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Cannabinoids Have Potential to Treat Skin Conditions Like Psoriasis, Review Shows

Compounds extracted from the cannabis plant (cannabinoids) have therapeutic proprieties that could be used to treat several skin conditions, including psoriasis, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

In the U.S., about 1 in 10 adult cannabis consumers use the drug for medical reasons under comprehensive medical cannabis programs. Cannabinoids have been shown to have potential therapeutic proprieties for the treatment of nausea, chronic pain, and anorexia. These compounds have also been investigated by scientists as anticancer therapies.

More recently, researchers started to explore the potential of cannabinoids to treat a range of dermatological conditions, such as pruritus (severe itching), psoriasis, eczema, inflammatory skin disease, and melanoma.

In the study titled “The role of cannabinoids in dermatology,” the authors reviewed and summarized the available scientific literature on the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids on skin diseases.

“There are topical cannabinoid drugs with little or no psychotropic effect that can be used for skin disease,” Robert Dellavalle, senior author of the study and associate professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said in a press release.

In addition to reported beneficial effects cannabinoids have on reducing and even eliminating severe itching, these compounds have demonstrated potent anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative effects.

“Perhaps the most promising role for cannabinoids is in the treatment of itch,” Dellavalle said.

Topical application of a compound called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, was seen to reduce swelling and inflammation in animal models of skin allergic reactions. This effect was caused by a reduction of the immune response, with associated improvement of the skin barrier function.

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About Dr. J. Kim

Dr Kim developed (and is continuing to develop) dermatology research news as we way from dermatologists to stay on top of the latest advances in the field of dermatology.

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