The future of marijuana derivatives in dermatology is promising, but it is still too early to recommend the application of products with cannabidiol to the skin or hair.
The assessment is by Reinaldo Tovo Filho, coordinator of the dermatology center at the Sírio-Libanês hospital and speaker at the 76O Congress of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, held in September in Florianópolis. The use of cannabidiol was the topic of one of the event’s sessions.
The doctor explains that studies on derivatives of Cannabis sativa dates back to the 1960s, but only more recently have researchers looked into the effects of these substances on the skin.
Research has shown that the dermis, epidermis and hair follicles have receptors for so-called endocannabinoids, cannabinoids produced by the body itself and which have effects on functions such as stress.
“These substances, when we produce them ourselves, can go to these receptors and return with stimulus or sedation information”, says Tovo Filho. The objective of the studies is to use marijuana derivatives that act on these receptors and help reduce itching and restore the skin barrier.
“We are looking for a substance that, in some way, blocks receptors related to skin inflammation and itching,” he says. “As we now know the endocannabinoid system better, we know more or less where to act.”
Accumulated knowledge, however, is not enough to ensure the benefits of formulas with 2% cannabidiol that some dermatologists have prescribed for problems such as itching, acne, atopic dermatitis and even hair loss.
“You can’t come out with a topical prescription, say that the cream based on Cannabis it will improve itching, inflammation, hydration, hair loss. It’s still not possible to say that”, argues Tovo Filho.
“Theoretically, cannabidiol can help, but these are very complex mechanisms. It’s not one substance or another, there are several substances involved in itching, for example. We need to study more, otherwise we can improve one thing and make another worse. We need more studies.”
The reporter traveled at the invitation of SBD (Brazilian Society of Dermatology)