Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the United States. It affects 7.5 million Americans or approximately 2.2 percent of the country’s population. The disease, which can develop at any age, can cause uncomfortable symptoms and negatively impact the quality of life.
Currently, there isn’t a cure for psoriasis. Traditional treatment focuses on managing your symptoms by avoiding triggers that cause flare-ups. These triggers, which are different for everyone, may include things like stress, dry weather, sunshine, and certain foods.
Treatment also involves a combination of topical prescription creams, oral medication, and light therapy. But like most prescription drugs, these medications aren’t without their faults. They’re known to cause side effects like nausea, diarrhea, osteoporosis, and unwanted hair growth. Some drugs can also suppress your immune system and increase your risk of infections.
This is where cannabis topicals come in. According to anecdotal stories and scientific studies, marijuana-infused topicals may have a role in psoriasis management. Plus, as a more natural option, topicals like oils and creams aren’t known to cause unpleasant side effects.
So, can cannabis topicals offer psoriasis relief? Here’s what we know so far.
Psoriasis is a skin condition caused by rapid skin cell growth.
First, let’s look at how psoriasis affects the body.
As an autoimmune disease, psoriasis is caused by a problem with the immune system. Specifically, it involves white blood cells called T cells. These cells are in charge of making skin cells, healing wounds, and keeping your skin healthy.
In psoriasis, T cells overreact. This speeds up the growth of keratinocytes, the most common type of cells in the skin. As a result, keratinocytes rise up to the top of your skin within a few days, a process that usually takes about a month.
This speedy skin cell growth causes inflammation, soreness, and itchiness. It also leads to thick patches of skin with redness and silvery-white scales. These symptoms can show up anywhere on the body, but they often affect the scalp, face, elbows, palms, lower back, legs, knees, and soles of the feet.
People with psoriasis have reported relief from cannabis topicals.
Last December, CannabisNow wrote about Melissa Hallbeck of Chicago, Illinois. Her husband, who has psoriasis, was struggling to find a treatment that worked. His symptoms were so uncomfortable that he couldn’t give their 1-year-old son a bath.
That’s when Hallbeck decided to give her husband topical cannabis oil. Allegedly, his skin practically cleared up just one week later. “It was unbelievable,” Hallbeck told cannabis now.
From inflammation to skin cell growth, cannabis may be able to control multiple aspects of psoriasis.
The therapeutic effects of cannabis aren’t limited to Hallbeck’s story. Its potential to manage psoriasis have caught the attention of scientists, too.
In 2013, Peerj published a study on cannabis’ influence on keratinocytes. The researchers, who discovered that cannabinoid receptors can slow down keratinocyte growth, stated that cannabis “could win a place in future psoriasis management.”
Meanwhile, a 2016 study in Current Clinical Pharmacology looked at how cannabis affects the immune system in psoriasis. The disease, after all, is thought to be rooted in the way the immune system and nervous system interact. But according to the article, cannabis may provide relief by changing this interaction.
And then there’s the link between cannabis and inflammation. A study in the journal Future Medicinal Chemistry shares that cannabinoids can specifically alleviate inflammatory responses triggered by overactive T cells. This effect suggests an amazing potential for psoriasis treatment.
While scientists don’t fully understand the link between cannabis topicals and psoriasis, the existing research is promising. Needless to say, we can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Want to learn more about cannabis topicals? Visit us at Desert Rose Dispensary.
Contrary to popular belief, medical cannabis isn’t limited to smoking or eating. Topical medications like marijuana-infused oils, creams, and ointments offer another way to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. These medications, which are applied directly on the skin, can help manage pain and discomfort from conditions like psoriasis.
All cannabis topicals are not equal, though. Each one has different health benefits based on its ingredients and processing method. That’s why our friendly staff is ready to help you find the right topical for your symptoms. We’re also happy to assess your questions, concerns, and everything in between.
If it’s your first time at Desert Rose Dispensary, we’d love to welcome you with our first-time patient deals. Our Phoenix dispensary is open every day of the week from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM. To take advantage of our “tax-free deal,” stop by from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM. You can also contact us at 623-516-7881.