Topical cannabidiol (CBD) in skin pathology – A comprehensive review and prospects for new therapeutic opportunities

“Humans have utilised cannabis products in various forms throughout the recorded history. To date, more than 500 biologically active components have been identified in the plants of the Cannabis genus, amongst which more than 100 were classified as phytocannabinoids (exocannabinoids).

The plant genus Cannabis is a member of the plant family Cannabaceae, and there are three primary cannabis species which vary in their biochemical constituents: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. There has been a growing level of interest in research on the topical usage of a cannabis-based extract as a safer and more effective alternative to the usage of topical corticosteroids in treating some dermatoses.

Together with the discovery of the cannabinoid receptors on the skin, it has been further illustrated that topical cannabis has anti-inflammatory, anti-itching, analgesics, wound healing and anti-proliferative effects on the skin.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35695447/

https://safpj.co.za/index.php/safpj/article/view/5493

The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Acne



“Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States and affects approximately 85% of people ages 12-24. As a multifactorial disease, the pathogenesis of acne involves overproduction of sebum, irregular shedding of the cutaneous cells, accretion of Cutibacterium acnes at the pilosebaceous unit, and inflammation. To date, conventional therapies for acne include topical retinoids, over-the-counter bactericidal agents, and systematic treatments, such as oral antibiotics and isotretinoin. However, the potential for significant side effects and risk of antibiotic resistance remain limitations in these therapies, in turn reducing patient compliance and adherence to acne treatment regimens. Therefore, the use of natural plant-derived treatments or phytotherapeutics as an alternative or adjuvant to conventional treatments is attractive to patients due to their safety and minimal risk for side effects. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid of the Cannabis sativa (hemp) plant. The therapeutic use of CBD has been implicated in many diseases with an inflammatory aspect, including cancers, neurodegeneration, immunological disorders, and dermatological diseases. However, the use of CBD for acne treatment remains a novel window of opportunity. Herein, we summarize the available and relevant data, highlighting the potential use of CBD in acne for its anti-inflammatory properties. To that extent, CBD and other cannabis constituents such as cannabis seeds were found to reduce inflammation and expression of inflammatory cytokines including TNF-α and IL-1β when evaluated in acne-like conditions. Treatment with these cannabis extracts was also found to be safe and well tolerated, further strengthening the prospect of CBD as an anti-inflammatory therapeutic for acne.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35535052/

https://www.dovepress.com/the-anti-inflammatory-effects-of-cannabidiol-cbd-on-acne-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-JIR


Cannabis sativa and Skin Health: Dissecting the Role of Phytocannabinoids

“The use of Cannabis sativa is currently recognized to ease certain types of chronic pain, reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea, and improve anxiety. Nevertheless, few studies highlighted the therapeutic potential of C. sativa extracts and related phytocannabinoids for a variety of widespread skin disorders including acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, pruritus, and pain. This review summarized the current evidence on the effects of phytocannabinoids at the cutaneous level through the collection of in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies published on PubMed, Scopus, Embase, and Web of Science until October 2020.

Phytocannabinoids have demonstrated potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-aging, and anti-acne properties by various mechanisms involving either CB1/2-dependent and independent pathways.

Not only classical immune cells, but also several skin-specific actors, such as keratinocytes, fibroblasts, melanocytes, and sebocytes, may represent a target for phytocannabinoids. Cannabidiol, the most investigated compound, revealed photoprotective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory mechanisms at the cutaneous level, while the possible impact on cell differentiation, especially in the case of psoriasis, would require further investigation. Animal models and pilot clinical studies supported the application of cannabidiol in inflammatory-based skin diseases. Also, one of the most promising applications of non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids is the treatment of seborrheic disorders, especially acne. In conclusion, the incomplete knowledge of the role of the endocannabinoid system in skin disorders emerged as an important limit for pharmacological investigations. Moreover, the limited studies conducted on C. sativa extracts suggested a higher potency than single phytocannabinoids, thus stimulating new research on phytocannabinoid interaction.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33851375/

https://www.thieme-connect.de/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/a-1420-5780


The Endocannabinoid System: A Potential Target for the Treatment of Various Diseases

ijms-logo“The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is primarily responsible for maintaining homeostasis, a balance in internal environment (temperature, mood, and immune system) and energy input and output in living, biological systems.

In addition to regulating physiological processes, the ECS directly influences anxiety, feeding behaviour/appetite, emotional behaviour, depression, nervous functions, neurogenesis, neuroprotection, reward, cognition, learning, memory, pain sensation, fertility, pregnancy, and pre-and post-natal development.

The ECS is also involved in several pathophysiological diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. In recent years, genetic and pharmacological manipulation of the ECS has gained significant interest in medicine, research, and drug discovery and development.

The distribution of the components of the ECS system throughout the body, and the physiological/pathophysiological role of the ECS-signalling pathways in many diseases, all offer promising opportunities for the development of novel cannabinergic, cannabimimetic, and cannabinoid-based therapeutic drugs that genetically or pharmacologically modulate the ECS via inhibition of metabolic pathways and/or agonism or antagonism of the receptors of the ECS. This modulation results in the differential expression/activity of the components of the ECS that may be beneficial in the treatment of a number of diseases.

This manuscript in-depth review will investigate the potential of the ECS in the treatment of various diseases, and to put forth the suggestion that many of these secondary metabolites of Cannabis sativa L. (hereafter referred to as “C. sativa L.” or “medical cannabis”), may also have potential as lead compounds in the development of cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals for a variety of diseases.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34502379/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/17/9472

Mechanisms of Cannabinoids and Potential Applicability to Skin Diseases.

SpringerLink“The legalisation of cannabis in a growing number of jurisdictions has led to increasing interest in its potential therapeutic effects in a range of disorders, including cutaneous conditions. Cannabinoids have been used as natural medicines for centuries; however, their biological activity in the skin is a new area of study.

Recent data suggest that cannabinoids are involved in neuro-immuno-endocrine modulation of skin functioning, yet their effect on the features of dermatologic conditions is unclear. This article sought to review the mechanisms by which cannabinoids regulate skin functioning through the lens of relevance to treatment of dermatologic diseases looking at the effects of cannabinoids on a range of cellular activities and dermatologic conditions both in vitro and in vivo.

We identified studies demonstrating an inhibitory effect of cannabinoids on skin inflammation, proliferation, fibrosis, pain, and itch-biological mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of many dermatologic conditions.

Cannabinoids have the potential to expand the therapeutic repertoire of a wide spectrum of skin disorders. Given their widespread unregulated use by the general public, basic and clinical studies are required to elucidate the effectiveness and long-term effects of topical and systemic cannabinoids in cutaneous disorders.”

“The endocannabinoid system of the skin. A potential approach for the treatment of skin disorders.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30138623

Cannabinoids in the Pathophysiology of Skin Inflammation.

molecules-logo“Cannabinoids are increasingly-used substances in the treatment of chronic pain, some neuropsychiatric disorders and more recently, skin disorders with an inflammatory component.

This paper aims to detail and clarify the complex workings of cannabinoids in the molecular setting of the main dermatological inflammatory diseases, and their interactions with other substances with emerging applications in the treatment of these conditions. Also, the potential role of cannabinoids as antitumoral drugs is explored in relation to the inflammatory component of skin cancer.

In vivo and in vitro studies that employed either phyto-, endo-, or synthetic cannabinoids were considered in this paper. Cannabinoids are regarded with growing interest as eligible drugs in the treatment of skin inflammatory conditions, with potential anticancer effects, and the readiness in monitoring of effects and the facility of topical application may contribute to the growing support of the use of these substances.

Despite the promising early results, further controlled human studies are required to establish the definitive role of these products in the pathophysiology of skin inflammation and their usefulness in the clinical setting.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32033005

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/3/652

“Cannabinoid Signaling in the Skin: Therapeutic Potential of the “C(ut)annabinoid” System” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6429381/

The potential role of cannabinoids in dermatology.

 Publication Cover“Cannabis is increasingly being used world-wide to treat a variety of dermatological conditions. Medicinal cannabis is currently legalized in Canada, 31 states in America and 19 countries in Europe. The authors reviewed the literature on the pharmacology and use of cannabinoids in treating a variety of skin conditions including acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, skin cancer, pruritus, and pain. Cannabinoids have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, anti-ageing, and antimalignancy properties by various mechanisms including interacting with the newly found endocannabinoid system of the skin thereby providing a promising alternative to traditional treatments.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31599175

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09546634.2019.1675854?journalCode=ijdt20

Cannabidiol Regulates the Expression of Keratinocyte Proteins Involved in the Inflammation Process through Transcriptional Regulation.

cells-logo “Cannabidiol (CBD), a natural phytocannabinoid without psychoactive effect, is a well-known anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound.

The possibility of its use in cytoprotection of cells from harmful factors, including ultraviolet (UV) radiation, is an area of ongoing investigation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of CBD on the regulatory mechanisms associated with the redox balance and inflammation in keratinocytes irradiated with UVA [30 J/cm2] and UVB [60 mJ/cm2].

Spectrophotometric results show that CBD significantly enhances the activity of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and thioredoxin reductase in UV irradiated keratinocytes. Furthermore, despite decreased glutathione peroxidase and reductase activities, CBD prevents lipid peroxidation, which was observed as a decreased level of 4-HNE and 15d-PGJ2 (measured using GC/MS and LC/MS). Moreover, Western blot analysis of protein levels shows that, under stress conditions, CBD influences interactions of transcription factors Nrf2- NFκB by inhibiting the NFκB pathway, increasing the expression of Nrf2 activators and stimulating the transcription activity of Nrf2.

In conclusion, the antioxidant activity of CBD through Nrf2 activation as well as its anti-inflammatory properties as an inhibitor of NFκB should be considered during design of new protective treatments for the skin.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31382646

https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4409/8/8/827

Modulators of the endocannabinoid system influence skin barrier repair, epidermal proliferation, differentiation and inflammation in a mouse model.

Experimental Dermatology banner“Endocannabinoids (ECs) are important regulators of cell signaling.

Cannabinoid receptors are involved in keratinocyte proliferation/differentiation.

Elevation of the endogenous cannabinoid tone leads to strong anti-inflammatory effects.

Here, we explored the influence of endocannabinoid system (ECS) modulators on skin permeability barrier repair, epidermal proliferation, differentiation and inflammation in hairless mice.

We used WOBE440, a selective fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor, WOL067-531, an inhibitor of endocannabinoid reuptake with no relevant FAAH activity, which both signal via cannabinoid receptor-1and 2 (CB-1R and CB-2R) and compared them to WOBE15 which signals via CB-2R.

We found that barrier repair was significantly delayed by WOL067-531.

In summary, we showed that WOL067-531 exhibits a significant effect on skin barrier repair, epidermal proliferation/differentiation and inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31350927

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/exd.14012

Cannabis sativa L. extract and cannabidiol inhibit in vitro mediators of skin inflammation and wound injury.

Publication cover image“The present study investigates the potential effect of a Cannabis sativa L. ethanolic extract standardized in cannabidiol as antiinflammatory agent in the skin. The extract inhibited the release of mediators of inflammation involved in wound healing and inflammatory processes occurring in the skin. Cannabis extract and cannabidiol showed different effects on the release of interleukin-8 and vascular endothelial growth factor, which are both mediators whose genes are dependent on NF-κB. Our findings provide new insights into the potential effect of Cannabis extracts against inflammation-based skin diseases.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31250491

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.6400

“The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2757311/

“The endocannabinoid system of the skin. A potential approach for the treatment of skin disorders” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006295218303484

Cannabinoid system in the skin – a possible target for future therapies in dermatology.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19664006

“Extracts of the hemp plant cannabis are traditionally used as a popular remedy against inflammation.” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2007-06-cannabinoids-human-body-anti-inflammatory-effect.html