Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis and hemp plants, a plant with a rich history as a medicine dating back thousands of years. Today, scientists and doctors around the world are testing and confirming the therapeutic properties of CBD, including being useful for incurable medical conditions like Psoriasis.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes itchy, red, scaly patches, especially on the knees, elbows, trunk, and scalp. Psoriasis is a common, long-term (chronic) disease. You tend to have cycles, with flare-ups that last for weeks or months and then slow down or even go into remission. There are treatments available to help control these symptoms. Also, you can incorporate lifestyle habits and coping strategies that will help you manage the sytmptoms of psoriasis. This includes the usage of CBD oils and creams.
What Are The Causes Of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is believed to be an immune system problem that causes the skin to regenerate at a faster rate than normal. In the most common type of psoriasis, known as plaque psoriasis, this rapid turnover of cells results in red spots and scales.
It is not entirely clear what causes the immune system to malfunction. Researchers believe that both genetics and environmental factors play a role. The condition is not contagious.
Triggers for Psoriasis
Many people predisposed to psoriasis can be symptom-free for years until the disease is triggered by some environmental factors. Common triggers for psoriasis include the following:
- Infections, such as strep throat or skin infections
- The weather, especially cold and dryness
- Skin injuries, such as a cut or scrape, an insect bite, or a severe sunburn
- Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Certain medications, including lithium, high blood pressure medications, and antimalarial medications
- Rapid withdrawal of oral or systemic corticosteroids
Here are signs and symptoms of psoriasis but these can vary from person to person.
- Reddish patches of skin covered in thick, silver scales
- Small scaly spots (commonly seen in children)
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed or itch
- Itching, burning, or irritation
- Thickened, pitted, or ridged nails
- Swollen and stiff joints
Psoriasis patches can range from a few dandruff-like scaly spots to major rashes that span large areas. The most commonly affected areas are the lower back, elbows, knees, legs, soles of the feet, scalp, face, and palms of the hands.
Most types of psoriasis are cycled, with flare-ups that last for weeks or months and then slow down or even go into remission.
Treatment of Psoriasis
Psoriasis treatments aim is to stop the growth of skin cells so quickly and remove the scales. Options include creams and ointments (topical therapy such as CBD), phototherapy, and oral or injected medications. The treatments used will depend on the severity of psoriasis and the response to the previous treatment. You may have to try different medications or a combination of treatments before finding an approach that works for you. However, the disease usually returns.
- Topical therapy
Corticosteroids: These drugs, commonly available as ointments and creams are the most commonly prescribed to treat mild to moderate psoriasis. Mild corticosteroid ointments are often recommended for sensitive areas, such as the face or skin folds, and for treating generalized patches. Topical corticosteroids can be applied once a day during flare-ups, and on alternate days or weekends just to maintain remission.
Vitamin D analogs: Synthetic forms of vitamin D, such as calcipotriene and calcitriol slow the growth of skin cells. This type of drug can be used alone or with topical corticosteroids. Calcipotriene and calcitriol are generally more expensive than topical corticosteroids.
Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid shampoos and scalp solutions reduce the flaking of psoriasis on the scalp. It can be used alone or to enhance the ability of other medications to penetrate the skin more easily.
Coal tar: Coal tar reduces flaking, itching, and inflammation. It is available with or without a prescription in various forms, such as shampoo, cream, and oil. These products can irritate the skin. They are also cumbersome, stain clothing and bedding, and can have a strong odour.
Phototherapy is a first-line treatment for moderate to severe psoriasis and is indicated alone or in combination with medications. Brief, daily exposures to sunlight or artificial light may improve psoriasis. Before starting a sunlight regimen, ask your doctor about the safest way to use natural light to treat psoriasis.
- Oral or injectable medications
If other treatments haven't worked, your doctor may prescribe oral or injected (systemic) medications. Due to the potential for serious side effects, some of these medications are used for only short periods and can be alternated with other treatments.
Can CBD Oils Help?
Science and patient experience are showing that CBD oils and balms can reduce inflammation and slow skin cell growth. CBD is an anti-psoriasis agent. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to act as immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory agents in skin diseases, as well as in many other pathologies of the immune system.
CBD dampens the body's immune response when needed, which is positive in conditions related to an overactive immune system. Since cannabinoid receptors exist in cells throughout our skin, it is possible to treat dermatological problems with systemic and topical therapy as said earlier.
In most cases, CBD lotions and oils sooth the damaged skin. Some individuals have seen their psoriasis disappear, others appreciate less inflammation and itching.
How topical CBD lotions significantly reduce Psoriasis symptoms and discomfort
CBD has proven positive effects on many of the symptoms associated with psoriasis especially inflammation, bacterial infections, and nervous system malfunctions. Due to CBD's ability to reduce inflammation, it has been observed that nerve damage (caused by inflammation) can be prevented or decreased by the use of CBD by people suffering from arthritis. It also plays an important role in ameliorating and regulating Inflammatory bowel disease.
Furthermore, Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is considered an effective anti-seizure and anti-seizure medications have proven to be of great help to psoriasis patients over the years. Chronic pain and inflammation can be significantly reduced by using CBD lotions.
This is great news as CBD does not have the negative effects that come with other standard pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics, opiates, and other traditional treatments.
Psoriasis also indirectly causes sleep problems as its main symptoms of itching and joint pain keeps the sufferer up at night. In this case, CBD has also shown promising potential to provide relief for the two main sleep disorders associated with psoriasis which are sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. CBD also provides relief from other sleep disorders like excessive daytime sleepiness, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and many more.
Although more research is ongoing, the benefits that CBD oil has for the treatment and improvement of many diseases such as psoriasis, is very well known by regular CBD users. This, added to the fact that it is non addictive, not a drug and its side effects are very inconsequential (and in many cases nonexistent), it is worth trying to introduce this supplement into our lives. We have much to gain and little to lose. Of course, make sure you buy a product from a reliable brand that both contains the concentration indicated on the package and quotes both CBD% and the CBmgs.