Psoriasis reigns in my family…You see, 50% of its “population” suffers from it.
Every week, my father competes with my sister claiming that his patches are worse than hers. I know, it sounds a bit silly, but they are used to living with the disease and can even laugh at themselves and their condition.
CBD oil and psoriasis could be the name of my blog.
My parents’ health issue was the reason why I started researching the benefits of this natural substance on human and animal health and wellness. It’s the reason why I decided to share my findings and passion for cannabidiol with you.
A CBD salve was the first product I bought to try it on my father. He didn’t have a clue of what it contained (this is the reason I still have his surname!). His generation and he, himself are so prejudiced and stubborn that I chose not to tell him the truth.
He was the perfect guinea pig for my experiment! Obedient and punctual with the applications.
When he started noticing the improvement, I had to reveal the secret ingredient. (Bonus reading: he almost had a stroke when I pronounced the word cannabis. He started screaming that I will be prosecuted and put to jail and he wouldn’t visit and his family has values and honor and I was the black sheep of the family and ..Got the picture?)
My father continues using the salve and his skin looks “human”. And the ingredient is a family secret, now -he thinks!
I had forgotten all about this until today, when Tony, a dear friend of mine asked me :
Btw, what can you tell me about the CBD and psoriasis?Thanks, Tony!
“My father’s story isn’t enough”, I thought. It’s a disease we are talking about and scientific facts are needed.
Here we are !! Let’s see what CBD oil can do with your psoriasis!
What is Psoriasis?
For that little girl -I was years ago- the word psoriasis was associated with a “demon” who made her father suffer.
For this woman -today- psoriasis is an autoimmune disease.
An overactive immune system causes the cells of the skin to proliferate at a faster rate (up to ten times faster). Normally, the skin cells are replenished every 10 to 30 days while with psoriasis they are replaced every 3 to 4 days!
All those dead skin cells remain trapped and build upon and under the surface of the patient’s skin forming itchy and, often, painful scales and patches.
The severity of the disease is determined by how much of the body surface it affects.
In a mild condition, less than 3% of the body is affected while moderate psoriasis symptoms can be seen in up to 10% percent of the body. More than 10% of the body is covered by large, thick plaques in cases of severe psoriasis.
According to statistics, 125 million people worldwide (more than 8 million of them are Americans) suffer from the disease. Patients report that the quality of their life is negatively affected by the disease, so don’t think it’s, just, an esthetic issue.
Remember that psoriasis
- is non-contagious!!!
- is a hereditary condition but it may skip generations.
- is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune skin disease.
- typically appears on elbows, knees or scalp (it can develop on other areas your body though)
- can get better and worse spontaneously. Sometimes, outbreaks can be triggered by environmental and psychological factors.
- is linked with the increased possibility of psoriasis sufferers to develop psoriatic arthritis, lymphomas or cardiovascular disease
- is not curable (I was right! The “demon” can’t be killed…)
What is CBD oil
CBD (CannaBiDiol) is the second most prevalent and naturally occurring phytocannabinoid that exists in the cannabis sativa plant.
It is a natural, safe, non-addictive and non-intoxicating substance.
Mounting scientific studies have shown its potential benefits to numerous ailments and health issues of humans and animals.
The cannabinoid is extracted from special cannabis varieties which contain large amounts of CBD and which have been produced in cultivation by selective breeding.
CBD itself is not an oil. As soon as it gets removed from the plant, it is mixed with a carrier oil. This is done so it can be absorbed more efficiently by your system.
So, the CBD oil, you find in the market, is a solution that contains various amounts of Cannabidiol, terpenes and other natural substances. (Manufactures indicate the amount of CBD existing in every product. The higher the number in mg the more potent and efficient the product).
The Endocannabinoid System and Psoriasis
Trust me when I tell you that, perhaps now, YOU know more about your ECS than your own doctor! According to a 2013 survey, only 13% of the medical schools in the US have included the ECS in their curriculum and teach it to their students.
I won’t stop repeating that the ECS is considered, possibly, the most crucial physiologic system in your body. It is associated with your immune system and is responsible for the
- maintenance of your health as well as the
- regulation and
- promotion of homeostasis (=balance) in your system.
It has been found that your ECS plays play a role in many ailments and a Clinical Endocannabinoid System Deficiency Syndrome may be the root cause of lots of diseases.
It has, recently, been discovered existing in your skin. So, it can be associated with potential treatments of various skin disorders.
Psoriasis and the mechanism behind it involve the ECS because of the role that the patient’s immune system plays in the manifestation of the disease.
The ECS controls the homeostasis, reproduction, differentiation, tolerance, and destruction of your skin cells.
The biochemical mechanisms, through which all kind of cannabinoids (endogenous, herbal or synthetic ones) bind to the receptors in your immune system, form the “shield” your body uses to defend your skin.
The following four actions can describe this defensive strategy
- cell apoptosis (=planned cell death)
- inhibition of cell proliferation
- suppression of cytokine production (cytokines are the principal inflammatory chemical signals released by immune cells upon distress)
- reduction of leukocytes. (=white blood cells. A high number of leukocytes is frequently a sign of an inflammatory response)
This lab-confirmed strategy proves that the ECS is connected to the prevention or the facilitation of the development of skin disorders.
CBD and Psoriasis
The excessive and rapid proliferation and replenishment of skin cells is the source of psoriasis. Since the ECS is connected to this abnormal process, scientists conclude that the use of cannabidiol can help with such conditions.
CBD can help alleviate psoriasis symptoms in multiple ways thanks to its distinct characteristics and properties:
Modulating your Immune System
A 2008 study, reports that CBD has the ability to interact with the ECS and to modulate particular functions of your immune system. The study states that CBD can manage the deregulation of Nuclear Factor of Activated T-cells (NFAT) and suppress cytokine production.
Such a finding is important to people who have to live with the negative consequences of an overly active immune system on their skin.
As I have, already, mentioned, psoriasis is an inflammatory disease. The early maturation and death of skin cells that lead to pain and tissue damage are caused by inflammation in the layer of your skin called dermis.
One of the most important studies, regarding the action that CBD exerts on skin inflammation, has shown that it has strong anti-acne effects. Cannabidiol has been found to slow down irregular lipidic generation under the skin, to suppress cell multiplication, and to inhibit the increase of cytokine levels which leads to inflammation.
Your system induces inflammation and irritation in an infected area of your body for two reasons: First of all, to deal with the aforementioned infection and, secondly, to alert you of its presence. It’s similar to the way your body warns you of a virus attack by increasing its temperature!
A 2006 study has reported that this natural process of inflammation inducement is decreased by the signaling of the adenosine receptor (A2A). Guess who signals the receptors… Yes, you guessed right: our dear cannabinoid, CBD!
There is more!
Restoring Balance in your System
Scientific research has associated the lack of endocannabinoid balance with the development of both minor and severe skin disorders. (Always remember the word homeostasis! )
Endocannabinoid signaling has been shown to have a role in the control of epidermal physiology, whereby anandamide is able to regulate the expression of skin differentiation genes through DNA methylation. The phytocannabinoids cannabidiol and cannabigerol are transcriptional repressors that can control cell proliferation and differentiation. This indicates that they (especially cannabidiol) have the potential to be lead compounds for the development of novel therapeutics for skin diseases.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3791996/
The above findings confirm a less recent study, according to which, cannabinoids inhibit keratinocyte proliferation and therefore can play a significant role in the treatment of psoriasis.
A lot of psoriasis sufferers (my father included) experience and report pain caused by the itchy patches on their skin.
The ability of CBD to manage persistent pain has been investigated and confirmed by science. The fact that it’s a natural substance with few and non-adverse side effects makes it the perfect alternative to painkillers to help you come with the discomfort caused by psoriasis.
How Will your Skin Benefit from CBD?
The studies I mentioned have demonstrated the immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.
Immunosuppressive because it can dampen the body’s immune reaction, an activity vital to psoriasis since it is linked with an overactive immune system.
Anti-inflammatory because it has the ability to suppress inflammation by reducing cytokines.
In the topical level, you can use CBD infused products that can be applied on your skin, such as balms, creams, lotions or salves.
The presence of cannabinoid receptors in your skin cells means it is possible to treat psoriasis in two levels: topical and systemic.
In the systemic level, you can ingest the cannabidiol that is found in CBD oil and edible products such as CBD infused gummies. You can also vape CBD oil. (Warning: recreational use of cannabis -yes, it’s the joints I’m talking about- will worsen your psoriasis!)
In my father’s case, I chose a product containing 1500 mg of CBD by Endoca. I didn’t use a CBD tincture or CBD oil for a simple reason: he is on blood thinning drugs and I can’t regulate his drug’s dosage -you see I am not a doctor. So, in case you are on any prescribed medication, consult your trusted physician.
You should know that the outcome of the treatment depends on the quality of the product you use and the severity of your condition.
A lot of people report that they have seen amazing improvement -some even say they saw their patches disappear! Others claim that they have experienced a significant decrease in the inflammation and far less itching.
People, who haven’t seen any improvement, report using a product with too low concentration in CBD.
Form an Anti-Psoriasis Alliance
It would be a strategic move to form a powerful alliance and use it in the battle against psoriasis.
Cold-pressed hemp seed oil might be a potent ally to CBD oil because it has similar properties according to science
- It is immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory
- It can slow down skin cell growth.
- It can decrease psoriasis patches.
Scientists have found that some psoriasis sufferers have a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids.
Hemp oil is packed with omega 3 and other essential fatty acids which can fight inflammatory skin conditions, such as psoriasis.
You could include hemp seeds or hemp seed oil in your diet to fully exploit the power of this supplement.
Final Thoughts About CBD for Psoriasis
Even though I am not a psoriasis patient, I’ve lived the frustration, embarrassment, discomfort and the suffering it causes through my father.
We used to choose the less crowded beach in summer because he didn’t want people to look at him disgusted by the condition of his skin. For the same reason, I don’t remember him wearing short-sleeved shirts or shorts even when the temperature hit high degrees!
I remember my mother struggling with the “snow-like” flakes and vacuuming-continuously. I can still hear her complaining about the mess-continuously!!!
I remember kids laughing at my father and me for being his daughter because of the looks of his skin. How many of them avoided him fearing of being infected? Too many…
For those of you facing the same problems, the news is good!
Thanks to nature and science, there is hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, isn’t there?
You know that CBD can offer you its services to deal with the inflammation, the itching, and the pain, psoriasis causes. You know that cannabidiol can interact with your Endocannabinoid System to regulate your skin cells replication and renewal process.
CBD oil may help you combat both the symptoms and the root cause of psoriasis.
Close your eyes and imagine:
Imagine a life where the symptoms of psoriasis are alleviated.
Imagine a life without itching, bleeding, swelling.
Imagine yourself in shorts, mini skirts, short-sleeved shirts!
Imagine yourself living without embarrassment and suffering.
Stop imagining! Take action NOW!!!
If you have any questions or want to share any personal experience, please, leave a comment below.
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DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided is not meant to alleviate or cure any disease or disorder. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider for any medical condition.