The fact that cannabidiol oil (CBD) is now used to help with a number of disorders and conditions, studies show it might help in treating cold sores too.
Cold sores have various names including Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV 1), fever blisters, mouth sores, mouth or oral herpes, and in Latin, herpes labialis. Cold sores result from a mouth infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. The viral infection leads to the formation of fluid-filled blisters. This results in painful herpes sores on mouth, lips, gums or tongue.
While the symptoms are commonly observed near the lips, mouth herpes is not restricted to the mouth. In fact, symptoms might be seen in other parts, such as on or inside the nose, on cheek or chin or the upper lip. In such cases, HSV-1 is referred to as oral-facial herpes, and this has an effect on skin, mucous membranes and soft tissue.
Cold sores must never be confused with canker sores that are only small white blisters inside the mouth. On the other hand, cold sores are rarely found inside the mouth except if one does not have a very strong immune system.
Moreover, they are also red and much larger. Compared to cold sores, canker sores are not infectious and severe. They are mostly the result of unhealthy or specifically acidic diets.
More than 50% of American adults carry the virus as per the American Sexual Health Association. Initially, the virus is inactive in the nerve cells of the face, however; soon it can be activated causing more sores. In such cases, the virus is recognized as recurrent.
At the start of the infection, the symptoms experienced include swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, the increased period of symptoms, overall systemic signs and a larger risk of complications. However, there are also people who never realize they have an infection for they have no serious outbreak.
Moreover, this infection spreads through physical contact like eating, drinking from the same straws, sharing lip balms or kissing. Herpes might occur even when physical symptoms are not obvious. In such a case, the virus is reactivated, but symptoms are not obvious. This is known as viral shedding, asymptomatic reactivation, and asymptomatic shedding.
The common symptoms experienced in the beginning are burning, tingling, pain or itching before sores form until blisters erupt. At the start, the pain is so bad that eating and drinking becomes extremely difficult.
HSV-1 and HSV-2 are entirely different where the latter is transmitted sexually (sex or oral sex) and is more severe. It is called genital herpes. On the contrary, HSV-1 affects people below the age of 10. Majority of the people are believed to suffer from mouth herpes when they are only children and some friend or relative kisses them.
Frequent mouth herpes is not very severe; however, deterioration is quite likely. Those that get it usually try to treat it with easily available anesthetic creams that can help get rid of symptoms in a matter of weeks. If the relapse occurs more often, cold sore medicines or antiviral medications such as or Famciclovir, Famvir or Acyclovir Zovirax may be prescribed by the physician.
These can help considerably with outbreaks. If someone is not comfortable with these pharmaceutical options, they can go for other choices that have fewer side effects. These can be home remedies used along with CBD or used alone to help with outbreaks immediately. However, if the cold sores are really bad, extensive solutions would have to be used to heal the sores.
Normally, it takes a week or two for the sores to heal but if they take longer (excluding the primary infection or first outbreak), there is a need to consult a doctor immediately.
CBD might prove to be effective for cold sores outbreaks. Studies suggest CBD can guide lymphocyte function and immune responses. After primary infection, the viral DNA genome of herpes viruses is found to stay in lymphoid cell nuclei. This implies that the virus is harmless before it is reactivated.
Once this happens, an infectious progeny virus can be produced. Hence, the study was aimed to see the effectiveness of CBD for treating gamma herpesvirus replication. The older studies show a relationship between herpesvirus replication and the use of CBD and THC.
THC and CBD are both cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant and are proved to be useful because of the anti-inflammatory properties of the plant. Scientists found out in 1991 that THC helped reduce the spread of the virus.
Similarly, a clinical trial conducted in 2010 found that a cannabinoid facial cream helped decrease the pain caused by shingles. Shingles is a painful ailment that can develop on on half of the body and the face. CBD products are purely made from cannabidiol which is a non-psychoactive compound. On the contrary, THC has psychoactive properties, and hence, its use is illegal.
In short, CBD can offer a variety of medicinal benefits with minimum side effects. To clear all the possible doubts, if the US government allows more research or tests to be conducted on pure cannabidiol and CBD products. It would appear that due to the natural healing abilities and virtually zero side effects of CBD, we could be seeing it used more within our cold sore treatments in the near future.