The science is still new, but multiple published experiments cite an anti-inflammatory action with CBD that isn’t completely understood.
Cannabidiol infused skincare didn’t come out of nowhere. Like many of the other top selling skincare products, there is usually a trending scientific motivator. In the case of CBD, the anti-inflammatory responses in the skin of lab rats shows promise for all skincare concerns. It’s being studied more in depth with each passing month, and with the addition of the Farm Bill, people are much more willing to experiment and report anecdotal evidence that can lead to lab research.
In the case of tattoos, there are many dedicated products that focus on the needs of freshly inked skin. If CBD can help to heal skin, it has the potential to become a tattoo lover’s best friend. These products generate almost two billion dollars in revenue according to Hemp Industry Daily, so if the products actually work, this market, like many other CBD niches, will see major growth in the coming years.
There are some CBD products on the market that come from already established tattoo healing brands, CBD companies, and also unique indie formulations like Nurse Mary J. CBD infused balms. There are sticks, creams, sprays, and even stencil adhesive aids cropping up to fill this gap, but we don’t yet have complete proof of their efficacy.
Tattoo.com calls CBD “The hottest thing in aftercare” and the reason is more than the current rise in cannabis popularity. Writer Elisha Belden breaks it down further: “The compound functions as a powerful anti-inflammatory. This helps to reduce swelling and inflammation. As your skin experiences severe trauma during the tattoo process, having a product which reduces these symptoms is vital.”
The science is still new, but multiple published experiments cite an anti-inflammatory action with CBD that isn’t completely understood. One study conducted in 2018 suggested that though healing time wasn’t necessarily accelerated cumulatively in rats with oral ulcers, it was less painful. The study, conducted by the oral medicine department at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil found that, “Collectively, these findings indicate that CBD exert an anti-inflammatory effect in the early phase of wound healing process although it was not sufficient promote clinical improvement of oral traumatic ulcerative lesions.”
Tattoo artist and owner of Three Kings Tattoo Matt Marcus says that when the time is right, he will offer CBD aftercare products to his clientele in New York City. Currently they don’t use the products in the shop, though customers often experiment. He says he is definitely on team CBD, and he’s watching the future of the space:
“I think CBD is useful for everything. As an anti-inflammatory it will take down inflammation caused by the tattoo process. CBD also interacts with pain receptors in the brain which can help create a pain relief for a lot of people. It also is known to prevent or delay cell damage which is also good for the distress your body will go through. On top of all of those benefits, I also think that CBD works additionally as a placebo effect for people. Most people underestimate the power of the mind and its ability to put themselves mind over matter.”
Not everyone enjoys the physical tattooing portion of the body art process, but Marcus thinks even a small measure of relief could make it more bearable for the less pain tolerant among us, saying, “CBD has always done wonders for me and people around me and I think that when people are expecting something to work for them or have a specific effect they actually help it along by convincing themselves of this mentally.”
If asked by the clients at Three Kings, Marcus and his team are open about the potential benefits of CBD, but without accommodating legislation and the hard science to back it up, they won’t be stocking just yet. He tells The Fresh Toast, “I think learning your dosage is ultimately the most important part. CBD is non-toxic to humans even in high doses so there’s very little risk in experimentation.”
When doctors and scientists know the mechanisms of skin healing that’s could potentially be aided by CBD and other cannabinoids, tattoo aftercare that’s infused with cannabis is likely to experience a boom.
The basics of CBD and tattoo aftercare as of right now state that if it works for you, you should use it. The difference could be major, but right now it’s anecdotal, albeit positive. The good news is if you want to try using CBD to treat a tattoo, as long as the ingredients are cleared by your tattoo artist, you may be able to use an existing CBD skincare product that you have on hand, provided it’s not contaminated and has no irritating components.