CBD For Psoriasis
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.
Psoriasis has been linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. It is believed that chronic inflammation of neuronal tissue is the cause. For many, CBD has been effective at easing symptoms of the disease. It can reduce pain and tremors and improve sleep.
Often, shame and anxiety accompany the pain and discomfort of psoriasis. These feelings can lead to low self-esteem and depression. In addition, inflammation further contributes to the onset of depression by triggering chemical responses that influence mood. In addition to its ability to reduce inflammation, CBD has neuroprotective properties that help fight depression.
All of this means…
While it’s unfortunate that these additional conditions tend to be associated with psoriasis, it is lucky that CBD is proving to be an effective treatment for all of them.
And the best way to experience these CBD benefits?
Treat Psoriasis & Related Conditions With CBD Oil
The easiest way to treat psoriasis and related conditions is with a high-quality CBD oil.
One of the main benefits to using a high-quality CBD oil is you can choose to use it topically, take it internally, or both. This dual functionality makes CBD oil the ideal choice for many. And each method of consuming this versatile cannabinoid will offer a range of benefits.
CBD Oil Used Topically
Many skin care brands have begun to embrace the beneficial properties of CBD. Salves, balms, and lotions infused with CBD are quickly becoming established in the marketplace. And for people with psoriasis, that’s good news.
But there’s another trend happening too.
Many people are choosing to use high-quality CBD oil directly on their skin to treat small problem areas. And for larger areas, CBD mixed with a carrier oil like coconut, argan, or hemp oil is the perfect solution.
CBD Oil Taken Internally
The best way to take CBD internally is by taking it sublingually, meaning under the tongue.
Holding CBD under the tongue for a minute or two allows it to penetrate the sublingual gland and enter the bloodstream. CBD taken this way has a bioavailability of up to 35%.
And that’s important because…
Bioavailability refers to how much of the cannabinoid is available for the body to absorb.
Edibles have a lower bioavailability of around 20% (on the high end) because harsh digestive chemicals destroy cannabinoids before they reach the bloodstream.
Smoking and vaping, despite some drawbacks, provide a higher CBD bioavailability – upwards of 60%, because it is absorbed into the blood quickly through the lungs.
So, what’s the right option for you?
Our Top Pick: CBD Oil to Treat Psoriasis
We have high standards for CBD products. And when it comes to treating psoriasis with CBD, there’s one brand we recommend above all others: NuLeaf Naturals.
Why do we recommend this product?
Simple. It’s high quality.
This NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil is 100% organically grown in Colorado. The company uses top-notch extraction methods and takes extra care to preserve the delicate, beneficial terpenes.
One of the purest products on the market.
This is a whole plant or full-spectrum oil which means you’ll benefit from the synergistic nature of all the cannabis compounds present in the plant.
But here’s something you should know…
Here’s Who Shouldn’t Use This CBD Oil
Many people prefer full-spectrum oils as research suggests they may have more therapeutic benefits. If, however, you live in a state with a zero-tolerance policy for THC, this may not be the product for you.
Full-spectrum CBD oils may contain trace amounts of THC. Not enough to have psychoactive effects, but enough to cause you to fail a drug test.
Ready to get started?
How Much CBD Should You Take?
This may take a little experimentation, but the good news is, to date, no serious side effects have ever been reported from taking “too much” CBD.
That said, start slow. Try to find the lowest dose you need to get the results you want.
To find the right dose, a number of factors should be considered. These include age, weight, the severity of symptoms, and prior experience with CBD.
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.
Lambeth Hochwald is a believer that everyone has a story to tell. As a New York City-based journalist, she has been busily covering COVID-19 and its effects on everyone from college students and their parents to restaurant workers and ER doctors. Over the last few decades, she’s written for the New York Post, CNN, Parade, WebMD, Millie, Reside, the Food Network, Delish, and Architectural Digest, always with the same mandate to be compassionate, hence the hashtag #compassionatejournalism that she includes in her email auto-signature. When she’s not juggling assignments, she’s helping to teach the next generation of journalists in her role as an adjunct professor of journalism at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
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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