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Shingles: A look at how CBD and cannabinoids may hold the answer in the treatment of skin care.

Shingles (a.k.a. herpes zoster) is a condition of the skin caused by a reactivation of a dormant chickenpox virus (called varicella zoster) that one must have contracted as a child. Shingles is not contagious. 
 
Located in the nerve tissues of the human body, the virus manifests initially causing a localised pain and tingling of the skin. This can lead to more painful symptoms in some cases. These may include headaches and a general feeling of fuzziness, blistering of the skin (usually the torso and face), itchiness, burning sensations and a rash. Scabbing and crusting can occur. The symptoms usually last for 2-4 weeks, minor scarring may remain though most make a full recovery. It has been suggested that approximately one in every four people will contract Shingles at some point in their lifetime.
 
Modern medicine states there is no cure for Shingles. The recommendation is to apply topicals, creams and cooling lotion. These will all help the symptoms, however none will cure the condition. Many of those that experienced Shingles once turned to pain killers or other medications. However in recent times it has become far more common for people to treat the condition with cannabinoid based products. The recent emergence of CBD as a natural remedy has been welcomed by many people with a variety of skin conditions. 
 
Though it is not our governing parties that have encouraged this. It is the people of today that are determined to help and heal each other that have propelled this natural product that has been hidden from us for too long! Through the power of social media coupled with a society that all want to be heard, stories are told, whispers are spoken, rumours fly across the globe.
 
There is some evidence however to validate these stories and whispers. Shingles works by attacking the nerve cells, impacting the very same receptors that painkillers utilise to deliver relief. As such, pharmaceutical pain relief products are largely ineffective. On the contrary, introducing CBD and cannabinoids to your body jump-starts our ECS (endocannabinoid system) that all mammals have. By taking CBD, you are effectively allowing your body to do its job! (and work in homeostasis). Importantly, these receptors which are located throughout the human body are not effected by the Shingles virus. 
 
Within the last twelve months there have been several studies carried out in North America. According to one such study (Topical Antiviral Formulations and Methods of Using The Same), the treatment of viral infection using appropriate cannabinoids have shown positive results. The study highlights how results from research and experimentation have shown a reduction in inflammation and pain. This is partly due to the effect CBD and other cannabinoids have on the transient receptor potential (TRP) family, particularly the TRPV1 receptors which are responsible for pain, body temperature and inflammation. 

Cannabinoid receptors are split in to two groups within the body, CB1 and CB2. CB1 is more frequently found in the Nervous System particularly in the cerebellum and basal ganglia whereas CB2 is predominantly found throughout the body. CBD (the legal, ‘available in the UK' part of the cannabis plant) is more common in CB2 receptors, and it has been suggested by many medical professionals that it is this cannabinoid that is more applicable for medical use. There have been reports from parts of the medical community that CBD is particularly beneficial for skin disorders such as Shingles. 
 
In terms of application, the preference lies with the consumer. CBD oils, tablets, and e-liquids can all be administered to give your body that boost of CBD it needs. 
 
So there you have it. Products rich in CBD and cannabinoids may be the way Shingles and other skin conditions are treated as it can help relieve the symptoms of pain caused by such conditions as well as reducing inflammation and protecting nerve cells. As we move in to an era where cannabis is once again revered as a natural healing plant, only time (and research) will truly dictate just how many beneficial properties can be derived, and how many different health conditions can be benefited from the growing list of cannabinoids that are still being discovered. 

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