Because I feel it necessary to divulge every detail of my life, I am going to let you in on a little secret. I have psoriasis. I hate it. It itches, it cracks, it bleeds, and it’s basically a blinking neon social stop sign because it looks like it could be contagious.
I’ve been dealing with this non-contagious but ugly skin condition for like, at least 10 years. It started out pretty gnarly, and I ended up having to give myself injections of Humira, a biologic that stops your immune system from “attacking” your skin. Humira worked for a while, but I had to stop using it after it curbed my immune system to the point where I caught a fungal infection on my face. Gross, right? I know. But it continued to keep my skin psoriasis-free for several years after... until I moved to Colorado.
I don’t know if it was the dry air or the stress of moving, or just some weird ass coincidence, but shortly after settling down in this state, my arm started to itch. Badly. After a few days of incessant itching, I looked down, and there it was. The frigging patch of psoriasis.
I was hesitant to go back to a pharmaceutical for obvious reasons. I would rather not give myself shots of a biologic, and options like methotrexate, a cancer drug used off-label for psoriasis, have their own side effects. I’d read that other eczema and psoriasis sufferers had found some relief with cannabis topicals, so I figured it was at least worth a try.
I first tried Mary Jane’s Salve, which can be used for just about anything, and it’s only about $36 for 4-ounces. The salve smells great and it is easy to apply, but while I found some relief with it, the salve was just slightly too oily to penetrate the patches of skin that needed help.
On the advice of a budtender, I switched over to Apothecanna Extra Strength Relieving Body Creme, a double-strength moisturizing cream with arnica, juniper, peppermint, and anti-inflammatory cannabis plant extracts. It was significantly more expensive – $60 for the 8-ounce bottle – but supposedly more effective.
Holy shit. I’ll tell you right now that you guys will have to pry this stuff out of my cold, dead hands. The first night I slathered it on, it was literal magic. The thick creme penetrated the patches of psoriasis without any problems, and there was an immediate change to the texture of my skin. The itching was also totally relieved.
The only negative (aside from the price) is that this lotion smells horrible, like something my grandma would have slathered on herself to relieve her varicose veins. I HATE the smell, but it is worth the stench. I also have to use it regularly – if I slack on the slathering, the dry patches reappear – but if I’m loyal to this junk, which I will be from now on, I’m solid.
Dealing with psoriasis is a frustrating, embarrassing task, but I’m super impressed with this Apothacanna product. It’s made me much less self-conscious about wearing short sleeves, a necessary evil in the summer, and I no longer find myself scratching my arms like a madman in my sleep. If you’re dealing with a similar issue, I highly suggest you snag some of this stuff. It’s worth the stench, and every single penny.