Both skin and bone diseases can be incredibly elusive. There are countless types of skin diseases that range from mildly irritating to incredibly serious. Bone diseases are similarly diverse but frequently debilitating. We seldom think of bones as living tissue, but they are every bit as alive and potentially malleable as the skin. Together, the bones and the skin exert sizeable control and influence over the movement of the body. After our 20’s, the skin and bones are the areas where the body ages most significantly. When either the skin or the bones contract disease, life can be incredibly burdensome.
Because of its visibility, the skin can be a source of embarrassment and even depression when diseased. Skin disorders can even affect hair follicles adversely. Bone disease can be incredibly painful and unbearably inhibiting. Luckily, the revolution of medical marijuana in the U.S. offers a wide variety of new treatment options for sufferers of skin disease, bone disease, and joint pain. For those who may benefit, here’s a list of common skin and bone diseases, and how cannabis might help.
Common Skin Diseases
People are commonly affected by hundreds of skin conditions, which is why it’s important to understand the different categories:
Temporary skin diseases include things like acne, papules, and cysts. Permanent skin diseases include much more serious fare. Internal skin diseases are typically infections like carbuncles and cellulitis.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer type in the U.S. Research suggests that one in five Americans contract some form of skin cancer. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (raised pink bumps), squamous cell carcinoma (scaly or rough lesions on sun-exposed areas), and melanoma (moles of a strange color and shape).
Lupus is an incredibly difficult autoimmune disease that attacks the skin and usually leads to joint swelling, fever, mouth ulcers, chest pain, and hair loss.
Acne, though less serious than other skin diseases, is virtually a universal (and universally hated) condition. It’s typically caused by skin pores blocked by oil and dead skin cells. Redness, swelling, and other small forms of irritation are all signs of acne.
Cold sores are another common skin condition characterized by red blisters near the mouth. They’re not typically serious, but can be quite painful and annoying.
Herpes simplex is a skin condition (appearing on either the mouth or genitals) that involves severe sores, blisters, and itching. Genital herpes can also include pain during urination.
Eczema is a condition that results in red, dry, and itchy skin. Itching can get devastatingly severe, and may ultimately produce raw or scaly skin spots.
Contact dermatitis is another case of itchy, red skin brought on by allergic reactions. It’s much more manageable than eczema if a person knows which substances are causing dermatitis.
Common Bone Diseases
Bone diseases typically cause impairment or abnormalities in bone development and function. They can be very painful, either through joint pain or weakening bones to the point of breaking.
Osteoporosis is the most common bone diseases, characterized by general loss of bone mass. In the worst cases, bones become so brittle that something as small as a cough can fracture them.
Paget’s disease is a disorder that affects the body’s ability to rebuild bone tissue. The disease stands out from other bone disorders because it both thickens and enlarges bones while also making them weaker.
Bone cancer is an abnormal or tumorous cell growth in the bone, thought to derive from cancer in other parts of the body. Treatment for bone cancer can include anything from orthopedic surgery to radiation therapy.
Joint disorders are another type of bone-related illness that usually occurs in adults. Arthritis and bursitis are both inflammatory diseases where the immune system attacks the joints. Arthritis causes swelling in the joint itself, while bursitis inflames the fluid-filled cushion between joints. Dislocations are also classified as joint disorders.
As the baby-boomers begin to reach arthritis age, joint disorders are becoming more commonly treated with marijuana. Because there’s no cure for arthritis, many patients have sought alternative treatment methods to provide greater relief. The effectiveness of medical cannabis in treating joint conditions may also apply to certain skin and bone diseases.
Best Cannabis Products for Skin Diseases
Cannabis may be effective in treating skin disease because of the cannabinoid (CB1) receptors that run through the skin. For inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis, cannabis may be particularly effective. Cannabis has proven useful in reducing inflammation as well as alleviating inflammatory pain.
Cannabidiol (CBD) products are probably the best way to treat skin conditions. Not only is CBD oil non-psychoactive and more commonly legal than other cannabis products, but it can also be more easily applied directly to the skin. CBD supplements may also be effective skin treatment products. Smoke is never good for the skin, and neither is smoking marijuana.
Individual skin cancer patients have reported fairly miraculous findings when treating their respective conditions with CBD products. Canadian Rick Simpson released a whole documentary about his claims that cannabis oil cured his skin cancer. Simpson has also helped many others heal from their skin conditions using cannabis. Simpson’s story is very sensational, and will obviously not apply to all skin cancer patients, but it does point toward a future where skin cancer is more manageable with the help of cannabis products. In a recent peer-reviewed study, researchers concluded that CBD may have the power to “switch off” the skin cancer gene. More research is necessary to prove the hypothesis, but the results of this preliminary study are certainly promising. If you live in an area with access to CBD products, check out these 12 cannabis skin-care products.
Best Cannabis Products for Bone Diseases
New studies conclude that CBD may be just as effective at fighting bone disease as it is treating skin disorders. At Tel Aviv University, researchers found that CBD may help heal broken bones by triggering bone formation through cannabinoid receptors.
In addition to cannabis oil that can be applied to the skin, bone disease patients may benefit from cannabis that includes tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). For osteoporosis and other diseases that cause brittle bones, a hybrid cannabis strain (one that includes healthy doses of CBD and THC) may be the most helpful.
Cannabis for Joint Pain
Cannabis may be even more effective in treating joint disorders than it is for skin and bone diseases combined. A three-year research project funded by the Canadian Arthritis Society concluded that cannabis helps to significantly reduce arthritis pain. For rheumatoid arthritis, in particular, cannabis may also be effective in reducing joint inflammation.
Despite federal regulations that still classify marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug with no medicinal value, the potential of cannabis in treating skin and bone disease cannot be ignored. If you suffer from any of the illnesses discussed and feel that cannabis treatment may provide you with greater relief, consult a trustworthy physician and seek out cannabis products designed to help with your particular ailment.