What's new
Ask A Doctor Research Skin

CBD: the New Answer for Psoriasis

Written by Dr. Leah Zachar

Psoriasis is a disease of the immune system wherein new skin cells are produced every 2-4 days, instead of the normal 28-32 days.  This results in a buildup of dead skin, seen by the naked eye as skin flakes and scales.

Psoriasis is triggered by environmental stimuli such as smoking, cold weather, stress, and obesity.  It has a strong genetic component as well.  Upwards of 40% of patients with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis which is very debilitating and painful.

How is conventional medicine used to treat psoriasis?

  1. Topical creams are generally the first-choice recommendation for mild cases. These include corticosteroids, retinoids, and Vitamin D replicators.
  2. Phototherapy is used in more severe cases. Phototherapy is exposure to either natural light (the natural sunlight exposure at the Dead Sea), or artificial light (UVB fluorescent lights).
  3. Oral medications are often added to the creams used and the phototherapy prescribed. Some of the most commonly prescribed medications include methotrexate (a common chemotherapy drug), cyclosporine, and adalimumab (Humira). Unfortunately, many of these medications are cost prohibitive, and increase the risk of susceptibility to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, along with producing a host of other negative and unwanted side effects.

But all of the above can be avoided, because we have CBD.

How does CBD control psoriasis?  There are cannabinoid receptors in the skin.  When cannabidiol binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the skin a few amazing things happen:

  • The uncontrolled skin cell growth that causes the flaking stops.
  • The fragile capillary growth that are pathognomonic in psoriatic skin stops
  • The inflammation caused by cytokine release stops.

And an added important point is that unlike the prescription medications used, CBD has no side effects.


Ref: “Cannabinoids: Possible agents for treatment of psoriasis via suppression of angiogenesis and inflammation.” Med Hypotheses. 2017 Feb;99:15-18

“The role of cannabinoids in dermatology.” July 2017 Volume 77, Issue 1, Pages 188–190

Have anything to add? Your voice matters! Join the conversation and contribute your insights and ideas below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment

  • I have began experimenting with CBD to help with my psoraisis but am having trouble figuring out the best method of treating. I have been struggling with psoraisis for several years, and during this time have never had a period of time without any outbreak. Would you recommend using CBD topically as well as orally to treat the condition systemically? If so, what would the ideal daily oral dosage be? Do you have any recommendations for specific topicals?

    Lastly, would there be any benefit to using a topical formula that also contains THC?

About the author

Dr. Leah Zachar

Dr. Leah Zachar, M.D. is a physician who worked for nearly thirty years in Internal Medicine.
She currently is a scientific adviser to CBD Testers. Dr. Zachar believes that there is much that medical cannabis, and cannabidiol in particular can offer to traditional medicine.