Can CBD Oil help with the symptoms of Psoriasis?
More than 2 million Spaniards suffer from psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease. People with psoriasis experience a more active immune system than normal, which causes skin cells to grow at an accelerated rate, which in turn causes red, scaly, painful plaques to build up. These plaques are ugly, itchy and annoying and can lead to problems such as depression.
Psoriasis is incurable, it is a chronic disease, so the only option is to treat the symptoms and find ways to cope. For those millions of people looking for options to help manage their symptoms, CBD for psoriasis is a new source of hope, giving very, very encouraging results.
In this post, we will explore an overview of psoriasis and why it is so difficult to live with. We will discuss the treatment of psoriasis with CBD, and why CBD has so much potential in this field.
The symptoms and signs of psoriasis vary from person to person, but typically include:
- Red patches on the skin covered with thick, silvery scales
- Smaller, scaly patches of skin
- Cracked, dry skin that may itch or bleed
- Burning, itching or pain
- Pitted, thickened or ridged nails
- Stiff and swollen joints
The scales of psoriasis can range from a few small patches of scaly skin that resemble dandruff to severe eruptions that cover important parts of the body and can be very painful. The ankles, elbows, face, knees, legs, lower back, palms of the hands, scalp and soles of the feet are the most commonly affected areas of the body.
Most types of psoriasis occur for a few weeks or months in cycles and then subside or even remit.
Types of Psoriasis:
There are multiple types of psoriasis, including:
- Plaque psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is the most common type, causing dry, red, raised patches of skin covered with silvery scales called lesions. Plaques may be few or numerous; tender, itchy or both; and usually appear on the knees, elbows, scalp and lower back.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis. Although it is the least common type of psoriasis, as it can cover the whole body with a red, scaly rash that can burn or itch intensely, erythrodermic psoriasis is one of the most severe varieties.
- Guttate psoriasis. Guttate psoriasis is characterised by small, scaly, droplet-like lesions on the arms, legs or trunk. This variety of psoriasis, which is usually caused by a streptococcal throat infection or some other bacterial infection, mainly affects children and young adults.
- Inverse psoriasis. Inverse psoriasis mainly affects the skin folds near the breasts, groin and buttocks, and causes smooth patches of red skin that are made worse by sweat and friction. This type of psoriasis can be caused by fungal infections.
- Nail psoriasis. Nail psoriasis can cause abnormal growth, pitting and discolouration of the fingernails and toenails. Psoriatic nails can lead to onycholysis, in which the nails become loose and separate from the nail bed. In severe cases of psoriasis, the nail may crumble.
- Psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis causes painful inflammation in any joint, which can range from mild to severe, just like typical arthritis. Symptoms vary, and joint symptoms or nail changes may be the only signs of psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis can progressively damage joints; in severe cases, permanently.
- Pustular psoriasis. Pustular psoriasis is a rare variety that occurs in widespread patches, such as generalised pustular psoriasis, or in smaller patches on the soles of the feet or palms of the hands. The patches consist of pus-filled lesions.
Psoriasis and Your Endocannabinoid System
Knowledge of the anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory properties of several endocannabinoids, such as those involved in the CB1 and CB2 pathways in the skin, has led to the suggestion that targeting these pathways could help develop more effective treatments for psoriasis.
Indeed, the link between dysregulation of endocannabinoid pathways and the development of psoriasis has been demonstrated by several studies. For example, elevated plasma anandamide levels, increased levels of fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase activity in granulocytes, and upregulation of GPR55 have been associated with possible involvement in endocannabinoid dysregulation in psoriasis patients.
What is the impact of the ESA?
CBD has been shown to reduce skin inflammation, improve skin hydration, improve skin elasticity, reduce itching and improve the quality of life associated with psoriasis.
The system endocannabinoid (SEC) influences pain, inflammation and immune response, and has been shown to help control the itching and inflammation associated with psoriasis.
One particular study highlights the role of skin cannabinoids in suppressing inflammation and overgrowth in the epithelial layers of the skin. Another study connects these skin layers to early psoriasis and the ECS functional system, describing how skin cannabinoid receptors help control and balance skin cell proliferation.
In other words, research indicates that the layers of human skin contain a functional endocannabinoid system, and cannabinoids act to reduce inflammation along the psoriasis-specific pathway in the skin.
In addition, CBD has been shown to effectively treat depression, anxiety and related mental health problems. These problems are often related to psoriasis, so CBD could have additional benefits for these users.
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Di Meglio P, Villanova F, Nestle FO. Psoriasis. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2014;4(8):a015354. Published 2014 Aug 1. doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a015354
Jarocka-Karpowicz I, Biernacki M, Wroński A, Gęgotek A, Skrzydlewska E. Cannabidiol Effects on Phospholipid Metabolism in Keratinocytes from Patients with Psoriasis Vulgaris. Biomolecules. 2020;10(3):367. Published 2020 Feb 28. doi:10.3390/biom10030367