Plaque Psoriasis; Humira, Enbrel, Cannabis
When your immune cells are stimulated they synthesize and produce cytokines which are the modulating factors that initiate and resolve inflammation. "TNF-alpha" is a pro-inflammatory Cytokine that is an important part of your body's natural immune response. A condition such as plaque psoriasis could be caused by the overproduction of TNF-alpha causing inflammation and rashes on the skin. In order to treat this condition many turn to the prescription drugs Humira and Enbrel which are known as "TNF-alpha blockers".
These prescription drugs help many achieve relief and in clinical trials of Humira 7 out of 10 patients saw 75% skin clearance. Unfortunately they also come with an extensive list of side affects...
- Cancer. For children and adults taking TNF blockers, including HUMIRA, the chance of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase.
- Serious infections. These include TB and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Symptoms related to TB include a cough, low-grade fever, weight loss, or loss of body fat and muscle.
- Hepatitis B infection in carriers of the virus. Symptoms include muscle aches, feeling very tired, dark urine, skin or eyes that look yellow, little or no appetite, vomiting, clay-colored bowel movements, fever, chills, stomach discomfort, and skin rash.
- Allergic reactions. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include hives, trouble breathing, and swelling of your face, eyes, lips, or mouth.
- Nervous system problems. Signs and symptoms include numbness or tingling, problems with your vision, weakness in your arms or legs, and dizziness.
- Blood problems. Symptoms include a fever that does not go away, bruising or bleeding very easily, or looking very pale.
- Heart failure (new or worsening). Symptoms include shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, and sudden weight gain.
- Immune reactions including a lupus-like syndrome. Symptoms include chest discomfort or pain that does not go away, shortness of breath, joint pain, or rash on your cheeks or arms that gets worse in the sun.
- Liver problems. Symptoms include feeling very tired, skin or eyes that look yellow, poor appetite or vomiting, and pain on the right side of your stomach (abdomen).
- Psoriasis (new or worsening). Symptoms include red scaly patches or raised bumps that are filled with pus.
Cannabis as a Choice
Side effects are considered in any choice of treatment, but with such an extensive and serious list, it is unfortunate that more don't have the ability to try Cannabis infused topical products first. The active compounds in Cannabis oil interact with the cell signaling pathways involved in cytokine production and studies show that "Generally, TNF-α... levels decreased with drug treatment." We have created a topical product that allows patients to apply THC directly to the affected area for localized relief without the psychoactivity associated with THC in the brain.
It is not our place to tell any individual if Humira or Enbrel is right for them, nor if Cannabis infused topicals will help their Psoriasis but we do see it as an injustice that patients do not have the ability to try this much lower risk treatment first. Come in to The CPC to speak with a consultant about our Therapeutic Lotion as well as other Cannabinoid therapies that can serve as a low risk first option treatment or for various types of conditions.