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21st July 2020

CBD Oil for Psoriasis: The Current Research

Research into how CBD might affect the skin and different skin conditions has begun to gain interest. Many people in the UK are dealing with different skin conditions that affect their daily lives, and one of these is psoriasis. In this blog, we take a look at the current research on CBD oil for psoriasis and the different ways you could use it if you wanted to give it a try.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red and flaky patches of skin which are covered with silver scales. These patches can be irritating to the person with psoriasis because they can be itchy and sore. It most commonly occurs on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back. The severity of the condition varies from a minor irritation that is mainly an aesthetic concern through to something that majorly affects quality of life.

Psoriasis occurs due to an increased production of skin cells, which results in a build up. While skin cells are usually made and replaced every three to four weeks, someone with psoriasis will have this process occurring every three to seven days. Scientists are not entirely sure why this happens, but it is thought to be related to the immune system being compromised and mistakenly attacking healthy skin cells. This is why it is considered to be an autoimmune condition.

According to the NHS, the condition affects around 2% of people in the UK with a roughly equal gender balance. It can develop at any age, but will most commonly begin in adults when they are under the age of 35.

How might CBD oil affect psoriasis?


Psoriasis is considered to be an autoimmune condition and an inflammatory skin disease, where inflamed and painful patches of skin are common, and it is widely thought that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. A frequently cited scientific article from 2009 found that cannabinoids could help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation.

In fact, a small-scale study carried out in 2019 investigated the therapeutic effect of CBD ointment on chronic inflammatory skin diseases, including psoriasis. It found that topical administration of CBD ointment, without any THC, is a safe and effective non-invasive alternative for improving the quality of life in patients with some skin disorders, especially inflammatory ones like psoriasis.

Slow skin cell growth

Keratinocytes are epidermal cells, meaning they occur in the outer layer of the skin. In fact, they make up over 90% of the cells of your epidermis. As we mentioned before, the increased production of skin cells is what causes the rough and scaly patches of skin in psoriasis.

However, one 2007 study found that cannabinoids including cannabidiol (CBD) could inhibit the proliferation (growth) of keratinocytes and might, therefore, have a potential role in the treatment of psoriasis.

Managing flare-up triggers

Another way in which CBD oil might be helpful for psoriasis is related to its effects on flare-up triggers. Psoriasis tends to go through phases of severity and it is thought that certain triggers, like stress, can cause a particularly bad flare-up.

Anecdotal evidence from those who use it say that CBD oil can reduce stress, making you feel calm and balanced. In turn, this might have an impact on triggering outbreaks of flare-ups of psoriasis.

Related article: How Does CBD Make You Feel?

The studies are encouraging, and while we can’t be sure that CBD oil is a definite treatment option for psoriasis, it certainly seems worth giving it a try as an additional method for managing symptoms.

What are the best ways to use CBD oil for psoriasis?

CBD oil oral administration

As we mentioned above, CBD oil has the potential to calm psoriasis triggers, and the best way to do this is through oral administration. The best way is to take the drops sublingually - this involves dropping them under your tongue, holding them there for approximately 60 seconds and then swallowing.

To get an idea of the types of oil on the market, you can take a look at our selection of CBD oils from a number of different brands.

Topical CBD creams and lotions

Psoriasis is a skin condition, so it makes sense to also look to skincare products when trying to manage the symptoms. With topical CBD, you simply apply the product to the affected area - in this case, the affected patches of skin.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in trying, you can get started by browsing our CBD bodycare section.


One of the tricky things about psoriasis is that it can often affect the scalp and you don’t want to apply a CBD cream there. Luckily, there is another option. CBD shampoo, like this Rebalance Shampoo from VIRISENS, could potentially be a valuable product for those who are affected by psoriasis on their scalp.

A combination

When introducing CBD to your life as a supplement or skincare ingredient, it’s all about tailoring the process and finding what works for you. You might find that oral CBD works better than topical or vice versa, or you might find that a combination of both is the best option!

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