CBD for Sarcoidosis
Thanks to its many benefits for overall well-being, CBD offers an excellent addition to sarcoidosis treatment protocols. Daily use of drops or topical CBD-infused products can help to ease the symptoms of this disorder. It can also help to combat the side effects of medications.
To understand how CBD helps sarcoidosis, it helps to understand how this disease affects the body. In this guide, we share more information and advice on complimentary sarcoidosis treatments.
What is sarcoidosis?
Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease affecting multiple organs in the body, but primarily the lungs and lymph glands.
Abnormal masses called granulomas, which consist of inflamed tissue, form in these areas and impact both the structure and functionality of the affected organs.
What causes sarcoidosis?
Doctors are as yet unsure what causes this disease. It has been regarded as both an autoimmune disease and a hereditary condition. Many experts believe that the disease stems from how the immune system reacts to substances such as chemicals, dust, infectious substances or other unknown substances.
The body’s proteins may also cause a reaction that results in granulomas in those who have a genetic predisposition to the disease.
Can it be cured?
No cure has been found for the disease. It can be managed with treatment, however. Although it can last for a long time in some people, leading to serious problems such as organ damage, it can go away on its own in some cases.
Common sarcoidosis symptoms
Sarcoidosis manifests in sufferers in multiple ways. It typically starts with a dry cough, exhaustion and shortness of breath.
Other sarcoidosis symptoms can include tender reddish patches on the skin, a hoarse voice, blurred vision, and discomfort in the hands, feet or anywhere else in the bones. It can cause an enlarged liver, as well as sensitivity, swelling and pain in the joints and lymph glands.
In addition to this, sarcoidosis can also impact a great deal many other organs and areas in the body, including the spleen, heart, liver, nervous system, muscles, and kidneys. Organ damage is a major risk in serious cases.
Traditionally sarcoidosis has been treated with steroids and immunosuppressant drugs. These medications often cause side effects, adding even more to the pain and discomfort caused by the disease. Because of this, many people dealing with this disease also make use of additional complementary treatments.
CBD is considered an effective supplementary treatment to provide relief in sarcoidosis symptoms and to overcome the side effects of drugs recommended to relieve this disease.
CBD oil benefits for sarcoidosis
CBD is an effective complementary alternative treatment to use along with pharmaceutical medications.
CBD and immune support
CBD protects the immune system from viruses and infections. Research shows that CBD can help to reduce viral loads and stimulate the development of the T-cells that are essential for building immunity as they detect and eliminate pathogens.
Sarcoidosis sufferers experiencing kidney damage will be assisted by CBD’s properties as an antioxidant. This enhanced immune support improves functionality, helping to repair damage and reducing the inflammation that is caused by the oxidative stress of the condition.
CBD for stress and sleep
CBD can help with the impact that living with a disease like sarcoidosis can trigger.
CBD’s ability to naturally enhance mood and reduce stress responses in the body makes it a highly effective aid for holistic treatment.
Anxiety , stress and depression are prevalent amongst patients with chronic pain conditions like these. The stress of living with a painful condition that often limits the ability to get through day-to-day tasks can be debilitating.
Sleep issues are also common – especially due to the pain caused by this disease. Sore joints and discomfort can lead to insomnia. As improved sleep is one of the most widely known benefits of CBD, daily drops can make a major difference to sleep quality.
CBD for pain and inflammation
Pain and inflammation are both common in diseases such as sarcoidosis. These are the two most common and severe symptoms of sarcoidosis. Treating them with anti-inflammatory and painkilling drugs can cause adverse side effects on our bodies.
Patients suffering from the condition experience extreme pain and inflammation in various parts of their bodies, particularly in their joints, chest and lymph nodes. As a well-known anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving cannabinoid, CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
How does CBD relieve pain?
Pain and inflammation go hand-in-hand. When inflammation occurs, pain is the typical response.
Studies show that CBD helps to reduce pain through its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid, inflammatory, and pain-sensing systems. This system regulates various functions in the body, including the way that pain is felt.
CBD interacts with a core function of the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors, which are closely linked to the immune system. These receptors are made up of protein. They are found within the body’s cells and receive signals that trigger a cellular reaction and a release of protein that kill overly active cells and reduce inflammation.
How to use CBD oil
CBD oil is ideal as a supplementary treatment along with medication prescribed by your healthcare practitioner.
There are many ways to use the oil, including orally and topically. At goodleaf, we offer a range of CBD oil products that help to treat the symptoms of sarcoidosis.
Our 600mg CBD drops can be taken orally, under the tongue. You can take a single dose (1ml / 20 drops) once a day. Or, you can divide the dose into two doses (0.5ml / 10 drops). Once you have placed the drops under your tongue, hold for 60-90 seconds and then swallow. You can add the drops into beverages or food – the absorption rate is twice as long, however.
Water soluble CBD sachets are a quick and easy way to get your dose orally without the need to place drops directly into your mouth. You can add these sachets to water or your daily cup of tea or coffee, stir to dissolve and then drink.
To get the full benefit of oral CBD oil, we recommend a monthly subscription . This will ensure that you don’t run out of drops or sachets.
Topical CBD products are a great way to ease pain in the joints and muscles. It can also provide relief from skin irritation and discomfort.
We have a selection of CBD-enriched skincare products in store. Try the Dr Kerklaan Pain Cream , which is made to ease muscle, joint and nerve pain. It contains hemp-rich CBD along with cooling peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils.
For skin that is inflamed, irritated and sensitive, the goodleaf CBD Body Lotion will provide nourishment. This nurturing cream contains omega-rich Kalahari melon and marula oil with shea butter. It replenishes the skin, adding softness and moisture without greasiness.
Our CBD Roller for Pain Relief helps to ease pain gently, with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients such as ginger root and Namibian Myrrh.
CBD and Sarcoidosis
Dealing with sarcoidosis can be challenging. With the right treatment, symptoms can be greatly eased. You will find a range of products designed to improve your health and well-being at goodleaf.
How Does Cannabis Help Chronic Skin Conditions?
Cannabis preparations have been repeatedly shown to alleviate the symptoms of chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The endocannabinoid system appears to play an important role in the regulation of various key processes involved in inflammation. Imbalance of the endocannabinoid system may even be a major underlying cause of skin complaints.
Chronic skin complaints such as psoriasis or eczema (formally known as atopic dermatitis) may occur due to genetic, environmental, or lifestyle influences, or a combination of the three. The exact causes of many epidermal problems are still unknown or unproven. The good news is that cannabis can be used in various ways to ameliorate the symptoms of most chronic skin conditions.
What causes chronic skin conditions?
Lifestyle influences that affect occurrence and severity of common skin conditions include obesity, stress, general ill-health, poor diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Environmental causes include changes in season or climate, particularly those involving dramatic changes in humidity.
Psoriasis may also afflict individuals taking certain prescription medications (including beta blockers, NSAIDS and lithium), or those with severely weakened immune systems—such as HIV sufferers. Prevalence of psoriasis varies widely between countries, and is estimated at around 2-4% in Western countries.
There are some skin conditions, such as granuloma annulare, which also have no scientifically proven causes but are suspected to be a reaction to something else which has happened to the body. Granuloma are an inflammatory response which occur in the tissues of the body – in this case, the skin – when it is trying to fight infection or protect itself from a foreign substance. Examples of incidents that may trigger granuloma annulare include developing another disease, injury to the skin, stings and bites from venomous creatures, and even being tattooed.
For eczema, it is postulated that overly sterile human environments may contribute to development of allergies in children. It is also suggested that dust mite allergy is strongly associated with the condition. Eczema is estimated to affect around 10% of all humans, to varying degrees of severity. In some areas, lifetime prevalence is thought to be as high as one-third of the population, and appears to be rising over time.
Symptoms of dermatitis
There are several forms of dermatitis. The two most common forms are atopic or chronic dermatitis (eczema) and contact or acute dermatitis (which is caused by direct contact with an allergen or irritant, and is often mistaken for eczema). The symptoms generally range from red skin and bumpy rashes to severe blistering and lesions in extreme cases. Blisters and lesions may weep or ooze and may ultimately lead to unsightly scarring.
Dry, itchy skin is the most common symptom. The areas most commonly affected include the cubital and popliteal fossa (the inner fold of the elbow and knee, respectively), the wrists, hands, and face. Eczema can be extremely debilitating, but is not fatal. However, resultant infections gaining a foothold through broken skin have occasionally been known to cause fatalities.
Infection by staphylococcal or streptococcal bacteria is very common in eczema. More rarely, this can lead to widespread infection and septicaemia. As well as this, the herpes simplex virus can infect eczema-damaged skin and cause an extreme condition known as eczema herpeticum, which can in turn lead to systemic bacterial ‘superinfection’ and even death.
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Symptoms of psoriasis
Psoriasis also comes in various forms. The most common form is known as psoriasis vulgaris or plaque psoriasis. The ‘plaques’ this terminology refers to are raised, inflamed (often roughly circular) patches of skin covered with a silvery, scaly, plaque-like substance. These plaques usually appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, and back.
Psoriasis vulgaris affects up to 90% of psoriasis sufferers. Other forms include pustular psoriasis, which causes raised, pus-filled bumps or pustules accompanied by severe itching and tenderness. Pustules usually appear on the hands and feet, or randomly across the body.
A rare, potentially-fatal form of the condition is known as erythrodermic psoriasis. This debilitating disease can lead to inflammation and exfoliation of the majority of the sufferer’s skin. The severity of the inflammation and skin loss can be such that normal temperature regulation and barrier function control is irreparably disrupted and death can result.
Genetic influences on eczema and psoriasis
Eczema sufferers have been found to exhibit variations in the FLG gene that encodes expression of a protein known as filaggrin, which is crucial to regulation of the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the epidermis. Filaggrin binds to free strands of keratin and causes it to form a matrix within the keratinocyte cells of the epidermis.
This tough, impermeable matrix is the foundation of the waterproof ‘barrier’ that makes up the outer layer of human skin. It keeps the skin hydrated both by preventing evaporation and by absorbing water. Variations in the FLG gene have also been implicated in another debilitating skin condition, ichthyosis vulgaris, which causes the skin to take on a scaly appearance due to over-production of keratinocytes.
Psoriasis, which also involves over-production of keratinocytes, has a strong genetic association; around one-third of sufferers report family history of the condition. It is thought that several genes interact to determine occurrence of psoriasis in ways that are not fully understood.
Around thirty-six different loci that correspond to psoriasis susceptibility have been found on the chromosomes. The genes found within these loci are involved in inflammatory response, and several have been implicated in other autoimmune diseases as well as psoriasis.
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Chronic skin conditions and immune response
Both eczema and psoriasis involve an atypical immune response. Psoriasis is considered to be autoimmune in nature, as it does not occur due to any external allergen but due to a malfunction of the immune system that causes it to attack formerly healthy tissue.
Eczema is a generalised response to the presence of external allergens. It is not an autoimmune disease, although it is often present in individuals suffering from other autoimmune diseases, and certain other forms of dermatitis have an autoimmune component. Specifically, eczema and psoriasis are conditions that are caused by atypical inflammatory response.
The inflammatory response is a fundamental part of the immune system. Upon initial exposure to a pathogen (or perceived pathogen in the case of an autoimmune disease such as psoriasis), increased levels of blood plasma and white blood cells (particularly granulocytes) are brought, via the bloodstream, to the affected tissues.
These fluids then accumulate, causing the characteristic swelling. The increase in blood flow in the affected area causes reddening and the sensation of heat, and itching and pain occur due to release of compounds that stimulate the nerve endings.
Granuloma annulare and cannabinoids
Granuloma annulare, as mentioned above, has no established cause and unfortunately, no established cure. Traditional treatments range from steroid injections to hoping that it goes away on its own. Understandably, many people who suffer from it are dissatisfied with these options.
Although there have not yet been any specific studies on treating granuloma annulare with cannabis, there is some evidence that cannabinoids may help alleviate this condition. Angiogenesis (the formation and differentiation of blood vessels) is linked to inflammatory conditions and plays a large part in the formation of granuloma.
Experiments on rats in 2008 concluded that cannabinoids modulated the function of mast cells, which are mostly responsible for angiogenesis, thereby reducing granuloma formation. In this response to a patient’s question, Dr Philip Blair advises topical application of a CBD tincture or oil to treat granuloma annulare (although, as always, Sensi Seeds recommends you consult your medical practitioner before commencing any treatment).
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Hempseed oil and skin complaints
Application of several different oils and emollients, such as petroleum jelly, beeswax, almond oil, olive oil, and various synthetic preparations, have been shown to reduce symptoms of psoriasis and dermatitis. As these conditions are characterised by overly dry skin, products which can moisturise the skin while avoiding further irritation are fundamental to their treatment.
In eczema and psoriasis, dry skin occurs due to excessive transepidermal water loss, as persistent inflammation compromises the skin’s ability to act as a barrier and regulate diffusion and evaporation.
Beyond directly providing moisture, compounds contained within some of these products may be the key to controlling the imbalance that underlies the condition. With hempseed oil and several other natural oils, high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is believed to reduce itching and inflammation better than moisturisers that are low in PUFAs. Linoleic acid in particular is thought to be of interest, although other PUFAs are also being investigated.
Dietary PUFAs and skin moisture
PUFAs are typically incorporated in the diet. There is evidence to suggest that dietary hempseed oil can raise PUFA levels in the epidermis and render them more comparable to the fatty acid profile found in ‘normal’ skin.
In a Finnish study published in 2005, researchers compared hempseed oil with olive oil, and found that the hempseed oil exhibited far more significant signs of efficacy against eczema. Dietary hempseed oil increased endogenous levels of two essential fatty acids (EFAs), linoleic acid (omega-6) and a-linolenic acid (omega-3). It also boosted levels of the non-essential PUFA, gamma-linolenic acid (omega-6). As well as this, transepidermal water loss decreased, subjective levels of skin dryness and itchiness improved, and perceived need for medication among patients diminished.
Although apparently no hemp-specific studies have been performed on psoriasis, plenty of anecdotal evidence exists, and there have been several studies which attest to the potential for PUFAs to be of use in this condition too.
A link between low rates of psoriasis and high consumption of PUFAs from fish oil in certain populations (such as Eskimos) has been established for some time, although in this case it is thought that two non-essential PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid and dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid, are of particular potential in reducing symptoms. Hempseed oil is mostly comprised of linoleic acid and a-linolenic acid. Conversely, the non-essential PUFA arachidonic acid is thought to be involved in the development of psoriasis.
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Ratio of hempseed oil composition
As our understanding of the mechanisms underlying chronic inflammation grows, we are finding that diseases that affect the skin (one of the primary anatomical barriers involved in the immune response), such as eczema and psoriasis, are closely linked to another major barrier, the gastrointestinal tract. Thus, it may be that underlying problems with dietary PUFA absorption or utilisation in the GI tract also play a part in the development of chronic skin conditions.
It has been observed that fatty acid profiles of hempseed oil vary according to cultivar, with linoleic acid making up 50-70% and linolenic acid (both alpha- and gamma-) making up 15-25% of total volume. Gamma-linolenic acid content may be as much as 2.46% or as little as 0.80%. As we gain more insight into the complexities of PUFA levels and dermal health, different cultivars may be of use in different conditions, or specific cultivars may even be bred for specific purposes.
Cannabinoids and dermal health
It has been relatively well established that eczema and psoriasis respond well to PUFA-rich treatments. PUFAs are extremely widespread and can be obtained from multiple sources (although hempseed oil is an abundant source, with a generally favourable ratio).
Cannabinoids, on the other hand, are almost exclusively found in cannabis. They too have been demonstrated to have significant effect on chronic skin conditions. Cannabinoids are well-known to have a role to play in regulating inflammation, and it appears that this may be the key to their ability to treat eczema and psoriasis.
It is well-documented that the gastrointestinal tract (which, like the skin, is one of the primary physical barriers of the immune system) has abundant cannabinoid receptor sites. Research from 2009 indicates that the skin also has an endocannabinoid system of its own, which helps to regulate the production of various hormones and proteins (including cytokine, which is also involved in immune response), as well as various cellular process including proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis (cell death).
Thus, imbalance of this system may also be responsible for the occurrence of chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Developing targeted cannabinoid therapies may help to control them.
A study published in 2007 showed that THC, CBD, CBN, CBG and anandamide all demonstrated some level of effectiveness in inhibiting keratinocyte production in the epidermis. As over-production of keratinocytes is involved in psoriasis, these results support further investigation into cannabinoid therapies to treat it. Cannabinoid receptors have been found in even the smallest nerve fibres controlling hair follicles; keratinocytes have also been shown to bind and metabolise anandamide, the most prolific endocannabinoid.
This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your doctor or other licensed medical professional. Do not delay seeking medical advice or disregard medical advice due to something you have read on this website.