Ask any home health nurse if she sees patients with medical cannabis in their home. Her answer will be: “Most definitely Yes”. My hospice patients taught me how to treat pressure ulcers with Manuka honey and cannabis tinctures over ten years ago. Now I see research proving my antidotal experience. Medical and recreational programs have become a free-for-all in the national Cannabidiol (CBD) market since the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018. Through our patients, we became familiar with cannabinoid-infused topicals marketed to treat minor aches and pains. Because they’re easy to use and non-intoxicating, these products may serve as familiar, low-risk entry points for elderly, wary, or cannabis-naive individuals into the wider world of cannabis products.

Cannabis-infused salves, and lotions, work because cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, are abundantly expressed in skin cells. Cannabis topicals also bind directly with secondary targets including TRP (“trip”) channels, PPARs (nucleus receptors), and serotonin receptors. These receptors thus reduce local inflammation and pain.

Cannabinoids for Inflammatory Skin Diseases.


A recent article in the journal Pharmaceuticals examines previous research into cannabis-based medicines for inflammatory skin diseases such as acne, eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis. Topically delivered active ingredients in the other human studies cover quite a bit of ground: Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabigerol (CBG), delta9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), hemp seed oil, the endocannabinoid anandamide, the cannabinoid-like endogenous compound palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), and the synthetic research cannabinoid HU210. see article

The Skin Endocannabinoid System

A recent review, published in the journal Cells in December 2022 demonstrates a deeper appreciation not only of the endocannabinoid system, (ECS) the body’s master regulator but also of the skin itself, the body’s largest organ. This is a concise collection of ECS-mediated skin functions includes a graft worth viewing delineating the issues below:

  • Melanogenesis (the production and distribution of melanin, critical to protecting the skin from UV radiation and oxidative stress)
  • Wound healing
  • Cutaneous barrier function (including both “inside-out” protection against water loss and “outside-in” protection from external threats like infectious agents, chemicals, and allergens)
  • Sebocyte biology (or the function of sebaceous glands, which produce an oily substance called sebum, the overproduction of which can cause acne)
  • Hair follicle biology and the control of hair growth
  • Effects of photo exposed epithelium (CBD may reduce the harmful effects of UV radiation)
  • Cutaneous pain, or pain transmission and perception in the skin
  • Keratinization (the process in which cells from beneath the skin are converted to keratin, a protein that helps form hair, nails, and the skin’s outer layer or epidermis)
  • Skin aging processes

Formulations Abound for Each Disease

As I have mentioned in my lectures cannabis topicals are as prevalent as Kleenex brands. They come in many dilutions, high CBD, high THC, or a balance of 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC. Also, you can find sativa THC or indica THC. Varies doses of THC and CBD work on various skin issues. Researchers at Germany’s Rostock University found evidence of the potential of cannabinoids to treat diseases of the skin. These include allergic contact dermatitis, scars and keloids, epidermolysis bullosa, pyoderma gangrenosum, acute inflammation, androgenetic alopecia, eczema, atopic dermatitis, Dermatomyositis hidradenitis, suppurativa, histamine-induced itch postherpetic neuralgia, pruritus, psoriasis, systemic sclerosis, urticaria, and last but not least, venous leg ulcers.

If you are willing to experiment, you can also treat these skin issues above independently with several products that produce the greatest result. Talking to the creator of the particular product you want to use will garner the best results. One product available in Coachella Valley is Wild Bills Balm created by Wild Bill’s Family and found in The MicroBuddery in Desert Hot Springs or at the Vault Dispensary of Palm Springs.

Learn more about Cannabis Education Dosing Without the High on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the Month from 11 AM to 2 PM at the Vault Dispensary Lounge. Call 760-866-9660 or send comments to