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.

Endocannabinoids Modulate Human Epidermal Keratinocyte Proliferation and Survival via the Sequential Engagement of Cannabinoid Receptor-1 and Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid-1

We have recently shown that lipid mediators of the emerging endocannabinoid system (ECS) are key players of growth control of the human pilosebaceous unit. In this study, we asked whether the prototypic endocannabinoid anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine, AEA) has a role in growth and survival of epidermal keratinocytes (KCs).

Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis

Cannabinoids from cannabis (Cannabis sativa) are anti-inflammatory and have inhibitory effects on the proliferation of a number of tumorigenic cell lines, some of which are mediated via cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid (CB) receptors are present in human skin and anandamide, an endogenous CB receptor ligand, inhibits epidermal keratinocyte differentiation. Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease also characterised in part by epidermal keratinocyte hyper-proliferation.

Epigenetic control of skin differentiation genes by phytocannabinoids

Endocannabinoid signalling has been shown to have a role in the control of epidermal physiology, whereby anandamide is able to regulate the expression of skin differentiation genes through DNA methylation. Here, we investigated the possible epigenetic regulation of these genes by several phytocannabinoids, plant‐derived cannabinoids that have the potential to be novel therapeutics for various human diseases.

Self‐initiated use of topical cannabidiol oil for epidermolysis bullosa

Epidermolysis bullosa is a rare blistering skin disorder that is challenging to manage because skin fragility and repeated wound healing cause itching, pain, limited mobility, and recurrent infections. Cannabidiol, an active cannabinoid found in cannabis, is postulated to have antiinflammatory and analgesic effects.

The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities

The newly discovered endocannabinoid system (ECS; comprising the endogenous lipid mediators endocanna- binoids present in virtually all tissues, their G-protein- coupled cannabinoid receptors, biosynthetic pathways and metabolizing enzymes) has been implicated in multiple regulatory functions both in health and disease.

Differential effectiveness of selected non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids on human sebocyte functions implicates their introduction in dry/seborrhoeic skin and acne treatment.

Authors: Attila Oláh, Arnold Markovics, Judit Szabó‐Papp, Pálma Tímea Szabó, Colin Stott, et al
Experimental Dermatology, September 2016

Acne is a common skin disease characterized by elevated sebum production and inflammation of the sebaceous glands. We have previously shown that a non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid ((-)-cannabidiol [CBD]) exerted complex anti-acne effects by normalizing ‘pro-acne agents’-induc…

Epigenetic control of skin differentiation genes by phytocannabinoids.

Authors: Mariangela Pucci, Cinzia Rapino, Andrea Di Francesco, Enrico Dainese, et al
British Journal of Pharmacology, October 2013

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Endocannabinoid signalling has been shown to have a role in the control of epidermal physiology, whereby anandamide is able to regulate the expression of skin differentiation genes through DNA methylation. Here, we investigated the possible epigenetic r…

Endocannabinoids modulate human epidermal keratinocyte proliferation and survival via the sequential engagement of cannabinoid receptor-1 and transient receptor potential vanilloid-1.

Authors: Balázs I. Tóth, Nóra Dobrosi, Angéla Dajnoki, Gabriella Czifra, Attila Oláh, et al
Journal of Investigative Dermatology, May 2011

We have recently shown that lipid mediators of the emerging endocannabinoid system (ECS) are key players of growth control of the human pilosebaceous unit. In this study, we asked whether the prototypic endocannabinoid anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine, AEA) has a role in…

Inhibition of basal and ultraviolet B-induced melanogenesis by cannabinoid CB(1) receptors: a keratinocyte-dependent effect.

Authors: Sofia Magina, Carina Esteves-Pinto, Eduardo Moura, Maria Paula Serrão, et al
Archives of Dermatological Research, April 2011

Ultraviolet radiation is the major environmental insult to the skin and stimulates the synthesis of melanin in melanocytes, which then distribute it to the neighboring keratinocytes where it confers photo-protection. Skin color results from the paracrine interaction between th…

The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities.

Authors: Tamás Bíró, Balázs I. Tóth, György Haskó, Ralf Paus, Pál Pacher
Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, August 2009

The newly discovered endocannabinoid system (ECS; comprising the endogenous lipid mediators endocannabinoids present in virtually all tissues, their G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors, biosynthetic pathways and metabolizing enzymes) has been implicated in multiple regulat…

Attenuation of allergic contact dermatitis through the endocannabinoid system.

Authors: Meliha Karsak, Evelyn Gaffal, Rahul Date, Lihua Wang-Eckhardt, Jennifer Rehnelt, et al
Science, 8 June 2007

Allergic contact dermatitis affects about 5% of men and 11% of women in industrialized countries and is one of the leading causes for occupational diseases. In an animal model for cutaneous contact hypersensitivity, we show that mice lacking both known cannabinoid receptors di…