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The use of various preparations of whole-plant cannabinoids is associated with perceived benefits among patients with the painful skin disease epidermolysis bullosa (EB), according to survey data published in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. Epidermolysis bullosa is a rare genetic condition that results in blistering skin.

A team of investigators from the Netherlands and from the United States surveyed EB patients on five continents who reported using cannabis preparations to treat their illness. Patients reported using cannabinoids as topical agents in addition to inhaling cannabis flowers and consuming marijuana-infused edible products.

Authors reported that cannabis preparations improved subjects “perception of pain, pruritus, wound-healing, and well-being … and reduced concomitant medication use.” They concluded, “Future prospective controlled clinical studies are warranted to elucidate the potential role of CBMs (cannabis-based medicines) in EB treatment.”

Case reports have previously documented the efficacy of both topical and oral cannabinoid preparations for the treatment of EB symptoms. Other case reports have also documented the use of cannabinoids in patients with intractable leg ulcers and pruritus.

Full text of the study, “Cannabinoid use and effects in patients with epidermolysis bullosa: An international cross-sectional survey study,” appears in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. Additional information on cannabinoids in the treatment of skin disorders is available from NORML.

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