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Using CBD for psoriasis

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Jak může tato konopná sloučenina pomoci ulehčit život lidem s psoriázou? Psoriáza, či také lupénka, je autoimunitní stav, který vede k nadměrnému hromadění kožních buněk. Lidé, kteří tím trpí, pocítí na těle zanícené, podrážděné skvrny na kůži, obvykle kolem kolen a loktů. Tento celoživotní stav bohužel nemá lék. Ale s lokálními krémy, léky a vhodnou terapií může většina lidí získat úlevu od svých příznaků. Dnes existuje také několik možností přírodní léčby, včetně CBD. V tomto článku se podíváme na některé zdravotní přínosy CBD pro psoriázu a jak mohou být užitečné pro lidi s psoriázou.

What is psoriasis?

Although most people see it as a skin disease, psoriasis is better understood as an autoimmune condition. Those who suffer from it have an overactive immune system that mistakenly attacks their own body. Their immune system sends messages to their skin cells, causing them to multiply very quickly. Because their body is making skin cells faster than they can normally fall off, they accumulate in the form of scales on the surface of the skin. The main symptom of psoriasis is scales, which are easy to spot. They can develop anywhere on the body but are more common around the joints, on the hands and feet, elbows and knees, scalp and face. The affected areas may be painful, red and inflamed, causing an uncomfortable itching or burning sensation. Fortunately, these symptoms usually come and go in cycles. A person with psoriasis may experience a large flare-up that lasts a week, and then nothing for another few weeks;

What causes psoriasis?

We still don’t fully understand what causes psoriasis, but doctors believe it’s a combination of immune system disorders, genetics and lifestyle factors. In some cases, it can also be caused by medications and other substances that affect the immune system. People with psoriasis have a faulty immune system. Their white blood cells, normally responsible for fighting bacteria and viruses, attack their skin cells instead. As a result, the skin cells begin to develop much faster;

As with most autoimmune conditions, there is a strong genetic component. People who develop them have parents or ancestors who also have the same condition. In the case of psoriasis, you are more likely to develop the condition if one of your parents has it. However, of all the people who have a genetic predisposition to psoriasis, only a small percentage will eventually develop the condition.

Psoriasis is usually triggered by something external. For example, high levels of stress can cause psoriasis to flare up. Other possible triggers include lifestyle elements such as drinking alcohol, smoking and certain medications;

This may also explain why psoriasis is associated with other conditions that also have genetic and lifestyle causes. For example, it is much more common in people with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, anxiety and depression, and inflammatory bowel disease;

How is psoriasis treated?

There is no cure for psoriasis, but certain treatments can help psoriasis patients minimize their skin patches and prevent triggers. People who frequently suffer from psoriasis flare-ups are advised to identify possible triggers. They may find, for example, that excessive drinking or being overly stressed can cause their symptoms to intensify. Several lifestyle changes can help with this. For example, meditation can help to reduce stress. Switching to a whole-food, plant-based diet can eliminate many trigger foods, such as red meat and dairy products.

But in many cases, these lifestyle changes must be accompanied by medication. Doctors may prescribe two main types of medications: topical medications and oral medications. Topical medications, such as corticosteroids, retinoids, salicylic acid, and moisturizers, can be applied directly to the skin, and especially to psoriasis scales. They work to calm inflammation, reduce skin cell production, and decrease the immune system’s response;

Oral medications are rarer and are prescribed only for moderate to severe forms of psoriasis. Like topical medications, they serve to reduce the immune system’s response and decrease the production of new skin cells. However, they are not recommended for long-term use because they come with some dangerous side effects;

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Using CBD

It could be CBD an alternative treatment option for people with psoriasis? Although only a few studies have been conducted on this topic, they are promising. We also know that CBD may have a direct effect on the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in the treatment of psoriasis;

CBD or cannabidiol is a molecule found in cannabis. Like other cannabinoid compounds, it can bind to receptors in our bodies and affect the functioning of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a biological system that helps regulate basic bodily functions such as appetite, pain management, stress and inflammation. When CBD is swallowed or applied to the skin, it binds to the receptors of the ECS. This relays information to this system and tells it to work harder. As a result, using CBD can reduce pain and inflammation in the body, reduce the body’s stress response, and even prevent seizures.

CBD and skin diseases

Some of the most interesting properties of CBD are its effects on the skin. For example, we have already found that it could help with acne, eczema and atopic dermatitis. Although these conditions have different symptoms and causes, they all benefit from the effect of CBD. This is because CBD in psoriasis helps to regulate skin function. When the skin is inflamed, CBD can reduce this inflammation. If the skin produces too much sebum, CBD can return it to normal levels. If skin cells multiply too quickly, CBD can slow them down. In other words, all of these conditions come from dysregulation of skin functions, and CBD helps counteract this dysregulation with its effects on the endocannabinoid system;

How can CBD help people with psoriasis?

So what are the mechanisms of CBD for psoriasis? CBD can help relieve psoriasis symptoms in one of four ways:

  • By limiting the growth of new skin cells
  • By reducing inflammation
  • By reducing itching and pain
  • By improving overall health

CBD in psoriasis limits the growth of skin cells

Researchers already say CBD may be a useful treatment option for people with psoriasis (link to study). In part, this is because it can regulate the number of skin cells our body produces. And as we know, people with psoriasis have an overactive production of skin cells;

In a 2007 study (link to study) a group of researchers found that several cannabinoids, including CBD, can slow the production of skin cells. Although the experiment was not actually conducted on psoriasis patients, it showed that cannabinoids can inhibit keratinocyte proliferation;

CBD for psoriasis reduces skin inflammation

Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition characterised by skin scales that are often red and create a burning sensation. CBD is well known as an anti-inflammatory drug. It is used for its anti-inflammatory properties in conditions as diverse as Crohn’s disease, arthritis and acne;

Applying CBD for psoriasis to the skin could reduce one of the most painful symptoms of psoriasis by reducing the level of inflammation in the epidermis. That’s something that a 2019 study confirms (link to study). As part of the experiment, researchers gave patients with psoriasis or atopic dermatitis an ointment to apply to the affected areas of the skin twice a day for three months. After that time, they found that the patients’ skin improved significantly. Their skin was better hydrated, less inflamed and more elastic. They concluded that CBD is a safe and effective treatment against inflammatory skin diseases.

CBD for psoriasis relieves pain and itching

By far one of the most frustrating symptoms of psoriasis is the pain and itching it can cause. Fortunately, CBD has been studied for its effects on pain (link to study). We know it can help with chronic pain, neuropathic pain and inflammatory pain. People who apply CBD to joints affected by arthritis can get immediate relief from their pain. This is something that psoriasis patients can also experience. We also know that cannabinoids can reduce itching (link to study), although CBD in particular was not isolated in these studies.

CBD could help prevent triggers for mental health improvements

Finally, a flare-up of psoriasis can be caused by lifestyle factors such as poor diet or excessive stress. In fact, doctors who treat people with psoriasis often ask them to change the way they look at their lifestyle, not just their skin, to understand what is causing their condition. One of the most important factors is mental health. We know that excessive stress, anxiety and depression can increase your chances of a psoriasis flare-up. CBD is a substance that benefits a number of mental illnesses, including anxiety, depression, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, and PTSD, among others. CBD could help prevent mental health-related triggers in people with psoriasis.

How to use CBD for psoriasis: practical tips

Are you inspired by the way CBD could address the most common symptoms and triggers of psoriasis? Want to try it out for yourself? Fortunately, there are many CBD products available to buy online these days and plenty to choose from. But that also means it can be hard to decide.

When it comes to skin conditions such as psoriasis, your most effective option will probably be CBD for topical use. There are lotions, CBD creams or ointments that you apply directly to the skin. They are known to provide very quick relief and target the endocannabinoid receptors located in the skin, which is what you want.

If you think stress is the main trigger for your flare-ups, taking CBD orally may also be a good option. Whether you take a daily CBD capsule, drip drops of CBD oil under your tongue, or eat CBD-infused edibles, you need to take CBD every day to get relief from stress and anxiety. It may be best to start with a low dose (5 to 10 mg) to see how your body responds. You should then increase the dose very slowly until you find the relief you need. For more precise dosage information, we recommend consulting a health professional;


Psoriasis is a difficult condition and unfortunately, there is no cure yet. However, advances in the world of cannabis research show us that CBD could be an effective treatment option that would provide relief from at least some of the symptoms of psoriasis. Depending on the severity of your skin condition, CBD may or may not be enough to give you complete relief. But as a complementary treatment option, it’s worth a try.

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