CBD Oil for Shingles
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, are caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This is the same virus that causes the chickenpox infection. Shingles commonly occur s in individuals who have had chickenpox in the past. After recovering from chickenpox, the virus stays active in the nervous system, and with the age and growth of the individual, the virus may proceed to cause shingles.
Shingles cause very painful rashes on any area of the body it affects. The rashes are like blisters that become reddish over time. There is no known cause of the virus but research has shown that it can be a result of a history of chickenpox.
A report from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) shows that about 1 in 3 people in the US will contract this virus at some point in their lives. However, it rarely occurs more than once in an individual.
This statistical report may be quite grim but not to worry, this article will examine the effects of CBD on Shingles.
What causes Shingles?
As mentioned above, shingles has no known cause except that it is a result of a previous episode of chickenpox. However, there are risk factors that can trigger the virus in individuals.
- Age : As individuals grow older , they are more likely to be infected with shingles. Individuals from 50 and above are at a higher risk of getting infected with the viral infection.
- Weak Immune System : An individual with a weak immune system has a high er chance of being infected too. This is because the immune system would not be able to fight off the virus that is present in the body, thereby leading to shingles.
- Cancer Treatments or Surgery : Anyone undergoing cancer treatments or a major surgery has every chance of having shingles. This is as a result of the complications involved with the treatments and they can also trigger the virus in the body.
- Stress : Emotional stress can trigger the virus in the body too. When the body is stressed, the stress hormone, cortisol, can suppress the immunity of the body which in turn will trigger the virus, leading to shingles.
Other factors can be as a result of a disease or other infections an individual has.
Signs and Symptoms of Shingles
The signs and symptoms of shingles include
- Rash; which could resemble the chickenpox rash – a fluid-filled blister that occurs on a particular section of the body supplied by a sensory nerve.
- Pain; sharp or dull aching in nature
Shingles could affect other internal organs such as the liver and kidney.
What are the complications of Shingles?
Complications of shingles include;
- Postherpetic neuralgia: It is a long-term complication whereas the dermatomal pain persists long after the rash has disappeared.
- Encephalitis meningitis
- Vision impairment
How do I treat Shingles?
Shingles, being a viral infection, are usually self-limiting. However, the symptoms could be severe in adults necessitating medical intervention. Varieties of treatment modalities exist to relieve the symptoms which can reduce the extent and duration of symptoms. It could also reduce the risk of developing complications.
The following can be used to treat symptoms of shingles;
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Calamine lotion
- Antiviral agents like acyclovir cream, capsaicin cream
- Corticosteroids like oral prednisolone
- Tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline
- Anticonvulsant agents like pregabalin, gabapentin
Can I Prevent Shingles?
Prevention is more indicated in the older population because they are more at risk of developing the severe form of shingles with complications.
- Varicella-zoster vaccine: It is a life-attenuated vaccine. The available brands are Shingrix and Zostavax. Zostavax is used as a preventive vaccine for people over the age of 50 who have good immunity. Shingrix on the other hand is more effective and lasts longer.
- Varicella-zoster globulin: It recommended for use in immunocompromised persons who have been exposed to varicella-zoster.
CBD Oil for Shingles
Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained medical attention with the increasing research it is getting about its health benefits. It has been established that CBD relieves pain, anxiety, inflammation depression, and so on. Due to the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD, it can be used to limit the spread of shingles on the body.
As we all know, cancer patients have a high risk of contracting shingles. A study done among people treated with chemotherapy drugs revealed that CBD O il has a beneficial effect on the pain that results from nerve damage. Shingles’ pain, being neuropathic pain, could also be relieved with the use of CBD O il.
CBD O il is mostly associated with cases that deal with pains because of its anti-inflammatory effects. It is no wonder that it might be of help when it comes to patients suffering from shingles. How does CBD affect shingles? You may ask.
There are compounds known as cannabinoids present in CBD. Th ese compound s bind with receptors in the Endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a vital signaling structure present in the body. The compound s will majorly interact with the receptors responsible for managing pain and inflammation hence the benefit of CBD O il to treatment of shingles.
How to use CBD Oil to treat Shingles?
This applies after you have been given a go-ahead by a medical practitioner. Be advised that CBD O il should not be used with some kinds of drugs.
- Applying sublingually i.e. through drops or spray under the tongue might take effect in about 15-30 minutes. But the effects may last 4-6 hours at which time the dose of CBD should be repeated.
For those that may prefer applying CBD directly to the affected area, avoid applying the oil on open sores. Effect may be felt as early as 5 minutes and may last for about 6 hours , when the dose of CBD should be repeated.
Though shingles can be treated and cleared in a matter of weeks, the painful after effects may persist for years. Hence, the quest for the next best thing to help relief the pain of shingles.
However, it is important to know that studies are still ongoing on the use of CBD O il in the management of shingles. So, it is advisable to visit the physician when the signs and symptoms of shingles occur. Also, the vaccines discussed above are only for patients who do not have the shingles infection , but want to be vaccinated to avoid ever getting shingles.
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The information on this website is not intended to replace traditional medical treatment, but is offered as additional, complementary information. There are many scientific studies and anecdotal reporting of the far reaching benefits of CBD Oil, and associated CBD products that we feel it is important to bring this information to our customers attention as part of our mission to educate, inform, and promote honest transparency. However, it is important to note that CBD Oil is not a registered medication, it is registered as a natural food supplement.
Alternative therapies should not be used as a substitute for a varied, nutritional and balanced lifestyle, or an alternative to prescribed medication. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any prescription medication or are currently undergoing medical advice, please consult your doctor before use.
As with most medications, there is no guarantee of specific results from taking CBD, and results can vary from person to person. That said, we are confident in our CBD Oil and associated CBD products and would love to hear from you of your experiences with CBD.
CBD Oil for Shingles: Shingle Pain & Inflammation
Though it’s not life-threatening, shingles can cause significant pain and inconvenience for those who experience it. Common treatments aren’t always effective and come with unwanted side effects. However, some people have found success in treating shingles with CBD.
Table of Contents
What are Shingles?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shingles are caused by a viral infection that produces painful rashes and blisters. If you contract chickenpox at some point in your life, the virus can lie dormant in the nerve tissue of your spinal cord and brain. In some people, the virus can reactivate years later and travel back along the nerve pathways to the surface of the skin, causing shingles.
Most who suffer from shingles will get a painful, blistering rash, which typically occurs on the torso, though it can also affect the neck or face. This rash may be associated with itching, burning, numbness, and sensitivity to touch while some shingles patients also experience headaches, fever, light sensitivity, and fatigue. Most people make a full recovery, but complications including vision loss, neuralgia, and skin infections can occur in more serious cases.
Doctors aren’t sure exactly what causes shingles, but since it occurs most often in people over 50, it’s believed to be linked with lowered immunity. Having certain diseases, like HIV or cancer, can increase your risk of shingles, and not properly managing stress can trigger shingles since stress lowers the immune system.
Taking certain medications, such as steroids, can also cause a heightened risk, as can common cancer treatments including radiation and chemotherapy. The chickenpox and shingles vaccines are valuable preventative measures for those at a greater risk for shingles, but around 1 million cases still occur in the U.S. each year.
How Are Shingles Usually Treated?
Antiviral drugs such as acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), and famciclovir (Famvir) are commonly used to treat shingles but may also come with side effects including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and more.
There’s no cure for shingles, but prompt treatment can help shorten its duration and diminish the risk of complications. Most doctors will also prescribe painkillers, numbing agents, steroids, or even local anesthetic to mitigate the severe pain associated with the shingles rash.
Shingles generally last for two to six weeks with proper treatment. Most people only get shingles once, though it is possible to contract it more than this. For the majority of patients, pain management is the most important facet of shingles treatment—and new research suggests CBD may be able to help.
Are Shingles Contagious?
Anyone with shingles can spread the virus, but only to someone who has never had chickenpox before. When someone contracts chickenpox, their bodies develop antibodies to protect themselves from contracting it again.
Those who’ve never had chickenpox would be susceptible to the virus, however, they wouldn’t get shingles – they would get chickenpox. This is because shingles can only manifest by being “activated” by the dormant form of the virus. Unfortunately, chickenpox can be very dangerous, and even fatal. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), adults who never had chickenpox as children, or who have never been vaccinated, contracting chickenpox could mean pneumonia, meningitis, or encephalitis.
Once shingles blisters have scabbed over, the virus is no longer contagious, and it won’t spread if the blisters are well-covered.
Do Shingles Lead to Other Complications?
Shingles symptoms typically go away in less than a month, but in rare cases, it can lead to complications within the organs. A severe shingles outbreak may not be life-threatening, but it has the potential to make someone lose their eyesight if it infects the eye. For the lungs, it can cause pneumonia; in the liver, it can cause hepatitis; and for the brain, it can lead to encephalitis.
Early treatment for any viral infection is always recommended as it can help prevent your symptoms from spiraling out of control and avoid any long-term issues. The most prevalent complication that arises from a shingles outbreak is postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). With normal shingles, symptoms will subside once the rash is gone; with PHN — the pain, tingling, itching, and burning will last months after the rash is gone.
Why Use CBD Oil for Shingles?
As Healthline explains, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of receptors scattered throughout the body that helps maintain homeostasis by regulating inflammation, pain, mood, and memory. CBD contains cannabinoids, which are natural compounds that work to activate endocannabinoid receptors. These trigger responses that lessen the pain and inflammation associated with shingles.
CBD for Shingles Pain
CBD may help Shingle pain by elevating a substance within the body called anandamide. This substance binds to CB1 receptors in the ECS, helping regulate pain sensitivity, particularly inflammatory or neuropathic pain responses. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), CBD may provide a valuable alternative to traditional painkillers like NSAIDs or even prescription pain medications. Many patients worry about the side effects or habit-forming nature of pain-relieving drugs and seek options without these associated risks. For patients seeking relief from the pain associated with shingles, CBD can be a possible alternative to traditional medications.
CBD for Shingles Inflammation
The painful red rash that characterizes shingles is caused by skin inflammation, another condition where CBD shines as a treatment option. The cannabinoid compounds within CBD can also bind with CB2 receptors , which regulate the body’s inflammatory response. A CBD salve for shingles pain may be particularly effective when applied directly to the rash, allowing the anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD to lessen the severity and duration of shingles symptoms.
This can all be traced back to the influence CBD has over our endocannabinoid system. Shingle rashes are exacerbated by inflammation, and because the endocannabinoid system plays a direct role in the regulation of inflammation — it’s easy to understand what makes CBD oil such an attractive remedy.
Determining the Right Amount of CBD Oil for Shingles
Some patients may prefer to ingest CBD as an oil , gummy , or pill for shingles pain relief. If you’re interested in one of these options, it can take some experimentation to find the serving size that’s right for you. There’s no set amount of CBD to use, and most experts recommend starting with the lowest possible amount and working upward gradually until you see the desired effects. Many patients find 20-25mg effective for daily pain relief. You could also use a ratio of 1 to 6mg per 10 pounds of body weight for a conservative starting amount.
You might also choose a topical treatment in the form of CBD cream. A CBD intensive cream can provide immediate, targeted relief to areas of discomfort, and it may be particularly effective to reduce the inflammation, redness, and swelling associated with the shingles rash.
If you’re interested in trying out a CBD topical cream, you can simply apply it to any area affected by shingles. Make sure the skin is clean, dry, and free of any other substances so the cream can absorb effectively. For best results, massage the cream gently into the skin for a few seconds to encourage deeper absorption. You can use a CBD-infused cream as often as you like for topical relief from shingles pain.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Due to FDA Regulations, we recommend that you do your own research on CBD products. We also suggest that you read the reviews on our website, where our customers record their real-world results of using our products.
Shingles Information: Shingles and Medical Marijuana Treatments
Shingles is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus – the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have chickenpox, the virus stays in your body. As you get older, the virus may reappear as shingles. Although it is most common in people over age 50, anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk.
Recent years have brought a wealth of new scientific understanding regarding how medical marijuana or cannabis can be beneficial for treating Shingles.
You can’t catch shingles from someone who has it. However, if you have a shingles rash, you can pass the virus to someone who has never had chickenpox. This would usually be a child, who could get chickenpox instead of shingles. The virus spreads through direct contact with the rash, and cannot spread through the air.
Early signs of shingles include burning or shooting pain and tingling or itching, usually on one side of the body or face. The pain can be mild to severe. Rashes or blisters appear anywhere from one to 14 days later. If shingles appears on your face, it may affect your vision or hearing. The pain of shingles may last for weeks, months, or even years after the blisters have healed.
There is no cure for shingles. Early treatment with medicines that fight the virus may help. These medicines may also help prevent lingering pain.
A vaccine may prevent shingles or lessen its effects. The vaccine is recommended for people 60 or over. In some cases doctors may give it to people ages 50 to 59.
How Medical Marijuana Helps Patients with Shingles
Shingles causes pain in part by attacking nerve cells. Traditional painkillers like morphine do not work well since shingles damages the receptors that would ordinarily allow traditional painkillers to provide relief. However, the receptors for cannabis and cannabinoids are located throughout the body and are not attacked by the shingles virus allowing medical marijuana to provide pain relief to shingles patients. Medical marijuana can also reduce inflammation, one of the major symptoms of shingles. Several studies have investigated the actions that allow medical marijuana to provide these types of relief:
- The natural endocannabinoid system present in the human body, which cannabinoids in medical marijuana can activate, has neuro-protective functions that can fight nerve inflammation and damage. By activating the CB1 receptor in the body, cannabinoids from medical marijuana can encourage these neuro-protective actions (Regulatory Role of Cannabinoid Receptor 1 in Stress-Induced Excitotoxicity and Neuroinflammation, Silvia, Z., et al.)
- Painkillers such as morphine can have a detrimental effect on the body’s ability to fight against pain on its own. Chronic or long term use of opioid painkillers has been shown to interfere with the action of the body’s natural endocannabinoids, especially once tolerance to opioids has developed (Chronic Morphine Modulates the Contents of Endocannabinoid, 2-Arachidonoyl Glycerol, Viganò, D., et al.)
- There are two known cannabinoid receptors in the body, CB1 and CB2. CB1 is more frequently found in the nervous system, particularly in the cerebellum and basal ganglia [where the pain caused by shingles primarily originates]. Activating the CB1 receptor causes significant reduction in neuroinflammation (Inflammation and aging: can endocannabinoids help, Marchalant, Y., et al.)
Medical marijuana can help relieve the symptoms of pain caused by shingles as well as potentially reduce inflammation and protect nerve cells no matter how patients choose to take their medication. This means that shingles patients have many options of how to medicate using medical marijuana according to what feels most comfortable. These options include:
- Vaporizing medical marijuana using vaporizer equipment to inhale medical marijuana’s cannabinoids as steam
- Smoking medical marijuana through more traditional means, such as pipes or cigarettes
- Ingesting medical marijuana prepared in food, liquids or tinctures
As research continues, scientists are learning more about how medical marijuana can help shingles patients, as well as coming closer to a cure for this painful disease. Many patients with shingles have found relief through cannabis, which is approved for chronic pain in most medical marijuana states. Speak with your doctor to find out if medical marijuana might be right for you.