CBD and Chronic Eczema: 3 month Trial
Imagine feeling itchy during all waking hours and having to lather creams, lotions, and oils on your skin - yearning for any type of relief.
I've had eczema on my hands, arms, and legs since I was 12. As I became older, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and my skin condition became worse. Hypothyroidism is when the body does not make enough thyroid hormones, which regulates almost all aspects of your body including metabolism, energy, skin and hair growth, body temperature, heart rate, digestion. Literally everything. My body was failing me.
I admit I am not the most compliant patient when it comes to taking medications. I tried everything from exercise and changing my eating habits (been vegan for 10 years and counting) just to skip out on taking my Levothyroxine (which I DO NOT recommend unless you can come up with alternative plan with your doctor). Because of vegan my diet restrictions, I understand that nutrient deficiency can worsen skin conditions as well. I had to take supplements and avoid foods that triggers my flare ups such as soy, gluten, citrus, and unfortunately… chocolate.
Changes in diet help with my energy level a little, but my skin did not get much better. I had some good days and bad days, but never felt full remission. I still had major inflammation to the point that my knuckles and fingers looked like sausages. My skin always cracked and was slow to heal. My whole body always felt heated and uncomfortable. I didn’t want to use any prescription strength steroid creams anymore because long-term use started to thin out my skin and made it even more fragile. I used coconut oil mixed with tea tree oil, and a hint of lavender oil. Slathered it on every chance I get.
Like everyone else during the age of Google and technology, I went to the interwebs for an answer. Before, I saw articles here and there about hemp and CBD, but I never really dove into it because I thought it was like marijuana (absolutely negatory!). I grew up in a strict family and I never thought I would turn to cannabis. But then I started reading about it here and there. I heard about it on the news, then the radio.
I did my own research and what got my attention the most is that CBD has strong anti-inflammatory properties that regulates the immune system, especially when it overreacts to triggers when a normal person’s body wouldn’t react as profoundly. Maybe my immune system was overactive and I needed something to balance my system again.
That week, I decided to become a guinea pig and test out this theory I read online. What could hurt? I wasn’t on any medications regularly (to my doctor’s dismay) that would interact, and my Dr cleared me to try it out for a short period because well... I’ve been stubborn. Please note that I am no medical professional and every health choice should always be discussed with your healthcare provider first (Thank you Dr L for not firing me as a patient yet). My story is just anecdotal through personal experience.
I made a trip to Farmers Branch, Texas to ask for recommendations from the CBD Farmhouse staff. I was in luck that day because their pharmacist was in. She was very kind and patient. I was surprised she was so young, but she portrayed herself as professional and very knowledgeable in health, nutrition, and lifestyle choices. We chatted a little about my health history, medication list (or lack thereof), diet, and CBD in general. She was also alarmed that I wasn’t taking my thyroid medicine haha. I was recommended the 500mg broad spectrum tincture, primarily for the “entourage effect” of other cannabinoids, excluding THC (no HIGH). I was anxious, but excited to try something different.
I took ¼ of the dropper under my tongue and waited 90 seconds before swallowing, as directed. As a new user, it is best to micro-dose and slowly increase the dose as tolerated. I was mindful to not eat or drink anything for 30 mins. After 15-30 mins, I had a warm feeling throughout my body, but it wasn't uncomfortable or anything. I felt a little energized too like after drinking a little coffee, but no sense of panic like when caffeine hits me too hard. I hope that makes sense to the readers here.
After a week or so, I noticed that I didn’t really care for junk foods as much as I used to. I didn’t feel as hungry as I used to, but I still ate all 3 of my meals. I wasn’t sure if it was just a placebo effect until a month later when my sister visited me, she asked if I lost weight. Well, I’ll take weight loss as a side effect any day! I’m actually 5’1” and she was joking with me that I “looked more proportional.” We laughed.
As for my hands, the cracks did close up and healed better. I still had scabs and scar tissue, but that’s to be expected as the skin heals. My fingers were less chubby as the swelling reduced. I went from being itchy all over 80% of the day to about 50% of the day. I still wasn’t sure if it was a miracle supplement yet since it was too soon to say.
3 months later… well just look at my hands! My skin is now flatter, not inflamed, much better than before. I still have some itchy days once or twice a week, but visually my hands did look better. Overall I felt more energetic, I was able to focus better at work, and I needed to either buy smaller pants or use a belt. This must be that “overall sense of well-being” the articles online was talking about. Does that mean I don’t need Levothyroxine?! (I’m just kidding Dr L!) I’m excited to see how much my body will continue to change, for the better, when I continue taking this for a couple more months.
Thanks for tuning into my little CBD journey. I’ll share again in a few months and maybe I’ll feel like a brand new person.
A New CBD Tester