Our skin covers about 23 square feet, weighs nearly eight pounds, and is regarded as the largest organ of the human body. It provides you with numerous degrees of protection. Not only does your skin help keep you safe from bacteria, parasites and other harmful invaders, recent studies suggest it also plays a role in your body’s immune response to disease and stress from the outside world.
Researchers have noted over the years that patients who have trouble with their immune systems often have accompanying chronic skin conditions such as inflammation, pain, acne, itching, burning and trouble healing from even minor scrapes and cuts. Many physicians believe the health of your skin is can be an indicator of the overall state of one's health.
Good news: Cannabinoids show plenty of promise for treating skin-related problems, and some solutions may be simpler than you think!
The Endocannabinoid System
The human endocannabinoid system is comprised of receptors in almost every part of the body that absorb and process the active compounds of cannabis. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD “plug in” and activate these receptors, allowing the endocannabinoid system to balance your body’s processes. Our bodies contain especially high concentrations of endocannabinoid receptors in nerve tissue, organs, muscles, and skin.
The presence of endocannabinoid receptors in the skin allows cannabis to assist in soothing pain and inflammation, controlling blood flow, and healing injuries. This can be benficial toward relieving sores and alleviating dryness, as well as easing the pain of superficial skin damage or neuropathy.
As we said earlier, the condition a person's skin can often reflection that person's overall health; if you've already been having success in treating your condition with medical cannabis via combustion, vaping, edibles, or tinctures, keep it up!
However, if you want to target your skin directly to address certain issues, there are certainly options that allow for topical relief! Here are a few tips to help you find the right product for your needs:
•If you’re battling a condition that causes dryness, try to use oil-based skin products. If you have oily skin, look for lotions and creams that are water-based to stay comfortable and keep your pores clear.
•Whenever possible, try to use a “full spectrum” (whole plant) product, rather than those that focus on isolates. You can even use tinctures as a serum on your skin; though they won’t clog your pores, use it sparingly, as a little can go a long way!
•To supplement your topical treatment, taking cannabis tinctures orally will help the process. Although most of the tangible benefits (that you’ll notice right away) come from using the products directly on the areas that need it most, cannabis oil is very high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and many dermatologists agree that the combination of these oils is vital to skin health. A lack of these fatty acids is connected to many common problems, including psoriasis and acne.
•As you start using medical cannabis to address your skin's health, keep a detailed journal on which topical products you use, when you use them, and any effects you feel, both positive and negative. Also, be aware of any allergies that you might have in order to avoid any undue irritation caused by certain ingredients that comprise balms, salves, creams, or lotions.
• If you're already addressing specific skin issues with your physician or a dermatologist, be sure to consult them before adding topical cannabis products to your care regimen. Avoid putting products directly on open wounds or cuts.
We've been carrying a variety of cannabis topicals at Harvest for years; ask a Patient Advisor about them next time we see you!