Cannabis in Dermatology

Cannabis in Dermatology

Cannabis, the king of all greens, the celebrity of the decade has been given a status of medical recommendations. What this means is that doctors across the country believe that cannabis has the potential to be more than just a substance to get high on. They believe that this particular herb inculcates the nuances of what our pharma industry has been missing all these years. Unfortunately, though, a lot of this promise of potential is based on preclinical trials and anecdotal evidence, which isn’t completely reliable.

We’re not saying there is absolutely no evidence to confirm the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, but they’re definitely not enough to term it medication or treatment. Hence, a medical marijuana recommendation.

What Kind of Health Issues Can Cannabis Help With? 

While the herb as a whole has been closely associated with conditions like chronic pain, anxiety and depression, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimers and more, the implications that cannabis can help tackle skin disorders are also well received.

It isn’t cannabis the plant that really brings out all these effects but the synergetic performance of all the cannabinoids and terpenes combined together. These chemical compounds have been backed by research to show how they can affect some of these conditions and bring relief to patients. Not only this but some of these cannabinoids as well as their synthetic counterparts are added to pharmaceutical drugs to treat certain conditions.

Presently, cannabis is associated with skin conditions/disorders like acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, skin cancer, pruritus, pain and other inflammatory conditions of the body’s largest organ.

Skin Disorders That Marijuana Can Help 

Here are some conditions that marijuana can help with.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis occurs due to the overgrowing skin cells that lead to itchy and painful patches on the skin. This chronic autoimmune condition usually goes through cycles of flaring, then subsides for a while before flaring again.

The most common issue that a patient with psoriasis goes through is the inflammation and pain that come with excessively itchy patches of skin. And these symptoms are exactly what makes cannabis and its cannabinoids the right choice as an alternative treatment.

As per a study, the following cannabinoids have proven to have therapeutic effects that inhibit the growth of these cells:

  • Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabigerol (CBG)

Eczema

Another common skin condition that plagues millions of citizens of the states is Eczema which results in inflammation, itching, and cracked dry patches of rough skin. Approximate 31.6 million, which makes up about 10% of the population of the U.S. suffer from this condition.

The anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-itch properties best associated with cannabis come as a savior for patients suffering from this skin disorder. It is well known that the itch due to eczema can be so bad that it renders a patient sleepless all night. However, Dr. Henry Garney Piffard, one of the founding fathers of American dermatology states that a pill of cannabis can provide relief from the itch. In short, not only does it prove to be a solution for the itch but for restlessness and sleep problems too.

Melanoma

As stated earlier, cannabis use is also associated with skin cancer. This particular type of cancer develops in the melanocytes – the cells that produce the pigment (melanin) to give skin its color.

If you’ve ever heard your dermatologist tell you not to go in the sun without sunscreen or some type of physical protection or you might get cancer, chances are, this is what they were talking about. While we’re still not particularly sure about what leads to all melanomas, sun exposure does make you more prone to developing it.

This is why direct exposure to the UV rays of the sun or even tanning beds and lamps is never recommended.

While there is no particular cure for these skin disorders, cannabis has been researched from the point of view of maintaining the symptoms associated with the conditions. In this case too, while cannabis has not proven to be a cure for melanoma, it has shown potential for inhibiting cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis in cancerous cells.

Topical Cannabis Use for Skin Disorders

Consuming cannabis is not something we’re opposed to, rather we believe that it can be the right step towards a healthier lifestyle. Cannabis and its cannabinoids and terpenes are quite famous today for their therapeutic benefits and minimal side effects. However, when looking for a way to manage symptoms of your skin disorders, topicals might work better than edibles or smokables.

If you’re new to finding the right product for you, here are a few pointers to keep in mind. 

  • Consult a pro-cannabis physician and get a medical marijuana recommendation. They can recommend the right type of cannabis product to help with your condition.
  • Give traditional medication (prescribed by a physician) a try. Mostar physicians would recommend that before trying your hands at cannabis.
  • Do not mix prescription drugs and cannabis without consulting your physician. Even though you’re not consuming these drugs and so are at very minimal risk of interactions, topicals are to be applied on tampered and vulnerable skin. You do not want to end up with more damage just because you didn’t consult a professional.
  • Even when your skin conditions lead to pain, do not opt for pain relief balms. These can have added ingredients like essential oils or menthol which might not be the best option for rough and dry skin.
  • Choose soothing and calming, softening and moisturizing balms and lotions recommended by your physician or budtender.
  • Do not try to self-medicate your skin disorders and seek professional help. Get a medical marijuana recommendation today!

Ending Words

Medical marijuana has helped multiple patients manage their skin disorders better. While the herb is in no way a cure for these conditions, it does help slow down the progression of the disorders, bring relief and comfort to the patients, improve the texture of their skin and reduce pain.

If you’re trying to tackle any of the mentioned skin conditions or any inflammatory condition of the skin, we recommend consulting an MMJ doctor and getting a medical card today!