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Can CBD Oil Cause Itching?

CBD oil is popular for many reasons, but some people have sensitive skin or allergies. Will CBD cause skin itching and irritation? What can you do if it does?

Article By
Daily CBD , last updated on September 3, 2021

Many people use CBD topicals to ease pain and discomfort.

Even though CBD is safe, it does come with the potential for side effects.

Some users claim that using CBD oil causes itching, but is this true?

The main reason CBD causes itching is due to allergies to either the CBD directly or another ingredient in the product. It’s very rare for CBD to cause itching on its own and is even a popular treatment for itchy skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

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What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the main cannabinoids found in cannabis. It’s extracted and mixed with carrier oils such as coconut or hemp seed.

CBD is used as a supplement and can help treat many diseases, though the FDA does not approve it. Some patients suffering from pain prefer CBD oil to marijuana because of the absence of mind-altering effects.

Can CBD Oil Cause Itching?

CBD in its purest form is not known to trigger skin allergies like itching, hives, soreness, or irritation.

Other synthetic ingredients in the formula would be the only credible explanation about itching after CBD use.

In most cases, skin allergies, particularly itching, point to an allergic reaction triggered by other ingredients used in CBD oil.

Ingredients That Cause Itching

  • Poor-quality or expired carrier oils
  • Use of lab-made synthetic additives & perfumes
  • Other contaminants (heavy metals, solvents, or microbial contaminants)

Can CBD Oil Prevent Itching?

CBD is more likely to help itching than to cause it.

In fact, CBD shows potential in helping some skin disorders, such as eczema, psoriasis, pruritus, and inflammatory conditions [1].

In one study, 67% of eczema patients reported a decrease in itchiness, and 50% saw an improvement in their eczema by more than 60%, showing the benefits of topical CBD for atopic dermatitis [2].

Signs of an Allergic Reaction

If you feel that the application of CBD oil is causing itching, the best thing to do is to discontinue using the oil at the first signs of an allergic reaction to your skin. Check for the formula label to determine if any other ingredients are a known allergen to you.

Make a note of the other active ingredients and check with your doctor if they can create skin allergies or have an itching effect on your skin.

Since CBD is a plant product, it could cause an allergic reaction, though this is rare. It’s always wise to check for allergies before you apply CBD products over large areas of the skin.

Topical creams and lotions with CBD can cause a skin allergy. Unfortunately, these reactions don’t always show up right away — sometimes, it can take days. These symptoms can last a few weeks.

If you notice any of the following, stop using CBD oil right away.

Signs of an Allergic Reaction From Topical Use of CBD

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Puffy areas of skin
  • Small, red spots
  • Itchy, stinging, or burning sensation
  • Swollen lips, eyes, or tongue
  • Red, itchy, watering eyes
  • Dry, cracked skin

Other CBD products require ingestion or inhalation; any allergic reaction from these methods will show up much sooner.

Again, stop use immediately if you notice any of these signs.

Fortunately, a reaction to a cannabis product is much like seasonal allergies. The symptoms go away rather quickly, and an antihistamine can help ease discomfort.

Signs of an Allergic Reaction From Ingesting CBD

  • Congestion
  • Dry cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Eye irritation and redness
  • Nausea
  • Sore throat

Signs of a Serious Allergic Reaction (Anaphylactic Shock)

Though rare, some allergic reactions can be dangerous and even deadly. If you experience any of the following, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

How To Test CBD Oil For Allergies Before Using It

There are two simple steps to check your body’s reaction to CBD oil:

  1. Using a dropper, place one drop only of the CBD oil on the backside of one hand. Wait for 24 hours to determine if there are any adverse reactions. Some reactions can take longer to show up.
  2. Use a dropper to take only one drop of CBD oil in your mouth. Wait for a minimum of one hour to see if your body is adversely reacting to it. 

Other Side Effects of CBD

CBD is safe and is not associated with any severe side effects. Still, it’s essential to know some of the potential side effects of CBD in both long-term and short-term usage.

Short Term Side Effects

When CBD is used in high amounts, combined with other medicines, or used alongside severe underlying diseases, it may lead to some adverse reactions.

  • Low blood pressure 
  • Dry mouth, medically called Xerostomia
  • Loose stools
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Nausea  
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue 

These side effects are temporary and only last as long as the CBD is in the bloodstream. These symptoms disappear as it wears off. 

Long Term Side Effects

These side effects do not appear right away; they come slowly after constant use and are often associated with CBD mixing with prescription drugs or from smoking it. 

  • Excessive weight loss or gain
  • Weakened immunity
  • Liver functions
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue 

Summary: Does CBD Cause Itching? 

CBD is a safe, powerful, natural treatment for many diseases. Problems that do occur are usually from impure or contaminated products. These are off-brands or have cheap ingredients that can trigger skin allergies.

To avoid these issues, only buy high-quality CBD oil from reliable vendors. If you suffer from severe allergies or are allergic to hemp seed, do an allergy test before using any CBD or cannabis product.

References

  1. Baswan, S. M., Klosner, A. E., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, S., & Stern, N. (2020). Therapeutic potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for skin health and disorders. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 13, 927.
  2. Maghfour, J., Rietcheck, H. R., Rundle, C. W., Runion, T. M., Jafri, Z. A., Dercon, S., … & Yardley, H. (2020). An Observational Study of the Application of a Topical Cannabinoid Gel on Sensitive Dry Skin. Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD, 19(12), 1204-1208.

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