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Best cbd oil for post shingles pain

CBD Oil for Shingles

Approximately one million Americans develop shingles every year. It is a virus that causes a painful rash and can lead to various long-term complications.

Treatment options are limited, and some people are considering natural remedies like CBD oil for shingles. But is it a practical solution, or will it do more harm than good?

Here’s our complete guide to CBD and shingles, the potential benefits and risks, and how to choose a suitable product.

Shingles: What Is It?

Shingles is also known as herpes zoster. It is a common viral infection caused by Varicella zoster, the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Shingles is a common viral infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.

When a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in their system and can flare up later in life. The risk of developing shingles increases with age. Therefore, a shingles vaccination is available for over 50s.

The most common symptom is the classic shingles rash that tends to affect one side of the body. However, various other short and long-term issues can occur as a result of the infection.

Reviewing the Symptoms of Shingles

The first symptoms of shingles include sensations of pain, tingling, or itching, usually affecting one side of the body. Between one day and two weeks later, painful blisters will develop in the same area.

Shingles generally appear in a single strip around the ribs or on the face. However, in people with compromised immune function, it could affect the entire body.

After 7–10 days, the blisters typically scab over, and they should heal fully within 2–4 weeks. Other possible symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Stomach upsets

After these early-stage shingles symptoms subside, some people go on to develop long-term nerve damage known as post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). This condition can last months or years and occurs in 10–18% of cases. It causes severe pain, sensitivity, and itching.

Discussing the SCIENCE. …

Other serious complications include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Encephalitis (brain inflammation)
  • Temporary or permanent vision loss
  • Temporary or permanent balance problems or hearing loss
  • In rare cases, death

What Causes Shingles?

As we already mentioned, shingles is caused by the Varicella zoster virus. Many people already have this virus in their system due to having chickenpox earlier in their life. It can sometimes reactivate at a later date, causing symptoms to reoccur.

The causes of shingles transmission include someone who has never had chickenpox coming into contact with fluid from an infected person’s blisters. Although this will cause chickenpox rather than shingles, that person will be at risk of developing shingles later on.

However, as long as affected individuals keep their rash well covered, there is a low risk of passing on the virus. It is also impossible to infect others before the rash develops or once the blisters scab over.

Even so, people with shingles should avoid contact with the following groups of people:

  • Those with compromised immune systems
  • Pregnant women
  • Premature or small-for-dates babies

Shingles Treatment

The best treatment for shingles is an antiviral medication, such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir. This shingles virus treatment aims to shorten the duration of symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. It is most effective when taken within three days of the rash appearing.

Some people recommend alternative shingles treatments such as acupuncture or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). However, the evidence to support these therapies is limited, and they could increase the risk of transmission if not performed carefully.

Shingles Medication

Aside from antiviral medication for shingles, several other options may help. They include medicines to relieve pain and topical applications like calamine lotion to reduce itching.

Shingles pain medication may also help with the long-term symptoms of PHN. However, nerve pain is challenging to treat, and regular painkillers may be ineffective. Therefore, doctors might prescribe anticonvulsant drugs, antidepressants, or anesthetic patches instead.

CBD and Shingles

Now that more people are searching for alternative remedies for a shingles outbreak, some are considering cannabidiol (CBD). It is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in both marijuana and hemp and has various purported benefits. It exerts these benefits via the body’s endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system regulates the physiological functions in our peripheral and central nervous systems. It includes a series of CB1 and CB2 receptors.

A 2010 study looked at the effect of cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and their antagonists on viral infections. The researchers concluded that “cannabinoids are profoundly anti-inflammatory.” Therefore, some people hypothesize that using CBD could help relieve a shingles rash.

While the symptoms of shingles are potentially resolved after a few weeks of treatment, the pain can persist for many years. Could CBD provide some relief?

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CBD Oil for Shingles Pain

There is currently no research specifically on whether CBD can help with shingles and its painful red rashes. However, there is evidence that cannabis-based medicines could help certain complications, such as PHN.

A 2018 review looked at the effects of various cannabinoids on neuropathic pain. It included 16 clinical trials and 1750 participants, with study durations ranging from 2–26 weeks. The researchers investigated several neuropathic conditions, including PHN.

Although most of the evidence was low quality, the authors concluded that:

  • Cannabis-based medicines may increase the number of participants experiencing at least 50% pain relief
  • Cannabis-based medicines probably increase the number of participants experiencing at least 30% pain relief

The review included several consumption methods, including oral, oromucosal, and inhaled cannabinoids. However, it may be that topicals, such as CBD salve for shingles are also useful.

A 2020 randomized controlled trial investigated topical CBD application for peripheral neuropathy. Its results showed that the cannabinoid significantly reduced neuropathy symptoms compared to the placebo. These symptoms included:

The Best CBD Oil for Shingles and Nerve Pain in 2022

CBD oil has become a common conversation starter and hip new cure-all name. Is it really effective for all of the things they say it is? Well, this article will probably not answer every question you have ever had about CBD oil, but it will both give you some background and dive into all of the ways that it may be an effective addition to shingles and nerve pain treatment. CBD oil and shingles are still new to each other, but there is pretty good evidence that suggests this to be a therapeutic pairing.

I have heard multiple people describe “the worst pain in their lives,” when explaining their experiences with shingles. It has been compared to the pain level of unbearable back pain and even childbirth. There are some mysteries associated with this viral infection, but one thing is for sure, if you come down with it, you want to do whatever you can to ease the symptoms and heal quickly. There is a shingles and now chickenpox vaccine that are great for taking preventative measures, though even they are not a sure thing. It is always good to have as many tools as possible for getting to the other side of something like this.

Table of Contents

  • Topical CBD Oil Balm: The Best Delivery Method for Help with Shingle Pain
  • How to Dose CBD Oil for Shingles
  • What We Know About Shingles
    • Shingle Causes
    • Typical Shingles Symptoms
    • Other Shingles Symptoms May Include

    Topical CBD Oil Balm: The Best Delivery Method for Help with Shingle Pain

    Applying CBD oil balms, salves, and creams can have a big impact on the rash itself. CBD oil for shooting nerve pain from shingles has been proclaimed an excellent fit. The topical application of CBD can have a great impact on the nerve issues associated with the pain. Though not confirmed scientifically yet, it is speculated that CBD oil both orally and topically can reduce the duration of the virus, while also making you more comfortable as it runs its course.

    An intensive topical cream is most likely the best course of action when using a salve or balm for treatment. It is important that you only put it on clean dry skin in order to prevent bacteria from growing on this sensitive rash. There are many topicals out there, so be sure you find one with all-natural ingredients from a trusted source. It can be put on targeted nerve pain areas and might even work instantly to relieve pain.

    How to Dose CBD Oil for Shingles

    It is important to remember that CBD oil is not a one size fits all remedy. Everybody responds differently, and less is sometimes more in the case of CBD. It’s good to titrate up, especially with something as severe as shingles. So, start low and increase your dose until you find that you are in a therapeutic range, and stick to that for a while. 20-25 mg is considered a therapeutic amount specifically for extreme pain management.

    If you start to feel that dose is no longer serving you, increase the dose. Topical and oral doses are different, and you can do both at the same time. Patience is critical because it might take a little while for your nervous system to respond to the CBD oil, so be sure to keep using it for at least a week if you are not feeling relief.

    There are many ways to ingest CBD oil, and personal preference plays a role in choosing the right fit. For example, you might prefer gummies over a tincture or a pill. While having something like shingles probably doesn’t inspire experimentation, it is important to find a good fit for your personal constitution and preferences.

    These days there are so many ways to take CBD oil, including infused in your coffee or tea, in pill form, tincture, smoking the bud, vaping, in a variety of edibles (including chocolate), in botanical blends that can be mixed into drinks, among many other formats. Topically speaking, there are even CBD infused bath salts and lightly laced lotions.

    It’s true that there is not yet conclusive scientific research connecting CBD oil to a shingles treatment plan. As we covered in this article, however, there is quite a bit of evidence that suggests CBD’s relevance in the treatment of nerve and joint pain, including neuropathic pain that is a result of chemotherapy.

    Hopefully, you never have to contend with how to treat a shingles infection, but if you do, it seems that CBD oil could be an excellent addition to whatever your doctor comes up with as an appropriate treatment supplement. Again, don’t shy away from taking CBD oil orally to combat nerve damage and the pervasive impacts of shingles, and also using it topically in tandem.

    What We Know About Shingles

    This infection is actually caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same strain that kickstarts the chickenpox. In the case of shingles, It is also called herpes zoster (different from the sexually transmitted version of herpes).

    One of the myths about shingles is that if you have never had the chickenpox you are more susceptible to coming down with shingles. Quite the opposite is true. In fact, if you have had the chickenpox virus, it never fully goes away. It can linger in a dormant stage nestled into the tissue near your brain and spinal cord. It is not clear exactly what, but something can trigger it to reactivate in the form of the shingles virus.

    Be careful, because the virus can actually be contagious, but most only likely if someone comes in contact with the fluid from the rash itself. The real kicker is that if someone comes in contact with the rash they will not come down with shingles, but chickenpox. This is only if they have never had it before.

    Shingle Causes

    It is speculated that one of the causing factors of a shingles outbreak is extreme stress. Stress has been linked to a lowering of the immune system, which can re-activate dormant and new viruses alike. Age seems to play a role in contracting shingles, though not always. The majority of the people who get this painful viral rash are over the age of 50.

    Another population at higher risk for contracting shingles are those with compromised immune systems. Many people fall under this category, including:

    • People with HIV/AIDS
    • Anyone undergoing treatment for cancer–specifically chemotherapy and/ or radiation
    • Anyone carrying an autoimmune disease like Lyme or fibromyalgia
    • People on a variety of medications, especially those designed to help the body integrate an organ transplant

    Typical Shingles Symptoms

    • The first symptom of shingles is generally full-body pain. The pain is so pervasive that it often hurts to be touched, or can simply feel overly sensitive.
    • After a few days of pain, the signature red rash generally appears. It is often on one side of the core body, or it can be on the face. It is known to wrap around the left or right side of the torso like a ribbon of blisters.
    • The nerve pain generally comes with tingling, itching, and on and off numbness

    As aforementioned, shingles can show up on the neck or face, and even surrounding the eye. This of often initially misdiagnosed as eczema at first sight. The rash goes through many stages, including blisters that are full of fluid and crust over after bursting. Often, this signature rash is the telltale sign that it is indeed shingles.

    Misdiagnosis is common, especially when the rash is late to the game, or doesn’t appear at all. That’s right, a complicating factor is some people get the pain and never come down with the rash, making it very challenging to diagnose. People have been known to leave the doctor’s office thinking they have a heart, lung, or kidney issue instead of shingles.

    Other Shingles Symptoms May Include

    • light sensitivity
    • headache
    • body aches
    • fever
    • overall extreme exhaustion

    Yep, sounds like a virus. Within two to six weeks, this nasty rash sickness should have run its course and moved on — phew.

    It is important to take a shingles diagnosis very seriously because in extreme cases, and without the proper healing regimen, you can open yourself up to long term damage. This can include:

    • Postherpetic neuralgia – a condition that occurs when the nerve damage is so extreme the neurotransmitters send confused or exaggerated messages to the brain from the skin, keeping the pain around much longer than the rash.
    • Vision impairment – The eye is such a sensitive place to have any kind of infection. If this virus presents itself around the eye (ophthalmic shingles), you must take preventative measures to not have long term eye problems, including loss of vision.
    • Neurological complications – The nerve channels can literally get their wires crossed with this infection, and in extreme cases result in brain inflammation (encephalitis). This can cause facial paralysis, balance, or even hearing issues.
    • Skin infections – your skin is your largest organ and needs to be cared for as you would any other part of your body. With something like shingles, it is important the blistery rash is proactively treated, otherwise, bacteria can get beneath the skin and create infections.

    In the meantime, how do you get through it with as much ease as possible?

    CBD Oil: Help for Those Suffering With Shingles

    Though using CBD medicinally is still quite new, there have been studies that suggest CBD oil for nerve pain is very effective. Because there is not a clear treatment path for shingles yet, finding ways to be as comfortable as possible as it runs its course is paramount. Basically, the cannabinoid chemical found in CBD supports an anti-inflammatory response in the body that can be both beneficial for the rash itself but also calming some of the nerve pain. The more you take down active inflammation, the less likelihood you have of accruing long term damage from the virus.

    CBD is known to be an active nerve protectant. This is an important element because if the inflammation gets too out of control, the nervous system can have irreversible damage. The body is full of neurotransmitters. These are basically messengers sending information from the brain to different parts of the body. A type of neurotransmitter is called endocannabinoid, which is something your body makes to connect with your nervous systems’ cannabinoid receptors.

    I know, this is a lot of scienc-y jargon, but the meat and potatoes of the story is that CBD plays a role in effecting the activity of endocannabinoid receptors, which not only bring down inflammation but tell your systems (by way of neurotransmitter) to chill. In a nutshell, that is why CBD oil for nerve pain from shingles can be effective.

    CBD has shown in research studies to be useful in positively reducing nerve damage and subsequent pain from the use of chemotherapy. Drugs like chemotherapy are known to have a long term impact on the nervous system. Because CBD is a proven nerve protectant it can play the same role in those with shingles as it does for people undergoing chemotherapy treatments. As mentioned earlier in the article, a long term complication that can come from shingles is chronic nerve pain (also called post-herpetic nerualgia). In studies that use animals, CBD has proven to be helpful in reducing this outcome.

    There are other reasons CBD oil can be helpful here. Many people take CBD oil for stress and anxiety. This has actually been researched much more heavily and has proven to be therapeutic in some people. Because shingles is potentially kickstarted by stress, CBD oil can be an effective multi-tasking support. Not only is it coming at shingles from the nerve angle, but it is also dealing with the whole patient, and allowing all of your systems to calm down. Being sick is never a walk in the park, so even if you are not someone who regularly struggles with anxiety, this might be the time it shows its head.

    Another way CBD oil is helpful in the treatment of shingles is its ability to suppress viruses. This is partially due to its anti-inflammatory properties, and also it’s natural immune-boosting properties. Relieving inflammation support viruses to stay in their dormant stages and not reactivate.

    CBD has been known to generally bring a sense of homeostasis to the body, providing an equilibrium of sorts. The anti-inflammatory properties alone can positively impact pain signaling and overactive nerves. This is turn can have a major impact on pain relief.

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