Medical cannabis is once again gaining its rightful place and being recognized for the therapeutic properties that it offers. However, skin conditions typically aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when somebody thinks about what conditions may be helped by medical cannabis. Millions of individuals around the world suffer from a wide range of different skin conditions, many of which may be benefited from cannabinoid therapies. Let’s explore how skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne, and eczema may be relieved through medical cannabis.
What Skin Conditions May Medical Cannabis Help?
Psoriasis is an immune-mediated skin condition that causes the body to produce new skin cells more swiftly than normal. This leads to patches of silvery scales and thick red skin on areas of the body such as the elbows, knees, and scalp. Psoriasis causes irritation and itchiness that can also become severely painful. It is estimated that 7.4 million people in the United States alone are affected by psoriasis.
Acne is the most prevalent skin condition suffered by people of all ages. This condition occurs when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil, which causes blackheads, pimples, or whiteheads. This can lead to not only emotional distress but also insecurities, scarred skin, and more. It is estimated that acne affects up to 50 million Americans annually.
Eczema is an inflammatory-related skin condition that leads to severe redness, rashes, blisters, crusting, dry, scaly patches of skin, and severe itching. The symptoms can also lead to decreased self-esteem, mental health challenges, and difficulty sleeping, among other things. It is estimated that as many as 15 million Americans may be living with eczema.
What Benefits Does Medical Cannabis Offer Skin Conditions?
According to Dermatology Times, CBD may help to improve moisture retention in the skin. Additionally, a 2017 study published on PubMed researchers found that CBD may help to promote oil production in the skin, which can, in return, potentially help to manage moisture issues as well as manage severe dry skin. Like CBD, CBG has also been shown to help promote moisture retention in the skin.
Prevent Collagen Loss
A study from 2015 published on PubMed concluded that CBD might hold the ability to slow the process of collagen loss in the skin, which could, in return, help to improve the firmness and elasticity of the skin.
A 2016 research article published on PubMed suggests that CBD possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to reduce inflammation naturally. This is highly beneficial for skin conditions as many of them are caused by underlying inflammatory issues.
CBG has been found to have a strong binding affinity to CB2 receptors throughout the endocannabinoid system. Within the skin, these receptors are found within hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and the epidermis. CB2 receptors work directly with inflammation in the body, and seeing how CBG has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties; this cannabinoid could help to fight the root of almost every major skin condition and disease.
A 2014 study found that the use of CBD topically prevented human sebocyte cells from creating too much oily sebum, which is the underlying cause of acne. Additionally, in the same study, CBD oil triggered an inflammatory reaction preventing inflammatory cytokines from activating, which may help to reduce acne breakouts.
In this 2016 study, cannabinoids were found to offer antibacterial and antifungal properties for the skin, which could help to reduce infections caused by pollutants that the skin is exposed to.
Those with psoriasis often experience discomfort, psoriatic arthritis, and even effects on their mental health. A 2013 study found that cannabinoids may also have the ability to control and limit the creation of immature skin cells, which are found in abundance with those suffering from psoriasis. Additionally, cannabinoids have been found to help control pain which may offer relief from the discomfort often felt by psoriasis patients.
According to nationaleczema.org, “It has long been observed that cannabinoids possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-itch qualities, but not until recently as high-quality research been published to understand the physiological effects underlying these anecdotal reports.” These properties that are commonly offered by cannabinoids could offer relief for eczema patients.
What are the Skincare Experts Saying About Medical Cannabis for Skin Conditions?
According to Dr. Nima Gharavi, dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon at the Cedars-Sinai Cosmetic Dermatology Program,
“CBD may play a role in hydrating the skin and have anti-inflammatory effects, so using a product that contains CBD might help with treating dry skin or certain inflammatory skin disorders. Right now, the way we treat eczema, psoriasis, and most inflammatory conditions of the skin is through the use of anti-inflammatory agents, the most common being topical corticosteroids. Topical steroids, however, have potential side effects, particularly on thin skin found around the eyes, in the armpit area, or the groin. If CBD can produce the same anti-inflammatory effect as a steroid without the potentially negative side effects, then the use of CBD could be an encouraging new method to treat these skin conditions.”
Licensed esthetician and founder of cannabis skin care product line Potency No. 710, Mandy Lile, has found cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG to be of great benefit in her plant-based skin care formulations. According to Mandy, some of the greatest transformations that she is seeing with cannabinoid-based skin care products in her clientele range from relieving sunburns and helping fight hormonal acne to providing major skin transformations for those with burns, rashes, and severe forms of psoriasis and eczema.
“It truly wows me every time I wake up to before and after photos of what these products are doing for people! I have been an aesthetician for over 20 years and have worked with a variety of plant-based ingredients, but I have never seen anything with the superpowers that people are experiencing when utilizing products with cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG.”
Do Skin Conditions Qualify For Medical Cannabis?
Unfortunately, in most states, the qualifying conditions lists in order to become a medical cannabis patient do not include skin conditions specifically such as acne, psoriasis, or eczema. However, in some states, they do, such as Connecticut, where both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are qualifying conditions. In other states, however, if you are a medical cannabis patient and happen to suffer from skin conditions, this is yet another way that medical cannabis may be able to be utilized to help you eliminate the need for over-the-counter and pharmaceutical products. In the event that you are not in a state where medical cannabis is legal, there are over-the-counter hemp-derived skin care formulations that also offer the potent powers of cannabinoids such as CBG and CBD. Want to get started on your path to becoming a medical cannabis patient? If so, schedule your appointment today to receive your medical marijuana recommendation!
Disclaimer: The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this article is for informational purposes only. No material from this article is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new health care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.