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How Medical Cannabis Can Treat Eczema Patients



Eczema is a condition where your skin becomes inflamed due to the loss of skin as a defense against pathogens. Symptoms include itchiness, dryness, roughness, red patches, and small bumps on the skin. Symptoms may be different for everyone. Ultimately, it will depend on your age [1]. Most sufferers will find eczema where their skin tends to stretch. Although there are over-the-counter creams and medications for these symptoms, they can come with bad side effects. If you are reacting badly to medication, there are other holistic alternatives like cannabis.


About Eczema

Supposedly, Eczema is caused by a mutated gene that causes low protein filaggrin, which causes the skin to lose moisture [2]. This can damage your skin, making it less effective when warding off irritants and allergens. Without these natural defenses, irritation can lead to infection. Allergens will affect your immune system, causing it to release more antibodies [3]. This surplus of antibodies will then, in turn, lead to inflammation. This can cause redness and rashes on the skin which may or may not be itchy.


Eczema Treatment

There is no cure for eczema [4], but there are some options when it comes to symptomatic treatment that can help sufferers through flare-ups. There are immunosuppressants, biologic drugs, topical medications and other things you can get over the counter. These medications can take care of mild symptoms of eczema. Sufferers of chronic or severe eczema will need to find more powerful alternative options. Moisturizing lipid replenishers will stop your skin from drying while also soothing any itchiness.


There are soaps and special shampoos that use mild ingredients, which are great options for those who suffer from this issue. There are also topical steroid creams which can treat flare-ups. Do note, though, that these may come with unwanted side effects. This is why sufferers try to find more a holistic approach to treat their symptoms. Medical marijuana is one such treatment option since it can treat symptoms of eczema without any harsh side effects [5].


Medical Cannabis As Treatment

Marijuana is a plant compound derived from the indica and sativa plants. It contains THC and CBD, two components that are used to treat illnesses and diseases. THC is known for its psychedelic effects and CBD for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects [6]. CBD is also being increasingly used to treat anxiety disorder and depression [7]. THC has two synthetic forms: Dronabinol and nabilone. Both have been proven to prevent nausea and vomiting. THC is being used to help cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy since puking and nausea are the main symptoms of the treatment.

CBD is nonpsychoactive [8] and will provide great medical benefits as an antioxidant [9]. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory effects [6]. In terms of conditions like eczema, cannabis reacts with your endocannabinoid system, which is a system of scattered receptors throughout the body that can regulate your pain, your skin health, and your mood. Since eczema is a result of inflammation and CBD is known for diminishing inflammation, this makes it a great holistic alternative to any over-the-counter medication that might come with bad side effects.



References:


1. “Eczema: Overview.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 23 Feb. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279399/.


2. “Dry Skin and the Filaggrin Gene.” Eczema Association of Australasia Inc, www.eczema.org.au/dry-skin-and-the-filaggrin-gene/.


3. “Immunoglobulin E (IgE) | AAAAI.” The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions-dictionary/immunoglobulin-e-(ige).


4. Katie Forster @katieforster. “A Cure for Eczema Is on the Horizon.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 5 May 2017, www.independent.co.uk/news/health/eczema-cure-skin-condition-scientists-step-closer-trigger-newcastle-university-a7718996.html.


5. “How Medical Cannabis Alleviates Symptoms of Eczema.” United Patients Group, 13 Mar. 2017, unitedpatientsgroup.com/blog/2017/03/06/how-medical-cannabis-alleviates-symptoms-of-eczema/.


6. Hammell, D.c., et al. “Transdermal Cannabidiol Reduces Inflammation and Pain-Related Behaviours in a Rat Model of Arthritis.” European Journal of Pain, vol. 20, no. 6, 2015, pp. 936–948., doi:10.1002/ejp.818.


7. Durst, Ronen, et al. “Cannabidiol, a Nonpsychoactive Cannabis Constituent, Protects against Myocardial Ischemic Reperfusion Injury.” American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, vol. 293, no. 6, 2007, doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00098.2007.


8. Perucca, Emilio. “Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Hard Evidence at Last?” Journal of Epilepsy Research, vol. 7, no. 2, 2017, pp. 61–76., doi:10.14581/jer.17012.


9. Linge, Raquel, et al. “Cannabidiol Induces Rapid-Acting Antidepressant-like Effects and Enhances Cortical 5-HT/Glutamate Neurotransmission: Role of 5-HT1A Receptors.” Neuropharmacology, vol. 103, 2016, pp. 16–26., doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.12.017.


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