CBD is growing in popularity, and there are many over-the-counter skin products infused with CBD. While CBD can provide some pain relief to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, experts say there needs to be more research. Here are the crucial details you must understand before purchasing CBD for your psoriasis. Understand the benefits and trade-offs – New updates for 2022. Psoriasis is an uncomfortable chronic skin condition with no known cure. Can CBD help to treat this condition? Today we will be looking at the facts.
CBD for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis: What You Should Know
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the two well-known chemical compounds or cannabinoids found in marijuana or hemp. But unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it doesn’t give you a “high.” Instead, it has a mellowing effect with pain relief. Lately, CBD has been gaining popularity and trending in the health wellness sector with a wide variety of creams, lotions, oils, vape pens, or edibles like gummies or candies.
The internet is littered with information that claim CBD as a natural treatment option for a host of conditions including skin-related disorders like psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
Reported health benefits include relief for:
But does it work as well as claimed? Jim Snedden says that for him, it did.
Snedden, 55, was living in Connecticut in 2005 when he first noticed his legs were very dry and itchy. Soon, the itch migrated to his hands.
“I was waking up all bloody because I was digging at it,” recalls Snedden who now lives in Goshen, NY.
In 2007, after he moved to upstate New York, he had another severe flare-up. Initially, he chalked it up to change in water, but it was confirmed as psoriasis. By 2012, he had developed psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Knowing it was a “destructive disease,” Snedden asked his doctor to put him on a biologic, a powerful, genetically engineered drug that’s designed to lower or stop inflammation in your body. It kept his psoriasis symptoms at bay. But the deep, bone-aching pain from the arthritis lingered.
“I have days where I can’t pick things up. I’m dropping things all day because my fingers hurt really bad,” Snedden says.
For years, he took prescription opiates to manage the pain, but they stopped working. In 2018, his daughter, who has fibromyalgia, a condition that causes pain all over the body, urged Snedden to look into cannabidiol (or CBD) as an option for pain relief.
He did. “It did a lot of good,” Snedden says. He’s cut out all the opiates from his treatment regimen.
Does CBD Really Work for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis?
Doctors and other experts who are keeping a close eye on the growing demand for CBD say it’s hard to know for sure.
“While there are some theories to suggest CBD may have benefits for psoriasis, there is a complete absence of rigorous trials in people to prove their safety and efficacy for treatment of psoriasis,” says Joel Gelfand, MD, in an email to WebMD. Gelfand is a professor of dermatology and director of the Psoriasis and Phototherapy Treatment Center at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
However, Adam Friedman, MD, professor and chair of dermatology at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC, says there’s “enough mechanistic data” to argue the potential benefits of CBD for psoriasis or PsA.
Friedman explains that when CBD enters your body, it binds with several receptors including receptors called endocannabinoids that affect pain, itch, and inflammation. There are two types of receptors in the endocannabinoid system: cannabinoid type 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2). THC binds with CB1 located in the central nervous system, which gives you the fuzzy feels when you take marijuana, and CBD binds with CB2.
When CBD binds with the CB2 receptor found on immune cells throughout the body, it has effects on the body’s immune function.
“When CBD binds to various receptors, CB2 and others, from an immune perspective, what it does is it induces inflammation resolution,” Friedman says. Meaning it activates signals in your body that makes the cells that cause inflammation to change and subside.
In terms of psoriasis, according to Friedman, CBD can reportedly stimulate the secretion and recruitment of cells that are important to remove skin cell debris and to allow your skin to mature and heal properly.
In a 2019 study, 20 participants with psoriasis or atopic dermatitis, another skin-related disorder, were asked to apply a CBD ointment on affected skin twice daily for three months. The CBD ointment, without any THC, was able to improve skin hydration and elasticity. It also improved participants’ quality-of-life when it was measured against the Psoriasis Area Severity Index.
In a recent 2020 study, 50 people with scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, a type of condition that causes dry, flaky skin mostly on the scalp, were asked to use a shampoo with CBD for 2 weeks. The shampoo was able to reduce itching, burning, the severity of the inflammation in the scalp.
But Friedman notes that there’s a lot more research to be done to see the full extent of CBD’s impact on your body. “Our understanding of the endocannabinoid system is incomplete.”
Moreover, Friedman says when it comes to cannabinoids like CBD and THC, if you’re buying over-the-counter creams and other topics products infused with it, it may not be getting absorbed properly through the skin barrier. This is because “cannabinoids are lipophilic.” This means they are likely to stay in a fatty environment — something your top layer of skin has plenty of. So if you apply a cream on your skin, only “a fraction of it” may actually get through.
“Purposeful delivery [of CBD] is what you have to think about versus asking ‘do cannabinoids work?’” Friedman says.
CBD and Potential Risk
Studies done on CBD to date are not conclusive. The lack of tests on safety and effectiveness is also because of the confusion around government regulations around CBD. It’s made it hard to study the plant and its potential use, risks, and benefits. Laws for legal access to CBD differ from state to state. So there are a lot of CBD-infused products on the market that are not regulated by the FDA.
“Due to current lack of FDA regulation for CBD, retailers may not adequately disclose the amount of THC in their products, potentially resulting in a positive drug screen. Also, CBD products are available for purchase online with little consumer safety oversight and can contain unknown and potentially dangerous elements,” says James Ralston, MD, a dermatologist at Dermatology Center of McKinney in Texas.
In fact, the FDA has served citations to several companies selling CBD-infused products or food supplements over safety concerns.
In 2017, one study looked at 84 CBD products manufactured by 31 companies and sold online in 2016, to see how accurate the labels were about the ingredients. Turns out, nearly 43% of the products were under-labeled, meaning they had 10% more CBD that advertised. Around 26% of the products were over-labeled, meaning they had 10% less CBD than advertised. Only about 31% of the products were accurately labeled.
Cynthia Covert, 52, from Moreno Valley, CA has been living with PsA since 2003. Covert has tried both THC and CBD products. Both have helped her manage her pain to a certain degree. But CBD products, she says, have too much hype surrounding it. She blames the market that’s flooded with CBD products to meet the growing demands.
“When it comes to CBD alone, I think it’s way too much hype, and it really does disappoint me. Because I know everyone just wants to make money off it, whether it’s the person who’s affiliated with it, or a salesman for it.”
Besides inaccurate ingredients on CBD products, research shows that there may be potential side effects to CBD use. It can:
- Cause liver injury
- Interact with other medications that can cause serious side effects
- Lead to physical injuries if mixed with alcohol or other drugs that can alter your brain activity
- Affect fertility in men or male offspring of women exposed to CBD as seen in some animal studies
There are also a lot of unanswered questions that scientists are trying to figure out when it comes to CBD use. This includes:
- What happens if you take CBD daily for a long period of time?
- How much is too much CBD?
- Can different methods or types of CBD such as creams, gummies, oils, etc., affect you differently?
- What effect does CBD have on the developing brain of children?
- How does CBD affect a fetus or a breastfed newborn?
Things You Should Be Aware of Before You Try CBD
If you’re thinking of trying CBD for relief from psoriasis or PsA, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Before you try, talk to your doctor about it. Snedden spoke to his neurologist, a doctor who specializes in nerves, brain, and the spinal cord before he decided to try CBD. He also gets frequent migraines and has three herniated discs. He was worried about some of his prescription drugs mixing with CBD.
“Talk to your doctor first because anything can interact with anything,” Snedden says.
Do your research beforehand. Friedman says he urges anyone who wants to try CBD to first do their “due diligence” in researching all they can about CBD and the different brands and methods.
“I think the easiest is to go on Google or whatever search engine and type in Department of Health medical cannabis program,” Friedman says especially if cannabis is legalized in your state.
If you’re going to buy CBD products online or over the counter at your local drugstore, research and write down a few things to check on the labels before you buy it. Once you buy it, Friedman says it’s always a good idea to test it out.
“I typically tell patients to start by doing a test site on a small area for a couple days to make sure that it doesn’t cause irritation or allergic reaction. If they tolerate it, then they can apply to affected areas twice a day, ongoing,” Friedman says.
Start low and slow. When Snedden first started using CBD, it was a bit of a learning curve, especially with what type to use and how much. He researched online on what types or brands would work best. He tried three different types before he found that worked best for him — a tincture, an alcohol-based liquid extract that you put under your tongue.
“I started with one drop and I wasn’t really noticing anything. So I decided to take two drops and it was fine. I started to sleep through the night, I was able to relax. A lot of the pain was gone,” Snedden says.
It’s important to remember that each person reacts different to CBD so it’s always good to start small and see how it goes.
Manage your expectations. CBD isn’t the same as THC. It won’t deliver quick results and it’s definitely not a “cure all.” You may have to continue your regular treatments for psoriasis and PsA and compliment it with approved CBD products to help with the pain.
“If you’re going to use CBD, you can’t go in with the expectation that it’s going to relieve all your pain. And that it’s not going to relieve your pain as soon as possible like an opiate would or smoking a joint. What you are going to get though is a wonderful muscle relaxation,” Covert says. “You’re going to sleep better [and] you’re going to be less stressed. All those things over time will lead to a decrease in pain.”
However, if you notice any allergic reaction or side effects on your skin after CBD use, tell your doctor about it.
National Psoriasis Foundation: “CBD for Psoriasis and PsA.”
FDA: “What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD,” “FDA warns 15 companies for illegally selling various products containing cannabidiol as agency details safety concerns,” “FDA Warns Companies Illegally Selling Over-the-Counter CBD Products for Pain Relief.”
Karger Journals: “Efficacy and Tolerability of a Shampoo Containing Broad-Spectrum Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Scalp Inflammation in Patients with Mild to Moderate Scalp Psoriasis or Seborrheic Dermatitis.”
La Clinica Therapeutica: “Anandamide Suppresses Proinflammatory T Cell Responses In Vitro through Type-1 Cannabinoid Receptor-Mediated mTOR Inhibition in Human Keratinocytes.”
JAMA: “Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online.”
Cedars Sinai: “CBD: What You Need to Know Before You Try.”
Adam Friedman, MD, professor and chair of dermatology, George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Joel Gelfand, MD, professor of dermatology and of epidemiology; vice chair of clinical research and medical director, Dermatology Clinical Studies Unit; director, Psoriasis and Phototherapy Treatment Center, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
CBD For Psoriasis
Perhaps you’ve read one of the many stories of cannabidiol (CBD) oil helping people with psoriasis treat their condition – and the astonishing before and after results they achieved.
And you may be thinking, can CBD really treat psoriasis?
The answer is, yes.
CBD has been helping psoriasis patients ease their symptoms and reduce flare-ups with great success.
Want to know the best CBD oil for treating psoriasis?
We’ll share our number one pick in just a minute. (Can’t wait?)
But first, why is CBD so therapeutically beneficial?
CBD is capable of treating a wide range of conditions because of the way it interacts with the endocannabinoid system.
This specialized internal system is responsible for regulating physiological processes. It’s made up of receptors found throughout the brain and body known as CB1 and CB2.
The CB1 receptors are primarily found in the nervous system and connective tissue. And the immune system, blood, and endocrine glands are where you’ll find CB2 receptors.
When cannabinoids like CBD interact with these CB1 and CB2 receptors, therapeutic effects are produced.
Cannabinoids are also naturally produced in the body.
That’s right; the human body naturally produces cannabinoids that are similar to both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD.
In fact, research has suggested that “runners high” – which is commonly attributed to endorphins, may actually be a result of self-produced cannabinoids.
Our bodies are literally made to be compatible with and derive benefits from cannabinoids.
And when it comes to psoriasis…
CBD has been showing remarkable healing properties for a number of common autoimmune disorders – psoriasis among them.
Psoriasis is a result of T cells mistakenly identifying healthy skin cells as a threat. But research suggests that CBD may be capable of managing the activity of these T cells before they trigger a response.
Furthermore, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties regulate the immune system, and clinical data concluded that cannabis reduces psoriasis flare-ups by activating the CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system.
CBD may soon become the number one go-to treatment to ease the symptoms of psoriasis.
And that’s not all…
Three other cannabinoids are also revealing their potential to treat psoriasis by inhibiting overactive T cells. Keep an eye on these cannabinoids as research continues to evolve — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG).
There’s more good news, too…
CBD Treats Conditions Related to Psoriasis
While psoriasis is mainly associated with the itchy red rash it causes; unfortunately, additional associated conditions often develop too. Luckily, CBD offers therapeutic benefits that can help with many of those as well.
Consider this —
If you have psoriasis, you are at risk for developing these associated conditions too – but CBD can help:
An estimated 30% of individuals with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis. Early stage symptoms include joint pain and stiffness, accompanied by swelling and warmth. Joints throughout the body, including fingers, toes, knees, hands, and feet are all susceptible to pain and swelling. The symptoms resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis, which CBD is also effective at treating. CBD reduces pain and the inflammation that causes swelling.
Surprisingly, psoriasis is linked to a number of eye conditions like conjunctivitis. With the overprescription of antibiotics for conjunctivitis a real concern, CBD is simply a better treatment option. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties promote healing and help relieve pain and itchiness.
Digestive Problems (IBS, Chron’s, Celiac, Leaky Gut Syndrome)
While more research is needed, early evidence suggests that a bacterial imbalance in the gut may help cause inflammatory diseases like psoriasis and eczema. So, it makes sense that people with psoriasis often experience digestive problems like IBS, Crohn’s, Celiac, and Leaky Gut Syndrome. The good news? CBD reduces inflammation and supports healthy digestive functions. It is a natural, safe treatment option for all these conditions.
Type 2 Diabetes
People with severe psoriasis have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. CBD has been shown to be beneficial to people with diabetes, and a clear link has been established between healthy blood sugar levels and the regular use of cannabis.
High Blood Pressure
The most severe cases of psoriasis have also been linked to high blood pressure. In research, CBD has been shown to relax vascular walls and cause a reduction in blood pressure. This discovery is fueling further research into how CBD can be used to control high blood pressure.
The risk of developing cardiovascular disease is twice as high for people with psoriasis. CBD, because of its ability to reduce inflammation and high blood pressure, is showing promise as a treatment for cardiovascular disease.
Psoriasis has been linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. It is believed that chronic inflammation of neuronal tissue is the cause. For many, CBD has been effective at easing symptoms of the disease. It can reduce pain and tremors and improve sleep.
Often, shame and anxiety accompany the pain and discomfort of psoriasis. These feelings can lead to low self-esteem and depression. In addition, inflammation further contributes to the onset of depression by triggering chemical responses that influence mood. In addition to its ability to reduce inflammation, CBD has neuroprotective properties that help fight depression.
All of this means…
While it’s unfortunate that these additional conditions tend to be associated with psoriasis, it is lucky that CBD is proving to be an effective treatment for all of them.
And the best way to experience these CBD benefits?
Treat Psoriasis & Related Conditions With CBD Oil
The easiest way to treat psoriasis and related conditions is with a high-quality CBD oil.
One of the main benefits to using a high-quality CBD oil is you can choose to use it topically, take it internally, or both. This dual functionality makes CBD oil the ideal choice for many. And each method of consuming this versatile cannabinoid will offer a range of benefits.
CBD Oil Used Topically
Many skin care brands have begun to embrace the beneficial properties of CBD. Salves, balms, and lotions infused with CBD are quickly becoming established in the marketplace. And for people with psoriasis, that’s good news.
But there’s another trend happening too.
Many people are choosing to use high-quality CBD oil directly on their skin to treat small problem areas. And for larger areas, CBD mixed with a carrier oil like coconut, argan, or hemp oil is the perfect solution.
CBD Oil Taken Internally
The best way to take CBD internally is by taking it sublingually, meaning under the tongue.
Holding CBD under the tongue for a minute or two allows it to penetrate the sublingual gland and enter the bloodstream. CBD taken this way has a bioavailability of up to 35%.
And that’s important because…
Bioavailability refers to how much of the cannabinoid is available for the body to absorb.
Edibles have a lower bioavailability of around 20% (on the high end) because harsh digestive chemicals destroy cannabinoids before they reach the bloodstream.
Smoking and vaping, despite some drawbacks, provide a higher CBD bioavailability – upwards of 60%, because it is absorbed into the blood quickly through the lungs.
So, what’s the right option for you?
Our Top Pick: CBD Oil to Treat Psoriasis
We have high standards for CBD products. And when it comes to treating psoriasis with CBD, there’s one brand we recommend above all others: NuLeaf Naturals.
Why do we recommend this product?
Simple. It’s high quality.
This NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil is 100% organically grown in Colorado. The company uses top-notch extraction methods and takes extra care to preserve the delicate, beneficial terpenes.
One of the purest products on the market.
This is a whole plant or full-spectrum oil which means you’ll benefit from the synergistic nature of all the cannabis compounds present in the plant.
But here’s something you should know…
Here’s Who Shouldn’t Use This CBD Oil
Many people prefer full-spectrum oils as research suggests they may have more therapeutic benefits. If, however, you live in a state with a zero-tolerance policy for THC, this may not be the product for you.
Full-spectrum CBD oils may contain trace amounts of THC. Not enough to have psychoactive effects, but enough to cause you to fail a drug test.
Ready to get started?
How Much CBD Should You Take?
This may take a little experimentation, but the good news is, to date, no serious side effects have ever been reported from taking “too much” CBD.
That said, start slow. Try to find the lowest dose you need to get the results you want.
To find the right dose, a number of factors should be considered. These include age, weight, the severity of symptoms, and prior experience with CBD.
CBD Oil for Psoriasis – Hemp Products Your Scalp Will Love
A staggering 125 million people have psoriasis worldwide. That’s 2 to 3 percent of the total population.
Psoriasis is currently incurable, so how do you treat this chronic skin condition?
CBD is thought to be an effective treatment for psoriasis and is a popular option for improving the quality of life of people suffering from this challenging skin disease.
In this article, we will be looking at how psoriasis sufferers can benefit from CBD, what benefits it offers, and where you can find the best CBD for the condition.
Does CBD Help With Psoriasis?
Although psoriasis does not have a cure yet, there are ways to relieve symptoms for a better quality of life. CBD is considered by many experts to be one effective way of treating the condition.
Summary: How CBD may help alleviate symptoms of psoriasis:
- CBD reduces inflammation in the skin
- CBD reduces inflammation in the joints
- CBD offers pain relief
- CBD may reduce excessive skin cell production
How Does CBD Work for Psoriasis?
CBD and other cannabinoids work by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is made up of two receptors — CB1 and CB2. These receptors have been found all around the body and make up the endocannabinoid system. This system helps the brain communicate with the rest of the body.
CBD interacts with these receptors, impacting receptor activity. These interactions can help reduce inflammation, aid pain relief, support the immune system, and reduce a variety of other symptoms.
CB1 receptors are found in the skin (among other places), giving CBD the potential to impact many skin conditions. Studies show that CBD’s interaction with these receptors can positively impact psoriasis and other chronic skin conditions .
The same study suggests that CBD can also slow down excess skin growth, reducing the buildup of excess skin cells involved with psoriasis flare-ups.
The anti-inflammatory qualities of CBD help reduce the swelling, redness, and irritation associated with psoriasis. Both this quality and the pain-relieving qualities of CBD also help reduce swelling and pain in the joints, making it an effective treatment for psoriatic arthritis.
Although research into the effects of CBD on psoriasis is still in the early stages, existing studies do support users’ claims. Many people with psoriasis are already using CBD to treat their condition with excellent results.
Is CBD Oil the Only Option for Psoriasis?
CBD oil isn’t the only option for psoriasis.
When orally consumed CBD is concerned, there are a number of different products that are effective. Gummies, soft gels, capsules, honey sticks, and CBD shots will all give you the same effect. It is up to you which method of consumption fits you best.
Topical CBD products are another option that can be used alone or in conjunction with an orally consumed CBD product. Creams, balms, and roll-ons can help relieve psoriasis symptoms directly at the source.
Studies show that topical CBD products can significantly improve the skin and help reduce symptoms .
Vapable products are also available if you prefer to inhale your CBD. Vaping may have a negative impact on your lungs but this method of consumption has higher bioavailability. This means far more CBD is absorbed when inhaled compared to orally consumed CBD.
Our Top 3 CBD Brands for Psoriasis:
- Royal CBD — Best Overall CBD
- Gold Bee CBD — Best Organic Vegan CBD
- Hemp Bombs CBD — Best Budget CBD
1. Royal CBD Oil
Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
Royal CBD is a larger California-based company that offers high-quality premium CBD products. Their motto “Don’t Go Average, Go Royal” sums up what the company is about.
They’re a trusted brand with a wide range of products. This large brand has more infrastructure and produces CBD on a bigger scale, so you can be sure the product you need will be available.
Like Gold Bee, Royal extracts their CBD from organic hemp and gets their products third-party lab tested. They offer full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate products.
They use a CO2 extraction process to acquire their CBD from the raw hemp plant. Their heatless and solvent-less extraction method ensures maximum potency and purity without any nasty chemical residues.
They produce everything from oils of all potencies to balms, creams, and dog treats. If you’re looking for a premium CBD company that has a wide range of products, Royal CBD is a great brand.
Royal CBD has 5-star customer service. They encourage you to contact them by phone, message, or social media if you need advice on dosage, consumption, or which CBD oil will work best for you.
- Wide range of products available
- Multiple potencies available
- 5-star customer service
- Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate available
- Uses certified organic hemp
- CO2 extraction process
- Excellent cannabinoid profiles in their full-spectrum products — independent lab tested
2. Gold Bee CBD Oil
Gold Bee is a California-based company that focuses on quality rather than quantity. They’re a smaller company that prides itself on producing the highest-quality products by incorporating a slow-diffusion process.
The slow-diffusion extraction process requires a significant amount of time and is done in small batches to ensure consistent quality. For this reason, the company sometimes struggles to keep up with demand.
The attention to detail that this company gives to its CBD products is incredible. Although their slow extraction process slows down production, their oils, gummies, and capsules are of the highest quality.
Gold Bee’s product range is limited, but there is much to say about making a few products well rather than a lot of products averagely.
You will find CBD in oil, capsules, gummies, and their unique organic honey sticks. Potency options are limited, with most of their products coming in high-potency full or broad-spectrum options.
- High-potency products
- Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and Isolate available
- 100% vegan (except their honey sticks)
- Uses certified organic hemp
- A small company with incredible attention to detail
- Slow-diffusion extraction process
- High terpene and cannabinoid content — independent lab tested
3. Hemp Bombs CBD
Hemp Bombs CBD is a Florida-based brand. They’ve been on the market for over 5 years now and have quite a following with many happy customers. They focus on providing premium products for an affordable price.
They put their attention toward creating high-quality CBD isolates with no full-spectrum or broad-spectrum products in their range. Their product range is wide though, with everything from gummies to pet products.
Hemp bombs extract their CBD from GMO-free organic hemp. They formerly sourced their hemp from Europe, but now the U.S has caught up with organic farming processes they use 100% U.S-grown hemp.
Although Hemp Bombs are happy to reveal where their hemp is sourced from, they don’t reveal how they extract the CBD from it. We can assume that they use a solvent extraction from looking at the independent lab reports.
There are traces of ethanol, ethyl acetate, methanol, and isopropyl alcohol in their oils. These levels are extremely low and are deemed safe for consumption.
Hemp bombs have a page dedicated to lab reports on their website, so you can see potency levels, present terpenes, solvent residues, and bacterial analysis.
Overall, Hemp Bombs CBD is a great option if you’re looking for high-quality isolates on a budget. Perhaps less premium than the last two brands, but far more cost-effective.
- Excellent value for money
- CBD isolate
- Uses U.S-grown organic hemp
- Wide range of products available
- Multiple potencies available
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that causes uncomfortable skin flaking, redness, and itchy patches. Psoriasis is usually found on the elbows, knees, and scalp but can occur anywhere on the body.
The severity of the condition varies greatly. For some, psoriasis is a minor irritation with small patches developing in one area. For others, it can cause serious problems and dramatically affect the quality of life.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for this chronic disease. For most suffers this is a minor inconvenience but for others, it can cause major discomfort and eventually lead to another, a more severe condition known as psoriatic arthritis.
The Symptoms of Psoriasis
Psoriasis varies from person to person and symptoms can differ depending on the severity of the condition. It’s common to have flare-ups of psoriasis with cycles of flaring and subsidence.
There are five common types of psoriasis each with differing symptoms:
1. Plaque Psoriasis
This is the most common form of psoriasis.
Symptoms include raised, dry, red skin with flaky scales of excess skin.
Psoriasis patches are usually found on the elbows, scalp, and knees, the patches of inflamed skin can become itchy, sore, and tender.
2. Nail Psoriasis
Psoriasis on the finger and toenails can cause pitting, discoloration, abnormal nail growth, and in some cases loosening from the nail bed or crumbling of the nail.
3. Guttate Psoriasis
This form of psoriasis is more common in people under the age of 30. This type is caused by bacterial infections such as strep throat. Symptoms include small scaly lesions around the throat, chest, arms, or legs.
4. Inverse Psoriasis
Inverse Psoriasis can occur all over the body. It’s common in skin folds and sweaty areas, it can flare up through exercise or friction. Symptoms include smooth red patches of skin that feel raw and tender.
5. Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis can be mild to severe but is uncomfortable for all its sufferers. It causes swollen, painful, stiff joints. Progressive joint damage is common with permanent damage possible in more serious cases.
How to Use CBD for Psoriasis
There are many different ways to treat psoriasis using CBD.
CBD can be consumed in the form of oil, edibles, and capsules.
Topical products such as balms, creams, and roll-ons are also considered effective treatments for psoriasis.
Whether you choose a full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate is also something to consider.
In this section, we will be looking at the different treatment options and helping you decide what will work best for you.
1. Oils, Gummies, or Capsules?
How you consume CBD for psoriasis is entirely up to you. Taking CBD orally with oil gives you the most flexibility as you can adjust your dose depending on how many drops are taken.
Consuming CBD-infused gummies, capsules, or other edibles makes it easier to regulate how much CBD you are taking throughout the day. Each edible or capsule has a specific dosage, making it easier to monitor your CBD intake.
2. Topical CBD products
Topical products such as creams, balms, and roll-ons can be applied directly to the skin. They have a positive effect on skin health and can be used to treat a variety of chronic skin conditions from eczema to psoriasis.
Cannabis users look for CBD topicals online from reputable sources to instantly relieve their pain or irritation and can be applied directly to the lesions, rashes, and scaly skin that psoriasis causes. They are also perfect for people that don’t want to ingest cannabis products for their psoriasis.
3. Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, or Isolate?
Full-Spectrum CBD — Full-spectrum CBD contains not only CBD but all the other cannabinoids and terpenes that are present in the hemp plant, including THC. To abide by federal law in the U.S and laws across Europe, Full-spectrum CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC.
Broad-Spectrum CBD — Broad-Spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum. It contains all other naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes however THC is removed.
CBD Isolate — CBD isolate is a pure extract. Isolates contain CBD only without any extra cannabinoids or terpenes.
Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products are considered more effective for a wider range of conditions because the cannabinoid profile is more expansive. Cannabinoids and terpenes work in synergy to create the entourage effect.
Research suggests that full and broad-spectrum CBD has more prominent health benefits than isolates . This means they can be effectively used to treat not only psoriasis but other ailments as well.
CBD isolates (containing only CBD) are great for people that have negative reactions to other cannabinoids. Isolates are perfect for first-time users and in the case of psoriasis, are effective in both oral and topical products.
CBD Dosage for Psoriasis
There is no real dosage guide when using CBD for psoriasis.
If you have never used CBD before it is best to start with a low dose and work your way up gradually if you need to. Make sure to monitor how your body reacts to the CBD and stop upping the dose as you see results.
As for topical products, you should apply a small amount to an unaffected area of skin to ensure you do not react to anything in the cream, balm, or gel. Wait for 30 minutes to ensure your skin doesn’t react to the product.
Once you’ve made sure there is no reaction, you can follow the application instructions on your chosen topical. For creams and balms, spreading a thin even layer over the affected area is enough to take effect, other products will need rubbing in to promote absorption.
Final Thoughts: Can CBD Help With Psoriasis?
Unfortunately, psoriasis is currently incurable but it’s certainly treatable. CBD is a great way to combat psoriasis and treat your scars due to this skin condition.
Using orally consumed products alongside topical products will provide you with instant and ongoing relief from your symptoms. If you’re new to CBD remember to start small and work up your dosages to see how you react to the substance.
Make sure you purchase your CBD from a reputable and reliable brand to ensure you are ingesting a safe product that will provide results.
It’s also recommended that you speak to a dermatologist before using CBD to treat your psoriasis. Some medications you currently use may react with CBD, so be sure to check with your doctor if you’re concerned about the medication you’re using.
References Used In This Article
- Jonathan D Wilkinson and Elizabeth M Williamson. (2006). Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis. Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology, 45(2): 87-92.
- B Palmieri, C Laurino, and M Vadalá. (2019). A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars. La Clinica Terapeutica vol, 170,2 (2019): e93-e99.
- Ethan B. Russo. (2018). The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain. Frontiers in Plant Science, 2018; 9: 1969.
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.