CBD For Shingles – Does It Work For Shingles Rash And Pain?
CBD has been indicated for use in a huge number of different conditions, both physical and mental. One of the most popular uses for CBD is for helping to regulate pain, both chronic and acute.
This article is going to address whether or not CBD can be useful for helping to treat shingles, a painful condition that can sometimes be difficult to treat with conventional medication. By the end of the article you’ll be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not you’d want to consider using CBD for your shingles.
What Is Shingles?
Shingles is caused by a viral infection – caused by the varicella zoster virus, to be particular. If the name of that virus sounds familiar to you, there’s a reason for it: it’s the same virus that causes chicken pox.
People who have had chicken pox during their lives actually retain a form of the virus in their spinal cord and brain. For most people, the virus lays dormant for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, some people experience a violent resurgence of the virus, which leads to the development of shingles.
Shingles has a number of symptoms, but the most common is a very painful and blistery rash. Other symptoms include:
- Burning and numbness in the region of the rash
- Sensitivity to light
The majority of people who suffer through shingles make a complete recovery, though some people may experience long-lasting complications as a result of nerve damage. Some long-term issues can include vision loss, infections of the skin, and neuralgia.
Research hasn’t fully indicated exactly what causes shingles yet, but it’s suspected to be a result of lowered immunity because it tends to occur in people who are over the age of 50. Immune diseases, like HIV, as well as issues like cancer, can all increase the chances of developing shingles.
Regular Shingles Treatments
Understanding the normal way that doctors treat shingles can be a good way to understand whether or not CBD would actually be useful for helping to manage the condition.
The first thing that doctors usually do is prescribe people antiviral drugs to help reduce the onset and intensity of the viral infection. CBD may not help in this regard. However, doctors often prescribe painkillers and numbing creams or substances to help soothe the pain of shingles.
These treatments are often prescribed for the entire 2-6 week duration of the condition. If no treatment is given, the condition may last longer – though generally a month and a half is the longest that it will last.
Using CBD for Shingles
Mounting evidence has suggested that CBD is very useful for helping to manage pain in a variety of ways. Applying this research properly could lead to people recognizing CBD as a potential substance for helping to manage shingles.
To understand this, all you need to know about is the body’s endocannabinoid system – the farthest-reaching and most widespread network of neuroreceptors in the human body. The endocannabinoid system is involved in a huge number of bodily functions – not the least of which are pain and inflammation.
You can probably see where this is going. Next, we’ll identify the separate ways in which CBD could be useful for managing CBD.
Using CBD for Pain
One of the most important and primary aspects of treating shingles – even more so than eliminating the virus itself – is managing pain. Pain is immediate and apparent, and patients are often eager to manage their pain first before they even begin to deal with the virus.
CBD can work to fight pain in a number of ways that some conventional medicines may not be able to. CBD has been shown to help fight neuropathic (nerve) pain, which is typically quite hard to treat with regular medications, such as opioids or NSAIDs. Since shingles can cause pain directly along nervous pathways, CBD could be very useful for helping to manage this.
One of the reasons that it can do this is by helping the body produce more anandamide. This is a compound that binds to the body’s endocannabinoid receptors, where it fulfills its task of helping the body regulate its response to pain – particularly pain caused by inflammation or neuropathy.
Using CBD for Inflammation
Another powerful benefit of CBD is its ability to help reduce inflammation and the related pain. Shingles is a highly inflammatory condition and much of the pain caused by shingles could be effectively diverted with a strong enough anti-inflammatory compound.
The endocannabinoid system’s CB2 receptors are highly involved in the regulation of inflammation. Because CBD binds to these receptors, it can be considered an effective anti-inflammatory agent.
CBD can actually be used as a topical solution and applied directly to the affected area. This will lead to your endocannabinoid system working to regulate inflammation in the targeted region – the rash.
How Much CBD Should I Use?
The amount of CBD that you should use depends upon your general sensitivity and the intensity of your experience with shingles. It also depends on how you’re using it.
People who are ingesting their CBD orally, via capsules, will need slightly more than someone who is taking it sublingually (under-the-tongue). This is because huge amounts of CBD are lost to the digestive process when it’s taken orally.
Similarly, people who vape it may actually need less CBD because it’s administered directly into the bloodstream from the lungs.
Regardless of how you choose to use it, dosages can still vary. This is because there aren’t any regulations on an ‘average’ dose of CBD. Some people experience relief using as little as 15 mg, others might need higher doses of up to 50-100 mg.
CBD is a very versatile medicine that can target a number of different conditions. Due to its powerful pain killing activity and the way that it can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, CBD could be an effective alternative for helping to treat shingles.
Nigel Ford is a professional writer and cannabis enthusiast who has been covering the legalization of marijuana and CBD for several years.
Nigel Ford battled a life-threatening drug addiction during his younger years, and natural compounds like CBD quite literally helped to steer him on the path to recovery. Nowadays, he is passionately dedicated to spreading the word about natural medicines like marijuana, as well as yoga, meditation, and naturopathy.