Let’s Talk About Skin Care
Statistics & Data
Skin Care By The Numbers
Level of Evidence: Empirical
Apothecare has ranked sleep on the middle level of the evidence pyramid. Many of the studies assessing cannabis for the treatment of skin conditions are small or use animals instead of humans.
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Topical formulations of cannabis, such as creams, ointments, and lotions, are gaining a lot of interest with individuals having various skin conditions. Many people find topicals to be less intimidating compared to inhaling or ingesting cannabis because of the ease of use of creams and ointments. It is important to note, however, that there has been relatively minimal research in this area, so it’s unclear exactly what conditions cannabis creams are helpful to treat. That being said, there are in-vitro (i.e. test tube) and animal studies that suggest topical cannabinoids may be useful in treating several conditions
These conditions include:
Results from one research study showed that cannabis creams helped reduce pain in patients having blistered skin. These patients were in turn able to decrease their opioid use for their pain management. Additionally, the researchers found that cannabis creams have a quick onset of action. Pain relief was seen in 3 to 5 minutes after application and research participants reported that their skin healed more quickly.
Itch may be one of the most irritating symptoms of any skin condition. It can be a result of several conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, bug bites, allergic reactions, etc. There is data suggesting that cannabinoids work differently than traditional anti-itch medications like antihistamines and corticosteroid creams. This means using a cannabis cream alongside traditional anti-itch treatment may be the most effective as each one works in a different way to combat the itch more effectively.
Cannabidiol (CBD), an active component of cannabis, has shown to reduce inflammation and increase antioxidant activity. A CBD cream may be useful to manage localized inflammatory pain and swelling.
Skin cell proliferation is the process whereby our skin cells in our body divide. If this happens too quickly, it can result in skin conditions such as psoriasis. Several tests and animal studies have found that cannabinoids reduce excessive skin cell proliferation which means cannabis creams may be an effective option for psoriasis.
Interestingly, researchers also found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) might reduce the risk of hair loss by helping regulate the cells dividing near hair follicles. Further research is needed, but cannabinoids may play a role in hair loss prevention in the future.
Cannabinoids have some evidence in animal studies that suggest it may reduce scarring. More information is needed to confirm this but using a cannabis cream alongside proven anti-scarring products may be appropriate.
Make sure to connect with a knowledgeable pharmacist for a personalized skin condition assessment!
References for the above material are highlighted down below
Cannabis use may not be appropriate for you if have one or more of the following:
- A history or family history of psychosis in the family
- Currently taking a blood thinner such as Warfarin
- Reduced liver function
- History of addiction
- A complex medication regimen (cannabis can interfere with the metabolism of several classes of medications)
- Sedating medications such as benzodiazepines (such as lorazepam) and/or opioids (such as Percocet)
Make sure to talk to a knowledgeable healthcare professional to make sure cannabis is safe for you!
Cannabis products come in a variety of different formulations such as oils, capsules, creams, dried flower, and concentrates. With an extensive number of products available on the market, it can be quite confusing to select a product that may work for you. Our pharmacists are trained to assess which cannabis products can be safe and effective for you. Reach out to a Pharmacist today for a consultation!
Tension headache. Stanford Health Care (SHC) – Stanford Medical Center. (2017, September 11). Retrieved April 3, 2022, from https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/brain-and-nerves/headache/types/tension-headache.html
Cluster headache. Stanford Health Care (SHC) – Stanford Medical Center. (2017, September 11). Retrieved April 3, 2022, from https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/brain-and-nerves/headache/types/cluster-headache.html
Migraine with aura: Types, symptoms & treatments: AMF. American Migraine Foundation. (2021, August 11). Retrieved April 3, 2022, from https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/understanding-migraine-aura/