Psoriasis evokes many feelings. There is that feeling of the person behind you in the checkout line burning a hole into your back, staring at your flare-up. Then there is the feeling of insufferable heat as you wear long sleeves during the height of summer just to spare the rest of the world the view of your scaly, patchy skin.
Psoriasis sufferers are all too familiar with the discomfort caused by the chronic skin condition. There’s no cure; instead, those afflicted by it combine all kinds of medications and methods to mask and alleviate the symptoms. From prescriptions to over-the-counter options, the drugs come with their fair share of side effects.
Natural remedies are a welcome alternative for patients. Among the many natural treatments and life-style changes, one new candidate offers high hope for psoriasis sufferers; CBD oil promises natural relief to the very itchy, painful affliction.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which causes the body to attack its own immune system for no apparent reason.
In self-defense mode, the immune cells produce an over-abundance of cytokines, proteins that dictate cell growth and maturation.
In the presence of an infection or other disease, the increased proliferation of cells aids in replacing “bad” cells. However, in the case of psoriasis, cytokines increase skin cell turnover for no real rhyme or reason, from the usual rate of every 28 to 30 days to the excessive rate of every 2 to 6 days. The result is a build-up of immature skin cells in the form of red patches and silvery scales.
Natural Psoriasis Relief
The good news about psoriasis is that it’s a non-communicable disease which, although exhausting to live with, is not life-threatening. Yet there is a need for way better news for those individuals afflicted by this incurable condition of constant flare-ups of unsightly skin patches and nerve-racking itch and pain.
Unfortunately, the diverse symptoms require a cocktail of various synthetic drugs, from anti-inflammatories and immunosuppressants to antipruritics and analgesics, which can produce a whole gamut of new undesirable side effects.
Natural remedies, on the other hand, seem to provide substantial relief without unpleasant side effects.
Acupuncture allays the pain for some patients. Others ease their aches and itches by practicing meditation, yoga or some type of low-impact exercise which can tune the mind away from the symptoms. A change in diet and regular salt baths also can provide respite from itchiness and discomfort. Yet, among all of the nature-based therapies, there is only one which can often single-handedly soothe the various obstacles brought on by psoriasis. Its name is Cannabidiol (CBD) oil.
Cannabidiol and Psoriasis
CBD oil is a natural extract from the cannabis plant. In order to avoid the psychotropic characteristics associated with the infamous plant, manufacturers extract CBD oil from industrially grown cannabis, otherwise known as “hemp.” This version of the plant is specifically cultivated to contain only negligible amounts of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The end product is CBD, a natural, non-psychotropic compound capable of diminishing the whole scope of symptoms associated with psoriasis.
CBD oil has been hailed as everything from analgesic to anti-inflammatory, with its anticonvulsant properties earning it fame among researchers of childhood epilepsy; yet those same researchers are just beginning to figure out how this single compound can create such a multitude of benefits.
System of Interactions
CBD is part of a group of over 100 compounds called cannabinoids. Some of them occur naturally within the human body. It makes sense, then, that the body also has an entire system devoted to interacting with these compounds. This network is called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and is closely related to the immune and nervous systems.
Picture the ECS as a network of wires intricately intertwined with the body’s nervous and immune systems. At the end of the wires are receptor sites where a lot of interactions take place. Cannabinoids have varying relations with the different receptors; while some cannabinoids are agonists that give a “green light” to the receptor to carry out a job, others are antagonists that hold up a “red light” to block the receptor from carrying out an action.
Inverse agonists are cannabinoids that tell receptors to take action in the opposing direction. Modulators simply increase or decrease the efficacy of the receptor’s interactions.
When a person who is genetically predisposed to psoriasis is confronted by environmental stressors, their immune system receives a false alarm and treats the skin as if it were damaged. In response to the perceived threat, skin cells become inclined to prematurely renew themselves every 2 to 6 days, consequently stacking an abundance of immature cells on top of each other. The unsightly skin, pain and itch are just symptoms caused by the main culprit: miscommunication.
Researchers are beginning to uncover the extent of the interplay among the receptors and cannabinoids. CBD’s manifold talents seem to be attributable to one key factor: its diverse interactions with the different receptors.
CBD seems to restore order by turning down a switch here, turning up the volume there, switching things off and on; whatever necessary to bring the system into a state of equilibrium and balance.
In the presence of psoriasis and its excessive cell turnover, CBD somehow signals the endocannabinoid receptors to slow the production of cytokines, which then restores optimal cell growth levels. Once cell maturation is back on track, with renewal every 28 to 30 days, the red patches subside, taking all secondary symptoms with them.
Best CBD Oil for Psoriasis
While CBD oil is a one-stop solution, there is more than one way to get your share. If you have psoriasis, you’ll be pleased to see you can buy CBD oil as everything from topical creams to edibles and pure CBD concentrates. They’re all effective, it’s just a matter of personal preference and experimentation to see what your skin responds the best to.
Generally, CBD oil taken orally will build up in your system. It takes effect gradually, but can render long term benefits with continued, regular consumption. Your choices include everything from capsules and softgels to sublingual drops and delicious gummies.
If your skin requires a more immediate solution, you have a whole collection of topical ointments at your disposal. Look for products with only natural ingredients to avoid further skin irritation. Abinoid Botanicals offers an all natural, deep healing CBD salve and moisturizing lotion with zero filler ingredients such as parabens. Just like you don’t want to eat empty calories, your skin does not want empty ingredients which are likely to exacerbate your condition. Also be sure that your ointment provides a sufficient concentration of CBD oil.
Abinoid Botanicals’ salve contains a potent 150mg of CBD and the pump lotion contains 250mg of CBD. Charlotte’s Web has also developed skincare products that are getting a lot of positive feedback.
Whichever delivery method you choose, your skin will thank you for soothing it, naturally, with the power of CBD.