and weeping wounds. The irritated skin can torment sufferers with irresistible itchiness, leading to scratching the skin to the point of creating open wounds and permanent scarring.
In addition to the pain and discomfort of this dermatitis, it can also lead to a self conscious awareness of the visible rash. Eczema tends to appear most frequently on hands and feet, but can show up anywhere—including the backs of knees and elbows, eyelids, scalp or anywhere else. It is also very difficult to predict, subsiding and then breaking out with great intensity—apparently at random.
While there is no known cure for eczema, there are remedies available for symptom relief. Unfortunately, many of these eczema alleviation lotions include substances that are not safe for long term use. Steroid creams, for instance, are the common go-to for extreme eczema break-outs and are quite effective in minimizing the insane itch. However, steroids are both addictive and require regular dosage increases in order to maintain effectiveness—making it unsafe for long term use. It also causes skin thinning with prolonged use.
Luckily, new natural remedies are coming to the forefront and hemp oil is proving to be a god-send for many who suffer from the rough patchy skin and hellish itchiness of eczema.
History of Hemp Oil for Eczema
Actually, while it’s only now coming to the forefront of the medical world, hemp oil has been observed to be effective for eczema since at least the late 1800s. According to the National Eczema Association, Dr. Henry Granger Piffard—one of the founders of American dermatology—made reference in his text book to the benefit of giving Cannibas indica to eczema patients, indicating that it provided relief from the itching and helped them to sleep.
However, the astounding healing the benefits of Cannabis and Hemp Oil are really only beginning to be understood, in large part thanks to new research into the Endocannabinoid System and evidence that Hemp Oil has a balancing effect on this system.
Hemp Oil Balances the Endocannabinoid System
To understand how Hemp Oil balances the Endocannabinoid System, and why this would help with eczema, you’ll first have to understand what the Endocannabinoid System is:
In short, this is a system of messengers and receivers (CB1 and CB2 receptors) found all over the body, but intimately bound to the nervous system. It is involved in many body processes, such as digestion, stress, pain modulation and the immune system. The primary function of the Endocannabinoid System is to keep the body stable and in homeostasis. When something is out of whack, it activates to balance things out.
But what happens when the Endocannabinoid System itself is out of balance? If it is weak, or overly stimulated, it can go into overdrive—and researchers believe that when this happens, it can cause a variety of symptoms, including eczema.
In fact, researchers believe that the Endocannabinoid System has a huge role in the health of the skin—controlling the proper renewal of skin cells as well as the skin’s immune system.
Indeed, there are a ton of CB1 receptors found in the skin and in the nerve endings in the skin. When Hemp Oil is applied topically, it interacts directly with these receptors, balancing the system and soothing the nerve endings. Through these interactions, Hemp Oil also has an anti-inflammatory and anti-itching affect.
Anti-inflammatory & Anti-itching/Antipruritic:
Hemp oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory actions on the skin, relieving the pain of dermatitis. Itchiness is caused by sensory nerve fibers, histamine release and dry skin.
Some studies indicate that when hemp oil interacts with C1 receptors, it suppresses an overactive immune system and inhibits mast cell division, thus inhibiting histamine release as well. And that means less itching and less inflammation!
Other Benefits of Hemp Oil on Eczema
Hemp Oil Fights Staphyloccocus aureus:
Another blessing Hemp Oil offers the eczema inflicted, is its anti-bacterial properties. Hemp Oil has been shown to have a particularly strong ability to fight Staphyloccocus areus, a bacteria that has been shown to both cause and exacerbate severe eczema.
Hemp oil omega 3 and 6:
Hemp Oil is quite high in the essential fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6. In addition to improving overall health, these fatty acids are required by the body to maintain healthy and flexible skin. They help to fight many skin conditions and reduce scarring.
Application of Hemp Oil
Topical application of Hemp Oil is a great option to relieve eczema out breaks, since it goes straight to the source of the issue. The World Health Organization has approved topical applications of Hemp Oil, since there is no potential for abuse or harm and clinical trials have seen positive outcomes for various skin conditions.
Internal use of Hemp Oil can be beneficial as well, especially if used in conjunction with the topical remedy.