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Does Medical Marijuana Help With Psoriasis Treatment?

Psoriasis, a persistent skin condition characterized by the rapid growth of cells leading to scaling of the skin, has been a challenge for health care providers and patients alike. In recent years, the potential benefits of using cannabis products, particularly those targeting the endocannabinoid system, have been explored as treatment options for psoriasis and its symptoms. This article delves into the science behind the use of medical cannabis for treating psoriasis symptoms, shedding light on the way cannabinoids might interact with our immune system, and offering insights into the best cannabis strains for this condition.

A man scratching his arm due to psoriasis plaques

Table of Contents:

Potential Benefits of Cannabinoids in Psoriasis Management

Psoriasis, an autoimmune skin condition, prompts the body's immune system to attack its own skin cells. This leads to the rapid growth of new cells, which, when they reach the skin's surface and die, result in the characteristic scaly plaques. The struggle with psoriasis goes beyond the physical manifestations. The itching, burning, and potential pain can be relentless, and it's often compounded by the mental health toll, such as emotional stress and anxiety.

A doctor prescribing medical cannabis for psoriasis

In recent years, the medical community has increasingly turned its attention to the potential role of cannabinoids—compounds found in the cannabis plant—in the management of psoriasis. The primary reason for this interest lies in the body's endocannabinoid system and how it interacts with cannabinoids. This system, present throughout the human body, plays a crucial role in regulating various processes, including those of the immune system and skin inflammation.

Research indicates that cannabinoids, particularly those from the cannabis plant like CBD and THC, can influence the immune response by interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. These interactions might inhibit the inflammatory response of immune cells, particularly T cells, which play a significant role in psoriasis symptoms. A study from the George Washington School of Medicine highlighted how cannabinoids could slow down the rapid growth of immature skin cells, thereby providing relief from the scaly plaques associated with psoriasis.

Moreover, cannabinoids have shown promise in offering relief from other symptoms associated with psoriatic disease. Many individuals with psoriasis also suffer from psoriatic arthritis, a painful joint condition. Here, the pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids can be particularly beneficial.

Given the potential of cannabinoids in managing psoriasis, many patients are curious about how to obtain medical marijuana or products rich in cannabinoids. In the United States, the process often begins with understanding the qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card and then proceeding with the application process in one's specific state.

Tweet-worthy: "Exploring the promise of cannabinoids in managing psoriasis. A potential game-changer in autoimmune skin condition treatment? 🌿🔬 #PsoriasisManagement #CannabinoidsBenefits #MedicalMarijuana Tweet this"

Key Takeaway: Cannabinoids, especially from the cannabis plant, offer significant potential in the management of psoriasis. Their interaction with the endocannabinoid system might pave the way for innovative treatments that address both the physical and psychological challenges of this autoimmune condition. As with any treatment, it's essential to work closely with health care providers to ensure the best therapeutic approach.

Comparative Analysis: Traditional Psoriasis Treatments vs. Medical Marijuana

The quest to find an effective solution to the painful and often debilitating symptoms of psoriasis has led medical researchers on various paths. Over the years, a myriad of treatments has emerged, ranging from traditional therapies to more recent alternatives such as medical marijuana. In this analysis, we'll delve into a comparison of conventional psoriasis treatments and the potential of medical marijuana as an alternative approach.

Traditional Psoriasis Treatments

Topical treatments: These are directly applied to the skin and can include corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, and anthralin. While these treatments often provide temporary relief, they can sometimes cause skin irritation or thinning.

A topical cream for psoriasis

Phototherapy: This involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light under controlled conditions. It can be effective but requires multiple sessions, and there's a risk of skin damage with prolonged use.

Oral or injected medications: These include retinoids, methotrexate, and cyclosporine. They can be effective, especially for severe cases, but might come with significant side effects like liver damage, decreased resistance to infection, or potential birth defects.

Medical Marijuana and Psoriasis

Medical marijuana's potential in treating psoriasis stems from its interaction with the body's endocannabinoid system. This system, intricately woven throughout our physiology, plays a role in regulating skin cell growth and immune system response—two major components of psoriasis.

Cannabinoids, particularly CBD and THC, might help reduce inflammation and slow down the rapid overproduction of skin cells. Beyond this, medical marijuana may assist in managing psoriatic arthritis, a joint condition that a significant portion of psoriasis sufferers experience.

Another advantage of using medical marijuana is the potential for pain relief and the reduction of anxiety and stress, which can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms. It's worth noting that accessing medical marijuana requires knowledge about the qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card and the application process specific to each state.

A detailed study from the National Psoriasis Foundation highlights the growing interest and early positive results of medical marijuana as an alternative treatment for psoriasis.

Tweet-worthy: "Delving into the therapeutic potentials: Traditional Psoriasis Treatments & Medical Marijuana. Which offers the most promise? 🌿💡 #PsoriasisTreatment #MedicalMarijuanaBenefits Tweet this"

Key Takeaway: While traditional treatments for psoriasis have proven effective for many, medical marijuana's interaction with the endocannabinoid system offers a potentially holistic approach to symptom management. However, it's essential for patients to consult healthcare professionals to determine the most suitable treatment option for their individual needs.

Understanding the Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabis in Dermatological Conditions

In the world of dermatology, inflammation plays a central role in many skin conditions, from the redness of rosacea to the itchy patches of eczema. With an ever-increasing interest in alternative treatments, cannabis has entered the spotlight due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Let's delve deeper into understanding how cannabis might be a game-changer in managing inflammatory skin conditions.

Medical marijuana on a prescription pad next to a stethoscope

Cannabis contains a host of compounds called cannabinoids. Two of the most researched are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). Both have shown potential in reducing inflammation, but they do so through different mechanisms.

CBD, in particular, has gained attention for its ability to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system. This system is a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters that regulate a plethora of physiological processes, including inflammation. When CBD binds to specific receptors in this system, it can influence the body's immune response, potentially reducing inflammation and providing relief to various skin conditions.

THC, on the other hand, has been shown to suppress the immune system's response, which can be beneficial in conditions where the immune system attacks the skin, as in the case of psoriasis or lupus erythematosus.

Research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has highlighted the potential benefits of cannabinoids in treating a variety of skin conditions. From acne, characterized by inflammation of the sebaceous glands, to more chronic conditions like psoriasis, cannabinoids may offer a new avenue of treatment for those seeking alternatives to traditional medications.

Those interested in exploring the potential benefits of medical marijuana for dermatological conditions should be aware of the process to apply for a medical marijuana card. This card can provide access to quality-controlled cannabis products designed for therapeutic use.

Tweet-worthy: "Dermatology meets cannabis: Exploring the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis in skin care. Could this be the next big thing in skin health? 🍃🔬 #Dermatology #CannabisInSkinCare Tweet this"

Key Takeaway: Cannabis, with its rich profile of cannabinoids, presents promising anti-inflammatory properties that might prove beneficial in managing and treating a variety of dermatological conditions. As with all treatments, consulting with a healthcare professional is paramount to ensure safety and efficacy.

Side Effects and Safety Concerns of Using Medical Marijuana for Psoriasis

The therapeutic potential of medical marijuana in various conditions, including psoriasis, has seen a surge in interest over the past few years. As with any medical treatment, understanding the possible side effects and safety concerns is imperative for making an informed decision. Here, we'll explore the side effects and safety considerations of using medical marijuana for psoriasis.

Side effects of using medical marijuana to treat psoriasis

1. Psychoactive Effects: One of the primary active compounds in cannabis is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is known for its psychoactive properties. Patients may experience changes in perception, mood, and consciousness. While some individuals find these effects therapeutic, others may find them disconcerting or even debilitating.

2. Dry Mouth and Eyes: A common side effect of marijuana use is xerostomia, or dry mouth. This can be accompanied by dry eyes in some patients, leading to discomfort.

3. Dizziness: Particularly in those new to cannabis or in instances of overconsumption, dizziness or lightheadedness might occur. This can also be associated with a drop in blood pressure.

4. Increased Appetite: Often referred to colloquially as the "munchies," many cannabis users report an increased appetite. This can be a concern for individuals watching their weight or with dietary restrictions.

5. Potential Drug Interactions: As with many substances, there's potential for medical marijuana to interact with other medications. This could either reduce the efficacy of the other drugs or increase their side effects. It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional to understand these potential interactions.

6. Long-Term Impact: The long-term effects of medical marijuana use, especially regarding respiratory health for those who smoke it, remain an area of ongoing research. For this reason, some experts recommend alternative methods of consumption, such as vaporizing or edibles.

While medical marijuana offers potential benefits in managing psoriasis symptoms, those interested must proceed with caution. Understanding how to get a medical marijuana card can be a first step, ensuring access to regulated and safe cannabis products.

For more insights into the potential benefits and risks of cannabis in medical treatments, the Mayo Clinic offers extensive resources and research findings.

Tweet-worthy: "Considering medical marijuana for psoriasis? Understanding the side effects and safety concerns is crucial. Get informed before you decide. #MedicalMarijuana #PsoriasisTreatment Tweet this"

Key Takeaway: Medical marijuana has shown potential in managing psoriasis symptoms, but understanding its side effects and safety concerns is paramount. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making decisions about treatment.

Best Cannabis Strains Recommended for Psoriasis Treatment

Cannabis has been recognized for its potential therapeutic benefits in numerous medical conditions. When it comes to psoriasis, specific strains stand out for their ability to alleviate symptoms. Let's delve into some of the most recommended strains for psoriasis treatment and why they might be beneficial.

A strain of medical cannabis that appears purple and green

1. Harlequin: A sativa-dominant strain, Harlequin is known for its high CBD and relatively low THC content. The significant CBD presence is believed to help reduce inflammation, making it a potential choice for those with inflammatory conditions like psoriasis.

2. Cannatonic: This hybrid strain is recognized for its balanced CBD and THC ratio. Cannatonic can provide relaxation without intense psychoactive effects. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe psoriasis flare-ups.

3. ACDC: Another strain with a high CBD to THC ratio, ACDC can provide pain relief without the "high" feeling often associated with cannabis. This strain can be especially helpful in alleviating the discomfort that psoriasis might cause.

4. Blue Dream: Blue Dream is a sativa-dominant hybrid known for its calming effects. For those with psoriasis, stress can be a trigger for flare-ups. Blue Dream may help in managing stress, indirectly aiding in psoriasis treatment.

5. Girl Scout Cookies (GSC): While GSC is high in THC, it's recognized for its ability to relieve pain, which can be particularly beneficial for those suffering from psoriatic arthritis, a related condition.

If you're considering medical marijuana for psoriasis, it's essential to consult with a medical professional to ensure you choose the right strain for your needs. Starting the process by understanding how to get a medical marijuana card can provide access to regulated and quality-controlled cannabis products.

For a deeper dive into the science of cannabis strains and their potential benefits, Leafly offers a comprehensive strain database and relevant studies.

Tweet-worthy: "Discover the top cannabis strains recommended for psoriasis treatment. From inflammation reduction to stress relief, find out which strain might be best for you. #PsoriasisRelief #MedicalCannabis Tweet this"

Key Takeaway: Choosing the right cannabis strain is crucial in managing psoriasis symptoms effectively. By understanding the properties of each strain, patients can make informed decisions tailored to their individual needs and symptom profiles.


What is psoriasis and how is it linked to the immune system? Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own skin cells, leading to rapid cell growth and the formation of scaly plaques.

Can medical marijuana benefit patients with psoriatic arthritis? Yes, recent research suggests that cannabinoids can help in pain relief and reducing inflammation, which are common symptoms in psoriatic arthritis.

How does the endocannabinoid system play a role in treating skin conditions? The endocannabinoid system regulates various processes in the human body, including immune response and skin inflammation. Cannabinoid receptors in the system may interact with CBD products to provide relief from skin conditions.

Why might cannabinoids be considered for the treatment of psoriasis? Cannabinoids, especially from the cannabis plant, can interact with the body's endocannabinoid system, potentially reducing inflammation and slowing down the growth of new skin cells, offering relief from psoriasis symptoms.

Are there any side effects of using medical marijuana for psoriasis? Like all treatment options, medical marijuana can have side effects. Some users report dry mouth, dizziness, or increased appetite. It's crucial to consult health care providers before starting any treatment.

How does CBD oil compare to other treatment options for psoriasis? CBD oil, derived from the cannabis plant, targets the endocannabinoid system, offering potential anti-inflammatory properties. Traditional treatments might not address the immune system in the same way.

How might the cannabinoid receptors be beneficial for autoimmune diseases? Cannabinoid receptors, part of the endocannabinoid system, can influence the immune response, potentially offering benefits for various autoimmune disorders, including psoriasis and Crohn's disease.

What does the National Psoriasis Foundation say about cannabis use for psoriasis treatment? While the National Psoriasis Foundation acknowledges that some patients find relief using cannabis products, they emphasize the need for more clinical trials and research to establish its efficacy and safety.

How does medical marijuana provide pain relief for psoriasis patients? The cannabinoids in medical marijuana can interact with the nervous system, potentially offering pain relief and reducing neuropathic pain associated with psoriatic disease.

What are the legal implications of using medical marijuana for psoriasis in the United States? Laws vary by state, but many have provisions for the medical use of marijuana. It's essential to consult local regulations and health sciences professionals before starting treatment.

How does cannabis impact the immune cells involved in psoriasis? Research indicates that cannabis might inhibit the inflammatory response of immune cells, particularly T cells, which play a significant role in psoriasis symptoms.

Which strains of the cannabis plant are recommended for psoriasis treatment? Different strains offer various potential benefits. However, strains rich in CBD are often recommended due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Consultation with a medical marijuana doctor is advised.

Is it a good idea to replace all my psoriasis treatment with CBD products? Not without consulting health care providers. While CBD products show promise, it's essential to approach treatment holistically, considering all factors and potential side effects.

Do clinical studies support the use of medical cannabis for psoriasis symptoms? In recent years, some studies have shown promising results, but more comprehensive clinical trials are needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks.

Can cannabis oil reduce the red patches and thick mounds of dead skin associated with psoriasis? Cannabis oil, especially those high in CBD, may help reduce skin inflammation and promote wound healing, alleviating some psoriasis symptoms.

What's the difference between topical treatments and oral CBD products for psoriasis? Topical treatments target specific areas of skin disease, while oral products might offer systemic treatment benefits, impacting the entire body and immune system.

Are there any contraindications for psoriasis patients considering medical marijuana? Some health conditions or medications might interact with cannabinoids. It's essential to discuss with health care providers before starting any new treatment.

What are the mental health considerations when using cannabis for psoriasis? While some find relief from emotional stress associated with chronic condition like psoriasis, others might experience heightened anxiety. Regular consultation and monitoring are advised.

How does medical cannabis compare to other systemic treatments for psoriasis? While both can offer relief, the potential side effects, mechanisms of action, and long-term outcomes might differ. A comparative analysis with a medical professional is essential.

Does the use of marijuana for psoriasis influence cell growth? Yes, cannabinoids can potentially slow down the rapid growth of immature skin cells, which is a characteristic of psoriasis, providing relief from scaly plaques.


For those grappling with psoriasis and seeking alternatives to traditional treatments, medical marijuana emerges as a potential option. Cannabis products, particularly CBD oil and other cannabinoid products, are known to influence the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating our immune response, cell growth, and nervous system. But while considering the use of medical cannabis, it's essential to consult with medical professionals experienced in its therapeutic application. The ARCannabisClinic serves as a pioneering force in this realm. Being a national network of marijuana doctors, they provide patients legal access to medical marijuana in the United States. Moreover, their industry-leading MMJ Therapy Visit offers a personalized consultation, ensuring that patients receive guidance on the most suitable strains, ratios, and dosing instructions. With a holistic approach that includes evaluations for PTSD, anxiety, and other potential qualifying conditions, ARCannabisClinic remains committed to offering comprehensive care and guidance for those seeking cannabis-based relief.

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