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CBD for Psoriasis

Psoriasis patients know exactly how debilitating the disease can be. Not only is the rash itself painful, but the presentation of psoriasis can also often impact a patient’s self-esteem and comfort, interacting with the world around them. Treatments can be harsh and not always successful, and some cases can be far more severe than others. So, with anecdotal reports frequently suggesting that CBD oil for psoriasis may help, it’s no wonder some patients may be interested in trying this treatment option. But how effective is it, really?

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that most often presents as a red, scaly rash. It’s frequently autoimmune in nature, and tends to impact those with a genetic predisposition to the disease. Some 2-3% of adults (roughly 6.7 million people worldwide) are believed to be affected by the condition, however, it is more common among Caucasian populations, with as much as 11% of them experiencing symptoms 1, 2 Psoriasis Pathogenesis and Treatment Rendon, A., & Schäkel, K. (2019). Psoriasis Pathogenesis and Treatment. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20(6), 1475. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061475 Rendon, A., & Schäkel, K. .

There are four main types of psoriasis, with plaque psoriasis (the red, scaly rash, most often associated with the disease) being the most common presentation, impacting 90% of psoriasis patients. Psoriatic arthritis, presenting as psoriatic inflammation of the joints, can be a comorbidity, presenting in about 40% of psoriasis patients 1 Psoriasis Pathogenesis and Treatment Rendon, A., & Schäkel, K. (2019). Psoriasis Pathogenesis and Treatment. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20(6), 1475. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061475 Rendon, A., & Schäkel, K. .

Psoriasis can be painful. And because it is a condition that is often difficult to hide, it can also be embarrassing for those who suffer from it. Patients with psoriasis have an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation – though treating psoriasis has been found to ease anxiety symptoms 3, 4 The prevalence of anxiety in patients with psoriasis: a systematic review of observational studies and clinical trials. Fleming P, Bai JW, Pratt M, Sibbald C, Lynde C, Gulliver WP. The prevalence of anxiety in patients with psoriasis: a systematic review of observational studies and clinical trials. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2017;31(5):798-807. doi:10.1111/jdv.13891 Fleming P, Bai JW, Pratt M, Sibbald C, Lynde C, Gulliver WP .

There are a variety of treatment options available for psoriasis patients, depending on the severity of their condition. For patients with a mild to moderate presentation, a combination of glucocorticoids, vitamin D analogues, and phototherapy can often help. More severe cases may require systemic therapies, such as biologic drugs 1 Psoriasis Pathogenesis and Treatment Rendon, A., & Schäkel, K. (2019). Psoriasis Pathogenesis and Treatment. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20(6), 1475. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061475 Rendon, A., & Schäkel, K. . These are immune-suppressive and can have undesirable side effects, such as an increase in infections and liver function abnormalities 5 Risks and benefits of biologic therapy for inflammatory bowel diseases. D’Haens G. (2007). Risks and benefits of biologic therapy for inflammatory bowel diseases. Gut, 56(5), 725–732. https://doi.org/10.1136/gut.2006.103564 D’Haens G. . Because psoriasis is a chronic condition, recurrence is always a risk, even after successful treatment 1 Psoriasis Pathogenesis and Treatment Rendon, A., & Schäkel, K. (2019). Psoriasis Pathogenesis and Treatment. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20(6), 1475. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061475 Rendon, A., & Schäkel, K. .

CBD For Psoriasis - How Does it Work?

With the risk of developing psoriatic arthritis (a condition that can lead to permanent joint damage), it is important to manage any presentation of psoriasis alongside a medical practitioner who is experienced in the treatment of the condition. Board-certified dermatologists can help you determine the severity of your condition and the appropriate treatment steps. Especially for moderate to severe presentations, medical treatment may be necessary to avoid further complications.

This doesn’t mean CBD for psoriasis can’t serve as a complementary addition to your treatment protocol, though. Whether it’s used as an anti-inflammatory for pain management, or to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, CBD offers promising benefits for psoriasis patients.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to discuss any additions to your treatment protocol with your doctor first.

What Does the Research Say?

Researchers have been looking into the potential benefits of CBD oil for psoriasis since 2007, when a study found that CBD slowed the development of psoriatic skin rashes 6 Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis Wilkinson JD, Williamson EM. 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. 2007;45(2):87-92. doi:10.1016/j.jdermsci.2006.10.009 Wilkinson JD, Williamson EM .  A 2019 study with five psoriasis patients further showed improvement of psoriasis symptoms with topical CBD treatment 7 A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars Palmieri B, Laurino C, Vadalà M. A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars. Clin Ter. 2019;170(2):e93-e99. doi:10.7417/CT.2019.2116 Palmieri B, Laurino C, Vadalà M .

While the research surrounding CBD oil for psoriasis is promising, the data is still limited and warrants further investigation. However, there are other benefits of CBD that have been more widely researched, and have practical applications in the potential treatment of psoriasis.

For instance, [ite “the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are well known” id=”8, 9″]. With psoriasis being an inflammatory skin condition, there are reasons to believe CBD oil for psoriasis could help. Psoriasis is also typically believed to be an autoimmune condition, resulting from an overactive immune system – this is meaningful, as CBD has been found to help regulate the immune system 10 Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research James M. Nichols and Barbara L.F. Kaplan. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. Mar 2020.12-31.http://doi.org/10.1089/can.2018.0073 James M. Nichols and Barbara L.F. Kaplan . Additionally, with research showing CBD can ease difficult-to-treat pain and anxiety disorders, using CBD for psoriasis treatment may also potentially help to address some of the common symptoms and comorbidities of psoriasis 11, 12 Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Russo E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, 4(1), 245–259. https://doi.org/10.2147/tcrm.s1928 Russo E. B. .

Is CBD Worth Trying?

While most dermatologists believe there is a need for more research into the benefits of CBD oil for psoriasis, the limited research we do have backs a topical application of CBD. This means you might benefit from using a psoriasis cream with CBD in it.

Finding the right cream for psoriasis treatment may require a visit to your local medical dispensary or naturopathic treatment center. You could also try a topical application of CBD oil for psoriasis, or see if ingesting CBD oil helps to improve your immune response.

The best CBD oil for psoriasis is one that is made by a company that values quality ingredients and processing. Look for brands that have been in business for a while and have developed a good reputation in the CBD community. There are several options available.

The most important thing to know is that while psoriasis is a chronic condition, there are treatments available, and CBD may help. It’s easy to get discouraged when what you’ve tried before hasn’t had much of an impact, or when you have a recurrence after a period of non-active disease. But remember that your doctor is there to help. Finding the right treatment (or combination of treatments) can make all the difference.

FAQs

What kind of oil is good for psoriasis?

When searching for the best CBD oil for psoriasis treatment, look for brands with proven reputations and a commitment to using quality ingredients.

How much CBD should I take for psoriasis?

For topical applications, you should just need enough CBD cream or oil to cover the impacted area. Most products will list the recommended daily usage, to include how often you should reapply. If you are planning on consuming CBD oil for psoriasis, you may have to experiment with the appropriate CBD dosage, as a variety of factors (such as weight and severity of disease) can impact how much you’ll need, in order to see improvement.

What supplements help psoriasis?

Researchers have looked into the benefits of vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) in the treatment of psoriasis. While studies have had mixed results, fish oil has shown the highest potential benefits for psoriasis, with oral vitamin D showing enough promise to warrant further study. Selenium and B12 have not been found to be consistently beneficial for aiding psoriasis treatment 13 Diet and psoriasis, part III: role of nutritional supplements Millsop, J. W., Bhatia, B. K., Debbaneh, M., Koo, J., & Liao, W. (2014). Diet and psoriasis, part III: role of nutritional supplements. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 71(3), 561–569. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2014.03.016 Millsop, J. W., Bhatia, B. K., Debbaneh, M., Koo, J., & Liao, W .

What is the best cream for psoriasis?

Topical corticosteroid creams have been found to reduce inflammation and slow the spread of psoriasis outbreaks. Calcipotriol, a vitamin D analogue, has also been shown to provide promising treatment benefits, though studies suggest corticosteroid creams are still the most effective psoriasis creams available 14 Topical treatments for psoriasis InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Topical treatments for psoriasis. 2017 May 18. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK435705/ InformedHealth.org .

Resources
  1. Rendon, A., & Schäkel, K. (2019). Psoriasis Pathogenesis and Treatment. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20(6), 1475. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061475
  2. Helmick, C. G., Lee-Han, H., Hirsch, S. C., Baird, T. L., & Bartlett, C. L. (2014). Prevalence of Psoriasis among Adults in the U.S.: 2003-2006 and 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 47(1), 37–45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2014.02.012
  3. Fleming P, Bai JW, Pratt M, Sibbald C, Lynde C, Gulliver WP. The prevalence of anxiety in patients with psoriasis: a systematic review of observational studies and clinical trials. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2017;31(5):798-807. doi:10.1111/jdv.13891
  4. Sampogna F, Tabolli S, Abeni D; IDI Multipurpose Psoriasis Research on Vital Experiences (IMPROVE) investigators. Living with psoriasis: prevalence of shame, anger, worry, and problems in daily activities and social life. Acta Derm Venereol. 2012;92(3):299-303. doi:10.2340/00015555-1273
  5. D'Haens G. (2007). Risks and benefits of biologic therapy for inflammatory bowel diseases. Gut, 56(5), 725–732. https://doi.org/10.1136/gut.2006.103564
  6. Wilkinson JD, Williamson EM. 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. 2007;45(2):87-92. doi:10.1016/j.jdermsci.2006.10.009
  7. Palmieri B, Laurino C, Vadalà M. A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars. Clin Ter. 2019;170(2):e93-e99. doi:10.7417/CT.2019.2116
  8. Kozela, E., Pietr, M., Juknat, A., Rimmerman, N., Levy, R., & Vogel, Z. (2010). Cannabinoids Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol differentially inhibit the lipopolysaccharide-activated NF-kappaB and interferon-beta/STAT proinflammatory pathways in BV-2 microglial cells. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285(3), 1616–1626. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M109.069294
  9. Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future Medicinal Chemistry, 1(7), 1333–1349. https://doi.org/10.4155/fmc.09.93
  10. James M. Nichols and Barbara L.F. Kaplan. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. Mar 2020.12-31.http://doi.org/10.1089/can.2018.0073
  11. Russo E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, 4(1), 245–259. https://doi.org/10.2147/tcrm.s1928
  12. Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics: The Journal of the American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
  13. Millsop, J. W., Bhatia, B. K., Debbaneh, M., Koo, J., & Liao, W. (2014). Diet and psoriasis, part III: role of nutritional supplements. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 71(3), 561–569. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2014.03.016
  14. InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Topical treatments for psoriasis. 2017 May 18. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK435705/

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