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CBD Oil for Psoriasis: Does It Help, Best Products, & How to Use

Psoriasis — Latin name: Psoriasis Vulgaris — is a chronic autoimmune condition characterized by the inflammation of the skin and an accelerated cycle of skin cell growth.

Healthy individuals without psoriasis have mature skin cells on the surface of their skin about once a month, making space for new cells. People with psoriasis, on the other hand, see these skin cells coming off and changing once every other week.

The stimulated cell division is a consequence of a hyperactive immune system that is sending signals about skin cells infection, leading to their excessive growth.

CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. These effects have been broadly described in the scientific literature. It can also reduce anxiety, help with insomnia and digestive problems.

Not only can humans benefit from CBD oil, but your lovely pets can also take it to improve their wellbeing.

But, can it treat psoriasis?

Are there any studies that have investigated the effects of CBD oil on psoriasis patients?

Continue reading to find out, and if you’re in a hurry, below, we present the best CBD products for people with psoriasis based on the research from our team and user reviews.

CBD Oil for Psoriasis: Best Products in 2020

1. Royal CBD (Editor’s Choice)

royal cbd oil 2500mg bottle

Product Details

Pros Cons
  • Made from locally grown organic hemp
  • Extracted with supercritical CO2
  • Infused with full-spectrum CBD
  • Available in 4 strengths and flavors
  • Up to 2500 mg of CBD per bottle
  • 3rd-party tested for potency and purity
  • Great natural flavor
  • Not available in local CBD stores (this may soon change)
  • No vapes in its product line up

Why we recommend Royal CBD oil for psoriasis

Royal CBD offers a great product choice for people with psoriasis. The company makes full-spectrum CBD oils from organic hemp on top of other forms such as softgel capsules, THC-free gummies, and broad-spectrum topicals. The CBD in Royal CBD oil comes from organic hemp plants and is processed under supercritical CO2 in the company’s state-of-the-art facility. The oil features the full-spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes, allowing your body to get better results with CBD than it would with isolates. If you’re looking for the best CBD products for psoriasis, we recommend Royal CBD Oil 2500 mg and their warming salve to target the problem directly and moisturize the affected skin. All of Royal CBD’s products are third-party tested for potency and purity.

2. Gold Bee (Best Organic)

goldbee cbd oil 1200mg on a white background

Product Details:

Pros Cons
  • Sourced from US-grown organic hemp
  • Contains full-spectrum CBD
  • Up to 33 mg CBD/mL
  • Great potency range for beginners
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • Great honey flavor
  • No high-strength CBD oils

Why we recommend Gold Bee CBD oil for psoriasis

Our runner-up company makes unique CBD oils that have a delicious honey flavor. This is hands down the best-tasting CBD oils we have taken so far. The guys at Gold Bee have created their blend of organic CBD-rich plants by partnering with farmers from Colorado.

Gold Bee sells CBD oil in three potency options: 300 mg, 600 mg, and 1200 mg of CBD per bottle. Similar to Royal CBD, these are full-spectrum oils, so you’re getting the synergistic effects from other cannabinoids and terpenes. Research has pointed out that full-spectrum CBD is more effective at easing pain and inflammation than CBD isolate, so these are very decent products if you’re looking for something to manage your psoriasis symptoms.

3. CBDistillery (Runner Up)

cbdistillery cbd oil 250mg on a white background

Product Details

Pros Cons
  • Available as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD
  • Extracted with CO2
  • 5 potency options to choose from
  • Up to 166.6 mg of CBD per bottle
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • Very affordable
  • Made from non-organic hemp
  • No flavored options

Why we recommend CBDistillery CBD oil for psoriasis

CBDistillery offers an outstanding product selection — available as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD (pure oil). The brand is also known for promoting education its customers under the hashtag #CBDMOVEMENT.

One of the great things about this brand is the potency range of its oils. CBDistillery has virtually every strength, from 250 mg to a massive 5000 mg of total CBD. At 166 mg of CBD per milliliter, the strongest bottle provides enough CBD to get you supplied for months to come. It can also help you if your psoriasis symptoms become more severe.

CBDistillery is one of the most affordable brands on the market, with prices starting at $20 per bottle of CBD oil (250 mg).

4. CBD Pure (Good Value)

cbdpure cbd oil 300mg bottle on white background

Product Details

Pros Cons
  • Sourced from organic Colorado-grown hemp
  • Extracted with supercritical CO2
  • Lab-tested for potency and purity
  • 90-day return policy
  • Low potency
  • Premium pricing

Why we recommend CBD Pure CBD oil for psoriasis

CBDPure is the best company for those with psoriasis who are going to use CBD oil for the first time. The potency of these oils is great for beginners, starting at 100 mg of CBD per bottle, which provides 3.3 mg of CBD in every milliliter. CBDPure has recently expanded its collection with a 1000 mg concentration to cater to users who have some experience with CBD but don’t need more than 30mg of CBD in their routine.

CBDPure’s products are made for mild-to-moderate symptoms of psoriasis, so if you’re looking for something more potent, we recommend that you choose something from the two above brands. Still, you won’t be disappointed with the quality of its CBD oil.

5. Charlotte’s Web (Best Variety)

charlotte's web cbd oil 50mg per 1 ml bottle on white background

Product details

Pros Cons
  • Sourced from U.S.-grown hemp
  • Third-party tested for quality
  • Broad selection of products
  • Well-known brand
  • Veteran discount
  • Non-organic hemp
  • Olive oil extraction

Why we recommend Charlotte’s Web CBD oil for psoriasis

Charlotte’s Web is one of the most popular brands in the CBD business. The founders of Charlotte’s Web, the Stanley brothers, are the guys responsible for the CBD rush. Having introduced the anti-seizure properties of CBD oil to a broader public by helping a young girl named Charlotte Figi, the company now has a vast selection of products, including CBD oils, gummies, topicals, and capsules. Unlike other brands from our list of the best CBD oils for psoriasis, Charlotte’s Web utilizes olive oil extraction, which is kind of an old-school method of making CBD oils.

Does CBD Oil Help with Psoriasis?

type of psoriasis

There is no cure for psoriasis. Scientists are trying to figure out what exactly causes the immune system to signal the excess production of skin cells, so it’s difficult to address the root of the disease.

Cannabis experts speculate that the endocannabinoid system (ECS), our prime regulatory network that corresponds with cannabis compounds (cannabinoids), is involved in this dysfunction.

We have only started to scratch the surface of the unbridled therapeutic potential of cannabinoids such as CBD and THC.

CBD is the modulator of the endocannabinoid system — meaning it can optimize its functioning by a series of indirect interactions with the cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2.

Although research on CBD and psoriasis is limited, studies have shown that the activation of the endocannabinoid system reduces inflammation in the body through a series of mechanisms, such as changing proinflammatory response to an anti-inflammatory one.

The endocannabinoid system also regulates keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation, which are pathologically elevated in psoriasis.

What we know so far about CBD, the endocannabinoid system, and psoriasis

  • CBD blocks specific pro-inflammatory pathways in BV-2 microglial cells (1).
  • CB2r deficiency leads to an increased acute inflammatory response. CBD is the agonist of CB2r, stimulating its activity, and reversing the inflammatory response (2).
  • One clinical study that investigated the efficacy of an organic skin ointment infused with CBD concluded that the application of this product for three months was highly efficient in patients with psoriasis. The authors of the study underlined the need for larger clinical studies to further confirm their findings (3).

Research on CBD for Psoriasis Symptoms

There is a clear link between the activation of the endocannabinoid system by CBD and improvements in psoriasis patients. Of course, we are limited when it comes to the amount of research, but the preclinical findings and studies on animals show promising results.

In this section, we’ll focus on the efficacy of CBD in the management of psoriasis symptoms.

Stops Excessive Skin Cell Growth

In a 2007 study, researchers suggested that cannabinoids can treat psoriasis by slowing down the buildup of skin cells (4).

A 2017 study discovered that a synthetic cannabinoid, JWH-133, might be effective at treating psoriasis, although human trials are needed to evaluate these findings (5).

A more recent study published in 2019 concluded that CBD could be able to treat psoriasis, but again, more research is needed before we can draw definitive conclusions (6).

Produces Anti-Inflammatory Effects

CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory, and as a recent study suggests, cannabinoids are engaged in inflammatory skin conditions and might be able to treat them (7). Cannabis compounds were also called “novel anti-inflammatory drugs” in a 2010 study (8).

Alters Pain Signaling

Multiple studies have suggested that CBD can effectively manage pain. Psoriasis patients often suffer from psoriatic arthritis, which is a painful condition. Many people with psoriasis use CBD to mitigate pain signals. These properties of cannabidiol are attributed to its influence on opioid and vanilloid receptors in the brain, which controls our pain perception (9).

This is the reason why CBD produces remarkable analgesic effects, but without the risk of adverse reactions, as is the case with opioid painkillers.

What Types of Psoriasis Patients Could Benefit the Most from CBD Treatment?

There is no specific phenotype of psoriasis benefiting more from CBD over another. Dermatologists suggest that psoriasis patients focus on the best way of administration rather than the type of their condition.

In other words, it’s essential to find an application method that will best address the underlying cause of psoriasis as well as its symptoms.

If you suffer from psoriasis, the best way to approach the problem is to use oral or sublingual products (e.g. oils or capsules) for general administration, and a topical solution to target localized problems such as arthritic flare-ups.

What Experts Say About Consulting the Use of CBD with a Dermatologist?

cbd topical cream

In an interview with Health magazine, Adam Friedman, MD, FAAD, professor and interim chair of dermatology at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, says that we still have much to learn about CBD even when it comes to its basics, not to mention its effects on psoriasis.

“We have years of research ahead of us to elucidate even some of the most basic of questions regarding CBD as a therapeutic agent including but not limited to ideal concentration, dosing, mode of delivery and vehicle for said delivery, and combination with synergistic cannabinoids, to name a few. Until we have said information, some basic rules apply when guiding your patients with the litany of over-the-counter as well as dispensary acquired products.”

The rules mentioned by Dr. Friedman include:

  • Be open: The best way to establish mutual trust and a good patient-physician relationship are to demonstrate a willingness to discuss instead of dismissing their interest.
  • Run allergy tests first: patients should choose a test site and apply CBD to test if they don’t have any allergic reactions to any of the ingredients in your product of choice.
  • Read labels: make sure that the amount of CBD in the product is clearly stated in its container.
  • Know the difference between hemp seed oil vs. CBD oil: people often confuse these two products, describing them under the umbrella term “hemp oils.” Hemp seed oil is extracted by cold-pressing the hemp seeds, as the name suggests. Seeds are full of healthy fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and trace minerals, but they don’t contain any CBD or other cannabinoids. CBD oil, on the other hand, is sourced from the flowers of mature hemp plants. Flowers are coated with resinous glands called trichomes, where CBD, other cannabinoids, and terpenes are secreted. Make sure that the label always reads “CBD oil.”
  • Do your research: Ask for certificates of analysis, which state that the product has been tested in a third-party laboratory. Read user reviews, contact the brand for additional details, and make sure they haven’t received any warning letters from the FDA in their career for making false health claims.

CBD vs. Other Psoriasis Treatments

There are various treatments available for psoriasis. Problems caused by the condition are most often targeted by topical solutions, including corticosteroids.

Corticosteroids are the most potent class of human-made anti-inflammatory drugs. Indeed, it can bring short-term relief, but long-term use of corticosteroids can lead to severe negative side effects on the skin.

Immunosuppressants are also prescribed for psoriasis. However, regular use of immunosuppressants is associated with a weakened immune system, making the user prone to infections and diseases.

Any good news?

You can ease the symptoms of psoriasis on your own, with a balanced and healthy lifestyle, a diet including anti-inflammatory foods, minimizing stress as much as possible, and by moderate exposure to the sun.

Other potentially effective psoriasis treatments include bath salts and supplementation with turmeric, as reported by two studies.

CBD has minimal side effects in comparison with corticosteroids and immunosuppressants. You can use it to manage the symptoms of psoriasis, and combine it with the above natural treatments to maximize the efficacy of your treatment.

Important Considerations for Choosing the Right CBD Product for Psoriasis

cbd oil and hemp leaf on a wooden table

How do You Want to Administer CBD?

First things first, the form of CBD.

CBD comes in different products, including:

  • Oils and tinctures
  • Capsules
  • Gummies
  • Topicals, such as cream, gels, lotion, balms, and more
  • Vaporizers
  • Concentrates

It’s unclear which form of CBD delivers the best results for psoriasis due to limited research.

Oils are a popular option among people with psoriasis, as they can reduce inflammation at the root of the disease, easing the symptoms at the same time. Many people opt for topical treatments for localized relief. These topicals are also combined with hydrating ingredients that can soothe the dry skin.

Which Cannabinoid Spectrum Is the Best for You?

Another important thing to consider is the cannabinoid spectrum.

There are three types of CBD products: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate.

Full-spectrum products are made using the whole plant, so they contain all the beneficial compounds from hemp, including minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These compounds work synergistically to enhance the efficacy of CBD and reduce any unwanted effects. This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect and makes full-spectrum products the desired option among users.

Broad-spectrum CBD is much like full-spectrum CBD, save for the lack of THC. Traces of THC are removed after initial extraction. This type of CBD is appropriate for those who are afraid of taking any THC in their product.

Finally, you can choose CBD isolate, which is pure cannabidiol without any other compounds. Isolates provide the highest dose of CBD per serving, has no odor and flavor and works with people allergic to other compounds in hemp. However, CBD isolate comes without the entourage effect.

Does the Product Have a Certificate of Analysis from a Third-party Laboratory?

When choosing CBD oil for psoriasis, it’s important that you only purchase those that are third-party tested and have a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for each batch.

The COA means that an independent lab has tested the product and confirmed its potency as well as purity.

A COA should tell you:

  • Whether the THC content in the product doesn’t cross the legally acceptable amount.
  • How much CBD and other cannabinoids the product contains
  • Whether the product is free of pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, and other toxins.

How to Use CBD Oil for Psoriasis

Companies provide various dosage instructions, so the product should have some guidelines on the packaging.

People generally tolerate CBD very well. It’s possible for humans to consume up to 1,500 mg CBD daily without experiencing harmful effects. However, taking extreme amounts of CBD can be unnecessary and wasteful.

Here’s what you need to know about using CBD oil properly for psoriasis:

Be Aware of Potential Side Effects

Despite an excellent safety profile, CBD has a few side effects when you take too much, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Diarrhea (related to taking too much carrier oil)

CBD products can also interact with prescription and non-prescription medications, impacting their effectiveness. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before using CBD for therapeutic purposes.

Read Label Instructions

Oils and tinctures allow for a modification of your dose. Each drop comes with a certain number of milligrams of CBD. If you want to increase your dose, you simply squeeze more oil into your mouth.

To maximize the efficacy of CBD oil, hold it under the tongue for up to 60 seconds before swallowing. This will help the oil to avoid the first-pass metabolism in the liver, increasing its bioavailability.

With gummies and capsules, manufacturers generally provide a recommended serving size. Typically, you’d have 1–2 gummies/capsules as a single dose.

As with oral products, you’ll need to wait up to 2 hours to allow full effects to develop.

Start Low and Gradually Increase Your Dose of CBD

If you take CBD in the form of oil, start at the low end, preferably with 5 or 10 mg of CBD. If you don’t see any difference after a week, increase the dose for another 5 milligrams, and monitor the effects for another week.

Once you find a dose that makes your symptoms manageable, you can stick to it, as it’s impossible to build a tolerance to CBD.

Don’t Expect Miracles Overnight

It’s important to understand that CBD is a powerful and versatile compound, but it won’t make your symptoms disappear entirely. As we said, you can stick to your effective dose once you notice the symptoms are getting manageable. Don’t try to go overboard to make symptoms totally disappear.

Understanding Psoriasis

proriasis illustration

People usually refer to psoriasis as a skin disease, but the condition of the skin is triggered by chronic inflammation that leads to the development of this autoimmune disease.

The cause of psoriasis is still unknown, although researchers believe that the autoimmune system mistakenly activates the reaction in the skin cells, spurring the cycle of their growth.

As a result, excess skin cells grow on the skin, causing irritation, dryness, and itching.

On top of hereditary factors, psoriasis can develop due to longer exposure to the stress hormone cortisol, certain environmental factors, poor diet, or an inadequate lifestyle.

On average, 4% of the global population suffers from psoriasis in Western society. The prevalence of this disease is higher in the northern parts, while in some regions of the world, psoriasis is nearly nonexistent.

The Symptoms of Psoriasis

Psoriasis most commonly manifests itself in red or pink eczema with a dry, white surface. It usually affects the elbows, knees, and the edge of the scalp, where it can be confused with dandruff.

The white scales or flakes result from excessive cell division, which can also grow up to 10 times faster in the event of inflammation.

Areas of the Body Typically Affected by Psoriasis

  • Back
  • Elbows, knees, and other joints
  • Nails (as oily eczema or yellowish stains)
  • Palms
  • Scalp and the edges of the scalp

Psoriatic arthritis and inflammation in the joints is a common problem among people affected by psoriasis. It’s estimated that 30% of those affected by psoriasis will also develop psoriatic arthritis and experience stiffness and swelling of the joints. Smaller joints, such as those in the hands and feet, are more often affected by the condition.

How to Care for Psoriasis-Affected Skin

Psoriasis-affected skin requires special treatment. Dermatologists recommend gentle soaps as a means to balance the natural pH level of your skin. Regular care with natural oils and butter that moisturizes the skin and supports a healthy renewal cycle is paramount for the proper management of psoriasis symptoms. Taking care of your skin can significantly reduce the frequency of psoriasis outbreaks.

Final Thoughts on CBD Oil for Psoriasis

There is a clear link between CBD, the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and psoriasis.

As an agonist of the CB2 cannabinoid receptor, CBD can reduce inflammation through the ECS signaling. There are a few other anti-inflammatory targets of cannabidiol that we’ve mentioned earlier in the article.

Moreover, CBD can help people with psoriasis effectively manage their symptoms, such as chronic pain, inflammation, and excessive skin cell growth.

While the connection between CBD and psoriasis needs to be researched to a greater extent, there are suggestions that CBD can be a safe alternative to commonly prescribed treatments.

Make sure to consult the use of CBD oil with your doctor, especially if you take any medication, as CBD is known to interact with a whole lot of them!

Do you use CBD for psoriasis? How does it help your skin? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

References:

  1. Kozela, E. et al. “Cannabinoids Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol Differentially Inhibit the lipopolysaccharide-activated NF-kB and Interferon-alpha/STAT Proinflammatory Pathways in BV-2 Microglial Cells”. Journal of Biological Chemistry (2009), 285; 1616–1626.
  2. Kapellos, Theodore S et al. “Cannabinoid receptor 2 deficiency exacerbates inflammation and neutrophil recruitment.” FASEB journal: official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology vol. 33,5 (2019): 6154-6167. doi:10.1096/fj.201802524R
  3. Palmieri, B et al. “A therapeutic effect of CBD-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars.” La Clinica terapeutica vol. 170,2 (2019): e93-e99. doi:10.7417/CT.2019.2116
  4. Wilkinson, Jonathan D, and Elizabeth M Williamson. “Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis.” Journal of dermatological science vol. 45,2 (2007): 87-92. doi:10.1016/j.jdermsci.2006.10.009
  5. Norooznezhad, A.H. & Norooznezhad, F. “Cannabinoids: Possible Agents for Treatment of Psoriasis via Suppression of Angiogenesis and Inflammation.” Medical Hypotheses, vol. 99 (2017): 15–18.
  6. Sheriff, Tabrez et al. “The potential role of cannabinoids in dermatology.” The Journal of dermatological treatment vol. 31,8 (2020): 839-845. doi:10.1080/09546634.2019.1675854
  7. Scheau, Cristian et al. “Cannabinoids in the Pathophysiology of Skin Inflammation.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 25,3 652. 4 Feb. 2020, doi:10.3390/molecules25030652
  8. Nagarkatti, Prakash et al. “Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.” Future medicinal chemistry vol. 1,7 (2009): 1333-49. doi:10.4155/fmc.09.93
  9. Manzanares, j. Et al. “Role of the Cannabinoid System in Pain Control and Therapeutic Implications for the Management of Acute and Chronic Episodes.” Current Neuropharmacology vol 4,3 (2006): 239–57.

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