First, cannabis, like corticosteroids, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which are achieved by modulating cytokine production; In other words, cannabinoids like THC help the body regulate cytokine production during immune responses (cytokines are a class of substances secreted by the body’s immune system) 9 (Klein, 2005). That being said, new research shows that the therapeutic value of cannabis for psoriasis goes far beyond its anti-inflammatory effects.
While studying the effect of cannabinoids on keratinocyte proliferation in vitro (in a Petri dish or in a test tube) is certainly worthwhile and in many ways a revelation, it is not quite the same as testing cannabinoids in people who do have psoriasis. Luckily, we found one study that did just that.
The team recruited a group of 20 volunteers with severe skin conditions (five with active psoriasis, five with active atopic dermatitis, and ten with scars from old episodes of psoriasis or atopic dermatitis). They instructed their volunteers to apply CBD-based skincare ointment to the affected skin twice a day (once in the morning, once at night) for three months.
They used four different measurements to evaluate the results. The first was skin hydration and transepidermal water loss (TEWL: the amount of water that evaporates from the epidermis into the surrounding atmosphere over a period of time), the second was skin elasticity, and the third was photographic assessments at 30-day intervals. and the fourth were symptom assessments (including the Psoriasis Severity Index (PASI)). Hydration, TEWL and elasticity were tested on the patients’ forehead, left and right cheek (cheekbones), and on the left and right sides of the neck. The elasticity of the patients’ forearms was also tested as a control, since the elasticity of the forearms is relatively stable.
After three months of treatment, all measured parameters improved significantly in all patients. Hydration in various parts of the body increased by an average of 5.5-7%. The TEWL improved by 17.6-28.1 percent and the elasticity improved by 17.1-27.1 percent. PASI scores have also improved significantly12 (Laurino et. Al., 2019). In fact, the CBD cream worked wonders in all 20 patients. Although this is a fairly small sample size, 100% success across all dimensions is satisfactory.
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