Can CBD Help With Symptoms of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis affects over 125 million people across the globe. Characterised by severe inflammation and autoimmune issues, it has been the subject of numerous studies examining the efficacy of cannabis in dermatology. So, can CBD help with psoriasis symptoms? Or should you turn to other options? Read on to find out.
A few years ago, the idea of using CBD as a potential treatment was one met with a lot of scrutiny. Today, however, there’s a growing body of research proving its efficacy in soothing all kinds of conditions and symptoms, including dermatological ailments like psoriasis.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at what psoriasis is, and how CBD-rich cannabis therapies could revolutionise the treatment of this condition.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition that affects roughly 125 million people across the globe; that’s roughly 2–3% of the world population. It causes patches of red, itchy, and scaly skin, mainly on the elbows, knees, trunk, and scalp.
Psoriasis is a chronic condition with no cure, and it tends to cause “flare-ups” before residing or going into remission for some time. Luckily, psoriasis patients can use a combination of natural remedies, prescription medicine, and lifestyle changes to manage and control their symptoms.
Psoriasis is categorised depending on the location it affects and the symptoms it produces. The most common form of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, which causes dry, red lesions typically on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp. Inverse psoriasis, on the other hand, affects skin folds in the groin, under the breasts and buttocks, and causes smooth patches of red skin.
Other types of psoriasis include:
- Nail psoriasis, which causes pitted, discolored nails with abnormal growth.
- Guttate psoriasis, which typically affects children/young adults and is often triggered by a viral infection like strep throat.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis, which can cover the entire body in a red, peeling rash.
- Psoriatic arthritis, which causes inflamed and painful joints (arthritis can sometimes be the only symptom a psoriasis patient experiences).
Symptoms of Psoriasis: At a Glance
- Red patches of skin with silver scales
- Dry, cracked, and itchy skin that may bleed
- Burning or soreness in the affected areas
- Swollen and sore joints
- Pus-filled lesions on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet
- Deformed, discoloured nails
What Causes Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is categorised as an autoimmune disease and is believed to be caused by the abnormal growth of skin cells. People with psoriasis have skin that regenerates a lot faster than normal, and it’s this rapid build-up/turnover of skin cells that causes the inflamed patches of skin that characterise this disease.
What, exactly, causes the abnormal growth of skin in psoriasis, however, isn’t clear. So far, researchers suggest it could come down to genetics. Some patients, on the other hand, may suddenly develop psoriasis as a response to a trigger, such as an injury, viral infection, or environmental change. Some possible triggers of psoriasis include:
- Strep throat (especially in children and adolescents).
- Weather changes: Cold and dry weather, for example, may trigger psoriasis in some people.
- Damaged skin: Insect bites, cuts, scrapes, or sunburn can also trigger psoriasis or a flare-up.
- Stress: Psoriasis patients often experience flare-ups as a response to stress from work, school, social situations, and more.
- Smoking and alcohol abuse: Some people may also experience a psoriasis flare-up after being exposed to second-hand smoke.
- Medications: Some prescription drugs can trigger psoriasis, including lithium, antimalarial drugs, and blood-pressure medications. A sudden withdrawal from corticosteroids can also trigger psoriasis in some people.
Besides these triggers, doctors have identified a family history of psoriasis as the main risk factor for the condition.
Importance of the Endocannabinoid System of the Skin
The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is a complex network of receptors, endogenous cannabinoids, and enzymes that has proven to be one of the main mediatory systems in our body. In fact, a growing legion of researchers and scientists believe that the ECS’ main role is to promote homeostasis; a state that allows our body to function at its best and prevent illness.
Recent studies into the endocannabinoid system show that it is present throughout the skin. Hence, there’s growing interest in using cannabis-based therapies in the treatment of all kinds of skin conditions, including psoriasis.
To start, research published in 2009  demonstrates that the skin produces its own endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG) as needed. Several cell types in the epidermis, dermis, hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and sweat glands are capable of synthesising these cannabinoids, which then act on a wide variety of receptors, including the primary cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, and secondary receptors .
Cannabinoids from cannabis are also capable of stimulating these receptors, often to a greater degree than endocannabinoids.
Many of the compounds found in the cannabis plant, including cannabinoids like THC and CBD but also terpenes, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties  . Therefore, compounds like CBD, THC, linalool, pinene, and caryophyllene (to name a few) may help in reducing the severe inflammation caused by psoriasis lesions, as well as the arthritic pain and inflammation that often accompanies this disease.
Furthermore, research  has looked into the effects of cannabis compounds in the treatment of different kinds of skin inflammation, demonstrating that the ECS is a crucial mediator of the inflammatory response in the skin. In fact, since the 1990s, researchers have learned that the endocannabinoid system is one of the key players  responsible for keeping our immune system working properly.
Both CB1 and CB2 receptors can be found inside immune cells, and cannabinoids (endo, phyto, and synthetic) are capable of interacting with and modulating the activity of these cells via these receptors.
Can CBD Help With Psoriasis?
Since psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, compounds like CBD may go beyond just addressing the symptoms of this disease and actually help target some of its more complex underlying causes.
Even though we still don’t completely understand its mechanism of action, we do know that CBD is a powerful modulator of the ECS, and, thanks to its immunomodulatory properties, may play an extremely important role in the future treatment of autoimmune conditions.
The use of cannabis-based therapies in dermatology is an ever-evolving field. With more research and clinical trials, we’ll hopefully soon have a much deeper understanding of how the cannabis plant may help us manage a whole variety of skin conditions.
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For now, let’s take a closer look at four different studies on CBD and psoriasis:
Cannabis for Refractory Psoriasis
In 2016, the journal of Current Clinical Pharmacology published a research review  exploring the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of cannabis therapies. By acting through cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathways and the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids and other cannabis compounds could prove effective in treating some of the underlying causes of psoriasis.
Therapeutic Effect of CBD-Enriched Ointment in Inflammatory Skin Diseases
In 2019, the Italian journal La Clinica Terapeutica published a trial  on CBD-rich ointment for psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and the resulting scars. The trial included 10 patients who were instructed to administer CBD ointment to the affected areas twice daily for three months. Based on skin evaluations as well as clinical questionnaires, the treatment improved all parameters of the patients’ symptoms, skin elasticity, and hydration of the affected areas, all without producing any irritation or negative side effects.
Cannabinoids Inhibit Human Keratinocyte Proliferation
First published in 2007 in the Journal of Dermatological Science, a study  investigated delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabinol, and cannabigerol for their ability to inhibit the proliferation of hyper-proliferating skin cells. The study found that all the cannabinoids used were able to hinder skin cell proliferation, and therefore could play an important role in the treatment of psoriasis, a condition characterised by abnormal skin cell growth.
Cannabinoids: Possible Agents for Treatment of Psoriasis
In 2016, the journal Medical Hypotheses published a paper  examining the potential of cannabinoid therapies in psoriasis treatment. The paper found that JWH-133, a synthetic cannabinoid and strong agonist of CB2 receptors, had strong anti-inflammatory properties and was able to inhibit many of the inflammatory processes and angiogenesis involved in psoriasis.
Which Type of CBD Works Best for Treating Psoriasis?
Full-spectrum CBD topicals are by far the best option for addressing psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions. Unlike oral CBD oil or CBD capsules (which need to pass through the digestive tract and liver before taking effect), topicals like ointments and creams can deliver cannabinoids and terpenes directly to the area they are needed most.
We suggest sourcing full-spectrum CBD topicals, as they contain an array of cannabinoids and terpenes in addition to CBD. As suggested in the above studies, CBD isn’t the only cannabis constituent that appears to be potentially beneficial for the skin.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have access to a wide variety of commercial full-spectrum CBD topicals. If not, or if you just want to know exactly what’s in your topical, consider making your own using one of our CBD oils.
How Much CBD Should You Apply?
How much CBD you need to apply in order to relieve a particular symptom or ailment is very personal. Some people may find relief from applying their topical once a day, while others might need multiple applications. Others still may not experience sufficient relief at all.
For best results, we always recommend testing your full-spectrum CBD topical on a small patch of skin first and waiting a few minutes to gauge how your body reacts to it. Then, feel free to apply the product more liberally to all the areas of your skin that need it. Remember, CBD topicals are very targeted, so they need to be applied directly to the area where you desire relief.
Depending on your symptoms, you may need to apply the topical multiple times a day.
CBD for Psoriasis — An Intriguing Relationship
Psoriasis, as we saw in this article, is a skin condition that affects a large number of people, and ranges from mild to severe. And, while its symptoms are fairly obvious, the underlying causes of this chronic disease still aren’t clearly understood.
Although more research is needed to clearly understand how CBD and other cannabis compounds could work to treat/relieve the symptoms of psoriasis, luckily, there’s a solid body of research supporting the use of CBD, other cannabinoids, and terpenes in the treatment of dermatological conditions.
Cannabis therapies are revolutionising dermatology. Click here for an in-depth look at how CBD and other cannabis compounds could help treat psoriasis symptoms.
Can Soridol CBD Cream Help With Psoriasis?
Last updated: May 3rd, 2019
Published: June 28th, 2018
Cannabis is known to help treat the symptoms and even direct causes of a multitude of illnesses and health conditions, and does so by interacting with specific physiological systems. One area that cannabis medicine is emerging in is the realm of skin care.
There are many different active compounds within the cannabis plant that have been proven to offer health benefits. Many of these compounds are known as cannabinoids, which display anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects, among others. Of the cannabinoids, one of the most famous for its well-researched medicinal attributes is cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD has been shown to nurture the skin and may serve as a way to manage the symptoms of psoriasis.
H OW DOES CBD WORK ON YOUR SKIN?
CBD has risen to fame in recent years, with a windfall of research supporting its medicinal potential. Unlike its psychoactive cannabinoid cousin THC, CBD does not induce mind-altering effects. This fact is largely why CBD has become so popular; it offers symptomatic relief, without any psychoactive side effects.
Its non-psychoactive nature has also led to the cannabinoid becoming widely available in countries that have outlawed THC-rich cannabis due to its psychoactive effects. CBD gives people in these regions the chance to utilise cannabis medicine without breaking the law.
CBD is produced in small, mushroom-shaped glands found on cannabis flowers and leaves known as trichomes. CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis, and now that it has risen to fame, selective breeding programmes are producing strains much higher in CBD.
CBD can help with various health conditions, including psoriasis, due to the way it acts upon the body. CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system receptors—CB1 and CB2—in an indirect fashion, and also binds to vanilloid, serotonin, PPARs, and GPR55 receptors.
E NDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM OF THE SKIN
CBD’s effects on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) are important when it comes to alleviating skin conditions. The ECS is found within almost all tissues in the body, including the skin.
A paper published within the journal Trends In Pharmacological Sciences states that this system plays a fundamental role within the health of the skin, where it is implicated in numerous biological processes including cell proliferation, growth, differentiation, apoptosis, and hormone production.
It appears that the main function of the endocannabinoid system of the skin is to maintain homeostasis. When this balance is thrown off, conditions of the skin, such as psoriasis, can occur. It appears that the anti-inflammatory action of CBD can help to contribute to homeostasis.
W HAT IS PSORIASIS?
Psoriasis is a chronic, immune-mediated skin and joint disorder. Psoriasis primarily manifests as a skin disorder that appears in a variety of forms including plaque-type psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, palmoplantar psoriasis, and erythrodermic psoriasis.
Psoriasis usually causes red and flaky patches of skin to appear. Common locations include around the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. However, the condition can occur anywhere on the body.
The symptoms shared by all types of psoriasis include itching, burning, and soreness. These symptoms often arise as part of a cyclic pattern, flaring up for a period of a few weeks to a few months, and then disappearing for a period. For some, psoriasis may present as a minor irritation. For others, symptoms of the skin condition can become so severe that it reduces one’s overall quality of life.
A paper published in the journal Nature discusses the prevalence and incidence of psoriasis. The condition is known to affect over 125 million people worldwide. It can manifest at any age, but typically occurs in people between the ages of 18 and 39, and between the ages of 50–69.
W HAT CAUSES PSORIASIS?
Psoriasis is caused due to an increased production of skin cells. Normally, skin cells are made and replaced over a period of every 3–4 weeks. When psoriasis occurs, this renewal takes place every 3–7 days instead. This rapid renewal leads to a buildup of skin cells that develop into the red, flaky, and itchy patches associated with the condition.
There are numerous causes of psoriasis. The condition has a strong genetic component and is known to run in the family. The condition can be triggered in those who are genetically susceptible via trauma, infection, and medications, to name a few. Certain conditions of the kidneys and liver have also been associated with the condition, as has emotional stress.
Ultimately, psoriasis is a disorder of the immune system. Part of the cause involves the migration of T cells into the dermis, triggering the release of substances such as cytokines that contribute to local inflammation and keratinocyte proliferation.
A BOUT OUR S ORIDOL CREAM
At Cibdol, we recognise the potential that CBD has when it comes to treating psoriasis. Soridol CBD cream is a class 1 medical device, specifically designed to alleviate the symptoms of itch and pruritus associated with psoriasis. The CBD within the formula helps to nourish and protect the skin, contributing to normal cell growth. This unique liposomal formulation allows ingredients to penetrate deep into the skin where they are needed most.
Soridol has been carefully crafted to calm itching and to moisten and protect the skin using crucial vitamins and antioxidants. These are important for normal cell division and intercellular communication, which spur the maturation of keratinocytes without the harshness of chemicals. This improves the skin’s structural and defence systems, restoring the pathological pathways that trigger symptoms of psoriasis.
Anandamide, an endocannabinoid, has been shown to be beneficial by suppressing pathogenic T cell subsets, which are associated with inflammatory skin diseases. Incredibly, CBD has been shown to inhibit anandamide reuptake, blocking the endocannabinoid from being reabsorbed.
Soridol also contains vitamin D, a nutrient found in low levels within psoriasis sufferers. The lack of this nutrient may contribute towards thickened layers of dermis and itchy and inflamed skin. Soridol also includes omega 3, 6, 7, and 9 fatty acids, vitamin A, and inositol for enhancing overall skin health.
Soridol is a CBD-rich topical cream that has been specifically formulated to assist with the symptoms of psoriasis, from itchy skin to inflammation.