In continued observation of Psoriasis Awareness Month, today ECHO investigates the findings of a study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science that examines whether plant-derived cannabinoids can play a role in the treatment of psoriasis.
Affecting approximately 7.5 million people in the United States, psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the immune system that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. Psoriasis speeds up the life cycle of skin cells (keratinocytes), causing cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. Skin cells can multiply up to 10 times faster than normal.
In the study, researchers from Nottingham University in the United Kingdom tested four different plant cannabinoids on their abilities to inhibit the rapid keratinocyte proliferation caused by psoriasis. In a laboratory, cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabigerol (CBG) were all tested. All four showed to be effective.
“The cannabinoids tested all inhibited keratinocyte proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner,” the researchers concluded in the study.
The investigators also found that the mechanism of the cannabinoids’ efficacy for inhibiting the buildup of skin cells was something other than their interaction with the endocannabinoid system’s cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2).
The study concludes: “The results indicate that while [cannabinoid receptors] may have a circumstantial role in keratinocyte proliferation, they do not contribute significantly to this process.”
The researchers were unable to determine the mechanism at which the four cannabinoids were able to treat psoriasis.
Previous studies have found that cannabinoids stimulate an anti-inflammatory response that are beneficial for managing autoimmune diseases like psoriasis through their interactions with CB2 receptors. Just a few months ago, researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus found that applying topical cannabinoids to be effective at treating an array of skin conditions, including psoriasis.
Treating psoriasis is important beyond skin appearance. The disorder can cause nails to crumble or detach from the nail bed, and can be associated with depression, heart disease, and psoriatic arthritis that leads to pain and swelling in the joints.
You may also be interested in these related articles:
- The Topical Benefits of CBD
- How to Take CBD Oil: Ingestion, Sublingual, Topical and Inhalation Options