What is psoriasis?
According to one study, the prevalence of psoriasis in Germany is estimated at 2,000,000 cases.
Psoriasis is one of the most persistent and unpredictable skin irritations and is considered an autoimmune disease due to genetic predisposition. T-cells (responsible for attacking and eliminating external agents) are wrongly activated and cause a cascade of metabolic activities that mainly affect skin cells.
In response to this mode of action, psoriasis is characterised by very rapid multiplication of skin cells as a counterbalancing mechanism against these T cells’ attack. After the cells have ceased their vital functions, the skin cell patches produce redness and whitish elements in the form of scales, which can cause these symptoms during periods of low temperatures, when the immune system is going through a phase of adaptation to the external environment, or in patients on certain types of medication such as aggravated non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Common symptoms of psoriasis :
- Reddish patches on the skin
- Accumulation of ‘scales’.
- Fragile skin that tends to break and bleed
- Irritation, tingling, pain
It is common to find this irritation in areas such as the knees, skull and elbows, but it can also affect the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and trunk.
The disease is not contagious, but unfortunately there is no known method of curing it. Treatments are based on the study of symptoms, which means that different people will have different treatments. These include steroid creams, vitamins and drugs that suppress the immune system. Fortunately, there is now a potential ally for psoriasis patients in a familiar but innovative approach: CBD cream.
A CBD cream for topical treatment?
Compounds extracted from cannabis sativa plants are used to treat a wide variety of diseases (Parkinson’s, diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.), cannabidiol being one of the most promising compounds.
Cannabidiol in topical treatment in the form of CBD cream has the potential to reduce inflammation and promote cell regeneration and reduce unwanted immune system activity, clear inflamed pores, and soften the skin.
As is now known and accepted, one of the main functions of CBD is the coupling to endogenous cannabinoid receptors in our bodies. After this coupling, a cascade of metabolic effects occurs, among which is tissue anti-inflammatory activity. Thanks to the fact that CBD is a molecule that is easily absorbed through the skin, and even better absorbed by sublingual application (CBD oil), this molecule has proven to be a potential ally against the common symptoms of this disease. Among other advantages, CBD has no toxicity or signs of possible overdose.
Finally, this cannabinoid has antioxidant properties and some protection against UV rays, making the benefits of CBD ideal for those with skin problems.
Among the most studied uses of CBD are:
- An anti-inflammatory effect
- To some extent, helps regulate the immune system
- Improves appetite
- Helps to reduce blood sugar levels
CBD and psoriasis
Interesting research suggests that CBD may slow down the growth of immature skin cells, thus avoiding the overlap that leads to the formation of scales in different areas of the skin.
Among the many cannabinoid research groups, there is one led by Dr Mechoulam in Israel, whose government introduced a “national plan” for medicinal cannabis a few months ago. This ambitious initiative has prompted researchers and doctors and the general public to show increased interest in these active ingredients and the great therapeutic potential associated with them.
As a result, countries, organisations and study centres have followed suit. One of the most recent cases comes from Colombia, which has legalised the use of cannabis for patient treatment and specialised research. In Spain, one of the most experienced and respected researchers in this field has received his Ph. Manuel Guzmán, from the Complutense University of Madrid, conducted the first clinical study on terminal cancer patients and its effects cannabinoids, with very encouraging results.
As we are now seeing, the potential of CBD can not only help treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and reduce psoriasis/redness; there is acute evidence that it can help treat chronic and acute diseases such as cancer, arthritis and epilepsy.