Wed, Oct

Cannabis and the Management of Skin Problems … Does It Work?

Dear Nurse Susan, 

I have psoriasis and have tried everything, but nothing has worked. Can cannabis help my skin problems? Thanks!



Dear Patches,           

Cannabis, used topically can be an effective way to manage skin issues like psoriasis, acne, and epidermolysis bellosa. Cannabis is known to be effective for autoimmune issues and pain and is worth exploring as a solution. Cannabinoid receptors are found in the skin so topicals are a great way to medicate your skin.

According to Psoriasis News.com the compounds found in cannabis can also be useful for the treatment of psoriasis. Cannabinoids such as THC, cannabidiol, cannabinol, and cannabigerol were found to inhibit the proliferation of skin cells (keratinocytes). In combination with their anti-inflammatory activities, these compounds may represent a potential therapy for patients with psoriasis.           

And don’t forget the terpenes! Camphene and bisabolol are both effective with psoriasis. Camphene, found in cannabis, citronella oil, turpentine, nutmeg, ginger oil and camphor oil has the aroma of fir needles and damp earth. Camphene appears to be important for cardiovascular health because it lowers cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. 

The other properties of camphene include antioxidant,  antibacterial, antifungal, relieves stress, relieves pain, suppresses appetite, lowers blood sugar; good for insulin resistance, anti-cancer: melanoma, bronchodilator, relieves agitation, and is beneficial for eczema, psoriasis, and athlete’s foot.           

Bisabolol found in cannabis, chamomile,candeia tree,has a mild, floral, peppery aroma. It has been used in the cosmetics industry due to its skin healing properties. Otherproperties of bisabolol include anti-inflammatory, good for arthritis, auto-immune, anti-irritant, antioxidant, antibacterial, relieves pain, skin healing properties; good for psoriasis and burns, helps therapeutic agents penetrate the skin, anti-cancer: leukemia, liver cancer, helps kidney function, anti-leishmaniasis, antispasmodic, neuroprotectant; and good for neurodegenerative diseases.           

If you want to explore cannabis as an option for managing your symptoms and disease processes, there is a lot of information on the internet. An excellent introduction to how cannabis works in your body is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-OEpwgv6aM. If you prefer the one-to-one approach, please visit my website at www.dearnursesusan.com for information on how to contact me. I will educate you on the endocannabinoid system, the components of cannabis and how they work in your body, dosing (the most important aspect of a successful cannabis regimen), modes of administration, and safety. Finally, if you prefer your information delivered in bite-sized pieces, stay tuned to this column for weekly articles.


(Susan Marks RN, BSN, PHN writes for CityWatch and is a medical cannabis educator and consultant based in Los Angeles. You can contact her at [email protected]