Marijuana - A Natural Remedy for Eczema? | cannabisMD

Can Medical Marijuana Be a Natural Remedy for Eczema?

Can Medical Marijuana Be a Natural Remedy for Eczema?

Natural remedies for eczema are increasingly popular. The rejection of ineffective, expensive, and artificial treatments for eczema is understandable. If it does not seem to be working, why use it? The vested interests of large pharmaceutical companies are not aligned with finding solutions in nature. So, the solutions they offer are the most profitable, not the most effective.

To the detriment of science, a large proportion of scientific funding comes from companies that are trying to develop profitable drugs. Results that do not promote a drug are sometimes hidden. The questions asked are often for commercial, not scientific reasons. Patients are often regarded as sources of income, not people who need help. This is perhaps unfair. There are millions of dedicated scientists doing their best to answer fundamental questions about nature. However, the current funding models have resulted in a system skewed towards profitability, not effective treatment.

A very good example is medical marijuana. It has been prohibited in most of the world for most of the last century and nearly all of this one. The cannabis plant has been classed as having “no medical value” and as a “dangerous substance”. This is totally contrary to the scientific evidence. The evidence that exists supports the view that cannabis is in fact a much safer drug than many over the counter medicines that people take very often. Prohibition has stopped it from being studied properly. The lack of commercial potential for large pharmaceutical companies has made cannabis a relatively badly understood drug.

The recent legalization and decriminalization wave that has spread across some of the West has changed this picture slightly. However, because medical marijuana can be grown by anyone with some capital, space, and some simple technology, the commercial incentives for research are limited. This is because the companies cannot patent the chemicals found in cannabis and will find it hard to turn a profit from them.

Standard Treatments for Eczema

There is no known cure for eczema. All anyone can do is try to treat eczema. Common treatments for eczema include:

  • Steroids
  • Emollient creams
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Painkillers

Unfortunately, chronic steroid use during childhood has some very serious side effects. This is also true of the use of painkillers and anti-inflammatories. There is evidence that eczema is an immune system disorder. It cannot be treated in a conventional manner like an infection would be. This limits the choices for treatment significantly for people suffering from eczema.

Eczema patients are in an unenviable situation. Nothing really works. A lot of the treatments can have side effects that make them not worth bothering with. Eczema is very common. As many as 20% of American children develop it, and about 3% of adults. For most people, it is a mild inconvenience. For some, however, it is a severely life-limiting condition affecting school, jobs, personal relationships, sexual confidence, and presenting a real infection risk.

Eczema and Natural Remedies

Natural remedies (also called home remedies) for eczema can involve anything from using witch hazel to simply avoiding processed food to treat or prevent eczema. However, not all natural remedies are strictly “natural” in the sense that most people expect.

Medical marijuana is often not “natural”. It is grown on a commercial scale in cannabis farms. These farms use fertilizers, artificial lighting, aquaponic or hydroponic systems, and closely controlled environments. Yes, it remains a plant, but it has not grown naturally. Cannabis is often called “weed” for its proliferate nature. It will grow nearly anywhere. Someone looking for a “natural” medical marijuana treatment for their eczema will find it difficult to find environmentally friendly, natural cannabis. This is especially true in places where it is prohibited.

Lots of people are exploring natural remedies for the treatment of eczema. Some examples of the most common natural remedies for eczema include:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Cod liver oil
  • Epsom salts in bath water
  • Aloe vera essential oils
  • Medical marijuana

Whether these work or not is well established because of the previously mentioned commercial interests at work. That being said, there are hundreds of years worth of anecdotal evidence in support of many for a whole host of skin conditions. If you have mild to moderate eczema, you might find cannabis effective as part of your natural remedies for eczema. However, severe eczema is something that needs serious medical attention. If you think you have severe eczema, you should definitely speak to a doctor.

Can Cannabis be Useful for Eczema?

So far, the evidence is slim. Direct studies looking at how effective cannabis is for the itchy skin caused by eczema are non-existent. It is therefore impossible to properly establish whether it is a treatment worth investing in. There is an enormous amount of hype surrounding cannabis and its apparent therapeutic properties. Some of it is warranted but a lot of it is misinformation or simple fiction. Don’t believe everything you read.

Another effect that should prove promising for people with eczema is that THC helps to modulate mast cell action. These cells are involved in the immune response, producing histamines, which cause the itching and swelling of dry skin in eczema. Administering cannabinoids seems to help some people reduce inflammation and relieve itching. Many could even stop taking their antihistamines, which can cause serious harm in the long term.

Using medical marijuana for the treatment of eczema is more complicated than some would have you believe. There are chemicals called terpenes in cannabis. Some terpenes can cause irritation to the skin. It is possible to get cannabis extracts that have no terpenes in them. These could be worth investigating if you are serious about using cannabis for your eczema.

Be careful when choosing the right product. Certain solvents used in cannabis extracts are known to cause irritation to atopic dermatitis. Only those products that are for inflammation, pain, and irritation should be used. Others might act on different symptoms.

Check out more information on buying medical marijuana products here!

Obtaining Medical Marijuana

If you are lucky enough to live in a state where cannabis is legal for medical and/or recreational use, you should be able to obtain cannabis products that are verified, consistent, and have the right cannabinoids for your condition. Contamination or poor quality products could make your eczema much worse. So, always make sure there is an independent verification process for your cannabis products.

Where cannabis is illegal, it is not recommended that you obtain, possess, or distribute cannabis products in any way. Eczema is a debilitating condition, but it is unlikely to get any better in prison. That is not a lifestyle change that will help. The risks are not worth it. If you tell your doctor that you are using cannabis to treat your eczema, they might be obliged to tell the law enforcement agencies, so be careful.

The qualified medical practitioner who is helping you deal with your atopic dermatitis will be the person who is best qualified to establish whether cannabis can be an effective treatment for you. Applying topical cannabis cream to the affected areas carries very few risks; allergic reactions are rare, side effects are mild or non-existent, and there is no risk of becoming high from such small concentrations.

Given the lack of clinical data, your doctor will probably be reluctant to rely on cannabis as a treatment. However, because the safety record is so good and the risk profile so low, they might be convinced to try experimentation with you. Especially since there is such a wealth of anecdotal evidence in favor of it.

Ten years from now there will be more data available. For the moment, natural remedies for eczema like cannabis present a relatively low risk choice when alternative treatments have failed or the side effects are intolerable. Just remember to do plenty of research online, don’t believe everything you read, avoid breaking the law, and keep your physician up to date on any changes you decide to make. If you do these things, you can’t really go wrong.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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