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does medical marijuana help with eczema

Mum hospitalised with agonising eczema finds ‘miracle’ cure using cannabis oil

Cheryl’s skin was often left red raw, cracked and weeping, leaving her so self-conscious she wouldn’t leave the house

  • Andrea Downey
  • 22 Aug 2018, 11:15
  • Updated : 22 Aug 2018, 13:14

A MUM whose eczema was so severe she was hospitalised in agonising pain claims she found a “miracle cure” using cannabis oil.

Cheryl Halliburton began suffering with eczema flare-ups on her face and neck after getting pregnant with her daughter, Alexis, four years ago.

The 27-year-old’s skin was often left red raw, cracked and weeping, leaving her so self-conscious she wouldn’t leave the house.

At her wit’s end Cheryl decided to try CBD oil, a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in cannabis, and found it had a remarkable effect on her skin after inhaling the natural remedy through a vape pen.

Cheryl, a careworker from Elgin, Scotland, said: “It really began when I fell pregnant with Alexis when I was around 23 years old.

“It started on my back and cleared up after a course of steroids but straight away it flared up on my face and neck and has been constant ever since.

“It would flare up every couple of days depending on what I was eating and it would be an uncontrollable itch and no cream I put on it would soothe it, in fact, it would often make it worse.

“I would feel like I wanted to rip my skin off. I felt like I couldn’t go on anymore as I was just not getting any answers from the doctors.

“On bad days I wasn’t even able to take my daughter to nursery or would be unable to work or leave the house and a combination of antihistamine and painkillers would make me drowsy.”

Cheryl suffered with eczema as a child, but quickly grew out of it and believes that the hormone imbalance in her body from her pregnancy kicked started the sore and itchy skin condition again.

Struggling to find the ongoing cause of her eczema, Cheryl saw several GPs, where she was continuously given courses of steroids tablets, light treatment and blood tests.

She was left unable to wear make-up or go on nights out with friends because she feared eating the wrong thing, or drinking alcohol could cause her skin to react.

FIND OUT MORE What are eczema and dermatitis, what are the signs and causes and how can you treat the painful skin condition?

Then, in August 2 this year, Cheryl’s flare-ups got out of control and she was rushed to Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin by her husband, Craig, 32, who told his wife he could no longer see her suffer.

“I couldn’t move my face and neck and there were open wounds on my chest that were weeping,” Cheryl said.

“I was cold and shaky and felt like I wanted to be sick, and was placed on a drip overnight to treat the infection that had gotten into my skin.

“All my tests came back normal and doctors wanted to discharge me so I could be treated at home but I broke down to a nurse as I felt like I couldn’t go on.

“It seemed there was never going to be an answer.”

When Cheryl’s dad suggested that she tried CBD oil after researching the medicine she decided to trying vaping it to see if it helped.

Cheryl was stunned when her skin cleared up in just two weeks and she no longer suffered flare-ups.

“At first I tried the liquid form but found I hated the taste, but I discovered the vape shop was selling it when I walked past one day,” she said.

“I’ve not looked back since. I’ve been able to go shopping with my little girl, even go back to work.

“Alexis has noticed the difference as she always had to stay in the house with me.

“I have been able to eat bread and other things I haven’t eaten in a long time without flare-ups – and even had a glass of wine.”

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main ingredients in medical marijuana.

It is also used in cannabis oil to treat a range of issues including mental health, sleep problems, low appetite, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and palliative care.

CBD is also said to help prevent the signs of ageing and protect against eczema and psoriasis.

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According to the British Association of Dermatologists: “Complete emollient therapy is the mainstay of treatment for all patients with eczema – this means regular application of a moisturiser [also known as an emollient] and washing with a moisturiser instead of soap.

“These should be applied several times every day to help the outer layer of your skin function better as a barrier to your environment.

“The drier your skin, the more frequently you should apply a moisturiser. Many different ones are available, varying in their degree of greasiness, and it is important that you choose one you like to use.

“Moisturisers containing an antiseptic may be useful if repeated infections are a problem.”

Cheryl's skin was often left red raw, cracked and weeping, leaving her so self-conscious she wouldn’t leave the house

Marijuana may help cure eczema, according to researchers

The anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties found in the marijuana plant could help sufferers of skin conditions

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Marijuana may be useful in treating symptoms related to skin diseases including eczema and psoriasis, according to research.

The plant Cannabis sativa is known for the psychoactive THC agent found in it – which causes an intoxicating effect.

However, as states across America legalise or decriminalise marijuana, doctors and patients are showing an increased interest in the health benefits of the plant which stem from the parts of the plant that don’t cause intoxicating effects.

Read more

For marijuana to be used topically and as a potential treatment for health-related issues, researchers are focusing on the four other agents, or cannabinoids, found in the plant – cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN).

These agents don’t make the user “high,” but they can cause relief from various medical conditions, including atopic dermatitis or eczema.

Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry, and cracked. In the UK, it affects an estimated 15 million people, according to AllergyUK.

There are numerous treatments for eczema, however, there is currently no cure.

But, according to the National Eczema Association (NEA): “It has long been observed that cannabinoids possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-itch qualities” with research dating back to the first textbook of dermatology referencing a use for cannabis in treating skin conditions.

In this first text, Dr Henry Granger Piffard, one of the founders of American dermatology, noted: “A pill of cannabis indica at bedtime has at my hands sometimes afforded relief to the intolerable itching of eczema.”

This relief is partly due to the powerful anti-itch effect of cannabinoids, which interact with receptors in the skin – minimising the common attributes of eczema, most notably itch caused by dry skin, histamine release, and sensory nerve fibres.

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

1 /26 In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

A man wears a marijuana leaf mask during the annual 4/20 cannabis culture celebration at Sunset Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

A lady smokes marijuana on Parliament Hill on 4/20 in Ottawa, Ontario

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James Reed smokes a joint during the Denver 420 Rally at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado

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People sign a 4/20 sign on Parliament Hill on in Ottawa, Ontario

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A woman smokes marijuana on Parliament Hill on 4/20 in Ottawa, Ontario. Polling released showed strong support in Canada for a government drive to legalise recreational use of marijuana, but many would like the proposed minimum age for consumption to be raised. Sixty-three percent of respondents told the Angus Reid Institute they support legalisation

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

A man smokes marijuana during the annual 4/20 marijuana rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

Demonstrators smoke marijuana during the ‘4/20 Santiago’ rally in favour of legalisation in front of the La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, as part of the Global Marijuana March which is being held in hundreds of cities worldwide

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

People play with a mock marijuana joint during a 4/20 party to demand legalisation and to celebrate marijuana culture outside the Senate building in Mexico City, Mexico

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Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DCMJ, hands out free marijuana joints to DC residents who worked on Capitol Hill as part of the 1st Annual Joint Session to mark ‘4/20’ day and promote legalising marijuana on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

Police arrest Rachel Ramone Donlan after she handed out free marijuana joints to DC residents who worked on Capitol Hill as part of the 1st Annual Joint Session to mark ‘4/20’ day and promote legalising marijuana on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC

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Police arrest Rachel Ramone Donlan after she handed out free marijuana joints to DC residents who worked on Capitol Hill as part of the 1st Annual Joint Session to mark ‘4/20’ day and promote legalising marijuana on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC

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Thousands of people gather to smoke marijuana during the ‘420 Santiago’rally in front of the La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago

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People attend the Denver 420 Rally at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado

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Kevin Barron and Lasean Moore of Raleigh, North Carolina, share a joint during the Denver 420 Rally at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado

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Nic Ruhl takes a pull on a giant hand rolled joint at precisely 4:20pm MDT during the Denver 420 Rally at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado

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Various cannabis paraphernalia on display at a vendor’s stall during the Denver 420 Rally at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado

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Mo Banez, of Austin, Texas, lights a joint during the Denver 420 Rally at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado

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A man displays a large container of cannabis during the Denver 420 Rally at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado. The rally, held annually, is a celebration of both the legalisation of cannabis and cannabis culture. Colorado is one of twenty-six U.S. states along with the District of Columbia that has legalised the use of cannabis either recreationally or medically

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

Sitting in small groups on mats shaded by trees in the Rose Garden just across from the Knesset, participants lit up as the clock struck 4:20 for the local version of the traditional worldwide April 20 pro-marijuana events, known as ‘420’ rallies

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

An Israeli smokes a marijuana joint in Jerusalem during a rally at the Rose garden

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

Sitting in small groups on mats shaded by trees in the Rose Garden just across from the Knesset, participants lit up as the clock struck 4:20 for the local version of the traditional worldwide April 20 pro-marijuana events, known as ‘420’ rallies

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

An Israeli girl poses with a mock marijuana joint in Jerusalem during a rally at the Rose garden, to celebrate 420 and to express their defiance of current laws

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

aelis pass around a marijuana joint in Jerusalem during a rally at the Rose garden, to celebrate 420 and to express their defiance of current laws

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

An Israeli smokes a marijuana joint in Jerusalem during a rally at the Rose garden, to celebrate 420 and to express their defiance of current law

In pictures: 4/20 Marijuana world rallies

An Israeli smokes a marijuana joint in Jerusalem on April 20, 2017 during a rally opposite the Knesset to celebrate 420 and express defiance of current laws

The anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids applied topically may also improve eczema, as can their anti-microbial effects.

According to researchers at the University of Colorado, the agent CBD is particularly helpful in curing eczema or the symptoms associated with the skin condition – and can be used as a natural alternative to commonly-used steroids.

Dr Robert Dellavalle, one of the leading researchers said: “There’s a large segment of the population that doesn’t like using steroids, even if they are topical steroids on their skin. CBD could be an alternative, natural product for them to try.

“So, when we have somebody who has tried topical steroids or topical immuno-modulators that suppress the immune system for psoriasis or eczema and they haven’t gotten completely better, there’s a potential of using this new therapy that might work in a different way and help them,” Dellavalle said.

And the new topically-applied treatment of CBD has already been cleared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as having no potential for abuse or harm, as multiple clinical trials have seen positive outcomes on the symptoms and appearance of skin conditions.

However, the lasting stigmas surrounding the plant and the remaining laws make it difficult for researchers to fully study the effects of the cannabinoids in marijuana.

“The fact that it’s illegal at the federal level, but legal at the state level – it leads to a lot of complications in trying to do research on marijuana and its derivatives, all of the cannabinoids,” Dellavalle said.

1 /2 Marijuana may help cure eczema, according to researchers

Marijuana may help cure eczema, according to researchers

The anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties found in the marijuana plant could help sufferers of skin conditions

Marijuana may help cure eczema, according to researchers

Doctors and researchers are eager to study the health benefits of marijuana (Stock)

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The anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties found in the marijuana plant could help sufferers of skin conditions