CBD Salves and Healing Tattoos: Do They Work?

John Dietrich

CBD products can be life changing depending on how you use them. If you have skin issues, chronic diseases or pain, or anxiety, CBD can do wonders to ease your symptoms. The latest CBD products to hit the market are tattoo balms that claim to help with pain and speed up healing times. We looked into this a little bit further to find out if these products actually do what they say, and if they’re worth using.

Why CBD?

CBD Explanation

CBD is a wonder “drug” in the medical community, because it’s a natural way to provide relief for a number of different ailments. It can alleviate nerve pain, help reduce the frequency and severity of seizures, kill cancer cells, and relieve nausea in ways that traditional drugs haven’t previously been able to touch. CBD also has properties that have been shown to regenerate cells which can speed up healing, and can reverse some symptoms of neurological diseases like dementia and slow the progression of Alzheimers. There are no psychoactive effects to taking CBD, so you won’t get high from using it, which makes it a great medicinal solution for people of all ages. CBD isn’t just taking over the medical field, it’s steadily making its way into all facets of society, and that includes entering the tattoo world.

CBD and Healing Tattoos

Person getting tattooed

Why would someone use these products on a healing tattoo? CBD is a natural anti-inflammtory, so the idea is that it keeps swelling to a minimum, which can be great if your skin is prone to inflammation. There’s the additional benefit of pain relief in using CBD, because the cannabinoids interact with pain receptors and act as a pain-reliever. This could be useful going into a tattoo appointment, but what about after? Speedy healing isn’t necessarily a good thing when it comes to tattoo, because it doesn’t let the ink sink into the skin enough to be as dark or permanent as it should be. Scabs that come off too skin or tattooed areas that don’t scab won’t have the same visual impact or longevity as those who do. Is there any significant benefit to using CBD after-care products versus the standard unscented lotions that are traditionally suggested?

We asked some readers what kinds of experiences they’ve had with CBD products on their tattoos, and the responses weren’t promising. Some of the comments we got included:

“I accidentally did once, to date it’s my only tattoo that got infected while healing. Do not recommend.” – Andrea

“Nope don’t do it. Just stick to vitamin E-based creams.” – Hope

“Webber’s vitamin e ointment is the best. Don’t do the cbd salves.” – Amani

Nadine, who has knowledge of skin care products, explained that “CBD topicals are usually used for muscle/joint pain and honestly won’t do much at all in terms of actually healing your tattoo”. Toronto tattoo artist Alixandra, however, believes that CBD can be very useful before, during and after the tattoo process, “CBD helps with inflammation so for tattoos that are particularly prone to swelling (near joints, large areas of black or colour) you may find it is worth the extra money…I mainly use it during tattooing to help with the inflammation that happens during the process”. That being said, she doesn’t believe the hype surrounding the claims behind CBD creams that help speed up healing times, “I suspect most products that say they speed up healing are just fabricating for the purpose of sales. CBD in particular reduces inflammation, but I don’t think that means faster healing, it would just mean less pain from the pressure that inflammation causes”. The main concern to Alixandra is over moisturizing in general, so she advises that you avoid putting too much cream on your fresh tattoos too frequently, regardless of what kind of product it is.

CBD is great for a huge variety of things, whether they be medical, topical, cosmetic, or nutrition-related. For tattoo healing, however, it doesn’t seem like the best course of action. Stick to unscented lotions and tattoo creams that your tattoo artist suggests, and try to avoid going with the latest fad of CBD infused healing creams. You likely won’t get the results you’re looking for, and could aggravate the tender area.

Have you used CBD products for your tattoos? Let us know in the comments!

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