We’ve all heard the hype about the new wonder ingredient – CBD, with its incredible natural healing properties and which seem to be able to cure just about anything from arthritis to epilepsy – but is it that great or is it another media hype?
And can it really help soothe the agonies associated with the skin condition of Psoriasis? CBD has more than 80 chemical compounds in the cannabis plant, so it’s a natural thing to wonder, can it help relieve symptoms of Psoriasis?
For those of you who don’t suffer from the skin condition of Psoriasis, it is a build-up of cells on the surface of the skin. These form red patches that have a covering of thick silvery scales, like a plaque, which are itchy and extremely painful. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, which means it affects the immune system, which produces T cells to protect the body against infections.
And in the USA alone, there are over 8 million sufferers of this debilitating skin condition.
People who have Psoriasis, have the threat of their genes instructing the immune system to target the wrong cells. T cells respond to triggers when they are fighting infections or healing wounds.
Triggers can be stress, injury, infections, and hormonal changes.
There aren’t any cures for the symptoms of this skin condition, but recent developments in the scientific world have meant there are treatments for Psoriasis, which means the number of flare-ups and the severity of them, can be reduced.
There are different levels of severity, which differ from person to person; mild Psoriasis covers less than 3% of the body; moderate Psoriasis, which covers 3-10% of the body; and severe, which is more than 10% of the body.
There are also different types of skin conditions – the worst of which is known as psoriatic arthritis. This form of Psoriasis involves joint inflammation with symptoms of arthritis and affects up to 30% of people with psoraisis.
There is a range of treatments available for people with Psoriasis, but none of them are seen as particularly life-changing.
Treatments at present include coal tar, hydrocortisone creams, salicylic acid, and anti-itch agents.
So, the prospect of CBD, having a positive effect on this skin condition, is excellent news.
CBD – short for cannabinoid oil, is one of 80 chemical cannabinoids that are found in the marijuana plant, cannabis.
CBD is an extract, made from this cannabis plant but without the THC elements of the marijuana plant, and which has excellent medicinal properties which have been used successfully for many thousands of years.
The cannabis plant contains psychoactive chemicals known as THC, which produce a natural ‘high’ – and because many people use cannabis as a recreational drug, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the usage of it for medicinal purposes.
CBD extract is not a psychoactive chemical and doesn’t contain any of the THC properties.
The CBD affects brain activity but not in the same way that THC, the psychoactive elements do.
Basically, there are two primary receptors in the cannabis plant, CB1, and CB2. The CPD impacts the CB2 receptors and, in turn, entices the human body to make its own cannabinoids, which has a positive effect on the body’s pain and immune system.
Recent research suggests that some cannabinoids might benefit people with Psoriasis by affecting the interaction between the body’s immune and nervous systems.
CBD , therefore, appears to help reduce pain and the effects of inflammation, which are dominant symptoms of Psoriasis.
How CBD works on Psoriasis
People who have Psoriasis have skin cells that reproduce too quickly.
It appears that cannabinoids help slow the growth of skin cells and reduce their accumulation on the surface of the skin.
CBD is also thought to play a role in reducing itching.
Another painful symptom of Psoriasis is cracking and then bleeding of the affected skin patches.
CBD is thought to play a part in wound repair as well as anti-inflammatory actions.
Treatment with CBD indicates that it can help with the open sores that Psoriasis causes.
Skincare experts state that topical treatments with CBD, as oil or gel, is a rich source of fatty acids and other skincare nutrients and believes that it may improve hydration and minimize moisture loss.
A CB receptor ligand called Anandamide, which has been discovered within the skin, reacts directly with the CBD, creating relief.
CBD oil or gel is a natural anti-inflammatory and contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which also soften and condition the skin.
It also has a calming effect because of how it can regulate the messages between the receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which governs your moods.
Excuse the pun, but we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the potential of cannabinoids as therapeutic agents.
Psoriasis, which shows itself as an inflammatory skin condition, is a result of several abnormal reactions of the immune cells and immune signaling in the skin.
And CBD research has shown that it targets the immune system with its multiple receptors with multiple biological actions.
As with anything, be prepared to:
• discuss the use of CBD with your doctor to ensure there’s no clash with any other medication you may be taking.
• It will state it is a full-spectrum CBD oil or gel.
• It is organic and sustainable.
• It will be cold-pressed or CO2 extracted.
• Test it out on a small area of your skin first to see if it has any effect.
• Check the label – make sure you know how much CBD is actually in the product you’re using.
• Make sure you know whether the product is cannabidiol.
• Do you shop wisely – look for reputable sellers and brands.
So, does CBD help Psoriasis?
In a word ‘yes.’
There are lots of research studies that indicate there is an interaction between CBD, the CB regulators in our body in connection to anti-inflammatory response, pain relief, and skin cell regeneration.
Because Psoriasis isn’t just a skin condition that needs to be treated externally, CBD is excellent as it can attack from the inside as well as the outside and can be obtained topically with creams, oils and sprays.