Psoriasis is a skin condition characterised by inflamed skin and silver, scale-like patches. With no known cure, it’s something that sufferers struggle with on a daily basis. Furthermore, traditional treatments and medications are often associated with negative side effects.
Interestingly, there is growing talk in the medical community about whether CBD oil could help reduce symptoms. As with other skin conditions such as eczema, the evidence isn’t yet conclusive – however, a few small studies show support for the idea that CBD could help to reduce inflammation and soothe the irritation and pain associated with psoriasis.
If you or someone you know currently suffers with the conditions, you’re likely interested to find out how cannabidiol could help with it. In this blog post, we’ll outline the key reasons that it is thought to help alleviate psoriasis symptoms, and which products could be worth trying.
What is Psoriasis?
As mentioned, psoriasis is a skin condition similar in appearance to eczema or dermatitis. However, whereas other skin conditions can be caused by irritants and reactions, psoriasis is thought to be caused by the immune system.
The immune system of a psoriasis sufferer causes skin cells to regenerate too quickly, meaning healthy skin cells are attacked and extra cells build up on the skin’s surface. The result is dry, patchy skin that’s either red and sore-looking or rough and silvery.
An estimated 2% of the UK population currently suffer with psoriasis, and in some cases it is hereditary. As with eczema, psoriasis can appear anywhere but is most common around the joints (such as knees and elbows) and the scalp and ears. The inflamed skin is itchy, uncomfortable and often painful, and people with psoriasis are often self-conscious about the way that it looks.
It’s estimated that around 30% of people with psoriasis will also go on to develop a condition called psoriatic arthritis, which causes joint pain and stiffness. As such, it’s a condition that people are keen to manage as best they can. While there’s no known cure for psoriasis, there are a number of treatments that can help to manage the symptoms and make day-to-day life better.
CBD Oil and Psoriasis
Traditional treatments for psoriasis include:
- Steroid creams and ointments
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (also known as NSAIDs) in either tablet or cream form
- Ultraviolet light therapy
Doctors will usually start with one of the more basic treatments, such as topical creams, and then move onto other therapies if symptoms don’t show much improvement. It’s also common for multiple treatments to be used at once.
Unfortunately, however, many people still experience flare-ups and discomfort even when taking multiple medications. Additionally, the treatments themselves are associated with numerous negative side effects. Oral medications in particular have been known to have effects such as depression, weight loss, headaches, nausea and more.
It’s therefore little surprise that some psoriasis sufferers seek out alternative ways to alleviate their symptoms. CBD oil is one such alternative that has gained a lot of interest in recent years.
There are several ways that CBD oil may help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis, but first it’s helpful to understand why this happens. The overarching reason is that cannabidiol mimics our body’s natural cannabinoids in our Endocannabinoid System (or ECS). Our ECS is essentially responsible for keeping everything in our body running smoothly – so when psoriasis sufferers’ immune systems are overproducing skin cells and attacking healthy ones, their own cannabinoids are failing to regulate the reaction.
By binding to receptors within the ECS, CBD can do what their natural cannabinoids are failing to. A 2007 study found that cannabinoids such as CBD significantly slowed down the growth of skin cells for the small group of psoriasis sufferers involved.
Effects of CBD on Psoriasis
CBD also has a number of qualities that can relieve psoriasis symptoms. These include:
- Anti-inflammatory – CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the uncomfortable swelling associated with psoriasis. As explained in this post on CBD oil and arthritis, this could be particularly beneficial to the estimated third of sufferers who go on to develop psoriatic arthritis
- Pain relief – many psoriasis sufferers experience chronic pain from their cracked skin and swollen joints. CBD has been known to relieve pain and discomfort by reducing the response of the central nervous system to pain receptors
- Wound repair – though not related specifically to skin conditions, a 2016 study on mice found that cannabinoid receptors are involved in the wound reparation process. As psoriasis sufferers often struggle with sore, broken skin, anything that supports a speedier healing process would of course be welcome
Taking CBD Oil for Psoriasis
There are numerous ways to take CBD oil, which means it can fit into a range of lifestyles. If you’re interested in trying CBD to help alleviate some of the symptoms of psoriasis, the following products could be worth trying:
- Topical balms and massage oils – some of the most popular CBD products for people with skin conditions are moisturising balms and oils that can be applied directly to the skin. Containing a range of soothing ingredients as well as CBD, these can alleviate some of the discomfort and itching. As with any topical application, it is always important to check the ingredients list thoroughly and consult with your doctor if you have any concerns
- Supplements – one of the quickest ways to get CBD into your system is to consume it orally via either oil drops, vitamins or capsules. These can be used alongside your usual vitamin supplements to enjoy the natural benefits of cannabidiol
- Infused teas and coffees – if you enjoy a hot drink in the mornings or evenings, a CBD infused coffee or tea could be the ideal product for you. If you’re already applying topical creams or taking tablets for your psoriasis, these products can be used alongside prescribed treatments
To conclude, research into CBD oil and psoriasis remains in its early stages. However, there are a small number of studies and a growing number of anecdotal cases that support the idea that cannabidiol could relieve some of the unpleasant symptoms of the condition. Whether used alone or alongside traditional treatments, sufferers may find that their pain and discomfort is lessened after taking CBD.
All of our products are made from natural hemp and are 100% legal in the UK, making them a great option for anyone considering CBD. If you have any questions relating to our products, feel free to get in touch or take a look at our blog.