Can CBD relieve psoriasis symptoms? Here’s what doctors are sayinganej
Psoriasis is a chronic disease of autoimmune origin that causes inflammation and skin lesions. It is a non-contagious disease of hereditary origin that affects a significant percentage of the population. It is estimated that there are more than 79 millions people affected worldwide.
The CBD or Cannabidiol has proven effective for the treatment and relief of psoriasis symptoms due to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and immunoregulatory abilities. The CBD oil, CBD-based creams and hemp extract have high moisturizing power which prevents the appearance of dry and scaly skin. They also nourish the skin in depth thanks to its extraordinary composition rich in unsaturated acids Omega 3 and 6.
WHAT IS PSORIASIS? MAIN SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that usually affects specific areas of the skin such as the knees, elbows, palms of the hands and feet, nails or even large areas of the scalp. The exact mechanism of how this condition develops is not exactly known, but we know that the main component is genetic. In other words, there is an inherited genetic predisposition to which other environmental, gender, age or epigenetic factors are added.
The main factors that can trigger Psoriasis are:
- Bacterial, viral and fungal infections;
- Certain drugs or withdrawal of treatments with corticosteroids;
- Trauma, wounds, scrapes or even injuries caused by exposure to the sun;
- Dietary factors;
- Alcohol consumption;
- Psychological factors like stress and anxiety;
- Climatic factors. In cold regions, the incidence of cases is much higher;
- Endocrine factors.
The most common symptoms of Psoriasis are redness on the skin, scales, irritation, pain, the appearance of wounds, thickened nails and in the most severe cases, inflammation and stiffness in the joints. The last symptom is the most serious and, in some advanced cases, causes psoriatic arthritis. This condition produces inflammation of the joints, which reduces mobility and causes severe pain.
TYPES OF PSORIASIS
The morphological differences of the lesions are usually used to classify the types of Psoriasis:
- Plaque psoriasis: It is the most common and is characterized by the appearance of symmetrical plaques of various sizes. They are located all over the skin, but with special incidence on the knees, elbows, back, and scalp. Over time, the plaques end up spreading across the chest and extremities.
- Psoriasis in drops: It is characterized by the appearance of small spots of less than one centimetre located mainly in the thorax. It occurs mainly in young patients and usually disappears after a few months.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis: Generalized and widespread injuries throughout the body that can cause fever and other problems such as leukocytosis or electrolyte imbalances.
- Pustular psoriasis: It is a rare variant of the disease and appears in patients with other types of Psoriasis. It can be generalized or localized in some points such as the hands, feet or the tips of the fingers. It is characterized by the confluence of the psoriatic plaques in small pustules that dry quickly and disappear to sprout again in different places. It usually produces fever, general discomfort and in severe cases, dehydration or infections can occur that can cause the death of the patient.
- Inverted psoriasis: It mainly affects skin folds, such as armpits, groin, buttocks, and navel. It is characterized by the appearance of smooth, bright red erythematous plaques with well-defined edges. In this case, no scales appear.
- Acral or nail psoriasis: It affects the nails of the feet and hands. Rashes and pustules appear around the nails that spread and end up causing the loss of the nail and sometimes osteolysis of the last phalanx.
- Psoriasis of the scalp: It is characterized by the appearance on the head of scaly plaques similar to those that appear on other areas of the skin or by the appearance of thick plaques of scales that adhere to the hair.
Psoriasis sufferers are more prone to other ailments, some serious ones like the aforementioned psoriatic arthritis. Other associated complications that may appear are conjunctivitis, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. Besides, people with Psoriasis are more likely to suffer from diseases such as Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s disease or kidney disease. Although the specific mechanism is not clear, there is also a predisposition to obesity.
It is important to highlight that Psoriasis is a disease with a very important psychological component due to the social stigmatization that has accompanied it over time. When the lesions are highly visible, some patients feel self-conscious about the aesthetic consequences. It is especially in young people where the psychological effects can be stronger and seriously affect their self-esteem and quality of life.
HOW DOES PSORIASIS APPEAR?
Although the cellular processes that cause the disease are not fully understood, we know that it has to do with the immune system and specifically with the overactivity of CD4 + T lymphocytes. This type of white blood cell is in charge of attacking and eliminating external aggressions and avoiding infections.
An error in the activation of T lymphocytes causes overactivity of T lymphocytes that results in an excess release of proliferative cytokines that stimulate the appearance of new epidermal cells. This causes an inflammatory response and makes epidermal cells form the outer layers of the skin in a very short time. This process of skin regeneration occurs in healthy patients in a constant cycle of approximately one month. In patients with Psoriasis, however, this process can take a few days. The excessively rapid formation of epidermal cells causes the appearance of plaques and major injuries. Dilation of the blood capillaries causes redness, irritation, and burning of the skin. And different types of white blood cells cause rapid cell death and the appearance of wounds and pustules.
Currently, there are no effective treatments to cure the disease, although symptoms can be alleviated. The treatments used depend on the type of Psoriasis, the most common include steroids, corticosteroids, cyclosporins, suppressants of the immune system or even phototherapy and photochemotherapy sessions. Most of these treatments produce undesirable side effects, and continued monitoring by a physician is required to control the occurrence of these side effects.
For this reason, many patients are using alternative natural remedies such as topical application of creams and ointments with great moisturizing power and rich in herbal extracts such as Calendula, Oatmeal, Rosehip, Aloe Vera or Alkanna (also called the root of the Devil).
CBD OIL AND HEMP CREAMS AGAINST PSORIASIS
The CBD present in the cannabis plant has undoubted medicinal properties. This non-psychoactive cannabinoid is capable of activating our endogenous Endocannabinoid System receptors, causing an anti-inflammatory, analgesic and immunoregulatory effect.
CBD-rich oils and creams were always been used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne (link to acne article) or problems arising from atopic skin. Their use is completely safe since they do not present toxicity and do not cause adverse side effects.
CBD oil in sublingual administration is the most widespread and most effective way of consuming the benefits of Cannabidiol. Its immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory effect is immediate, reducing the formation of psoriatic plaques and irritation.
Cream with CBD is the most direct option. Thanks to its easy absorption, it acts immediately reducing inflammation and regulating the immune response in the area. These creams have great moisturizing and regenerating power that dramatically improves both the appearance and health of the skin. The extracts and oils derived from the Hemp plant provide a large amount of Omega 3 and 6 unsaturated acids, essential for maintaining healthy and nourished skin.
HOW CBD WORKS AGAINST PSORIASIS
CBD or Cannabidiol acts by activating our Endocannabinoid System, exactly like the endocannabinoids that our own body generates. CBD binds to CB2 receptors, which are spread throughout the body including the skin. This causes a series of chain reactions aimed at reducing inflammation and preventing the rapid proliferation of epidermal cells. Likewise, it is possible to limit the accumulation of immune cells under the epidermis.
We can say that CBD acts on four different levels:
- Regulates the cell death process.
- Inhibits cell proliferation that causes plaques to appear.
- Suppresses the production of cytokines, which are responsible for the excessive proliferation of cells.
- Reduces the presence of white blood cells that cause inflammation of the tissues.
The main cannabinoids present in the Cannabis plant are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabinol (CBN) and Cannabigerol (CBG). All of them are effective in reducing the hyperactivity of T lymphocytes, so their therapeutic potential to treat Psoriasis is enormous.
The majority of patients treated with CBD report a great improvement in terms of reducing itching and pain caused by skin irritation. There is also a clear reduction of psoriatic plaques and an obvious improvement in the general appearance of the skin.