CBD Oil for Psoriasis: Can It Help?
With marijuana becoming legal in states around the U.S., people living with psoriasis have become increasingly interested in whether cannabidiol (CBD) oil can help with psoriasis flare-ups and pain.
“Has anyone consumed CBD oil drops or applied CBD topical cream?” a MyPsoriasisTeam member asked the community. “I want to know if it is actually effective and if there are any side effects.”
Psoriasis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation and the accelerated production of skin cells. Skin builds up more quickly than it can shed, causing patches of thickened, scaly skin that can crack, bleed, and itch — as well as other symptoms. Clinical research into the effects of CBD oil on psoriasis symptoms is limited, though some people — including members of MyPsoriasis team — have reported positive results.
Understanding what is known about CBD oil and its effects on psoriasis symptoms can help you make an informed decision as to whether it’s a treatment worth exploring. Before trying CBD oil or making any other changes to your psoriasis treatment, talk with your health care provider.
What Is CBD?
CBD is a molecule in the family of cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are oily molecules that can be produced by your body (endocannabinoids), made in a lab (synthetic cannabinoids) or produced by the cannabis plant (phytocannabinoids).
Many individuals may be hesitant to try CBD because it comes from the cannabis plant (marijuana), which is infamous for its psychoactive effects. However, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not cause intoxication, which is commonly called “feeling high.”
Research has helped us understand the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids like CBD. “There is reasonable evidence that cannabinoids improve nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy. They might improve spasticity (primarily in multiple sclerosis),” according to a review of several studies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even approved the first CBD drug for the treatment of rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
Natural alternatives such as CBD oil should not replace medications prescribed by your dermatologist. Prescribed topicals and biologics are clinically proven to prevent relapses, delay disease progression, and treat symptoms of psoriasis. Natural alternatives can be used as supplements, depending on your specific circumstances. Before supplementing your regimen with natural alternatives, talk to your doctor. Importantly, some natural supplements can cause side effects or interfere with your medication.
Although natural alternatives cannot replace clinically proven medications, some scientific evidence indicates that natural alternatives — such as CBD products and salves — have the potential to alleviate psoriasis symptoms.
How CBD Affects Psoriasis Symptoms
The nervous system, including skin, is full of endocannabinoid receptors, part of the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are large molecules that recognize endocannabinoids, which help maintain skin health by:
- Forming the skin barrier
- Promoting skin cell growth
- Aiding skin immune and inflammatory reactions
These receptors respond to endocannabinoids to regulate these important skin functions. Many scientists believe the receptors could respond similarly to other cannabinoids, such as CBD.
Several laboratory studies have found that some cannabinoid receptors can help relieve itchiness when bound to cannabinoids. However, this claim has its limits because the effects of CBD on itchiness are not yet clear.
Constant inflammation and proliferation of skin cells (such as keratinocytes) is seen in psoriasis plaques. This inflammation and buildup is caused by the abnormal function of certain molecules normally involved in regulating the immune system. Scientists have found that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that can essentially block the abnormal function of these immune system molecules and have potential therapeutic effects. However, more work is required to determine just how beneficial CBD can be in treating psoriasis plaques.
Should You Try CBD?
Most of the available research on the health benefits of CBD was gained in a lab setting. This means that cells and animals were tested to see if CBD affected inflammation, itchiness, and other psoriasis symptoms. There is still not a lot of clinical evidence (human data) regarding the potential benefits of CBD for psoriasis. Whatever you choose to do, you can make an informed decision with the help of your doctor.
Many MyPsoriasisTeam members have begun to experiment with CBD oil for treatment. Some MyPsoriasisTeam members have found CBD oil helpful, while some have not gained any relief from using it.
Topical CBD Application
The most direct route to psoriasis skin care involving CBD would be topical application in the form of a cream or lotion. For instance, one MyPsoriasisTeam member said they used CBD oil to treat palmoplantar pustular psoriasis on their palms and soles of their feet.
A member with inverse psoriasis, meanwhile, said they tried moisturizers and CBD lotion to treat weeping lesions, which helped “numb it a bit.”
A third MyPsoriasisTeam member noted that they have not used “straight CBD oils” but that they have had positive experiences with hemp cream to relieve the burning sensations on their hands and feet. “I purchased the full spectrum hemp cream,” they shared. “It is not expensive.”
Notably, “full spectrum” means the cream may contain cannabinoids besides CBD.
Another MyPsoriasisTeam member described how they use CBD oil products to alleviate pain related to psoriasis. “I got an (edible) extract which seemed to help a little. I do use a THC balm (it’s kind of like Tiger Balm) that does work rather well for me,” they wrote. “I do usually use it alongside a CBD balm for the extra anti-inflammatory . but that CBD balm doesn’t work as well by itself.”
Some clinical evidence shows that topical medical cannabis (which contains both THC and CBD) can help with pain. An article in The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management concluded that this topical treatment was useful in relieving wound pain.
Oral CBD Consumption
CBD can be consumed orally as a pill or capsule, as a liquid, or as a gummy or other candy. One MyPsoriasisTeam member said, “I only use one dropperful of CBD oil in the morning and at night, with good results. Everyone is different, and what works for one may not work for someone else … but it has been a godsend to me.”
“I have been using CBD oil for two months now and I absolutely love the benefits from it. I’ve noticed a decrease in my plaques,” another member shared.
CBD oil doesn’t work for everyone. A MyPsoriasisTeam member with psoriatic arthritis wrote, “I took a high-quality oral CBD supplement for 30 days. No impact.”
Some MyPsoriasisTeam members experienced some negative side effects that they assumed came from taking daily CBD oil. “Lately my memory has had some definitive gaps at the oddest times, and it may be due to the only new thing in my regimen: CBD oil. So, I’m reducing the frequency of use,” one member wrote. “With the memory losses I experienced, I no longer recommend CBD daily, but am having zero problem using it 2-3 days a week and still get all the benefits.”
Some members expressed interest in taking CBD orally expressed concern about the taste. Other members reassured them that CBD products come in natural flavors, including peppermint and cinnamon.
Know the Facts and Limitations
Since clinical data is not yet available to support the safety and efficacy of CBD in people with psoriasis, using it to treat psoriasis may come with risks. According to Mayo Clinic, people generally tolerate CBD well, but it can cause side effects including:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
Only clinical data can give us reliable information and inform the FDA whether approving CBD for the treatment of psoriasis is appropriate. Fortunately, Talk With Others Who Understand
MyPsoriasisTeam is the social network for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and their loved ones. On MyPsoriasisTeam, more than 90,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Have you found CBD oil to be helpful for treatment? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.
The Benefits of Our CBD Treatment
One of our goals at Barefoot is to improve your quality of life. We provide our clients with healthy alternatives for pain and inflammation reduction, rather than systemic medication, and we always have an eye out for unique, high-quality products. So, we’re excited to introduce Beeline Skincare’s Warm Therapeutic CBD Candle to the Barefoot community! At first glance, this product is a lovely candle poured into a beautiful stoneware decanter, but it’s much more than that. The wick is lit, the wax melts, the candle is blown out, and then the warm oil is poured onto the skin. In some users, this treatment can provide relief from arthritis, muscle and joint pain, neuropathy, eczema, psoriasis, plantar fasciitis, rashes and other inflammations of the skin.
Some of you may be wondering what CBD even is, or where these benefits come from. CBD is a natural substance derived from hemp plants. It is completely disassociated from THC, the chemical compound found in marijuana that creates a “high” in the consumer. It is not possible to become high from using CBD in any of its forms. There are initial studies of CBD oil usage, as well as client feedback, that show very promising results for relieving pain and aiding in relaxation. Each person responds to the effects of the oil differently, as each person’s pain level and as well as the reason behind the discomfort is unique. Using this CBD lotion candle has provided relief to those who live with neuropathic and arthritic pain. Not only does the lotion candle contain CBD oil, but it also contains arnica. Arnica helps to reduce inflammation, swelling, bruising and joint pain. The combination of both ingredients complement each other to help reduce pain.
It is important to realize that not all CBD oil is created equal. The CBD oil that is used in the Beeline lotion candle is organic, full-spectrum, hemp-derived, and sourced from Europe. Hemp is typically planted to purify the soil, so it is very important that it is thoughtfully sourced. In the US, there are no regulations specifying where hemp is grown or what it is extracted for, let alone a purity analysis report. Europe has had regulations in place for a long time, which is why Beeline chooses to source the CBD oil that they use in their products from there.
This wonderful product can be added to a service at our spa, or the application can stand alone. There is no limit to the time needed in-between applications of the oil. If you are a person who’s tried a variety of treatments for your arthritic, neuropathic or generalized foot pain, and would like to seek a safe and effective alternative, I would highly recommend CBD oil, and in particular Barefoot’s Warm Therapeutic CBD Beeswax Treatment.