CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound present in the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa. Unlike, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), it doesn’t have psychoactive effects. CBD is most commonly ingested but is also available in topical products such as lotions and balms. While the alleged benefits of CBD include control of seizures, relief from pain, depression, anxiety, migraine, among others, only one drug containing CBD has been approved by the FDA to treat rare forms of childhood seizures.
Recent research has looked at cannabinoids for the treatment of various skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema, and wound healing. The most promising benefits have been found in the treatment of itch. Clinical studies have shown a reduction in itching for several dermatologic and internal conditions. These preliminary results support the need for controlled trials to confirm these benefits and standardize formulations and treatment regimens. Many CBD-containing topical products are available but their ingredients and efficacy haven’t been validated by the FDA since they aren’t currently regulated as drugs. Hopefully, this will change in the near future. In the meantime, CBD products might be considered in situations where conventional treatments have failed.