If you’ve dealt with the uncomfortable symptoms of psoriasis, you’ve probably tried everything to find relief. But have you tried CBD? Keep reading to discover how CBD can help you manage psoriasis symptoms.
Reading Time – 9 min
Psoriasis can be intensely uncomfortable and embarrassing. For some, it’s mild and the symptoms are manageable. For others, however, it’s incredibly painful and debilitating. Since there is no cure, living with psoriasis is all about management. Managing stress, managing your diet, managing your sleep, and sometimes managing medication. It’s a constant juggling act and sometimes no matter how hard you try to manage everything, those patches of itchy, flaky skin flare up again and again.
When all those management tools and even medications don’t seem to help, it can be easy to lose hope. Luckily, there’s another option.
Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disorder that causes inflammation, and one of the things CBD (cannabidiol) is best at is reducing inflammation. Keep reading and find out how CBD might help you manage your psoriasis symptoms.
Disclaimer: It’s important to remember that we still don’t fully understand the causes of psoriasis. So, while CBD is considered a safe and mild supplement, you should always talk with your doctor before adding CBD to your regimen (especially if you’re taking any medications).
What is Psoriasis?
Like we said earlier, psoriasis is an immune-mediated disorder that causes inflammation. That means the immune system malfunctions in such a way that it causes overactive inflammatory responses. Often, this is seen as patches of skin with excessive plaques and scales. The reason it manifests this way is because the immune system increases cell growth.
Normally, the lifecycle of a skin cell is about a month. During that time it grows, matures, dies, and eventually sheds through the natural movement of our bodies. With psoriasis, that lifecycle happens in a matter of days. Instead of those cells simply falling off, however, they pile up. These are what are known as plaques or even scales, and they can be very uncomfortable. The National Psoriasis Foundation says, “Some people report that psoriasis plaques itch, burn and sting. Plaques and scales may appear on any part of the body, although they are commonly found on the elbows, knees, and scalp.”
Roughly thirty percent of those with psoriasis also end up developing psoriatic arthritis (PsA). PsA causes painful, swollen joints that have the potential to cause permanent damage.
Perhaps the most frustrating part about psoriasis is our lack of understanding. Sometimes psoriasis is genetic, but someone with no genetic predisposition might still develop it. Sometimes people will develop psoriasis after a particularly stressful event, illness, or injury, but others might develop it without any known triggers. Keeping track of triggers is non-negotiable, but reactions to triggers can be inconsistent. Honestly, the physical, mental, and emotional toll of psoriasis is exhausting.
So, can CBD help?
CBD CAN Help Relieve Psoriasis Symptoms
CBD absolutely has the potential to help manage psoriasis symptoms. However, it would be irresponsible of us to not explain a few important details.
CBD interacts with your ECS (endocannabinoid system) and your ECS influences your immune system. Since psoriasis is an immune-mediated disorder, CBD definitely has the potential to influence your immune system. The reason we bring this up, is to emphasize the need for caution (which definitely isn’t a new concept for those with psoriasis).
We highly recommend keeping track of the strength of CBD, the time of day you supplement, and your responses. Start with one dose of low-strength CBD for a week. If you notice no change, feel free to switch to a high-dose CBD or to supplement twice a day with the same lower dose option. You may also find that it works better for you to supplement with CBD at specific times. It really just depends on how you react and which symptoms you’re trying to manage.
Keep tweaking your CBD routine until you’re happy with the results. Everyone deserves relief, but sometimes it involves a bit of detective work.
CBD Can Help Manage Stress
Stress can be a big trigger for those with psoriasis. What’s even trickier is that once stress triggers a flare, it can cause even MORE stress. Everyone’s threshold for stress is a bit different too. While you might easily manage psoriasis with a high-stress job, someone else might get thrown into a flare from being late to pick up the kids from school.
The point is that there’s no judgment. This is a tricky disorder, and it’s okay to do whatever you need to manage stress and reduce flare-ups. This is one of the ways that CBD really shines. Over time, integrating CBD into your routine will help reduce and manage stress and anxiety.
CBD is an anxiolytic and its use may also help the ECS boost GABA levels in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps calm excitatory neurotransmitters. When we don’t have enough GABA, we might experience mania, racing thoughts, and anxiety. Basically, CBD may provide anti-anxiety effects through several different mechanisms. For those with stress-triggered psoriasis, this is great news.
CBD Can Improve Sleep For A Healthier Immune System
Another important management tool for psoriasis is getting enough sleep. While this may not sound like it would have a big impact, sleep is vitally important to a healthy immune system. During sleep, our bodies produce cytokines (proteins that help regulate inflammation) and redistribute T cells (the cells that fight germs, viruses, etc.). Lack of sleep, however, inhibits these activities in addition to lowering white blood cells. Basically, it means our immune systems aren’t as strong as they need to be to fight off illnesses.
You might be thinking, “Wait, if psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune system, isn’t this a good thing?” Not necessarily. Getting sick is always bad for you. Plus, for those with immune-mediated disorders, getting sick could cause your immune system to go completely haywire. It’s also important to remember that lack of sleep is bad for other reasons too. It increases stress, throws off your hormones, reduces overall energy, etc. In the end, getting quality sleep is always going to be better for you.
Not surprisingly, sleep disorders are common among those with psoriatic disorders. A study performed by the medical journal, Reumatologia, found that 67.7% of people with psoriasis experienced poor sleep in some capacity. That might mean snoring, restlessness, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and more. Like stress, it’s unclear whether lack of sleep causes psoriasis symptoms to worsen or if it’s the symptoms that make it harder to sleep. Either way, getting a restorative night of sleep has never been more important.
Again, this is another area where CBD can shine. Whether it’s stress making it harder to wind down or just years of poor sleep habits, CBD can help prepare you for a good night’s sleep. Your circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle) is one of the physiological activities your ECS can help balance. Research shows how it can directly regulate the sleep-wake cycle through a series of complex cell signaling. Basically, it helps your body more easily remember when it’s supposed to be awake and when it should be asleep.
If painful inflammation is keeping you up, CBD may be able to assist there too.
CBD Can Help Reduce Painful Joint Inflammation
Not all patients with psoriasis end up developing psoriatic arthritis. For the ones who do, however, stiff and swollen joints are a regular occurrence. This can also involve general fatigue, intense joint pain, difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, nail changes, eye pain, and an overall reduced range of motion.
Like psoriasis, this condition is a result of inflammation. Depending on the severity of the disorder, there are several management and treatment options to lessen symptoms. For some with mild inflammation, staying physically active helps to keep joints limber. Others, however, require prescription medications or topical creams that help soothe painful joints and reduce swelling.
Luckily, for those with psoriatic arthritis, CBD can help in two ways. Using CBD Oil every day will slowly reduce general inflammation over time. There’s also the option of applying CBD precisely where it’s needed with a topical CBD Gel. You can use whichever you prefer, or you could even use both for maximum relief. Simply massage the joint for a few minutes with the gel and you should feel relief within 20-40 minutes.
A Note For Singy’s Customers
Our CBD Gel also includes other soothing ingredients designed to reduce pain and inflammation. Ingredients like Menthol and Camphor create a cooling effect for faster relief. Those with severe plaques and scales, however, should use caution as these ingredients may irritate more sensitive skin.
Can CBD Help Reduce Psoriasis Plaques and Scales?
No matter where your psoriasis flare manifests (scalp, elbows, knees, etc.), it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Sometimes it’s a mild itch, but other times it’s a painful, burning sensation that leaves you feeling hopeless and alone. So, can CBD directly help reduce psoriasis plaques and scales?
Over time, a regular CBD routine can decrease the overall inflammation in your body. For some, that absolutely means fewer plaques and scales! Sometimes it’s because CBD has helped you manage other triggers (stress, sleep, etc.), and sometimes it’s just because it helped lessen overall inflammation which means fewer visible flare-ups.
However, one of the most interesting areas of research when it comes to psoriasis and CBD, is the existence of ECS receptors on the skin’s surface. One study even indicated that these receptors may influence how skin cells proliferate. That means CBD may influence ECS receptors in the skin to reduce surface level inflammation. Admittedly, more research is needed, but early findings indicate CBD has great potential in this area.
Find Relief From Psoriasis Symptoms and Take Back Your Life
It’s important to remember that psoriasis is a strange beast. What works for one person, might not work for someone else. Many psoriasis patients have found relief from simply adding CBD Oil to their routine, while others need both an Oil and a Gel. You even have the option of carrying CBD Gummies if that’s more convenient. Your psoriasis experience is unique, so design your CBD routine to fit your exact needs.
Feel free to contact us today with any questions about our products. Psoriatic disorders can be so isolating, but you deserve relief. Consider adding a CBD Supplement to your routine today so you can feel better and live more.