When it comes to psoriasis, the condition is particularly annoying due to the accelerated cycle of skin cell growth accompanied by chronic inflammation of the skin. In healthy people, mature skin cells come off of their skin about once a month so that new cells can grow. Individuals with psoriasis struggle with accumulating skin cells once every other week.
The accelerated division of skin cells derives from a hyperactive immune system that mistakenly signals the body about skin cell infection, stimulating excessive growth.
Numerous studies have pointed to CBD as a potential anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory agent. CBD also has a profound impact on the body’s homeostasis, which refers to the balance between all organ systems and their biological functions — including skin health.
Despite a modest amount of research regarding the use of CBD specifically for psoriasis, anecdotal evidence as well as findings from studies that investigated the impact of CBD on the symptoms of psoriasis, are very promising.
Best CBD Oil for Psoriasis: Reviews
- Overall Winner: Royal CBD
- Best Organic Formula: Gold Bee
- Runner Up: CBDistillery
- Best Value: CBD Pure
- Best Product Selection: Charlotte’s Web
1. Royal CBD (Overall Winner)
Why we think Royal CBD is the best CBD oil for psoriasis
People with psoriasis have a few options to choose from when it comes to Royal CBD’s line up. This premium brand offers full-spectrum CBD oils and soft-gels, broad-spectrum gummies, CBD topicals, and disposable vape pens. The entire collection is made from organically grown hemp and extracted with supercritical CO2 for consistent potency and purity.
The Royal CBD oil contains the full-spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes, so you’re getting the whole-plant synergy CBD oils have become popular for. Most users report better results with full-spectrum products due to the said synergy and more predictable dosing. If you’re searching for the best CBD oil for psoriasis, we recommend Royal CBD Oil 2500 mg and their cooling cream to address localized discomfort and moisturize the skin.
Royal CBD tests its products in an independent laboratory; the certificates of analysis (COA) are available on request. If you’re looking for a safe way to try out Royal CBD oils, the brand offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
2. Gold Bee (Best Organic Formula)
Why we recommend Gold Bee CBD oil for psoriasis
Gold Bee combines two superfoods in one product — hemp and honey. Both ingredients come from organic sources; the hemp is grown in Colorado, and the honey is imported from Brazilian rainforests. The guys at Gold Bee have spent several years in the superfood industry, carrying their knowledge over to the hemp market.
The Gold Bee CBD oil is available in the 1200 mg potency, which translates to 40 mg of CBD per milliliter. Similar to Royal CBD, this is a full-spectrum product, so you’re getting all the beneficial ingredients from hemp, including the supportive cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Research has shown that full-spectrum products are more effective in reducing pain and inflammation than isolate-based extracts, so this oil is a decent option for psoriasis patients who are looking for a natural way to manage their symptoms. You can choose between the natural and kiwi flavors.
3. CBDistillery (Runner Up)
Why we recommend CBDistillery CBD oil for psoriasis
CBDistillery has one of the broadest product selections on the market. Its CBD oils are available as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD. The latter version has been purged from THC for those who are apprehensive about taking any amounts of this cannabinoid. The potency of CBDistillery’s oils ranges from 250 mg to a whopping 5000 mg of CBD per bottle. The strongest option provides 166 mg of CBD in every milliliter, which can address severe symptoms of psoriasis. This is one of the most affordable brands on the market; the 250 mg bottle costs only $19.
4. CBD Pure (Best Value)
About CBD Pure
If you’re a first-time user, CBD Pure is one of the safest bets out there. The potency range is great for beginners, starting at 100 mg of total CBD, which translates into 3.3 mg per milliliter. CBD Pure has recently added a 1000 mg strength to their line up; it’s a nice nod toward users who have some experience with using CBD oil but need less than 30 mg of CBD daily.
CBD Pure has a decent potency range for mild-to-moderate psoriasis symptoms. If you’re looking for something stronger, you can try their high-strength capsules or CBD-infused cream. The company also has a friendly return policy, allowing the users to get a full refund if they don’t feel satisfied with the results and send the product back within 90 days.
5. Charlotte’s Web (Best Product Selection)
About Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte’s Web is one of the most well-known names on the CBD market. The Stanley Brothers, who founded the company, are partly responsible for the CBD hype thanks to their contribution to presenting the health benefits of CBD to the general public. Since then, Charlotte’s Web has evolved and now offers a broad selection of products, including CBD oils, capsules, topicals, and edibles. While most companies produce CBD oils using CO2 extraction, the guys at Charlotte’s Web follow the old-school olive oil extraction technology.
Does CBD Oil Help with Psoriasis?
Psoriasis doesn’t have a cure yet. Researchers are still trying to determine what exactly causes the immune system to become hyperactive and stimulate the production of excess skin cells. Therefore, it’s challenging to address the underlying problem behind the disease.
According to cannabis experts, the endocannabinoid system (ECS), our master regulatory network that interacts with cannabinoids, is the potential therapeutic target in this dysfunction. The ECS is actually the reason why the medical community has focused its attention on the health benefits of cannabis in the first place.
CBD has a modulatory effect on the endocannabinoid system. As such, it can optimize its performance by engaging in a series of interactions with two types of cannabinoid receptors — CB1 and CB2.
Although the research on CBD and psoriasis is in the initial stages, studies have demonstrated that the activation of the ECS lowers inflammation of the body through an array of mechanisms, such as the shift from pro-inflammatory responses to anti-inflammatory ones.
The ECS also regulates the differentiation and proliferation of keratinocytes, both of which are pathologically increased in psoriasis patients.
How does CBD Oil Work for Psoriasis?
- CB2r deficiency results in an increased acute inflammatory response. CBD is the agonist of CB2r, meaning it can stimulate and thus reverse the inflammatory response (1).
- CBD also inhibits specific pro-inflammatory pathways in BV-2 microglial cells (2).
- According to one clinical study that analyzed the efficacy of CBD-infused ointment, consistent application of CBD topicals may be highly efficient in people with psoriasis. The authors of the study concluded there’s a need for longitudinal human clinical trials to further confirm these results (3).
Studies on CBD and Psoriasis
As you can see, there’s an evident link between the modulation of the endocannabinoid system and improvements in psoriasis symptoms. As mentioned earlier, the amount of research is limited, but animal studies and preclinical results from human trials indicate the light in the tunnel for patients.
For example, a 2007 study found that cannabinoids can treat psoriasis by slowing down the production of new skin cells (4).
In a 2017 study, the research team found that JWH-133, a synthetic cannabinoid, might be effective at relieving the symptoms of psoriasis, although human studies are needed to reassess these results (5).
A recent 2019 study suggested that CBD could be able to relieve psoriasis, but again, more studies are needed to make definitive conclusions (6).
Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC have also been highlighted as “novel anti-inflammatory drugs” by a 2010 study. This trait is particularly beneficial for everybody who has a chronic skin condition such as psoriasis (7–8).
Last but not least, multiple studies have suggested that CBD can effectively reduce pain that is difficult to treat. Many people with psoriasis use CBD oils and creams to weaken pain signals. This is likely caused by CBD’s ability to act on opioid and vanilloid receptors, which control our pain perception (9).
How to Choose CBD Products for Psoriasis
CBD products are broken down into three categories: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates.
Full-spectrum extracts use the entire plant and contain all compounds naturally found in hemp. Because they act synergistically, their combination is considered more efficient than their processed counterparts due to a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. The term has been described in detail by Dr. Ethan Russo in his paper “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and cannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects.” (10)
Broad-spectrum CBD is much like the full-spectrum CBD but without any THC. The psychoactive cannabinoid is removed from the extract in a series of processes after the initial extraction. Although not a complete product, broad-spectrum CBD is recommended for those who want to evoke some of the entourage effects but are regularly tested for THC at work.
Finally, there are CBD isolates, which are exactly what they sound like — pure CBD that has been isolated from other hemp compounds. CBD isolates have no odor or flavor, and they offer the highest concentration of cannabidiol per serving. However, since they don’t produce the entourage effect, they are a less desired format among consumers.
Follow these steps to make sure you’re getting a quality CBD product for psoriasis:
- Check the hemp source – the best CBD products for psoriasis are made from organically grown hemp. That’s because hemp plants are dynamic bio accumulators, meaning they absorb both the good and bad substances from their environment. Organic farming ensures that the plant only gets the good ones.
- Read lab reports – third-party laboratories analyze the potency of CBD in the tested sample and checks for common contaminants and other unwanted substances, such as pesticides, residual solvents, or heavy metals. Certificates of Analysis should be provided by the manufacturer on the website or sent on request via email.
- Know the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil – when you read the product’s label, make sure it states “CBD oil” instead of “hemp oil” or “hemp extract.” The latter names indicate that you may be looking at hemp seed oil, which is a far cry from CBD oil. Hemp seed oil is made by cold-pressing the hemp seeds. This part of the plant is a rich source of fatty acids, vitamins, proteins, and trace minerals, but there’s no CBD inside them. CBD oil is extracted from flowers, where most cannabinoids and terpenes are secreted.
- Look for CO2-extracted products – CO2 extraction is by far the best method to produce full-spectrum CBD oils. It doesn’t use additional heat or solvents, ensuring consistent potency without posing threat to the user and environment.
How to Take CBD for Psoriasis
Everybody is different, so it’s difficult to determine which potency or formulation will provide the best results for each individual. According to dermatologists, patients should focus on the best route of administration rather than the particular formula or the type of their condition.
In simple terms, it’s essential to find an application method that will reach the root cause of psoriasis on top of helping you manage its symptoms.
If you have psoriasis, the best way to target the problem is to combine a sublingual or oral product with a topical solution for an all-around approach.
CBD Oil for Psoriasis
CBD oil contains a hemp extract that has been infused into an inert oil such as MCT oil or hemp seed oil. The infusion is necessary because CBD is fat-soluble, meaning it absorbs efficiently when consumed with fats. CBD oils are taken sublingually (under the tongue) using a glass dropper. The droppers usually have a small scale that allows for easy and precise dosing. After placing the desired dose beneath your tongue, wait for up to 60 seconds before swallowing. This way, the oil will absorb into the bloodstream through the tiny capillaries in the mouth, avoiding the first-pass metabolism in the liver.
Those who aren’t fans of the taste of natural CBD oil can choose an oral form, such as traditional capsules or gummies. These products offer a premeasured dose in each serving and are designed for people who take their supplements on-the-go. Oral forms of CBD last longer than oils, but they have a delayed onset because CBD needs to pass through the liver first. As a result, they lose some of their potency.
If you’re looking for a product with the highest bioavailability, CBD vape pens are a decent option. Since the CBD enters the circulatory system through the lungs, the effects are felt within minutes after inhalation. Bioavailability refers to the amount of CBD that ends up in the bloodstream; CBD vapes have been measured at 56% compared to 35% for sublingual products (oils and tinctures) and 20% for oral forms (capsules and edibles).
CBD Cream for Psoriasis
Adding a topical product to your routine helps you approach the problem from another angle. While CBD oil helps manage the psoriasis symptoms from within, topicals like CBD creams offer localized relief, e.g. when you experience a psoriasis flare-up. The absorption rate and duration of effects vary depending on the product’s formula, fat base, and supportive ingredients.
Best CBD Cream for Psoriasis: Royal CBD Cream
Royal CBD offers two types of topicals, both formulated with broad-spectrum extracts. For those looking for the most effective relief from their psoriasis symptoms, we recommend the Royal CBD Cool Relief Balm (500 mg). This product has been infused into organic coconut oil, which has the highest level of saturated fats, ideal for a CBD infusion. It also contains soothing ingredients such as menthol crystals, rosehip seed oil, organic beeswax, and a blend of essential oils including ginger, clove, and lavender. The balm can be used to moisturize the skin and provide relief from localized inflammation and discomfort.
What to Know About Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a skin disease triggered by chronic inflammation that leads to the overgrowth of skin cells. It is considered an autoimmune condition.
The underlying cause of psoriasis is unknown, but researchers suggest that the immune system wrongly activates the inflammatory reaction in the skin cells, stimulating the cycle of their growth. This, in turn, may lead to dryness, irritation, and itching.
Other possible causes of the disease include a family history of psoriasis, exposure to severe stress, poor diet, inadequate lifestyle, and certain environmental factors. It is estimated that an average of 4% of the global population has psoriasis. In some regions of the world, psoriasis is nearly nonexistent, while northern parts are known for its higher prevalence.
Psoriasis usually appears on the elbows, knees, and the edge of the scalp. It shows up as red or pink eczema with a dry, white surface in the middle of the ring. The white scales or flakes are caused by excessive cell division. In some people, they can grow up to 10 times faster during severe inflammation.
Commonly Affected Areas of the Body
- Scalp and its edges
People with psoriatic may also develop psoriatic arthritis and inflammation in the joint. According to research, around 30% of psoriasis patients will have psoriatic arthritis and experience swelling and stiffness in the joints. Smaller joints — in the feet and hands — are more likely to be affected by the condition.
Psoriasis Treatment Options: Benefits & Pitfalls
Although psoriasis has no cure, there are various treatments available for patients who want to make their symptoms more manageable. Doctors usually prescribe topical solutions based on corticosteroids.
Corticosteroids are the strongest of man-made anti-inflammatory drugs. Although they bring short-term relief, their long-term use can result in severe negative side effects on the skin.
Another option involves immunosuppressants. However, regular use of immunosuppressants is associated with a compromised immune system, increasing the likelihood of infections and diseases.
The good news is that the symptoms of psoriasis can be treated naturally, with a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, a balanced and healthy lifestyle, and minimizing exposure to stress. Some add products like bath salts or turmeric-based supplements to support healthy communication between the cells of the immune system.
A successful psoriasis treatment should also include gentle soaps as a means to regulate the pH level of your skin. Dermatologists also recommend natural oils and butter that moisturize the skin and support a healthy renewal cycle.
Summarizing the use of CBD for Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a challenging skin disease that involves a dysfunctional endocannabinoid system and deficiencies in the type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2). CBD is the modulator of the endocannabinoid system and the agonist of the CB2 receptor. Through these mechanisms, the cannabinoid can exert anti-inflammatory actions and regulate skin cell growth — easing the symptoms of psoriasis and preventing flare-ups.
CBD may also help with chronic pain, anxiety, and sleep problems caused by psoriasis. While the link between CBD and psoriasis needs to be studied in clinical conditions, there is evidence that CBD can be a safe and effective alternative to traditionally prescribed treatments.
If you’re considering taking CBD oil for psoriasis, make sure to do your research on any company selling CBD out there. Don’t have the time to browse different brands and their products? You can use our recommendations from above; all companies we’ve listed make premium products that are rigorously tested for potency and purity.
Finally, we recommend that you speak to a dermatologist experienced in cannabis use to find your optimal dosage and avoid potential interactions with medications, as CBD is known to change their metabolism.
- Kapellos, Theodore S et al. “Cannabinoid receptor 2 deficiency exacerbates inflammation and neutrophil recruitment.” FASEB journal: official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology vol. 33,5 (2019): 6154-6167. doi:10.1096/fj.201802524R
- Kozela, Ewa et al. “Cannabinoids Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol differentially inhibit the lipopolysaccharide-activated NF-kappaB and interferon-beta/STAT proinflammatory pathways in BV-2 microglial cells.” The Journal of biological chemistry vol. 285,3 (2010): 1616-26. doi:10.1074/jbc.M109.069294
- Palmieri, B et al. “A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars.” La Clinica terapeutica vol. 170,2 (2019): e93-e99. doi:10.7417/CT.2019.2116
- Wilkinson, Jonathan D, and Elizabeth M Williamson. “Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis.” Journal of dermatological science vol. 45,2 (2007): 87-92. doi:10.1016/j.jdermsci.2006.10.009
- Norooznezhad, Amir Hossein, and Fatemeh Norooznezhad. “Cannabinoids: Possible agents for the treatment of psoriasis via suppression of angiogenesis and inflammation.” Medical hypotheses vol. 99 (2017): 15-18. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2016.12.003
- Sheriff, Tabrez et al. “The potential role of cannabinoids in dermatology.” The Journal of dermatological treatment vol. 31,8 (2020): 839-845. doi:10.1080/09546634.2019.1675854
- Nagarkatti, Prakash et al. “Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.” Future medicinal chemistry vol. 1,7 (2009): 1333-49. doi:10.4155/fmc.09.93
- Scheau, Cristian et al. “Cannabinoids in the Pathophysiology of Skin Inflammation.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 25,3 652. 4 Feb. 2020, doi:10.3390/molecules25030652
- Manzanares, J et al. “Role of the cannabinoid system in pain control and therapeutic implications for the management of acute and chronic pain episodes.” Current neuropharmacology vol. 4,3 (2006): 239-57. doi:10.2174/157015906778019527
- Russo, Ethan B. “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects.” British journal of pharmacology vol. 163,7 (2011): 1344-64. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x