Psoriasis is a disease caused due to immune disorder. This disease is characterized by a chronic skin condition in which, the skin cells multiply 10 times faster than normal and come up on the skin as red and scaly patches, dry skin, and localised skin irritation. These blotches can appear on any part of the body, incuding elbows, knees, scalp, back. Their appearance and growing on the skin differs from person to person.
While the triggers for psoriasis can range from something as minimal as cold, stress, allergies, immune deficiency to something as extensive as genetic disorder, it is important to determine the precise cause before initiating treatment.
Medicinal cannabis comes into the picture here primarily due it’s efficacy in treatment of the symptoms of psoriasis. It’s high time now that the ‘recreational’ tag of cannabis makes way for medicinal cannabis, as research into the intricacies of cannabis has revealed large scale health benefits of cannabis. Cannabis for psoriasis, is an important advancement in the health sector. In this article, we look into the same and how cannabis has been useful as an aid, for a disease that is incurable till date.
Psoriasis and its aftermath
While psoriasis is fundamentally typified by the skin conditions building up in various ways, statistical data indicates that between 10 and 30 percent of psoriasis patients go on to develop psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis causes swelling of joints. If it gets severe, it might lead to psoriatic arthritis patients being unable to walk.
In addition to this, psoriasis, if left untreated, the patches on the skin might appear throughout the body, causing the skin to be raised inducing severe body ache.
Psoriasis patients also suffer from sleeplessness and fatigue, mainly due to the pain elicited due to the patches. Experiments reveal that although stress is a trigger for psoriasis flares, it also makes the disease very difficult to manage. There are different types of psoriasis, but common ramifications include, inflammation, pain, stress.
Cannabis medication for psoriasis
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science, stated that cannabinoids in cannabis can play an important role in the preventing the onset of symptoms that cause psoriasis. There are several ways through which cannabis can do so. Let’s see how cannabis for psoriasis works.
- Inhibition of cell reproduction: Research evidence has substantiated the fact that anandamide, present in cannabis, is conducive for decelerating the process of uncontrolled skin cell reproduction, i.e, the process of proliferation of “epidermal keratinocyte differentiation.” It holds back the process of formation of T-cells, an immune response which leads to multiplication of skin cells. This would directly reduce the occurrence of patches on skin, raised skin and scaling of skin.
- Relieving pain: CBD and THC in cannabis, are proven constituents of cannabis that have analgesic properties and hence are capable of providing relief from pain caused due to psoriasis. A study conducted on mice showed that cannabis can heal wounds as well, which are also caused when the skin gets too patchy in psoriasis patients.
- Reducing inflammation: Anti-inflammatory property of cannabis has made it a valuable aid in treatment of several diseases. Since inflammation of patches, not only causes pain but is also one of the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, CBN, or cannabinol, one of the cannabinoids in cannabis, with anti-inflammatory properties, can be of great help as it modulates the immune system, reducing inflammation.
- Combating mental stress: Psoriasis patients have a 31 percent higher chance of suffering from anxiety. Both CBD and THC, especially Dronabinol, a legal, synthetic form of THC, is potent of uplifting moods and alleviating anxiety. THC, known for it’s soothing and calming effect, is an efficient sleep-inducer, allowing psoriasis patients to get rid of their sleeplessness. However, it’s important to regulate the dosage before consumption of THC.
Forms of intake of cannabis
As cannabis is a viable, potential and promising aid for treatment of psoriasis, it is important to acknowledge the implications of it’s various forms of intake, before including it in the medication routine.
- Cannabis tinctures
- Cannabis vaporisers
- Cannabis pills
- Cannabis inhalants
- CBD oil and lotions
While smoking of cannabis for psoriasis patients is strictly unadvisable, CBD oil is the best alternative. Application of CBD oil and lotions on the patches reduces the itchiness and scales down the burning sensation. Cannabis tinctures and cannabis pills, are suitable for consumption to reduce the pain.
Cannabis for psoriasis, takes medicinal cannabis to a higher platform, for the world to stop by and notice the advantages of cannabis. Helpful as an aid in the treatment of an incurable disease, this positively pushes ahead, the stance of cannabis in the fight for cannabis legalisation.
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