The skin is the largest organ of the human body, covering approximately 1.8 square meters and accounting for about 7% of total body weight. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in the development and regulation of skin cells. The ECS is an endogenous system that produces and releases cannabis-like substances.
Phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids from plants, such as CBD) can influence the ECS, for example by promoting or inhibiting the production of endocannabinoids (such as anandamide). This way cannabinoids can repair what has been disrupted by skin diseases. Phytocannabinoids can also take on this role and are therefore good candidates for the treatment of skin diseases.
Conditions in which phytocannabinoids may be useful by influencing the ECB are: psoriasis, acne, skin tumors (such as melanoma) and scleroderma (a rheumatic disease) .
The amount of research focusing on the effect of cannabinoids on skin diseases is limited, but fortunately growing. For now we can say that cannabinoids, CBD in particular, show potential to grow into important components of future medication against skin diseases .
Advice for use of cannabinoids against skin diseases
The current research on the effects of CBD (and other cannabinoids) on skin diseases has been carried out in laboratories. We may have to wait some more time for the results of in vivo studies (research on living organisms), but CBD shows much potential for the treatment of skin diseases. An advantage is that CBD is a safe substance. This means that CBD may be well worth trying if you suffer from a skin condition. Of course, CBD can also be used preventively. When you are considering to replace your current medication with CBD it is advised to talk first to your physician first. Click here to read more about safe use of cannabinoids.
- Pertwee, R.G. (2014). Handbook on cannabis. Oxford: Oxford University Press
- Not available online