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Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition that causes red, itchy, and inflamed patches of skin.
It can be quite painful and uncomfortable, leading you to search for a cream or ointment for some relief.
Maybe you’ve tested several different types of topical treatments for eczema but aren’t quite impressed. Or maybe you’re simply up for trying some new products — like cannabidiol (CBD) creams — to see if they work for you.
Keep reading to learn more about research on CBD and skin conditions, like eczema, and check out some CBD topicals we vetted for you.
- Best overall CBD cream for eczema: Medterra CBD + Manuka Honey Healing Cream | Skip to review
- Best CBD lotion for eczema: Lazarus Naturals Fragrance Free CBD Body Lotion | Skip to review
- Best CBD salve for eczema: Joy Organics Organic CBD Salve | Skip to review
- Best CBD balm for eczema: PlusCBD CBD Balm 100 mg Extra Strength Formula | Skip to review
- Best CBD anti-inflammatory lotion for eczema: Vertly Relief Lotion | Skip to review
We chose these products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:
- is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
- is made by a company that discloses the source of their hemp
- contains no more than 0.3% THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
- passes tests for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA
As a part of our selection process, we also considered:
- the company’s certifications and manufacturing processes
- product potency
- overall ingredients
- indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:
- customer reviews
- whether the company has been subject to a
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter
- whether the company makes any unsupported health claims
|Medterra CBD + Manuka Honey Healing Cream||$$–$$$||isolate||125 or 250 mg per 30-g container|
|Lazarus Naturals Fragrance Free CBD Body Lotion||$||full-spectrum||1,500 mg per 75-mL bottle|
|Joy Organics Organic CBD Salve||$$$||broad-spectrum||1,000 mg per 60-mL container|
|PlusCBD CBD Balm 100 mg Extra Strength Formula||$||full-spectrum||100 mg per 37-g container|
|Vertly Relief Lotion||$$$||full-spectrum||500 mg per 3-oz. bottle|
Right now, there are only a few studies on topical CBD use for people with skin conditions like eczema.
In a small anecdotal 2019 study, participants applied topical CBD-enriched ointment to their affected skin twice daily for 3 months.
After the 3-month period, participants saw improvement in their inflammatory skin symptoms.
Researchers concluded that topical use of CBD ointment (without any THC) is safe, effective, and can be used as a noninvasive alternative for improving inflammatory skin conditions like eczema.
In a small observational 2020 study, participants with self-reported eczema used CBD cream and then reported their symptoms — 50% of participants reported that their eczema improved by more than 60%.
Keep in mind that, so far, research on CBD for eczema is limited. More research and larger human studies are needed to determine CBD’s safety and efficacy for eczema.
- may help inflamed skin
- small studies report improved eczema symptoms
- plenty of topical CBD products to choose from
- no prescription necessary
- may cause side effects like fatigue, diarrhea, changes in appetite, and changes in weight
- only small studies on topical CBD use and skin conditions, like eczema, have been done so far
- some CBD products include terpenes, which may lead to more itching
- can be pricey
Right now, the FDA doesn’t guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or quality of over-the-counter (OTC) CBD products. That means there’s a chance you may pick up CBD products that are misrepresented or mislabeled.
To limit this possibility, it’s best to look for products with an up-to-date, comprehensive COA from a reputable third-party lab.
The COA should have information showing that the product isn’t contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, or molds. It should also indicate that the product contains the amount of CBD and THC the label claims it does.
Be sure you’re buying from a company that’s transparent about how they make their products and where they grow their hemp.
If a product or label makes any extreme, ambitious claims about results, be wary. Many people report that CBD is beneficial and helps them in one way or another, but that it’s not a cure-all.
Other ingredients to look for in a CBD cream for eczema
Shea butter and hemp extract
When you’re looking for a CBD topical for eczema, go for a product that includes moisturizing agents like shea butter and hemp extract.
Honey is also thought to be helpful for eczema, so you may want a CBD topical formula that includes honey.
Keep an eye out for fragrances, as this can trigger or worsen eczema symtoms in some people. Be sure to read the product’s label carefully for any ingredients you may be allergic to.
Some CBD products include coconut oil, an ingredient that may help eczema symptoms. However, some people with tree nut allergies may be sensitive to coconut.
Additionally, know that full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products often include terpenes, an ingredient that may add to itching symptoms. If that’s the case for you, opt for an isolate product instead.
You may also prefer a CBD option that offers a cooling effect. This may offer eczema relief.
CBD topicals are available in various strengths. Read the application directions carefully, as they may vary depending on the product.
Overall, the right dosage depends on factors like:
- your body weight
- your experience with CBD products
- the product’s potency
If you’re trying CBD for the first time, it’s best to start with a low potency product and see how your body responds. You can add more as needed.
CBD is largely thought to be safe, according to available
- changes in appetite
- changes in weight
It’s always best to consult a doctor before trying any CBD products, especially if you’re taking any medications. CBD may interact with some medications.
Avoid using topicals on broken skin.
It’s also a good idea to perform a patch test before applying any new topical product to a larger area to avoid an allergic reaction.
To do a patch test, apply a small amount of the product to the inside of your wrist or inner arm and wait 24 hours to see how your skin reacts. If you see any signs of irritation, like redness or itchiness, stop using it right away.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid using CBD.
Which creams help eczema?
These are available in creams as well as ointments, lotions, and gels.
Can you apply CBD oil to eczema?
CBD oil is usually ingested by mouth or taken with food or drink. For relief from your eczema symptoms, it’s best to apply CBD directly to your skin. Use a topical product, like a salve, balm, cream, or lotion.
Can CBD cream make eczema worse?
If your CBD product contains terpenes, there’s a chance this can increase itching. Plus, some CBD products contain coconut, which while helpful for some cases of eczema, can lead to an allergic reaction for those with tree nut allergies.
Remember to read the product label carefully and do a patch test to avoid an allergic reaction.
What’s the best treatment for eczema?
There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for eczema.
Some may find relief with topical moisturizing products like CBD creams, while others may see results using other OTC options like antihistamines. Steroid creams and ointments can also help, while some people may benefit from lifestyle changes to manage stress or even experiment with light therapy (phototherapy).
Can CBD calm eczema?
Although studies on CBD use for people with eczema are limited, the available research suggests topical CBD may help relieve eczema symptoms.
Remember to chat with a doctor before trying CBD, as it may interact with some medications.
It’s also a good idea to perform a patch test before applying the product to larger areas of your skin. This can help you avoid an allergic reaction.
Is CBD legal? The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC legal at the federal level. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them illegal at the federal level. Some states have legalized CBD, so be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.
Breanna Mona is a writer based in Cleveland, Ohio. She holds a master’s degree in media and journalism and writes about health, lifestyle, and entertainment.