CBD oil is associated with many abilities. Some of which already have a few scientific studies to support them and others that rely solely on anecdotal evidence. The potential of CBD for treating psoriasis is one of the areas in which this cannabinoid has already had some promising research. However, it is not enough to be sure of its connection. Even so, that promising early research, combined with numerous stories of people who have seen results, encourages more people to try CBD to help with their psoriasis. But how does this work?
A Refresher on CBD
Before getting into the connection between CBD and psoriasis, it is wise to take the time to make sure you fully understand each of these things. CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it is a cannabinoid, one of more than 100 of these natural substances that occur in cannabis as well as hemp. CBD is associated with a range of potential benefits and is commonly used as part of medical marijuana treatments. CBD is not psychoactive and is legal at the federal level in the United States, provided that it contains less than 0.3 percent THC, which classifies as hemp.
A Refresher on Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a genetic and autoimmune disease that involves the endocannabinoid system. In a healthy person without psoriasis, skin cells are replaced every 30 days. For those with psoriasis, this occurs every three to five days instead. That is a significant difference, which leads to rapid, excessive growth of the skin’s epidermal layer. That growth leads to scaly, itchy, and red patches. Some people experience psoriasis all over their bodies, while others experience it just in certain areas.
Experts believe that although psoriasis is a genetic and autoimmune disease, environmental factors trigger it. These may include psychological and body stressors, infections, medications, traumas, and cold. There is no cure for psoriasis, but some treatments can control symptoms.
The Connection Comes Via the Endocannabinoid System
The connection between CBD oil and psoriasis comes via the endocannabinoid system. This comes from the fact that the immune system is part of psoriasis’s underlying mechanism. The research found that our endocannabinoid system constantly binds with messaging molecules that are part of the immune system. This messaging regulates a range of primary physiological functions. Some of the most critical roles of the endocannabinoid system are controlling the balance, differentiation, proliferation, death, and tolerance of cells, which applies to skin cells.
Scientists are gaining a deeper understanding of how the natural cannabinoids in our system, as well as synthetic or botanical ones, bind to the immune system. There are four biochemical mechanisms. They are cell apoptosis, suppressing cytokine production, reducing white blood cells, and inhibiting cell proliferation. As some background, cytokines are the body’s principal chemical signals for inflammation. The immune cells secrete them when distressed. Thanks to these connections, scientists believe that the endocannabinoid system has the potential to influence how skin diseases develop.
The Inflammation Connection
Another aspect of the connection between CBD and psoriasis comes from cannabinoid’s anti-inflammatory properties. In those with psoriasis, the dermis is inflamed, which causes skin cells to mature prematurely, leading to skin tissue breaking and pain.
Various studies in recent years have shown that CBD likely has anti-inflammatory properties. A 2010 review, for example, suggested that by targeting the CB2 receptor in the endocannabinoid system, it may be possible to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Given that CBD binds with this receptor, there is a clear connection between CBD and the potential to treat psoriasis. This is because psoriasis is an autoimmune, as well as an inflammatory disease.
Although not related to psoriasis, a study looking at acne and CBD demonstrated the cannabinoid’s anti-inflammatory effect. The research found that CBD slows down the excess lipidic production that occurs under the skin with acne, along with suppressing cell proliferation.
Other Relevant Research
Experts also point to a 2007 study indicating that cannabinoids might help stop skin cell buildup, thereby treating psoriasis. There was a more recent 2017 study that used JWH-133, a synthetic cannabinoid, and showed it might have promise in treating psoriasis. A 2019 review confirmed that cannabinoids might have the potential to treat psoriasis, but it also qualified that more research must be done.
The various research showing that CBD can help with pain management is also relevant to those with psoriasis since this skin condition is associated with pain. In fact, the connection between CBD and pain is so strong that pain relief is among the most common reasons that people use medical marijuana.
How to Use CBD Oil for Psoriasis
There are many methods of using CBD oil, including ingesting it orally and applying it topically. There are also various creams and lotions that contain CBD to make topical applications easier. This topical application should work thanks to the fact that the skin’s cells contain cannabinoid receptors, just like other cells in the body do.
Using topical CBD products is among the most popular methods of using it to reduce psoriasis because this lets you target the affected area. You could also consume the CBD in another way, as your body will put it to use.
Early research, along with anecdotal evidence, suggests that CBD oil can help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis. This is likely due to the fact that psoriasis is an inflammatory disease influenced by the immune and endocannabinoid systems, both of which CBD interacts with via the CB2 receptor, combined with CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. Research is still in the early stages, and there is minimal research on CBD and psoriasis in particular.
Even so, the promising early research and personal accounts combined with the incredibly low risk of side effects associated with CBD make it an appealing option for those with psoriasis to try. Of course, you should always consult your doctor before using CBD. You should confirm that it does not interact with any of your medications. If you are currently taking medications for psoriasis, you should discuss it with your doctor before you stop taking them.