CBD Oil for Psoriasis: The Definitive Guide
CBD oil is quickly becoming a natural go-to for many different health ailments From acne and digestive issues to life-threatening diseases such as cancer, CBD has quickly become a booming market, treating millions of people with many different physical and mental maladies.
More specifically, one disorder that CBD oil can possibly treat is the well-known psoriasis condition. Psoriasis is a condition that affects more than seven and a half million people in the United States and over 125 million worldwide. It is apparent that this prevalent autoimmune disorder is no small worry for humanity.
Therefore, it is always great news when a potentially promising treatment comes out on the market, especially a treatment that is all natural and can also improve one’s health.
Can CBD Oil Help Treat Psoriasis?
Although the natural first reaction is to heavily doubt the claim that CBD, a cannabinoid that comes from the marijuana plant, can truly treat such a widespread problem such as psoriasis, studies suggest that it very well might be the answer that many with the condition have been searching for.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that causes patches of red, irritated skin with silvery scales to develop on the top of the skin. The reason for this is because immature skin cells rise to the surface of the skin before they are supposed to, which then inflames and irritates the skin, causing the rashes.
The underlying cause of psoriasis cannot be pinpointed to one factor but several considerations such as a heredity, fungal, viral, or bacterial infections, stress, or injury to the skin are thought to be possible factors.
What Are Traditional Psoriasis Treatments?
The traditional psoriasis treatments are, in many cases, effective for most individuals, although many people, especially those that have more severe cases of psoriasis, find that they have to try more than one treatment option before they find a diminishment in symptoms.
However, these treatment options aren’t without their health risks or pitfalls. Prescriptions drugs have potentially hazardous long and short-term health risks; topical treatments have chemicals that can possibly be a further irritation to either the skin, the body, or both; and the light therapy sometimes only works for a short period of time because the body becomes resistant to the treatment.
That being said, here are the traditional treatment options:
Studies on CBD Oil for Psoriasis
A 2007 study done by Nottingham University at the School of Biomedical Sciences revealed that certain cannabinoids found in cannabis slow down the growth of keratinocytes, which are cells located on the outer part of the skin and determined that these cannabinoids could be a great way to treat psoriasis.
A 2013 article done by the Department of Dermatology at the University of Luebeck, the Department of Dermatology at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, the Department of Dermatology at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, the Department of Physiology at the University of Debrecen, the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine in Belgium, and the Dermatology Centre at the University of Manchester came to the agreed conclusion that:
“cannabimimetic agents might be relevant for the treatment of several skin conditions related to aberrant K6/K16 expressions, such as psoriasis and wound healing.”
A 2016 review done by the Department of Neurosurgery at the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences confirmed the previous two conclusions.
Potential Benefits of CBD Oil for Psoriasis
There are many different ways that CBD oil improves psoriasis in individuals. Below is a list of the main key benefits:
Inflammation is a major symptom of psoriasis and it is even argued that many autoimmune and other disorders of the body stem directly from already existing inflammation in the body.
Therefore, reducing inflammation is key to improving, or even eliminating the psoriasis condition. A 2009 study done by the Department of Pathology at the University of South Carolina concluded certain cannabinoids found in cannabis can reduce general inflammation in the body.
Slowing Cell Growth
As revealed in the studies mentioned above, cannabinoids found within marijuana have been shown to slow the growth of outer skin cells. This makes sense as an effective solution due to the fact that psoriasis is the result of overly active cell replication.
Regulating the Immune System
Autoimmune disorders develop in the body when one has an overactive immune system. This overactive immune system, instead of warding off only the real threats invading the body, also attacks the body’s own tissues.
In the case of psoriasis, the immune system mistakes these new premature skin cells as foreign invaders that it must attack. This causes damage to these new skin cells, thus creating the patchy rashes.
CBD can potentially suppress the immune system, although more research is needed to verify this claim. However, assuming that this claim is true, this benefit that cannabis holds can help people with psoriasis due to the fact that their immune system is overactive.
By suppressing the immune system with cannabis, psoriasis patients can expect to have a more normal functioning system, thus greatly improving, or even eliminating, the condition.
Psoriasis is a painful condition due to the fact that the rash and scaly skin produced by the condition creates both itching and dry, cracked skin that can then become more inflamed and even bleed.
Therefore, CBD is a great solution for this because the cannabinoids interact with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which regulates pain perception. Cannabinoids attach to the endocannabinoids, which are the neurotransmitters that signal the brain for pain, and reduce the activity of these endocannabinoids, hence reducing the perception of pain.
It has already been stated that psoriasis is an inflammatory condition. Additionally, wounds are, by nature, a type of inflammation in the body.
Therefore, because CBD, or cannabis, effectively treats inflammation, it, therefore, makes sense that it would also help wounds heal faster.
A 2016 study done by the School of Forensic Medicine at the China Medical University and the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Xuzhou Medical College revealed that cannabinoids do seem to regulate “fibrogenesis during skin wound repair in mice.” However, this cannot be proven to have the same effect on humans as there are no confirmed studies.
This is another idea that needs more study. However, there was a 2017 review done by the American Academy of Dermatology discovered that cannabinoids do have the potential to reduce itching in people with certain inflammatory skin conditions due to its palmitoylethanolamide content. Palmitoylethanolamide is a type cannabinoid that affects type 1 cannabinoid receptors.
Therefore, there is hope that this might work for psoriasis as well.
Stress is linked to higher levels of inflammation in people due to the fact that stress hinders normal and optimal bodily functioning. Therefore, stress can cause psoriasis to have severe flare-ups as a result.
The Department of Psychiatry Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago found that THC, which is in some CBD oils, and in marijuana in general, may reduce “emotional responses to acute psychosocial stress,” but only in small doses.
Side Effects of CBD Oil for Psoriasis
Although CBD is well tolerated by most people, especially since it is an all natural product, which tends to work with the body and not against it, some people can have a negative experience, especially if the CBD oil purchased contains THC.
CBD from Hemp vs CBD from Marijuana
For some, this may be a good thing, lowering symptoms listed below. For others, THC can potentially contribute to the following side effects:
Anxiety and depression
THC tends to increase anxiety in some people. Some people can even experience depression, or both anxiety and depression, with CBD oil.
People with psoriasis are particularly vulnerable to having an anxiety or depressive disorder. Therefore, even though CBD is solely beneficial for most people, it is good to know that CBD oil, both the hemp and the marijuana versions, could potentially worsen the conditions.
Nausea and Vomiting
CBD oil may, especially if it contains THC, potentially cause nausea and even vomiting. However, this side effect is rarer than some of the other side effects.
CBD oil can possibly cause drowsiness, again, especially if it contains THC. Hemp CBD tends to relax the nervous system while THC CBD can relax to the point where a long nap becomes almost irresistible. However, everyone has different tolerances to CBD oil. Therefore, if you know that you tend to fatigue easily, then this side effect might be something to consider before purchasing CBD oil.
A dry mouth is a very common side effect of marijuana. However, in hemp CBD oil, this happens less often, although the potential is still there.
Dizziness is much more likely in THC forms of CBD oil due to the psychoactive qualities. THC produces an altered state of mind – for many, a light-headedness. This light-headedness can cause dizziness.
Due to the fact that the cannabinoids in CBD oil affect the endocannabinoid system, which controls appetite among other mechanisms of the body, it can alter the appetite of certain individuals. This is because the cannabinoids attach to the endocannabinoids, which is what relays messages to the brain in regards to appetite.
One can either experience an increase in appetite or a decrease, although most often it is the first.
How to Use CBD Oil for Psoriasis
You might be wondering at this point if you should try CBD oil for your psoriasis, and if so, what dose should I take and is there any drug interactions to worry about. Below are both pieces of information:
The Recommended Dosage of CBD Oil for Psoriasis
It is hard to determine how much CBD oil you should begin with if you decide to start taking CBD oil. This is because everyone is different and will respond differently.
Also, some people’s bodies are used to cannabis while other bodies are not.
Additionally, you have to consider that, if you purchase a marijuana CBD oil, the effects will be different than hemp CBD oil.
The recommended dosage for pain is anywhere from 2.5-20 milligrams, and that is with or without THC. This is a very large window that leaves a lot of doubt as to exactly how much to take.
The recommendation is to talk with your doctor first before trying it, especially if you are wanting to try a CBD oil that contains THC. Additionally, make sure that you live in a state that allows marijuana use. If you do not live in a state that allows marijuana use, consider CBD oil and start with the smallest dose.
Beware of Drug Interactions
Some prescription drugs interact with CBD. Therefore, it is very important to know what these are before taking CBD oil if you are on a medication. If you are taking medications, even if you research what drugs interact with CBD and find that your particular drug isn’t one that will mix badly with CBD, it is still important to talk with your doctor first.
Is CBD Oil Right For You?
CBD oil has been shown to be the possible answer for many who are looking for a natural way to either reduce psoriasis symptoms or eliminate the condition entirely. This option is also attractive because there are very little severe side effects, especially hemp CBD.
However, as always when considering if a supplement or drug is right for you, it is wise to do your research and talk with your doctor before taking action.