After decades of pain, this patient says cannabis actually worked at getting rid of her cold sores.
My immune system isn’t very good, never has been. All my life, I would get run-down, then break out in the most gruesome cold sores. Getting rid of these cold sores was never easy.
I did finally find a prescription that worked if I put it on at the first tingle. It would get rid of the cold sore in 7 to 10 days. Amazing, I thought. As long I keep one dose (4 pills) on hand at all times, I’m going to be fine. Well, this time I ran out and when I went to renew, found out the prescription had expired! Tomorrow morning, I think. No big deal. I’ll just see the doc in the morning.
Well, in the morning, I wake up with a throbbing monster of a cold sore. In a panic, I start applying my marijuana stick to it. Well, wouldn’t you know… it worked! By day THREE it was gone! Normally, it takes 7 days minimum.
This is a long, drawn out story about a cold sore but I just wanted you to understand how I suffer with these things. They take over my whole life when they come on. And they take over my face for a long time.
Listen, this cannabis is incredibly effective and no more meds needed! Also, it keeps the pain away completely. I’m very impressed and happy!
From RxLeaf: Could Cannabis Help in Getting Rid of Cold Sores?
Is Kim’s story just a fluke, or can cannabis really help patients in getting rid of cold sores? While there isn’t much research on cannabis and the herpes simplex virus, there is a growing library of studies on cannabis and the skin. These studies may hold the answers to how cannabis helped heal Kim’s cold sore.
From what we’ve seen regarding cannabis and viral infections, it is unlikely that cannabis treated the cold sore by eliminating the virus. However, cannabis has shown remarkable progress in alleviating hard-to-treat skin disorders.
The Anatomy of a Herpes Cold Sore
What is a herpes cold sore? These painful buggers are caused by a very common viral infection called herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). They’re also called “fever blisters,” and they form around the lips, which is why they are so often spread through the act of kissing.
A grouping of fluid-filled blisters forms around the lips, which can become especially painful when the blisters break and crust over. Together, they create an open sore can take anywhere from fourteen to twenty-eight days to heal, and there is no known cure for this virus.
Cannabis as an Anti-Inflammatory: Getting Rid of Cold Sores?
It’s likely that cannabis helped treat Kim’s cold sore by reducing inflammation. Scientific research is finding that cannabinoids can help treat inflammation by activating the body’s CB2 receptors. These receptors primarily exist in the immune system, and CB2 receptor-activated pathways play an important role in suppressing inflammation.
Human trials are still needed, but studies are showing that treatment at the CB2 receptor level could help alleviate the body’s inflammatory response. Science is also showing that cannabinoids can be helpful in treating skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. These skin conditions are different than a herpes cold sore, but they do cause redness and inflammation.
A study published in Current Clinical Pharmacology (2016) discovered that cannabis shows potential for treating psoriasis. By reducing the accumulation of dead skin cells and reducing inflammation, cannabis could help relieve symptoms associated with psoriasis, like redness and itching.
Cannabis as an Antioxidant
It’s possible that cannabis also worked to treat Kim’s cold sore through its ability to act as an antioxidant. But first, what is an antioxidant? The body does naturally produce its own, but it’s also necessary for it to acquire more from food and other means in order to fight off damage to cells.
An antioxidant is a molecule that donates electrons to free radicals containing unpaired electrons. By transferring electrons, antioxidants neutralize free radicals, and inhibit the damage free radicals cause. Further, and in regard to skin cells, free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which leads to premature aging. But oxidative stress can also facilitate a herpes cold sore infection in humans and animals, according to this study published in Current Zoology (2016).
Cannabinoids like CBD have demonstrated promising antioxidant activity, which could be helpful in reducing the effects of oxidative stress on skin cells. While we don’t know the cannabinoid composition of Kim’s self-administrated cannabis dose, it’s possible that her treatment delivered antioxidants right where they were needed most.
Could Cannabis Treat Blisters?
Another study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology (2019), looked into the effects of cannabis on a condition called epidermolysis bullosa. This skin condition causes blisters, and researchers sought to investigate whether or not cannabis could provide relief.
Here, the scientists case reports detail a mixture of CBD and THC. The researchers administered this mixture to patients suffering from epidermolysis bullosa. While the study was very small, the results were interesting. Essentially, not only did the pain of the patients improve, but their symptoms of itchiness also went down.
It’s too early to say whether or not cannabis can indeed heal blisters and cold sores, but so far, research and anecdotal evidence like Kim’s story offer promise and incentive for further study.