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Cannabinoids may hold a key for treatment of various skin diseases

Harold Mandel's picture
Cannais and skin disease treatment

Researchers say that some skin diseases may respond well to treatment with cannabinoids.


Skin conditions can be extremely difficult to treat. There has been a search for non-toxic natural interventions for the treatment of skin conditions.

Cannabinoids have great potential value to offer in dermatology

An association between skin health and emotions has become apparent. This has lead to an understanding that stress lowering activities such as tai-chi and meditation could benefit the treatment of skin disorders. Homemade remedies such as honey, tumeric, banana, and tea also seem to be helpful. Cannabinoids have also emerged as having something of great potential value to offer in dermatology.

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus reports that there are certain skin diseases which may be soothed with cannabinoids. This seems to be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids.

In the USA cannabis has been cleared for use medically in 28 states

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Researchers have concluded that pharmaceuticals which contain cannabinoids may be effective in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, atopic and contact dermatitis. Cannabis has been cleared for use medically in 28 states across the United States. The drug has been under investigation for it's clinical value in the treatment of chronic pain, anorexia, and nausea. Now it is also be investigated for it's potential use in the treatment of skin diseases.

Cannabinoids seem to have a lot to offer for itch

Dr. Robert Dellavalle, MD, who is the senior author of the study, says that the in the treatment skin diseases cannabinoids seem to have the most to offer for itch. Itching, or pruritus, was totally eliminated with cannabinoid cream used twice a day for three weeks in eight of 21 patients in one study. It seems the dry skin which caused the itch may have been decreased by the cannabinoid cream.

It is the belief of Dr. Dellavalle that the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoid treatments are primarily responsible for their effectiveness in treating various skin diseases. In mice THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the active ingredient in marijuana, decreased swelling and inflammation. Dr. Dellavalle says that topical cannabinoid drugs which have little or no psychotropic effect can be used for treatment of skin disease.

This study has been published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. About 10 percent of adults who use cannabis in the United States use it for medical reasons. Cannabis has been Investigated for it's use in the treatment of many skin conditions including pruritus, inflammatory skin disease, and skin cancer. Cannabinoid drugs offer great promise to help many skin disease sufferers improve their quality of life.