“Cannabinoids contain anti-inflammatory properties that could make them useful in the treatment of a wide-range of skin diseases, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
The new study, published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, summarizes the current literature on the subject and concludes that pharmaceuticals containing cannabinoids may be effective against eczema, psoriasis, atopic and contact dermatitis.
“Perhaps the most promising role for cannabinoids is in the treatment of itch,” said the study’s senior author Dr. Robert Dellavalle, MD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
He noted that in one study, eight of 21 patients who applied a cannabinoid cream twice a day for three weeks completely eliminated severe itching or pruritus. The drug may have reduced the dry skin that gave rise to the itch.
Dellavalle believes the primary driver in these treatments could be their anti-inflammatory properties. In the studies he and his fellow researchers reviewed, they found that THC reduced swelling and inflammation in mice.
At the same time, mice with melanoma saw significant inhibition of tumor growth when injected with THC.
‘These are topical cannabinoid drugs with little or no psychotropic effect that can be used for skin disease,’ Dellavalle said.
He cautioned that most of these studies are based on laboratory models and large-scale clinical trials have not been performed yet. He did not recommend such medications for cancer based on current evidence.”
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