How Does CBD Help Treat Herpes Zoster

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Herpes Zoster, which is also known as shingles, is a disease that affects 1 in every 3 people during their lifetime. This condition is quite common as an estimated 1 million people are diagnosed with this disease on a yearly basis. It should be noted that Herpes Zoster is an infection that is caused by a virus known as the varicella-zoster virus. Incidentally, the varicella-zoster virus is the same virus that causes chickenpox and this explains why anyone who has recovered from chickenpox can develop shingles. It is possible for this virus to live for many years in the nervous system after a chickenpox infection, before eventually reactivating as shingles. Of course, shingles may also reactivate many times in some individuals, so unlike chicken pox, it is possible to have Herpes Zosters many times in a lifetime.

Even though shingles is common in adults above 50 years old, the virus may reappear in people of all ages as long as they have previously had chickenpox. The most common symptom of shingles is pain, which could be dull, burning, gnawing pain, sharp and sometimes comes and goes. Also a blistering rash may be another symptom of shingles. The rashes typically appear in one or more distinct bands known as dermatomes. Other common symptoms of shingles include fever, muscle pain and weakness, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, difficulties in urinating, upset stomach swollen glands (lymph nodes), malaise, nausea and chills. Vaccines that can prevent shingles exist. Currently, there is no way to eliminate the shingles or Herpes zoster virus from the body even though there are ways to ease the symptoms. For instance, prescription pain killing medications are sometimes used to ease the pain caused by shingles. Similarly, Antihistamines can be used to alleviate itching of the rashes caused by shingles.

There has however been growing evidence that CBD could be a potential treatment of Herpes Zoster. The relationship between CBD and the endocannabinoid system affects the ability of the former in alleviating the symptoms of Herpes Zoster. First of all, the natural endocannabinoid system in the body has neuroprotective functions that can fight nerve inflammation and damage. This natural endocannabinoid system can be activated by CBD, one of the most powerful compounds of medical marijuana. When the CB1 receptor in the body is activated, CBD derived from medical marijuana can then encourage these neuroprotective actions that act against inflammations. According to a 2008 study, activating the CB1 receptor helps reduce neuroinflammation, especially in the areas where shingles originate such as the basal ganglia and cerebellum. In a similar way, a 2011 study indicated that by activating the CB1 receptor in the body, the cannabinoids found in marijuana could encourage neuroprotective actions that fight nerve inflammation and damage.

Medication used in treating Herpes Zoster act as either an antiviral or an anti-inflammatory. CBD on the other hand has been documented to be both an antiviral and an anti-inflammatory. As a matter of fact, CBD is a tailored-made remedy to combat both the inflammation and the immune response that’s triggered by active HSV outbreaks. Many scientific publications have recognized CBD’s ability to directly fight off pathogens such as the virus that causes herpes Zoster, thereby initiating both cell and tissue repair.

Moreover, numerous studies have indicated that CBD has excellent antiviral properties. One research that was conducted at the University of London’s School of Pharmacy particularly noted CBD’s exceptional ability in relation to feigning off and suppressing pathogens.

Of course, there are several methods of treating Herpes Zoster with CBD. Inasmuch as many people like applying infused topical CBD creams and ointments directly to herpes sores, the best and most effective use of CBD for herpes is in the form of oil. The reason is that tinctures are more potent than creams and are able to pack more CBD molecules in a smaller volume, and thus are able to fend of HSV pathogens and clear up the inflammation-induced sores and blisters at a faster rate. While there is a need for more research on this subject, it is imperative to consult with your doctor before self-medicating with CBD in a bid to cure Herpes Zoster.

Sources:

United Patient’s Group
Medical News Today

Additional Reading:

An Overview of Shingles – Verywell.com

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