Psoriasis affects about 8 million Americans, can CBD oil help with psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that manifests with superficial symptoms on the skin. In psoriasis, dead cells accumulate on the skin and cause dry patches, scales and itchiness on the skin. Psoriasis is a chronic condition that will flare from time to time. Infection, stress, and low immunity may cause a flare-up.
Currently there is no definitive cure for psoriasis. This means that patients have to try out different treatments to find what works best for them. The best treatment approach involves preventing a flare up of psoriasis. Where does CBD oil feature in all this? This is what this article highlights.
In case you are in the dark, people living with psoriasis are now turning to CBD to manage their symptoms and some are getting very encouraging results with this rather “unconventional” treatment.
Traditional Treatment For Psoriasis
Because psoriasis is an autoimmune condition of the skin, first line treatment usually involves the use of steroids that suppress the immunity.
Here is a little of background on autoimmune conditions.
When a person is suffering from an autoimmune condition their body's immune system becomes super-sensitized. The cells which are responsible for fighting off foreign invaders launch an attack on healthy cells of the body thinking that they are foreign cells. This is the underlying pathology in psoriasis.
Normal cells on the skin usually regenerate in about 30 days. When a person is suffering from psoriasis, their cells overmultiply because they are sensitized to think that they are under attack. Instead of 30 days, they regenerate in 3 days. This rate is much faster than the dead cells can be eliminated. What happens over time is that the dead cells accumulate on the skin and cause painful, itchy, and hard skin that is unappealing to look at.
Other than drugs that suppress the immunity such as steroids, the following drugs can also be used to treat psoriasis:
- Vitamin D anthralin; this drugs slow down the production of new cells on the skin
- Analgesics and anti inflammatory agents
- Drugs that prevent itching such as coal tar and salicylic acid
- Biologics treatment that targets the underlying cause of the disease in this case the immune system. Unfortunately biologics are very expensive to administer and cause severe side effects
Most of the traditional treatments that are available for psoriasis are used for symptom control. Unfortunately most are not safe to use in the long run because of the side effects that come with long-term use of such treatments.
Can CBD Oil Treat Psoriasis
CBD or cannabidiol oil is a marijuana derived oil that contains one of the major cannabinoids that are present in marijuana as well as hemp. CBD is one of the many (400 plus) therapeutic compounds that are found in these plants. It’s also among the most researched.
Research has showed that CBD has a wide safety profile when ingested by humans, even in large doses. CBD, and other cannabinoids, produce therapeutic effects in the human body by interacting with one profound system that is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The endocannabinoid system regulates various processes in the body, the immune system included. Phytocannabinoids such as CBD support the endocannabinoid system and help to promote a state of physiological balance in the body.
CBD is a weak agonist (supports) of the CB2 receptors located peripherally in the body. The CB2 receptors regulate the immune system. Through this, CBD influences the body’s immune system and consequently could help with suppressing autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis.
Does Research Support This?
Several studies that have been conducted in the last couple of years have shown that CBD could help in relieving psoriasis.
For starters, stress is one of the triggers for psoriasis. A number of studies have shown that CBD could help in combating the symptoms of stress and depression. CBD has potential anxiety- relieving effects and could help in tackling the triggers for psoriasis.
CBD oil is also effective in treating pain and inflammation which are major symptoms of psoriasis. A 2018 study showed that CBD has analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits.
A number of studies have also shown that CBD modulates the immune system and therefore it may be helpful in treating auto immune conditions.
Lastly, a 2016 report showed effectiveness of CBD in treating refractory psoriasis.
Preliminary findings suggest that CBD has a role to play in the treatment of psoriasis.
How To Choose CBD Oil For Psoriasis
Not all CBD is created equal. So how do you choose one that is right for you? The following criteria can help you select the best CBD oil for psoriasis.
- Go for a full-size trim CBD oil which contains extra cannabinoids and terpenes. This provides the much-coveted cannabis synergy which is responsible for a stronger and durable healing effect.
- Zero THC CBD oil is preferable especially if you are planning to invest the CBD as compared to applying it to the skin. THC is the cannabinoids that is responsible for psychoactive effects. Unless you want to experience euphoria, steer clear of THC in your CBD oil.
- Go for CBD oil that has been tested by a third-party for purity and potency. This is a guarantee of the quality of product that you are purchasing.
- Make sure that the CBD oil does not contain extra ingredients that may be harmful to the skin
How To use CBD For Psoriasis
CBD oil can be applied directly to the skin in the case of a flare-up. The skin is richly endowed with cannabinoid receptors that will take up the CBD. Since the receptors are close by, you will begin feeling the relief soon after you apply the CBD oil.
Alternatively, you can ingest CBD oil. This method is effective as well but takes a longer time to act since the CBD has to go through the digestive system before the effects can be felt.
The recommended starting dose for CBD oil is 10-20mg/ day. However, you can use as much as 100mg/ day since CBD has a wide safety profile. If you live in a state where Medicinal Cannabis has been legalized it would be advisable to consult with a medical marijuana doctor on the right dosage of CBD for you. For topical application, putting a few drops of CBD oil on your palms and rubbing
Can You Use CBD For Scalp Psoriasis
CBD oil can be used effectively on the skin to treat scalp psoriasis. However, it will be necessary to cut off all the hair to make it easy to access the endocannabinoid receptors on the scalp.
Preliminary reports suggest that CBD oil could be useful in managing psoriasis. Definitely, larger clinical studies are necessary to back up preliminary evidence.
So does CBD oil help with psoriasis? Let us know your thoughts on this.