Almost 2 million people in the UK suffer from psoriasis. A skin condition that is generally considered as an auto immune disease, which causes flaky, itchy and scaly build up of skin. In a healthy individual, skin cells are replaced every 28-30 days, but in someone suffering with psoriasis their skin cells are replaced every 3-5 days. This excessive and rapid growth is what causes the build up of red, scaly patches caused by an abnormality in the immune system. T cells, the type of cells found in the immune system, in psoriasis sufferers, will attack healthy skin cells at an increased rate. Inflammation present in the epidermal blood vessels also causes pain, swelling and skin irritation. Affected people usually suffer from “flare ups” often caused by stress, obesity, smoking and cold weather. Studies have also shown that depression is also a common trait in psoriasis sufferers. But how can CBD help Psoriasis?
What Is Psoriasis?
Unfortunately, as it’s an auto-immune condition there is currently no cure for psoriasis, and the condition will flare up from time to time, some sufferers may experience this more frequently than others. There are treatments available, topical treatments usually consisting of steroids in the form of creams, gels and ointments, but finding the right one for you can be a case of trial and error. With steroids there is the risk of eventually becoming resistant to the product, so preventing a relapse is not possible, and can also mean that sufferers could be faced with another search for a different medication should one stop working for them. Some sufferers find the treatments are altogether ineffective for their case, and leaves them sadly with nowhere to turn. However, lately there has been research into the potential benefits of CBD oil for psoriasis, with some people turning to it as a healthier alternative to steroid medications, or once they have tried other traditional routes. Today we’re looking at how CBD can help the symptoms of psoriasis.
As psoriasis is an abnormal immunity response and it induces inflammation, this is one of the reasons why CBD was first suggested that it may be able to help with the condition. CBD is what’s known as an immunomodulator, meaning it can help to regulate the immune response. One study mentioned the ability of cannabinoids’, including CBD, to suppress inflammation and angiogenesis (the process of forming new blood vessels). Psoriasis highly depends on these two processes. It has been found that there are cannabinoid receptors within skin cell layers, and also anandamide which is an important endocannabinoid made within the body and can inhibit skin cell differentiation.
How Can CBD Help Psoriasis?
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in multiple ways. It can bind to cannabinoid receptors directly, although this only happens at a weak level. But another, and perhaps more important way, that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system is by binding with the proteins that would normally break down cannabinoids made naturally in our bodies, including anandamide. This essentially blocks the break down of anandamide, which in turn increases the amount of anandamide in the body. This more effectively improves the function of the endocannabinoid system than CBD binding directly to the cannabinoid receptors, as it helps to achieve normal immune responses, and inhibit the uncontrolled skin cell reproduction.
As cases of depression are often present in psoriasis sufferers, it’s worth mentioning that CBD can also have a positive effect on depression. The ‘happy hormone’ in the body is called serotonin, and is responsible for controlling the body’s mood. When levels are normal, this can make the body calm with a happy state of mind, while low levels of serotonin are linked to depression and anxiety. CBD is able to interact with serotonin receptors, to help the body reach normal levels of serotonin, and therefore improve mood.
CBD’s multiple health benefits make it a popular alternative, natural supplement to help with the symptoms of psoriasis, and other conditions that are caused by an abnormal immune response and increased inflammation. Its immunomodulator and anti-inflammatory properties are the main reasons why CBD can be used for many different ailments, including psoriasis, and the early research has shown this. CBD’s ability to help with depression, which can be common in psoriasis sufferers, is another benefit and reason why so many people are starting to use it regularly, especially after they have tried the traditional treatment methods without much success. As with most research on CBD, there needs to be more to validate the promising early findings, but as CBD has been found safe to use in the vast majority of cases, people have turned to it with confidence and found positive results. If you’re interested in trying it, make sure you consult your doctor first.