Cannabinoids may treat skin disease, researchers say
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
You’d have to be a sufferer of immune-related psoriasis or eczema to know the extent of suffering it causes. The fear of unsightly disease being seen – the questioning from onlookers, the scaling and the ensuing repulsion, the money spent on creams, the special clothing to cover up. And perhaps missing events like weddings and swimming outings too… Special diets are cumbersome and are not a guarantee of healing – that’s why it brings me absolute joy to bring you the following news.
According to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, cannabinoids contain anti-inflammatory properties that could make them useful to medically treat a wide range of skin diseases.
The new study, published online recently in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, is a summary of current literature about it and concludes that treatments containing cannabinoids may be effective against eczema, psoriasis, atopic and contact dermatitis.
The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus reports:
Currently, 28 states allow comprehensive medical cannabis programs with close to 1 in 10 adult cannabis users in the U.S. utilizing the drug for medical reasons. As researchers examine the drug for use in treating nausea, chronic pain and anorexia, more and more dermatologists are looking into its ability to fight a range of skin disease.
Dr. Robert Dellavalle, MD, the study’s senior author and associate professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said, “Perhaps the most promising role for cannabinoids is in the treatment of itch.” Eight of 21 patients, in one study, who applied a cannabis cream twice a day for three weeks completely eliminated severe itching.
(Could it be that cannabis treats dermatoxins within the skin? Just a thought.)
Dellavalle believes the primary driver in these cannabinoid treatments could be their anti-inflammatory properties. They found that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) the active ingredient in marijuana, reduced swelling and inflammation in mice. Dellavalle notes that these cannabis creams for skin disease have no psychotropic effects.
Dellavalle said for those who have used other medications for itch and skin disease without success, trying a cannabinoid is a viable option especially if it has no psychotropic effect. But he says current evidence is not enough to try it on cancer, even though other studies they found showed that mice with melanoma saw significant inhibition of tumor growth when injected with THC. See: Here Are 100 Scientific Studies Proving Cannabis Cures Cancer
These diseases cause a lot of problems for people and have a direct impact on their quality of life. The treatments are currently being bought over the internet and we need to educate dermatologists and patients about the potential uses of them.
Although it is with some trepidation, it appears that researchers are embracing cannabis for skin diseases that have indeed caused great suffering. We are happy to see that the use of cannabinoids for skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis is finally backed by research.