Can CBD Prevent the Harmful Effects of Therapeutic UV Radiation on the Skin?

Ultraviolet light therapy (or ‘UV phototherapy’) is the therapeutic use of ultraviolet light to destroy harmful cells that cause disease. This light therapy can be very effective at treating chronic skin diseases like psoriasis, vitiligo, severe eczema, T cell lymphoma (a type of skin cancer), as well as superficial lesions and other infections on the skin. However, it can also have certain damaging side effects such as burning and making the skin (and eyes) more sensitive to light. 

Early studies are underway which are looking at the effects of topical CBD and whether it can help to mitigate the harmful effects of therapeutic UV radiation on the skin such as skin damage, itchiness and darkening. The reason that UV radiation causes skin damage is that it disturbs the redox balance and inflammatory response in primary epidermis skin cells (keratinocytes). There have been various studies on the effect of CBD on dermatology over the years and, although more research is needed, early results show that CBD has displayed promising anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative effects. 

The study into the protective effect of CBD on skin exposed to UV light therapy was undertaken on the skin of naked rats whose skin was exposed to UV radiation. Topical CBD was used to prevent the harmful effects of UV radiation and it was found that CBD did indeed maintain the keratinocytes health in the skin of the rats who had damage as a cause of UV radiation. Further studies will be needed, but this study showed strong promise that CBD could be used as “a protective measure in the prevention of UV-induced metabolic changes in epidermal keratinocytes” and help those who suffer at the hand of this treatment.  

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