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Despite the name, cold sores, also called fever blisters, do not need to accompany a cold or fever. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). The sores normally last 7 to 10 days and can quickly spread to other parts of your body or to others until they completely crust over.
HSV-1 is not to be confused with HSV-2 which is associated with genital herpes. Though a cold sore can show up anywhere on your body, they are most likely to appear near and around your mouth and lips. Cold sores should also not be mistaken for canker sores. Canker sores are often caused by bad eating habits and are generally located inside your mouth. They are smaller and white in color. Canker sores are not infectious.
The virus cannot be cured and remains dormant within the body. Once the person is infected they are a carrier for life.. Ninety percent of all people get at least one cold sore in their life, though some have more regular cold sore outbreaks and some have hard any. Often the symptoms are the most severe during your primary infection and outbreak (i.e. the first time you get cold sores). Those with weaker immune systems, including children and the elderly may become seriously ill.
What is CBD? CBD stands for Cannabidiol, the second most known cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, directly after its psychoactive cousin Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabinoids are naturally forming in our body, as well, and are maintained by the endocannabinoid system. The two primary receptors affected by cannabis are CB1 and CB2. CBD is, unlike THC, not psychoactive and focuses largely on the CB2 receptor instead of the CB1 receptor. CB1 is associated with the brain and neurological functions, while CB2 is associated with the spine and bodily nervous system and corresponding nerve paths.
CBD and Cold Sore Stages
There are 5 stages of a cold sore.
If you feel unexplained tingling near or on your mouth, you may have an oncoming cold sore outbreak. Tinging is usually the first sign that a cold sore is going to develop.The area may also burn or itch at this stage. If you begin to treat your cold sore during the tingling phase, you may reduce its severity and duration, but you will not be able to prevent the sore from forming entirely. A study, in 1980, proved that both HSV-1 and HSV-2 did not replicate in human cell cultures once exposed to a solution of delta 9 THC. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that CBD too limits outbreaks of the virus.
A common first response treatment option is oral antiviral medications. Some also use topical treatments, including docosanol (Abreva), which is available over the counter (OTC), acyclovir (Zovirax), which is by prescription only and penciclovir (Denavir) which is by prescription only. These can speed up the healing process for some. However, some research suggests these topical ointments cannot reach the virus adequately.
You can also consider using CBD as your first response to treating the affected area. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and will make the swelling less dramatic. Also, if you are experiencing pain CBD oil is proven effective for pain relief from mild to severe. You may also be able to lessen the likelihood of outbreaks with CBD.
A day or two after the onset of the tingling stage your cold sore will typically move on to the blister stage. This is when one or more blisters begin to fill up with clean fluid and appear on the surface of your skin. The skin surrounding the blister(s) will be red in color.
At this stage, it is critical to stay hydrated. Your mouth should be increasing in soreness and pain, so you should remain hydrated. Once cold sores have broken through the surface of you skin they are very infectious. Wash your hands with warm soap water after you touch the affected area and avoid doing so. Do not share food or drinks during this time. Kissing and oral sex can also spread the virus. You should now limit intimate contact until your blisters are completely gone.
During this more painful phase, the pain relieving effects of CBD can ease discomfort. CBD oil can also help make the swelling go down.
This stage is also called “the weeping stage.” During this stage the cold sore will break open often just a few days after the start of the blistering stage. The open sores will be red and shallow. This is the most contagious time due to the open sore giving the virus easier contact for infection.
Avoid picking at the sores because picking can cause more pain and annoyance around the infected area and it can spread. Picking can also create a bacterial skin infection. You should not put your unwashed hands on open sores. CBD oil can again, at this stage, aid with pain and inflammation and aiding speedy healing
The penultimate stage, the scabbing stage, or the crusting stage, is when your blister begins to dry out. When the blister is finally dried out, it will look yellow or brown. You should not aggravate or pick at your crusted blister. You will risk bacterial infection. This stage can also be painful and itchy. The anti-itch and pain relieving properties of CBD can help.
The last stage for cold sores is the healing stage. The healing stage occurs when the crusted blister is fully scabbed over.
You can apply CBD oil if you want to keep the scab soft, reduce irritation, and fasten the scabs shrinking. The scab will slow disappear by flaking away. So long as you leave the scabs alone, cold sores do not normally leave a long-term scar.
Though visually distracting and painful, within a few weeks, you should be fully healed. If you are not healed within 2 weeks, speak to a medical professional. Be sure to follow the laws regarding THC and CBD in your state or country. Click here to learn more about CBD oil could help treat mouth herpes.