The potential role of cannabinoids in dermatology

J Dermatolog Treat. 2020 Dec;31(8):839-845. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2019.1675854. Epub 2019 Oct 10.


Cannabis is increasingly being used world-wide to treat a variety of dermatological conditions. Medicinal cannabis is currently legalized in Canada, 31 states in America and 19 countries in Europe. The authors reviewed the literature on the pharmacology and use of cannabinoids in treating a variety of skin conditions including acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, skin cancer, pruritus, and pain. Cannabinoids have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, anti-ageing, and antimalignancy properties by various mechanisms including interacting with the newly found endocannabinoid system of the skin thereby providing a promising alternative to traditional treatments.

Keywords: Cannabinoids in dermatology; cannabidiol; cannabis; endocannabinoids.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology
  • Cannabinoids / therapeutic use*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy
  • Eczema / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Pruritus / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena / drug effects


  • Cannabinoids