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  • Writer's pictureDr. Dan Jin

Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Chronic Pruritus

Did you know that 16.8% of the general population reports chronic pruritus at some point of their lives? Chronic pruritus is defined as pruritus lasting longer than 6 weeks, which reduces quality of life just like chronic pain. The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in skin health, which maintains epidermal homeostasis, regulates hair follicles and sebaceous glands, and is involved in nociception and inflammation.


Cannabinoid products are an emerging consideration for skin therapy, particularly for itch. Several in vitro and animal models have provided insight into the possible mechanisms of cannabinoid modulation on pruritus. Human studies, although limited, have shown a reduction in pruritus in several dermatologic (atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, asteatotic eczema, prurigo nodularis, and allergic contact dermatitis) and systemic (uremic pruritus and cholestatic pruritus) diseases. Cannabinoids may be considered as an adjuvant therapy in patients who have refractory chronic pruritus.


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