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Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Psoriasis causes skin and sometimes nail changes. The affected areas may be flaky, itchy, and sore. Applying certain lotions can help alleviate the symptoms.

A quick look at the best CBD oils for psoriasis

Many manufacturers now include cannabidiol (CBD) in creams and lotions. CBD and other ingredients in these products may benefit people with psoriasis.

Read on to learn more about how CBD may help with psoriasis, the products above, and alternative treatments.

Hemp and cannabis are types of Cannabis sativa plants. They both contain CBD and many other cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The hemp plant generally contains more CBD, and the cannabis plant contains more THC.

THC produces the “high” that people typically associate with cannabis. CBD alone does not cause a high.
Some CBD products contain small amounts of THC. Others contain CBD isolate, so they contain no THC.

Learn more about the differences between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD.

The following table looks at some common CBD terminology that may help someone new to CBD products navigate different options.

TermMeaning
CBDA compound within the C. sativa plant that does not create the high sensation individuals commonly associate with cannabis use.
THCA compound in the C. sativa plant. It is the psychoactive compound that creates the high sensation from cannabis use.
Full-spectrumA full-spectrum product will contain all of the natural compounds in the cannabis plant, including THC. However, THC levels must be no more than 0.3% to comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation on full-spectrum CBD products.
Broad-spectrumBroad-spectrum products contain natural compounds of the cannabis plant. However, while manufacturers remove all or most of the THC in broad-spectrum CBD, it may still be present in trace amounts.
CBD isolateThis is the purest form of CBD and should contain 0% THC.
CannabinoidsThe compounds within the cannabis plant, of which there are over 120. CBD is the second richest compound in the plant after THC.
TerpenesAnother compound of the C. sativa plant, terpenes typically give plants their specific aromas. Some terpenes, such as limonene, may have specific health benefits.
Certificate of analysis (COA)Reputable manufacturers of CBD products should ensure a COA is available for inspection. A COA provides information on the third-party testing that independent labs conduct on a particular product. Sometimes, products will have a scannable smartphone code that directs people to the COA online.

Read more about terminology and other important CBD information here.

Some research indicates that CBD may benefit people with psoriasis, due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

A 2020 review suggests that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may help treat skin conditions, including psoriasis. However, the authors recommend caution when using CBD for psoriasis, as they need to conduct further research.

In a 2019 study looking at the effects of THC-free, CBD-enriched ointment for people with skin conditions, including psoriasis, the researchers found that the product led to improvement in skin symptoms.

Additionally, a 2019 review found that CBD may have therapeutic potential for people with this condition.

People with psoriasis may find that topical treatments, such as lotions, serums, and ointments, can relieve some symptoms. Whichever product an individual chooses, they should always ensure to follow the manufacturer’s dosage instructions.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high-quality clearly labeled ingredients. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the CBD dosage.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a dosage.
  • Third-party labs: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) following receipt of its third-party lab results.

Below are some high quality options that may help alleviate symptoms of psoriasis.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best pharmacist formulated: Green Roads Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

Price: $69.99
Key ingredients: Glycerin, MCT oil, sunflower lecithin, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, hemp seed oil
CBD type: Choice of full-spectrum or broad-spectrum
CBD amount: 750 milligrams (mg) per 30 milliliters (ml)
Dosage: 1 ml per day

This is available in broad- or full-spectrum varieties. It also comes in varying strengths. The strongest contains 750 mg of CBD per container and 25 mg of CBD per milliliter (ml). The clearly marked measuring tool helps a person use a precise amount.

The product is a blend of six ingredients that enhance absorption, according to the company that makes it.

Green Roads states this product is vegan-friendly, gluten free, and a person can view the company’s lab results on its website.

Best eco-friendly: Absolute Nature CBD Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Drops

Price: $59.99
Key ingredients: MCT oil
CBD type: Full-spectrum
CBD amount: 500 mg per 30 ml
Dosage: 1 ml per day

This product contains 19 mg of CBD per 1 ml. The company says its formula promotes calm and relaxation, but its aloe vera may also relieve psoriasis.

The Department of Agriculture certifies the oil as organic, and its makers say that it is free from heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, and genetically modified ingredients. It is also vegan-friendly and ecologically sound.

A person can view the lab results for this product on the company’s website.

Best calming: +PlusCBD Extra Strength Balm

  • Price: $34.99
  • Key ingredients: Sweet almond oil, beeswax, willow bark extract, green tea extract, peppermint oil
  • CBD type: Full-spectrum
  • CBD amount: 100 mg per 37 grams (g)
  • Dosage: The manufacturer recommends using this product liberally on skin as required

This product contains no fragrances, dyes, polyethylene glycols (PEGS), sulfates, parabens, phthalates, or pesticides.

The product also contains jojoba esters from jojoba oil, which helps with absorption and has anti-inflammatory properties. As it contains beeswax, it may not suit those following a vegan diet.

Due to the wide variety of products available, a person may find it difficult to choose. Consumers should always opt for products that have undergone third-party testing. Also, they should choose products from established, reputable sources.

The table below provides a snapshot of how the best CBD products for psoriasis compare.

Green Roads Full Spectrum CBD OilAbsolute Nature CBD Full Spectrum Drops+Plus CBD CBD Balm
Bestpharmacist-formulatedeco-friendlycalming
CBD amount750 mg per 30 ml500 mg per 30 ml100 mg per 37 g
Price$69.99$59.99$34.99

People should consult a healthcare professional before using CBD. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns of several health risks, some of which a person may not notice.

These “silent” risks include liver injury and interactions with various medications. Also, the FDA notes that experts are unsure about the cumulative effects of using several CBD products at once.

More noticeable CBD side effects can include:

  • changes in alertness, such as drowsiness
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • changes in mood, such as irritability and agitation

In rare cases, a person may experience an allergic reaction to a topical CBD product. Anyone who notices unusual symptoms, such as swelling, should stop using the CBD product and seek emergency medical help.

Anyone looking for a natural alternative to CBD for psoriasis might consider a product that contains:

  • Aloe vera: A 2019 review suggests that this may relieve symptoms of psoriasis.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. This means that it might help with psoriasis.
  • Lavender oil: A 2018 review highlights many benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Arnica flower: A 2017 review suggests that this has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

A 2015 review concludes that omega-3s may help prevent psoriasis flare-ups. However, though fish oils contain these fatty acids, a 2019 review finds no evidence to support the use of fish oil for psoriasis.

Learn more about home remedies for psoriasis.

If home remedies are not working, a doctor may recommend corticosteroids. These drugs help suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation.

Anyone with severe psoriasis should consider seeking advice from a dermatologist as they may prescribe corticosteroid medication to suppress the immune system. This can help reduce inflammation.

Additionally, anyone who experiences heightened skin irritation following the use of a home remedy, such as CBD oil, they should seek professional medical advice as soon as possible.

Below, find answers to some common questions about using CBD for psoriasis.

How much CBD should I use?

Scientific studies have not established a minimum dosage that helps relieve symptoms of psoriasis.

Start with the lowest dosage at first, then gradually increase the amount if necessary. Many manufacturers include a recommended maximum dosage.

Does the skin absorb CBD?

While the skin absorbs much of a product, it may not absorb all of the CBD content. CBD combines readily with fats, plenty of which are in the skin’s top layer. Some CBD may stay in the top layer only.

Topical CBD products often have ingredients that help the skin absorb CBD.

Do doctors recommend CBD oil for psoriasis?

Currently, most physicians will not recommend CBD oil for treating psoriasis. Though initial research and anecdotal evidence suggest that it may help alleviate psoriasis symptoms, further studies are will help confirm this.

Can CBD oil make psoriasis worse?

There is currently no research that suggests CBD oil can aggravate psoriasis.

To alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis, such as itchiness or soreness, a person may consider a CBD product because CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Other natural ingredients, such as aloe vera gel, may also help, and some products contain a range of these ingredients.