Treating skin conditions with cannabis

Published May 16, 2022 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Veni vidi...shoot

Cannabis is well known for its ability to calm the mind, heart, and soul, with many experiencing a reduction in common symptoms such as pain, anxiety, headaches, and more, but this wonderful plant has more to offer than that. Skin conditions and diseases are complex afflictions, often needing a lifetime's worth of treatments to see much if any relief, and cannabinoids in cannabis might hold the key to unlocking a whole new quality of life for those who struggle to find reprieve using more traditional pharmaceutical skin treatments.

How cannabis can help

CBD oil is a cannabis compound that offers many benefits to the skin. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling, irritation and pain. It's nourishing and full of vitamins and minerals that do fast work of softening hard problem areas and restoring the skin's natural elasticity. It's also non-psychoactive, which means that it doesn't come paired with mind-altering effects that might impair. However, many people struggling with skin conditions might benefit from the addition of THC, which is excellent at numbing pain and comes with many of the same repairing and restorative properties as CBD.

The best part is that as long as you're using the appropriate cannabis products, you can benefit from the glorious nature of both cannabinoids without worrying about euphoric side effects.

Topical cannabis products

While some medical patients might have success in treating certain symptoms by eating or smoking cannabis to alleviate pain and irritation, the most beneficial cannabinoid products by far are those applied topically, directly onto the affected area. There are all sorts of topicals on the market today, with each one designed with a different purpose in mind, including:

Cannabis oil
Pure cannabinoid-filled oils with no or very few additional ingredients.

Cannabis cream
Cannabis cream is perfect for daily use, even for those who don't have problematic skin issues. It absorbs quickly, leaving behind little to no residue, and some formulations include natural scents for an extra enjoyable experience.


Cannabis Salve
Salve is typically formulated to provide relief for severely dry, cracked, or split skin, as it often comes with additional ingredients that help it to remain in place and be slightly more effective than cream.

Cannabis ointment
Cannabinoid-infused ointment often offers the added benefit of active ingredients that may provide a numbing sensation or antibacterial effect.

Cannabis bath bombs
Bath bombs can be tricky for those with skin conditions because they often have added perfumes and colouring that may or may not agitate wounds, so if you choose to go this route, make sure to find one that excludes any extra ingredients that might contribute to an already uncomfortable situation.

Skin conditions and diseases

Skin disorders vary significantly as far as symptoms and severity. Some might be fleeting and temporary, while others can last for many years or even be life-threatening. Though cannabis skin treatments may not be able to heal the most severe skin diseases, they can certainly provide relief from the symptoms of many of the most common skin conditions, including:

  • Acne
  • Cold Sores
  • Blisters
  • Hives
  • Keratosis
  • Rosacea
  • Carbuncle
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Contact allergies
  • Cellulitis
  • Shingles
  • Dermatitis
  • Measles
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma
  • Lupus
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Keratosis pilaris
  • Chickenpox
  • Impetigo
  • Skin cancer
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