Research continues to elucidate the role of cannabinoid receptors in the skin and potential activity of topically applied cannabinoids for skin disease treatment. What is the potential for CBD as a topical treatment for psoriasis?

Adam J. Friedman, MD: I think there could be tremendous potential for CBD as a topical treatment for psoriasis so long as the vehicle is right. There is ample in-vitro mechanistic data alongside pre-clinical and some small clinical studies highlighting the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD resulting from both it binding to its respective cannabinoid receptor CBr2 (which is expressed on almost every element of the immune system; binding shifts from a TH1 to TH2 milieu), as well as TRPVs and PPARs.

The rate limiting step is its high lipophilicity, which minimizes skin penetration and creates formulation problems. Innovative vehicles will be needed to capitalize on CBD's broad therapeutic potential!