How CBD Can Help Your Sunburn

By Yes.Life | 20 October 2019 | 5 min read

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Summer-time is filled with the outdoors and sunlight. While the sun is considered the ultimate giver of life for our planet, it isn’t always quite so benevolent towards us. If you’ve ever turned lobster-red from staying out in the sun too long, you’ll be familiar with what we’re talking about: sunburns.

As CBD has grown massively in popularity, the question has come up: can CBD help sunburns? In this article, we’ll cover the basics of the sunburns, how CBD interacts with the skin, and how it may be able to help you when summer-fun turns into a downer. We’ll also briefly cover what kinds of CBD products you should use for sunburns.

What is a Sunburn?

The sun generates light: lots of it. In fact, it generates more light than we can see. Some of this light – called “Ultraviolet” or UV radiation – is just the right energy and frequency to hit our skin, get inside our cells, and wreak a little bit of havoc. We can’t see UV light with our eyes, but we can definitely feel it, even on a cloudy day!

Ordinarily, the body produces a natural sunscreen called melanin to help you safely absorb UV radiation. As the body senses more and more radiation getting absorbed by your cells, more and more melanin will be produced – enough of this leads to a “tan”. However, you can still get overloaded by the UV light: even people with an incredible amount of melanin in their skin can feel these effects! It is this overload of UV light that leads to sunburns.1

The actual “burn” part involves your cells recognizing that they’ve been damaged and committing cellular suicide to prevent worse damage in your body (like cancer). As more and more of your cells kill themselves, the body increases blood flow to the affected areas (causing the redness associated with sunburns). That extra blood can cause inflammation, leading to pain.1

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Can CBD Help Sunburns?

CBD is a natural analgesic,2 meaning it can help ease the pain. Furthermore, it is known to have anti-inflammatory action3, which means it may be able to help with burns, right? In theory, yes: the basic properties of CBD can provide some relief for sunburns. However, CBD can pack an even greater punch on helping your skin maintain itself, and possibly even heal faster. This is done through TRP channels.

A TRP channel is a special kind of gateway into the cell: these channels are responsible for regulating many sensory signals, like the temperature you feel and even pain.4 What does that mean? It means CBD can help kick your skin cells into high gear for keeping things the way they ought to be. In other words, CBD may help your skin cells recover faster.

While this aspect of CBD is quite impressive, something of importance should be stressed: specific research on topical CBD and sunburns has yet to be done. Most of CBD’s benefits appear to be anecdotal and theoretical, though as further research into CBD is done, this will change.

Should You Use CBD in Sunscreen?

A word of warning to those interested in CBD: while it is quite incredible and very versatile, that doesn’t mean it magically does everything. Case in point, it does not have any known sun-blocking properties. Unfortunately, many are using CBD as a snake oil, simply dumping it into a product, jacking up the price, and hoping people will buy. To be very clear: CBD has no known sunblock-properties, and its presence in sunscreens is mostly to cash in on the current “CBD fad.”

For a sunscreen to work best, it should naturally reflect UV light. When you apply such a sunscreen, it is very much like putting a mirror-cream over your body, keeping your cells on the inside nice and safe. CBD has demonstrated no ability to do this. This is a healthy reminder that you should be diligent when seeking out new CBD products! Don’t get fooled by the snake oil salesmen!

What CBD Should I Use for Sunburns?

One study was found that did assess a relationship between Cannabis extract (which includes CBD) and sunburns: the results were not good.5 However, this study explicitly used orally-administered extract, meaning drops you take through the mouth.

If you are looking for a CBD oil to apply on your burns, use a topical product! These products – typically gels or creams – are normally intended for pain and inflammation, but a sunburn may fit that bill well anyway. Make sure to get a product that is water-soluble for optimal performance: a water-soluble product will absorb past the first few layers of skin, and get deeper into the body much better.

If you aren’t sure where to start, Yes.Life’s Nano CBD Pain Cream is an excellent product for topical use. Using nano-sized CBD oil clumps, it can easily dissolve through the water layers of your skin and provide relief quickly. Yes.Life offers free 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you aren’t sure CBD is right for you, you can feel safe knowing your investment will not go to waste.


1 “Science of Summer: What Causes Sunburns?” LiveScience, Purch,

2 Hammell, D.c., et al. “Transdermal Cannabidiol Reduces Inflammation and Pain-Related Behaviours in a Rat Model of Arthritis.” European Journal of Pain 20, no. 6 (2015): 936–948., doi:10.1002/ejp.818.

3 Nagarkatti, Prakash, et al. “Cannabinoids as Novel Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.” Future Medicinal Chemistry 1, no. 7 (2009): 1333–1349., doi:10.4155/fmc.09.93.

4 Caterina, Michael J. “TRP Channel Cannabinoid Receptors in Skin Sensation, Homeostasis, and Inflammation.” ACS Chemical Neuroscience 5, no. 11 (2014): 1107–1116., doi:10.1021/cn5000919.

5 Hill, Kevin P., et al. “Cannabis and Pain: A Clinical Review.” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research 2, no. 1 (2017): 96–104., doi:10.1089/can.2017.0017.


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