By Danisha Bogue, L.Ac. - February 20, 2023
Categories: General

We are knee and elbow deep in lotion season and with inflation and snowstorms stopping me from getting a new bottle, I’m looking into the relief from dryness with CBD (non-psychoactive cannabidiol) and Traditional Chinese Medicine including acupuncture. There are ways to hydrate your body inside and out beyond drinking tons of water and slathering on the Gold Bond by the bottleful. Here’s how you can use CBD and TCM to combat dryness not only in your skin but throughout your entire body.

Dryness in TCM

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, dryness is a Yang phenomenon that causes a deficiency of Yin fluids starting in the lungs. External dryness comes in through the lungs upsetting the Defensive Qi and the lungs. Internal dryness arises from a deficiency of blood or Yin which weakens the stomach Yin, the lungs Yin, the Kidneys Yin, and Essence.

Mild Symptoms of Dryness

  • Dry mouth, nose, and throat
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Dryness of skin
  • Aversions to cold with a slight fever and sweating
  • Tongue may be red and dry with very little or thin coating
  • Pulse may be a little rapid

More Severe Symptoms of Dryness

  • Thirst
  • Aversion to heat or dry air with high fever
  • Cough with yellow mucus
  • Dryness of the intestines that leads to constipation and bloating of the abdomen
  • Tongue is red with a thick yellow coating
  • Pulse is rapid and slippery


Cannabis sativa, or da ma, has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years and is considered one of 50 fundamental herbs. The Chinese goddess, Ma Gu, whose name means ‘hemp maiden’ is seen as a symbol of vitality and healing. Different parts of the cannabis plant are used for treating different symptoms and illnesses.

Acupuncture and CBD

The CBD in cannabis has been found to stimulate the endocannabinoid system in a complementary way to acupuncture. These are the meridians in TCM that we aim to stimulate the flow of the Qi along. The points in acupuncture stimulate circulation, increase immunity and energy reduce stress and inflammation in the body. By doing this, acupuncture can balance the yin and yang in the body. CBD works in tandem by stimulating the endocannabinoid receptors to support and further the healing process.

CBD and Dryness

A 2014 study found that the application of CBD oil to dry skin helped patients stimulate their sebaceous glands into producing more oil. This leads to higher cutaneous moisture levels in the skin and improves overall skin health. CBD is effective in the body by producing homeostasis and working with the body in healing itself instead of disrupting the body’s natural systems.

It may be time to reach for CBD oil instead of the lotion bottle or find a lotion with CBD as a key ingredient. Many commercial lotions actually dry your skin out more after a superficial hydrating coat because they are not created to work with your body’s natural balance. CBD works in harmony with acupuncture for your endocannabinoid receptors to return your body to its natural state.

TCM Herbs for Dryness

In addition to acupuncture and CBD for dryness, TCM recommends the use of these herbs to nourish and restore the liver and kidneys while invigorating the blood and promoting movement of the Qi.

  • Goji Berry (or Wolfberry) is nourishing and restores the liver, kidneys, and blood.
  • Jiang Huang (a powder made from turmeric) is warm and invigorates the blood and promotes movement of the Qi.
  • Dang Gui (a powder made from Angelica) also nourishes and invigorates the blood.

Preventing Dryness from the Inside Out

Winter months don’t have to mean dryness that affects not only your skin but your lungs and internal organs as well. With the right combination of acupuncture and CBD, we can find the right balance in your body to keep you feeling healthy. Reach out and schedule your appointment today to discuss the most effective treatment for your body and lifestyle.

Be well.



This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.