By Emily Ledger
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most common cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant, and it is gaining quite the reputation in the health and wellness world. CBD is being assessed for its medicinal value in a wide range of areas. Current trials aim to add to the huge catalogue of anecdotal evidence regarding CBD as an effective therapeutic and medicinal treatment. But, can CBD treat psoriasis?
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common condition, in which the skin’s renewal cycle is accelerated. Although it is often described as a skin condition, psoriasis is actually a sign of chronic autoimmune disease. The cause of the condition is still unknown, however, it is known to be passed down from parents to children. It is also thought that poor diets and overexposure to the hormone cortisol, can make the condition worse.
The symptoms of psoriasis occur because of an accelerated cell growth cycle. Typically, a person’s skin cells will come off and renew about once a month. However, in people suffering from psoriasis, this is accelerated to around once every two weeks. Experts believe that this is due to a disorder of the auto-immune system, which causes the activation of the skin cell growth cycle, by mistake.
Psoriasis is most commonly characterised as eczema patches, most prevalent on the elbows and other joints, on nails, and on the scalp. Psoriasis is also highly associated with psoriatic arthritis, with around 30% of sufferers also developing this condition.
How can CBD help?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is perhaps most often quoted to be an effective anti-inflammatory, and supporter of the immune system. This gives the cannabinoid great relevance to the treatment of psoriasis.
CBD has been known to inhibit the growth of keratinosytes – cells that renew the epithelium, by producing new cells. The decrease in the production of new cells can prevent the build-up of surface skin cells. This can effectively reduce the occurrence of dry skin and flakes, widely associated with psoriasis.
Is there any evidence?
There is significant anecdotal and clinical evidence to support the use of CBD extracts for psoriasis treatment. One study found that cannabidiol’s inhibition of keratinocyte has potential therapeutic value, as it can prevent the overproduction of new skin cells.
Another study found that cannabinoids can control cell proliferation and differentiation. the authors of this study concluded that cannabidiol had the potential to be a lead compound for the development of therapeutics for skin diseases.