Cold sores affect a surprising number of Americans and are well-known as a very uncomfortable affliction. The sores often itch, can be painful, produce pus in more advanced stages, and naturally lead to self-consciousness when the sores external and especially pronounced. But despite the common name ‘cold sore’ (or sometimes ‘fever blister’), the sores have no relation to the common cold. The most common cause of ‘cold sores’ is herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), caught by exchanging bodily fluids (including saliva) with others carrying the virus.
Traditional cold sore treatments can be costly. In the United States, for example, a small tube of acyclovir cream for herpes patients costs about $30 or more and doesn’t go very far. Every year, persons suffering from herpes can use a half-dozen tubes, depending on the frequency of their outbreaks and severity of their symptoms. However, evidence shows that cannabis may provide greater medicinal value to persons affected by cold sores (HIV-1), both in terms financially and in the medications’ overall effectiveness.
Use of cannabis oil as an ointment has been shown to be effective in staunching cold sore outbreaks. There is also potential for hash oil, THC oil, and CBD to be preemptively applied prior to outbreaks during times when cold sore outbreaks are the most common, such as times of elevated stress, in order to catch the sores beforehand or, at the very least, reduce their severity.
In 1980, a study proved that both HSV-1 and HSV-2 did not replicate in human cell cultures once exposed to a solution of delta 9 THC. This same result has been replicated in later and ongoing studies.
“Therefore, we are currently aware that THC can inhibit the replication of HSV. What is not clinically clear yet is whether other types of phytocannabinoids, such as CBD, will produce similar results. Human clinical trials are also required to verify thoroughly whether transdermal cannabis is a valuable tool in the treatment of HSV infections.”
Studies of CBD independently as well as animal trials do offer promise for CBD’s usage as a treatment for cold sores (and other ailments):
Several studies including mice have discovered that both THC and CBD make a splash on the production in addition to release of cytokines that were particular. Cytokines play a key role in your defense mechanisms together with its reaction to the inflammation. CBD might have both inhibitory and a stimulating effect on cytokines. As an example, CBD impedes the release of interleukin 17 (IL17). This is really a pro-inflammatory cytokine, which is more active than normal in certain disorders. In contrast to the IL17, it is a cytokine with anti-inflammatory properties.
However, there is currently a large amount of anecdotal evidence supporting that CBD oil alone is equally effective at treating cold sores as THC. Many who use CBD oil to treat cold sores claim to apply it two-to-three times daily as needed with obvious results within two days. If treatment begins in the early (‘protodormal’) stage of the outbreak, symptoms of the outbreak can clear out entirely.
What is there to lose? Unlike many expensive pharmaceutical prescriptions, topical treatments of cold sores (‘herpes’) with CBD or THC oil has no side effects, and can save you a lot of money at the bank over prescription treatments that are often reported to be less effective.