For hundreds of years cannabis has been used medically and recreationally by many different cultures from around the world.
It was prized for its benefits and regarded as a feasible option to treat a variety of medical symptoms.
However, due to restrictions put on by politicians, the once highly regarded plant was deemed illegal, a status that it federally maintains to this day in the US.
Physicians and researchers from all branches of medicine have been faced with the dilemma of whether to categorize the plant as an illicit substance or to acknowledge its medical use. While more and more physicians are embracing cannabis’ potential, there are still some who deny the plant’s therapeutic benefits.
Recent studies, however, have shown cannabis to treat a multitude of dermatological conditions from psoriasis to lichen planus to dermatitis.
Corticosteroid pose many risks
Many of the medications used for these conditions include corticosteroids, which come with a multitude of risks attached to it. These steroid hormone medications can come in a pill form, liquid form for injection, or as a topical cream. They possess anti-inflammatory qualities which is necessary for rashes and hypersensitivity associated with many dermatological diseases.
However, when used for an extended period of time, corticosteroids can increase blood pressure, increase in blood glucose levels leading to diabetes mellitus and obesity, cause menstrual cycle disruptions, increase growth maladies in children, and cause immune suppression.
The interactions this drug has with other medication is also a cause for concern. With so many risks outweighing the benefits, why is it that dermatologists still continue to prescribe this pharmaceutical?
Studies show cannabis cream to be effective
Cannabis share many of the anti-inflammatory properties that corticosteroids have. They also can come in a topical cream form. Many patients who have used cannabidiol (CBD) oil topically have found that it helps to alleviate with pain or rash.
Even those patients with multi-systemic conditions have found ingesting cannabis oil to be beneficial for their treatment. While some dermatologists have started to prescribe the plant for conditions like psoriasis, many are still hesitant.
But the medicine is changing dermatology. In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, scientists have established a relationship between cannabis and the immune system through receptor-mediated and receptor-independent pathways.
These pathways include the endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 found all over the body which responds to cannabinoid binding. The scientists concluded a promising role for cannabis in the treatment of many dermatological conditions.
Many Licensed Producers (LPs) in Canada have begun to sell topical creams without cannabis in it. Patients can, then, add a few drops of their cannabis oil to the cream to make their own topical ointment.
With scientific evidence backing cannabis, and many patients reporting an increase in overall quality of life due to the usage of cannabis creams, the medical community has no choice but to delve deeper into this medicine which has long been vilified for political gain.