Cannabinoids (CBDs) found to treat a “wide range of skin diseases” researchers discover, including eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis

Cannabinoids may show potential in the treatment of various skin diseases, according to a recent analysis. Health experts at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus examined current literature on the effects of cannabinoids on skin diseases and confirmed that pharmaceutical products containing the compound may prove effective in treating eczema, psoriasis, and both atopic and contact dermatitis.

According to senior author Dr. Robert Dellavalle, Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the compound’s most promising effect is addressing severe itch. The senior author cited one study where eight out of 21 patients who used a cannabinoid cream twice daily for three weeks were able to completely cure severe itching or pruritus. According to the study, cannabinoids helped relieve dry skin, which triggers itch in patients.

The research team also found that tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, helped reduce swelling and inflammation in mice. The experts also noted that animal models of melanoma exhibited a significant inhibition of tumor growth following tetrahydrocannabinol injection. According to Dellavalle, the cannabinoid’s anti-inflammatory properties may play a role in the beneficial effects of therapies using the compound. Dellavalle said the treatments used were cannabinoid drugs that spurred little to no psychotropic effects, indicating that they can be used in skin disorders. He also stressed that cannabinoids may be an effective alternative for patients who were non-responsive to other itch and skin disease therapies.

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However, the senior author cautioned that the treatments were tested in laboratory models and that large-scale clinical trials have not been conducted.

“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,” the senior author said in Science Daily.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

More studies link cannabinoids to better skin health

The number of skin disorders have been on the rise in the U.S. over the last few years. The International Federation of Psoriasis Associations reported that there are about 150,000 new cases of psoriasis in the U.S. every year. The National Eczema Association also reported that about 31.6 million Americans show symptoms of eczema.

In line with this, a large number of studies have previously established that cannabinoids show potential in addressing a variety of skin conditions. As part of research, a team of scientists from the University of Teramo, the Campus Bio-Medico University and the Santa Lucia Foundation in Italy examined the effects of phytocannabinoids on various skin genes. According to the study, both cannabidiol and cannabigerol significantly reduced the expression of all skin differentiation genes tested. This suggests that cannabinoids could serve as a primary therapy for skin ailments.

“These findings identify the phytocannabinoids cannabidiol and cannabigerol as transcriptional repressors that can control cell proliferation and differentiation, suggesting (especially for cannabidiol) a possible exploitation as lead compounds to be used in the development of novel therapeutics for skin diseases,” the researchers said in The Joint Blog.

Another study revealed that a cannabinoid-based topical cream helped improve the skin condition of participants after two weeks of treatment. According to the study, more than 85 percent of women who used the topical cream reported significant improvements after a week. The researchers also found that 100 percent of participants exhibited improvements at 14 days following the treatment. In addition, nearly 81 percent reported better skin texture, while the same number of participants observed improvements in fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth.

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