In addition to helping to treat skin itching and irritation, CBD may also help psoriasis patients control pain and reduce inflammation.
Another very small study of psoriasis patients conducted in 2019 is equally compelling. The study was led by researchers in Italy and showed that applying topical CBD-enriched ointment on psoriatic skin did help to reduce psoriasis symptoms.
“The effects of cannabis are relatively weak compared to topical steroids like hydrocortisone,” says Dr. Tishler. “In short, at this time I would not recommend any topical cannabis or CBD products to treat a serious illness like psoriasis.”
What we need to learn about how CBD might work
“For dermatological issues such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema, I’ve found CBD to be very effective at decreasing the flare-ups, irritation, and discomfort my patients experience,” he tells Health. “Depending on the severity of the disease, I will use either topical creams or a combination of topical and systemic treatments.”
This isn’t to say that CBD oil shouldn’t be considered as an additional treatment option for psoriasis patients who experience plaque psoriasis—which causes dry, raised, and red skin lesions (or plaques) covered with silvery scales on body areas such as the back of the elbows, over the kneecaps, and on the lower back.
How CBD might improve daily life
“However, while these studies are generally encouraging, they’re nowhere near conclusive,” Dr. Tishler tells Health.
“We know that cannabinoids like CBD can reduce inflammation and pain,” David Casarett, MD, chief of palliative care at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, tells Health. “Again, what we’re seeing right now is that most of the evidence is circumstantial but promising.”
Although CBD is generally safe, the industry is poorly regulated. When you are looking for a product that meets your needs, there are a few key factors to consider.
There is limited research into CBD’s effectiveness at treating psoriasis, but its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties are well documented. Anecdotally, some people have found that CBD helps them manage their psoriasis symptoms.
Some common psoriasis triggers include:
Stress can cause psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis to flare up. People with PsA may find CBD helps reduce anxiety and prevent flares in addition to decreasing pain and inflammation in the joints.
How long does it take to feel the effects of CBD for PsA?
Cannabis plants contain chemicals called cannabinoids. The two major cannabinoids are:
Approximately one in four people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. Some will develop symptoms of PsA slowly over time, and others will experience the onset of severe symptoms quickly.
CBD is being studied as a treatment for many conditions, including psoriatic arthritis, but research supporting its effectiveness is still limited. There is research demonstrating that CBD can effectively manage and reduce pain, however, so it might help some people with PsA.
How Much to Use
Follow the recommended usage guidelines on the products that you are using. You may want to slowly increase the amount that you use until you feel that you’ve reached the right dosage for symptom relief.
There is not enough research to determine which form of CBD is best for treating psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. You might want to try different forms and types to determine which works best for you.