Can CBD Relieve Psoriasis Symptoms? Here’s What Doctors Are Saying
There’s a lot more to learn about the potential health benefits of CBD oil, so make sure to consult your dermatologist.
With all of the headlines pointing to the healing powers of cannabidiol (CBD)—one of more than 80 chemical compounds in the cannabis plant—it’s natural to wonder: Can using CBD oil help relieve psoriasis symptoms?
The reviews are mixed. While there’s anecdotal evidence that CBD oil, with its far-ranging anti-inflammatory properties, can help treat this autoimmune disease affecting some 7.5 million Americans, studies to date remain inconclusive.
This isn’t to say that CBD oil shouldn’t be considered as an additional treatment option for psoriasis patients who experience plaque psoriasis—which causes dry, raised, and red skin lesions (or plaques) covered with silvery scales on body areas such as the back of the elbows, over the kneecaps, and on the lower back.
In fact, the preliminary science investigating the ways that CBD, the non-psychoactive part of the marijuana plant, can help treat eczema and psoriasis shows some promise, says Jordan Tishler, MD, a physician and cannabis expert in Boston.
“However, while these studies are generally encouraging, they’re nowhere near conclusive,” Dr. Tishler tells Health.
What we need to learn about how CBD might work
Although clinical research connecting the health benefits of CBD oil to cannabis is slow to materialize, there’s still a lot of patient-driven interest in whether CBD, which can be used as an oil, balm, cream, or salve, can help treat psoriasis.
Some studies have been encouraging, including one study conducted in 2007, which found that cannabinoids, including CBD, slowed down the growth and division of skin cells involved in psoriatic skin rashes.
“We know that cannabinoids like CBD can reduce inflammation and pain,” David Casarett, MD, chief of palliative care at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, tells Health. “Again, what we’re seeing right now is that most of the evidence is circumstantial but promising.”
Another very small study of psoriasis patients conducted in 2019 is equally compelling. The study was led by researchers in Italy and showed that applying topical CBD-enriched ointment on psoriatic skin did help to reduce psoriasis symptoms.
In the study, five psoriasis patients applied CBD ointment to those areas of their skin affected by psoriasis twice a day for three months. After that time, researchers concluded that the ointment was not only safe and effective but it improved the quality of life for psoriasis patients.
How CBD might improve daily life
In addition to helping to treat skin itching and irritation, CBD may also help psoriasis patients control pain and reduce inflammation.
That’s why Hervé Damas, MD, a physician at Grassroots Medicine and Wellness, a cannabis medical practice in Miami, says he uses CBD—which has few side effects and is considered safe overall—as a part of the psoriasis treatment plans he recommends for his patients.
“For dermatological issues such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema, I’ve found CBD to be very effective at decreasing the flare-ups, irritation, and discomfort my patients experience,” he tells Health. “Depending on the severity of the disease, I will use either topical creams or a combination of topical and systemic treatments.”
However, other experts aren’t convinced that CBD oil is as effective as current therapies, which include topical steroid creams and ointments, topical vitamin D creams, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory creams, and ultraviolet light therapy. In addition, psoriasis patients may also take immunosuppressant medications, like cyclosporine and methotrexate, and newer biologic medications to treat their symptoms.
“The effects of cannabis are relatively weak compared to topical steroids like hydrocortisone,” says Dr. Tishler. “In short, at this time I would not recommend any topical cannabis or CBD products to treat a serious illness like psoriasis.”
In the end, since the exact nature of how CBD works to help treat psoriasis remains unknown and psoriasis is a serious skin condition, consider this our best advice: Until more studies are done on CBD and psoriasis, be sure to speak with your dermatologist to plan a treatment course that’s right for you.
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People are using cannabidiol, aka CBD or CBD oil, for psoriasis pain, inflammation, and more. Here’s what doctors are saying about this treatment.
CBD For Psoriasis
End The Pain and Shame with Healing CBD
CBD For Psoriasis
CBD is Treating Psoriasis With Great Results
Perhaps you’ve read one of the many stories of cannabidiol (CBD) oil helping people with psoriasis treat their condition – and the astonishing before and after results they achieved.
And you may be thinking, can CBD really treat psoriasis?
The answer is, yes.
CBD has been helping psoriasis patients ease their symptoms and reduce flare-ups with great success.
Want to know the best CBD oil for treating psoriasis?
We’ll share our number one pick in just a minute. (Can’t wait?)
But first, why is CBD so therapeutically beneficial?
CBD is capable of treating a wide range of conditions because of the way it interacts with the endocannabinoid system.
This specialized internal system is responsible for regulating physiological processes. It’s made up of receptors found throughout the brain and body known as CB1 and CB2.
The CB1 receptors are primarily found in the nervous system and connective tissue. And the immune system, blood, and endocrine glands are where you’ll find CB2 receptors.
When cannabinoids like CBD interact with these CB1 and CB2 receptors, therapeutic effects are produced.
Cannabinoids are also naturally produced in the body.
That’s right; the human body naturally produces cannabinoids that are similar to both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD.
In fact, research has suggested that “runners high” – which is commonly attributed to endorphins, may actually be a result of self-produced cannabinoids.
Our bodies are literally made to be compatible with and derive benefits from cannabinoids.
And when it comes to psoriasis…
CBD has been showing remarkable healing properties for a number of common autoimmune disorders – psoriasis among them.
Psoriasis is a result of T cells mistakenly identifying healthy skin cells as a threat. But research suggests that CBD may be capable of managing the activity of these T cells before they trigger a response.
Furthermore, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties regulate the immune system, and clinical data concluded that cannabis reduces psoriasis flare-ups by activating the CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system.
CBD may soon become the number one go-to treatment to ease the symptoms of psoriasis.
And that’s not all…
Three other cannabinoids are also revealing their potential to treat psoriasis by inhibiting overactive T cells. Keep an eye on these cannabinoids as research continues to evolve — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG).
There’s more good news, too…
CBD Treats Conditions Related to Psoriasis
While psoriasis is mainly associated with the itchy red rash it causes; unfortunately, additional associated conditions often develop too. Luckily, CBD offers therapeutic benefits that can help with many of those as well.
Consider this —
If you have psoriasis, you are at risk for developing these associated conditions too – but CBD can help:
An estimated 30% of individuals with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis. Early stage symptoms include joint pain and stiffness, accompanied by swelling and warmth. Joints throughout the body, including fingers, toes, knees, hands, and feet are all susceptible to pain and swelling. The symptoms resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis, which CBD is also effective at treating. CBD reduces pain and the inflammation that causes swelling.
Surprisingly, psoriasis is linked to a number of eye conditions like conjunctivitis. With the overprescription of antibiotics for conjunctivitis a real concern, CBD is simply a better treatment option. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties promote healing and help relieve pain and itchiness.
Digestive Problems (IBS, Chron’s, Celiac, Leaky Gut Syndrome)
While more research is needed, early evidence suggests that a bacterial imbalance in the gut may help cause inflammatory diseases like psoriasis and eczema. So, it makes sense that people with psoriasis often experience digestive problems like IBS, Crohn’s, Celiac, and Leaky Gut Syndrome. The good news? CBD reduces inflammation and supports healthy digestive functions. It is a natural, safe treatment option for all these conditions.
Type 2 Diabetes
People with severe psoriasis have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. CBD has been shown to be beneficial to people with diabetes, and a clear link has been established between healthy blood sugar levels and the regular use of cannabis.
High Blood Pressure
The most severe cases of psoriasis have also been linked to high blood pressure. In research, CBD has been shown to relax vascular walls and cause a reduction in blood pressure. This discovery is fueling further research into how CBD can be used to control high blood pressure.
The risk of developing cardiovascular disease is twice as high for people with psoriasis. CBD, because of its ability to reduce inflammation and high blood pressure, is showing promise as a treatment for cardiovascular disease.
Here are the crucial details you must understand before purchasing CBD for your psoriasis. Understand the benefits and trade-offs – New updates for 2021.