Treating Psoriasis With Topical Cannabis

Article by Gooey Rabinski, MassRoots

Treating Psoriasis with Topical Cannabis

Cannabis is typically consumed via smoking or vaporization. In fact, one of the largest challenges for those in the medical profession who embrace cannabis as a medicine and a wellness agent is convincing patients that they should ditch joints and pipes for vaporizers. What if, however, a patient has a respiratory ailment or other condition that prevents inhaling smoke or even vapor? Possibly they simply prefer not to smoke or vape.

The proverbial red headed stepchildren of the world of medical cannabis consumption are topicals. Available as creams, oils, lotions, sprays, balms, or ointments, topicals are applied to the skin and absorb through the epidermis (the outer layer). This relatively unknown avenue of consumption allows patients to treat conditions of the skin, joints, and muscles using topicals infused with whole plant cannabis or an individual cannabinoid, such as THC or CBD.

While most cannabis users are unaware of topicals, even fewer know that examples featuring THC produce no psychoactive effect in patients. Thus, seniors, children, pilots, and anyone who either cannot or does not desire to experience a psychotropic “high” can use THC-infused topicals with confidence.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a condition involving the relatively rapid buildup of skin cells on the surface of the epidermis. This abnormal accumulation of skin — which develops thick scales that are white, grey, or silver and called plaques — results from a change in the lifecycle of the cells. Psoriasis is believed to be inherited; family history is significant.

The most obvious symptom of psoriasis is red patches of skin that are sometimes relatively large and covered by the thick, silvery scales of plaque (dead skin cells). Other symptoms include dry or cracked skin (which may bleed), abnormal nails, and joint disturbance (inflammation and swelling are common). Despite its appearance, this condition is not contagious. African Americans are about 50 percent less likely to have the disease than Caucasians.

It is estimated that up to three percent of Americans have psoriasis, which results in more than 10 million sufferers in the United States alone. Globally, roughly 125 million people are afflicted with the condition. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this highly uncomfortable and often stigmatized disease, of which eight major categories exist, depending on the body areas affected and nature of the rash-like patches of plaque.

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