Combating Eczema: Cannabinoid Spot Treatment for Sensitive Dry Skin

December 14, 2020

Key takeaways:

  • A new study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology follows users of a proprietary hemp-derived cannabinoid gel formulated to ease eczema symptoms  
  • This is the first study to use an accessible, over-the-counter topical 
  • Dramatic improvements recorded within 2 weeks of use
  • Researchers credit both the formulation and precise combination of cannabinoids and terpenes for the positive results

New hope for eczema relief

Eczema is a persistent skin condition. Damaged skin causes scratching and itching, which in turn creates more inflammation and damage. It’s a vicious cycle that presents a difficult reality for people with dry, sensitive skin.

The Itch Scratch Cycle
Itchy Skin

For the first time, a study1 was set to observe the impact of a uniquely formulated hemp-based topical on eczema symptoms. While cannabinoids have long been reported to reduce skin inflammation, this is the first study that used a commercially available skincare product in consumers suffering from dry, sensitive skin.

A team of researchers followed 20 individuals with severe, moderate and mild eczema symptoms. Their methodology used validated questionnaires to assess the impact of 2 weeks of application of hemp-derived cannabinoids.

  • Pre-use baseline measurement: the subjects completed the 28-item Patient Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM), assessing subjects’ symptom severity.
  • Two-week application: consumers using CQuell’s Spot Treatment on a daily basis were followed (read more and view ingredients here.
  • Post-use results analysis: 16 of the subjects repeated the initial POEM questionnaire and the researchers evaluated the new score against the baseline. 

The results: improved skin within 2 weeks

Cosmetic and over-the-counter products have long frustrated consumers with promises of quick relief, but little to no data to back the claims. This study presents a first in hemp-derived skincare, with a peer-reviewed study demonstrating positive results.

100% of the subjects have reported improvement in their skin, with an average of 48% improvement within 2 weeks. 

These remarkable improvements open new ground for research in sensitive skincare. 

Improved Skin within 2 weeksImproved Skin within 2 weeksImproved Skin within 2 weeks

Finding emotional relief 

Behind the physical skin damage, those with eczema often suffer from emotional distress. Embarrassment and low self-confidence are the day-to-day reality. So the researchers monitored the emotional toll of eczema through the Quality of Life Hand Eczema Questionnaire (QOLHEQ.)

QOLHEQ consists of 8 common items relating to the emotional burden of the subjects’ skin challenges including frustration, annoyance, anxiety, desire to hide their hands, sadness/depression, irritation, embarrassment and nervousness.

The subjects reported a 60% decrease in their QOLHEQ score, which means they felt happier, more comfortable and more confident. 

Applying the findings 

While follow-up studies are in progress, some with eczema may choose to replicate the study on their own. Here’s how:

  • Download an eczema tracker app, like this one from the National Eczema Association, and evaluate your skin using the POEM score or a similar validated questionnaire 
  • Get CQuell Spot Treatment, the product that was used in the peer reviewed study
  • Use as often as needed and re-evaluate your score periodically

Not all cannabinoids are created equal

While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of cannabinoid and hemp topicals available, the researchers are quick to point out that each formulation can yield different results. The formulators and authors of the study attribute much of the success to both the vehicle formulation and the proprietary “ECS Complex” used in the study, which is a precise combination of cannabinoids and terpenes. Unlike full-spectrum or raw plant oils, the formulation used exact amounts of each ingredient to ensure repeatable results. 

About the author:
Jon Fernandez is the co-author of the cited study and the co-founder of CQuell Skincare.

(1) Jalal Maghfour MD, Hope R. Rietcheck BS, Chandler W Rundle MD, Taylor M Runion BS, Zainab A Jafri MD, Sam Dercon BS, Peter Lio MD, Jon Fernandez BA, Mayumi Fujita MD PhD, Robert P Dellavalle MD PhD MSPH, Helena Yardley PhD. An Observational Study of the Application of a Topical Cannabinoid Gel on Sensitive Dry Skin. JDD December 2020 • Volume 19 • Issue 12. doi:10.36849/JDD.2020.5464

*This was an IRB-approved observational, non-placebo controlled study, 16 of 20 consumers completed both pre and post assessments (4 lost to follow-up). Mean ±SE: 16±1.35 vs 8.25 ±1.80 at 2 weeks follow- up; P<0.0007
**The POEM and QOLHEQ questionnaires were used to assess user perceived cosmetic improvement as well as psychological measures