Wellness and Research

How Can CBD Help Treat Psoriasis?

Lisa Rennie
Written by Lisa Rennie

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been linked to the alleviation of many uncomfortable and painful symptoms and ailments, and skin conditions are part of that list.

In addition to calming acne or reducing redness from rosacea and other inflammatory conditions, CBD may also be able to help treat the symptoms of psoriasis, either in conjunction with traditional medication or as a supplement to conventional treatment.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes flaky, red, and scaly patches of skin, and while they can appear anywhere on the body, they more often affect the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp. These skin patches tend to cause itchiness, soreness, and even swelling and stiffness of the joints. Approximately 7.5 million Americans suffer from this skin condition.

Corticosteroid topicals are the most commonly prescribed medications to treat the symptoms of psoriasis, though using these ointments and creams for a long period of time may lead to thinning of the skin, and may even stop working after a while.

As an alternative to traditional medications to treat psoriasis, CBD may be used in its place.

CBD Showing Promise as a Treatment for Psoriasis

While not yet conclusive, some studies suggest that CBD may help to treat psoriasis, and anecdotal evidence from patients support this notion. One study, for instance, found that CBD and other cannabinoids were able to slow the growth of skin cells involved in skin rashes associated with the condition. [1] More specifically, CBD was found to inhibit keratinocyte proliferation, or the spread and division of epidermal cells involved in psoriasis. Such findings suggest that CBD may be useful in supporting the treatment of this autoimmune disease.

CBD has already been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. The flaky, itchy plaques that emerge from psoriasis are caused by inflammation, and CBD’s ability to combat an inflammatory response through its interaction with CB receptors of the endocannabinoid system in the body allows the cannabinoid to potentially reduce flare-ups from the skin disease.

There is still much to learn about CBD and its role in treating psoriasis. While the research surrounding CBD and psoriasis is still in its infancy, the evidence thus far – both from studies and patients themselves – suggests that the cannabinoid may have a helpful role in alleviating the symptoms associated with this skin disorder.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/skin-care-applying-sunblock-1491366/

References:

  1. Wilkinson, J.D, & Williamson, E.M. “Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis,” J Dermatol Sci, February 2007, Vol. 45(2), pp. 87-92. Journal Impact Factor: 3.986. Times Cited: 141
  2. Palmieri, B, et al, “A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars,” Clin Ter, March-April 2019, Vol. 170(2), pp. 93-99. Journal Impact Factor: 2.947. Times Cited: 18.

About the author

Lisa Rennie

Lisa Rennie

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