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Scleroderma, Can Cannabinoids Help?​

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There are ongoing clinical trials to help a rare autoimmune disease. It will target the endocannabinoid system. Scleroderma, can cannabinoids help?

After cutting ourselves and we begin to heal, our bodies form an environment of tissue mainly composed of collagen. It is the root of scar tissue that will form where the cut was. Those that suffer from scleroderma, their tissues remain developing even though there is no injury. This causes increased production of collagen and other fibrous tissues in the internal organs and skin, which are referred to as fibroblasts.

With scleroderma comes inflammation and pain. Having an autoimmune disease doesn’t afford you any treatments that are precisely manufactured to help this condition. It is referred to as the orphan disease due to the lack of options to treat it.

Presently in clinical trials is the development to help treat scleroderma using two compounds that mark the endocannabinoid system. Patients of scleroderma are hopeful that those efforts will be successful as was Epidiolex, the CBD approved by the FDA to treat certain forms of extreme epilepsy in children.

What is Scleroderma? 

Deteriorating autoimmune diseases are typically not understood, so be the case with scleroderma. The medical community doesn’t really know what causes it, nor do they know how to treat it. They have a theory that environmental and genetics may have a role in the development.

Early symptoms can be thickening of the skin that can constrict the arteries turning fingers blue when exposed to cold.

There are two main types of scleroderma – morphea (localized), which touches certain areas of the skin; the other type is systemic, which can possibly be fatal having symptoms of thickening of tissue surrounding organs. This type can also cause excess scar tissue and collagen in the lungs which results in the blockage and constriction of pulmonary arteries.

Scleroderma and The Endocannabinoid System 

Scleroderma typically shows as a irregular skin condition. Usually, skin conditions contain an interruption of the endocannabinoid system. This is accurate for scleroderma as well as common skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne.

Made up with compounds binding to cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, that are voiced in all kinds of skin cells, this amazing endocannabinoid system has a major part in keeping skin balanced through a signaling device promoting of barrier function and skin renewal.


Cannabinoid Clinical Trials

Researchers have set their sites on the development of a drug that would sidestep CB1 as CB1 is known to encourage extra collagen and tissue formation while CB2 does the opposite. This may have possibilities as a treatment for scleroderma.

Will this actually come to light? We shall see. While other attempts at developing artificial CB2 agonists have fallen short, the current clinical trials seem to be hopeful. When will this become available, there is no telling? In the meantime, whole plant therapies could be a feasible option for patients suffering from scleroderma but only in states that allow the use of medical cannabis.

How About CBD?

Studies suggest that CBD prevents CB1 receptor motioning without totally spoiling it. Think of it as a dimmer switch, it will turn it down but not shut it off totally. The theory would be the impediment of over producing collagen and tissue.

CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory that supplements CB2 receptor signaling, resulting in the increased activity of antifibrogenic that is unfortunately lacking in those suffering from scleroderma.

A positive combination for the treatment of scleroderma is the ability of CBD to differentiate CB1 and CB2 receptor signaling by toning down the previous while adhering directly to the CB2 receptor.

Science regarding cannabinoid proposes that patients of scleroderma along with several others, may also benefit by increasing the consumption of common botanical compounds found in bitter greens, black pepper, cinnamon, oregano and cannabis.


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