The surging popularity of CBD has been making waves in the skincare industry, with more and more people interested in trying CBD for conditions such as psoriasis. Psoriasis is a debilitating skin condition that has major impacts on livelihood. Learn more about CBD for Psoriasis symptoms .
CBD Oil for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
The surging popularity of CBD has been making waves in the skincare industry, with more and more people interested in trying CBD for conditions such as psoriasis.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an immune-related, chronic skin condition that causes red, flaky patches of skin covered with silvery scales known as ‘plaques’. These are formed as when a person has psoriasis, their skin replacement process speeds up, taking just a few days to replace skin cells that usually take 21-28 days. Commonly affected areas include the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on your body and they may be sore and itchy. It is thought that psoriasis affects around 2% of people in the UK, of all ages but most often develops in adults under 35 years old, affecting men and women equally.
The severity of psoriasis can vary, for some it’s just a minor irritation, but for others it can majorly affect their quality of life. Whether you have psoriasis yourself, or are looking for the best CBD oil products for psoriasis for a loved one, read on below to find out more how CBD (cannabidiol, an active chemical found in the Cannabis Sativa plant) can benefit this skin condition.
Are There Different Types of Psoriasis?
There are several different types of psoriasis, which include:
Plaque psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris) – the most common type that occurs in around 80-90% of cases
Scalp psoriasis- red patches of skin covered in silvery scales on parts of the scalp, or the whole scalp
Guttate psoriasis – which causes small sores on the chest, arms, legs and scalp and is more common in children and teenagers
Inverse psoriasis- found in creases of the skin, such as the armpits, groin, between the buttocks and under the breasts
Pustular psoriasis- which causes pus-filled blisters on the skin
Erythrodermic psoriasis – a rare type of psoriasis which can affect skin all over the body and cause intense itching
People with psoriasis may initially only develop one type of psoriasis, but can develop another type at a later point in time.
What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects some people who suffer from psoriasis. It can cause joints to become swollen, stiff and painful, and it is a long-term condition that can get progressively worse, with a risk of the joints becoming permanently damaged in severe cases. If treated early, its progression and any joint damage can be minimised.
Can CBD Be Used for Psoriasis?
Whilst there is no known cure for psoriasis, there are treatments available which can help to manage and ease the symptoms. More and more research is suggesting that cannabinoids such as CBD can help with psoriasis due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
When CBD enters the body, it binds with receptors called endocannabinoids which affect pain, itching and inflammation. There are two types of receptors in the endocannabinoid system, CB1 and CB2, and it is the latter which CBD binds with, which then has an effect on the body’s immune system. This activates signals in the body which tells the cells that cause inflammation to subside, and when it comes to psoriasis, CBD is reported to stimulate the secretion of cells which remove dead skin cell debris and allow skin to heal properly.
In a 2019 study, 20 participants with psoriasis were asked to apply a CBD ointment on the affected areas of their skin twice a day for three months. The CBD ointment improved both skin hydration and elasticity, and also the quality of life of the participants based on the Psoriasis Area Severity Index.
In another recent study in 2020, 50 participants suffering from scalp psoriasis were asked to use a CBD based shampoo for just two weeks. The participants showed reduced itching, burning and inflammation on the scalp. More research is required into this area.
What do Skincare Experts Think About Using CBD for Psoriasis?
Although they agree that more studies are required in this field, many dermatologists are now seeing the benefits of CBD for psoriasis. Robert Dellavalle MD, a dermatologist from Colorado says “These [traditional steroid creams] are very safe for most people, and they’re effective, but some people don’t want to use steroids in any way. CBD could be a nonsteroidal therapy to fill that gap.”
A fellow dermatologist from Connecticut and professor of dermatology at the prestigious Yale University, Mona Gohara MD uses CBD for inflammatory skin conditions ‘as they’re fizzling out.’ She says “I recommend generally using a medication to put out the fire and then using CBD to clean up the carnage.”
What Types of CBD Work Best for Psoriasis?
When it comes to psoriasis of the skin, topical forms of CBD such as creams, balms and oils are recommended as they are better absorbed into the affected area and can work quickly to soothe it. Another benefit of a CBD balm for psoriasis is that it will contain other deeply hydrating emollients which help to reduce the dryness, itching and scaling that psoriasis brings. Depending on the severity of the condition, a topical CBD or a combination of a cream and systemic treatments (formulations that are absorbed into the bloodstream, such as CBD oil drops that go under the tongue) can be used for optimal efficacy.
The Best CBD Products That Tackle the Symptoms of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is one of those skin-related conditions which make one literally want to crawl out of their own skin. The condition can be painful and is often associated with inflammation, itchiness/burning/stinging, cracked skin, scaly plaques, and even bleeding. Fortunately, cannabis has been found to treat pain and inflammation in many studies, which means that it stands to reason that cannabis can help those with psoriasis as well. Let’s find out what the research has to say as well as which products are the best for psoriasis.
The Story of Jim Snedden
Jim Snedden shared his story about how he turned to cannabidiol (CBD) for his psoriasis. The 55-year-old man first noticed that his legs were very dry and itchy in 2005. The itch soon spread to his hands and many would have dismissed this as eczema since it’s a skin condition characterized by being itchy. Snedden explained, “I was waking up all bloody because I was digging at it”, in other words, he scratched himself until he bled.
By 2012, Snedden reportedly developed psoriatic arthritis (PsA), which he described as a “destructive disease”. He went on to explain that there were days where he couldn’t pick things up and that “I’m dropping things all day because my fingers hurt really bad”. Snedden was consuming prescription opioids to manage the pain but naturally, his tolerance built up and they stopped working. Snedden’s daughter, who had fibromyalgia, finally got him to consider CBD in 2018. Fibromyalgia may belong to an entirely different category of conditions, however, it also involves significant levels of pain throughout the body. Snedden did not only consider but ended up using CBD, to which he stated that “It did a lot of good”.
Research Supporting CBD for Psoriasis
While there may not be published studies specifically on the efficacy of CBD for psoriasis, UC Davis Health stated that “it is a very reasonable assumption that the potential beneficial psychological (e.g. anxiety reduction) and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids could help alleviate the disease burden associated with psoriatic disease”. The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) supports this by stating that “there’s certainly enough mechanistic data to argue that [CBD] makes sense for psoriasis” and that “CBD has demonstrated its potential for use in several skin-related disorders, including psoriatic disease”.
According to NPF’s Dr. Friedman, CBD has the ability to bind to receptors in the body that are part of the human cannabinoid system, called endocannabinoids, that can influence pain, itch, and mechanisms of inflammation” and that “we know that when CBD binds to the CB2 [cannabinoid receptor type 2] as well as other receptors, it can be involved in not just anti-inflammatory activity, but it can facilitate an array of activities that resolve inflammation. It can stimulate the secretion and recruitment of cells that are important for removing debris and allowing for proper skin maturation and healing”.
Based on everything we know about CBD and despite the lack of research on CBD specifically for psoriasis, consumers can expect a reduction in pain, inflammation as well as benefiting from the smoothing ingredients in topical cannabis products. Persons suffering from psoriasis can also expect reduced anxiety and stress as well as boosted efforts to restore homeostasis in the body.
Top CBD Products for Psoriasis
Since psoriasis is a skin condition, consumers should consider oil, balm, topical and alike CBD products as opposed to smoking and oral consumption. The following products have been deemed the best for psoriasis on the basis of what they contain, their means of application as well as based on patient preferences.
Calm by Wellness- CBD Lavender Lotion
Calm by Wellness CBD Lavender Lotion contains purposefully selected ingredients to best soothe your skin. The lotion is 100% organic, broad-spectrum, and contains 200mg of CBD per bottle. It also contains aloe leaf juice, coconut oil, and lavender. While the aloe leaf juice and coconut oil will assist in moisturizing your skin, lavender can contribute to pain relief, improving circulation, and has even been found to be effective against psoriasis.
Green Roads Full Spectrum Oil
Psoriasis flare-ups can be especially bad and one may want to consider a product with a stronger CBD content. Green Roads is an award-winning brand and offers a variety of CBD oils for consumers to choose from based on their preferences and needs. However, when you consider the fact that their full-spectrum CBD oil offers all the cannabinoids and 50mg of CBD per ml, there’s no wonder the product is recommended for flare-ups. This strong oil was formulated by pharmacists, is vegan and gluten-free as well as having no artificial flavors.
Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum
Medical News Today reported that in a study of 100 consumers, 100% reported improvement in dry skin, with 99% also reporting a reduction in irritation. This is likely attributed to the fact that Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum contains jojoba oil, full-spectrum cannabis, sea buckthorn, and many other ingredients which pack this product with hundreds of nutrients and means of something affected skin.
Spruce Topical Cream
Not only is this cream from Spruce lab grade and third-party tested, but it is also 100% natural with zero pesticides and significantly low THC quantity. Spruce Tropical CBD cream contains 300mg of CBD per 2 oz. jar and can be applied as often as needed. Reviews from customers of the product suggest that this cream is highly effective, smells like evergreen, and may even make “you feel like an immortal superhuman that feels no pain”.
Steam Botanicals Shampoo and Conditioner
Psoriasis can present on the scalp, for which it is recommended that you use Steam Botanicals Shampoo and Conditioner. While the shampoo is aimed at “balancing your scalp” it is also said to soothe dry scalp, remove build-up as well as repair and moisturize your hair “from roots to tips”. The conditioner is said to be “exceptionally soothing for dry scalp” along with strengthening your hair. Both the shampoo and conditioner contain 200mg of CBD in 240ml and have raving reviews.
Vertly Relief Lotion
While this CBD lotion may contain lavender too, it also contains aloe vera, arnica, and magnesium. The Vertly Relief Lotion harnessed “the benefits of Arnica flower (antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory), nourishing shea butter, healing magnesium, organic essential oils, and full spectrum hemp extract”. Need I say more?
If you would like to read more about why broad- and full-spectrum cannabis products are so important, be sure to check out this article on the entourage effect.
Psoriasis can be taxing on a person, not just physically but including the stigma and psychological consequences of a visible skin condition. It is important to understand that there are alternative therapeutic options for those who are struggling to find relief, much like Mr. Snedden. Equally important is knowing that there are many options to choose from when looking at using cannabis to alleviate your conditions, in other words, smoking is not the only way to get relief when you need it. If you have used any of those products above, we would love to hear about your experience in the comment section below.