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  • Writer's pictureKyle Holt

Laying It On Thick: Medical Marijuana and Skin Conditions

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

- How medical marijuana may help people who suffer from certain skin conditions.

The largest organ of the human body.

Our first line of defense against protozoans and viruses.

Human skin.

It’s the softest thing on Earth when we’re firstborn, then it dries, stretches, and wrinkles as we age.

Unfortunately, some people are also burdened with skin conditions that make this critical part of our bodies more of a nuisance than a help.

That’s why people are asking, “can I use medical marijuana for my skin condition?”

Do I need a prescription for medical marijuana for my skin condition?

For medical marijuana, you generally cannot get a prescription for it. Instead, you’ll typically receive a recommendation for medical cannabis.

You may find a doctor that will write you a recommendation for a skin condition, but many states only provide medical cannabis for more “severe” conditions, like cancer or irritable bowel syndrome.

Furthermore, there are some cannabis-derived products that don’t require a medical marijuana recommendation. States with legal cannabis have all kinds of balms, salves, and lotions on their shelves.

And CBD products, including those that may help with skin conditions, have gone nationwide, including to the shelves of major retailers.

So, what can cannabis do for skin conditions?

How can medical marijuana potentially help with skin conditions?

In 2009, Biro et al gave us a fairly clear view of the endocannabinoid system networked throughout the human skin.

The authors’ paper noted that “it seems that the main physiological function of the cutaneous ECS is to constitutively control the proper and well-balanced proliferation, differentiation and survival, as well as immune competence and/or tolerance, of skin cells.”

In other words, the human skin relies heavily upon the effective functioning of the ECS and that any pathological alterations of it can lead to disease.

The authors of that paper even outlined several diseases that may be a result of an imbalanced ECS on the skin.

However, a 2018 review of the literature showed that topical medical marijuana may be able to help many of them.

The researchers indicated that, according to their survey, “cannabinoid products have the potential to treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne vulgaris, allergic contact dermatitis, asteatotic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, Kaposi sarcoma, pruritus, psoriasis, skin cancer, and the cutaneous manifestations of systemic sclerosis.”

Even the most recent literature on medical marijuana and skin diseases shows that there is still much to be learned.

A 2019 report showed that:

● Intracellular transport and trafficking of cannabinoids on the skin aren’t well understood.

● There is still room to better understand which skin diseases are impacted by which cannabinoids.

That being said, the same paper noted that medical marijuana may have potential in helping with:

● Skin tumors

● Itching

● Wound healing

● Pigmentation disorders

● Inflammation

● And more

Should I use medical marijuana on my skin?

There is a chance that it can.

Whenever deciding how to treat a skin condition, be sure to talk to your doctor or a dermatologist to be sure that you are making the right decision.

If this article has scratched your itch to learn more about medical marijuana and skin conditions, please share it with your friends!

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