Study: Topical Administration of Cannabinoids Treats Intractable Leg Ulcers
Toronto, Canada: The administration of a proprietary blend of topical cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids resulted in wound healing in a pair of elderly patients with treatment-resistant leg ulcers, according to data published in the publication International Wound Journal.
A team of Canadian scientists assessed the daily topical application of cannabinoids on wound healing and wound-related pain in two patients with severe and persistent leg ulcers. In one patient, cannabinoid treatment resulted in complete wound closure in 77 days; in second patient, wound closure was achieved in 74 days. Patients reduced and eventually eliminated their use of conventional analgesics over the course of treatment.
Researchers reported, “This is the first study to report the use of TCBM [Topical Cannabis-Based Medicines] to promote complete integumentary wound closure in human subjects, specifically, two Caucasian females with a mean age of 77 years, with three lower limbs afflicted with intractable and biopsy proven NUC [Non-Uremic Calciphylaxis].”
They concluded: “Topical Cannabis-Based Medicines, applied to both wound beds and peri-wound tissues, represent a promising novel, non-invasive, and safe treatment option for NUC leg ulcers. The ease and simplicity of its application also allows for potential self-application and self-titration by patients. Given that TCBM demonstrated both rapid wound closure and relief of wound-related pain, in very challenging wounds such as NUC, among highly complex patients, they may be poised for an even broader role within overall integumentary and wound management.”
A pair of prior case reports have similarly shown that the topical administration of cannabinoids facilitates wound healing and reduces the use of analgesics in patients with the rare skin-blistering disease epidermolysis bullosa.
Full text of the study, “Topical cannabis-based medicines – A novel paradigm and treatment for non-uremic calciphylaxis leg ulcers: An open label trial,” appears in International Wound Journal.
Cbd oil for leg ulcers
Background: Skin ulcers (SU) represent one of the most frequent complications of Systemic Sclerosis (SSc), characterized by severe chronic pain and frequent complications. Pain related to SSc SU(SSU) remains yet an area of significant unmet need. Moreover, pain control is fundamental for the wound care procedures in SSc patients (pt), increasing treatment adherence and compliance to skin ulcers dressing changes. The pain relief provided by standard therapy (i.e. NSAIDs, tramadol) is often inadequate or dose limited by side effects. Opioids currently are the mainstay of SSU pain treatment but burdened by side effect profile and/or ineffective. Thus, novel analgesic strategies need to be investigated. Cannabidiol (CBD), one of many constituents of the Cannabis sativa, has received renewed interest in the treatment of numerous pathological conditions.
Objectives: Evaluate our experience to define the efficacy of CBD preparation in patients with SSU.
Methods: 25 SSc pt (F/M 22/3, mean age 52.3 ± 12.9-SD-years), referred to our Scleroderma Unit during 2018, were consecutively included. In all pt the disease was complicated by long-standing, painful SU resistant to opioids. Pain was classified as severe, according to WHO guidelines in all subjects. 25/25 pt carried out systemic (calcium-channel blockers, prostanoids and/or anti-ET receptors) and local (debridement and dressing) therapies. The CBD (10% oral administration oil) was used daily for the treatment of SSU-related pain. We performed both an oral (five drops bid) as local treatment (two drops in the site of SSU) during surgical debridement of SSU for a period of 5.9 ± 3.2 SD months. Patients have been provided with a diary to record the following symptoms daily: self-evaluation of pain at the same time in the evening, using a visual analog scale (VAS), use of other analgesics, eventual side effects. Health assessment Questionnaire-Disability index (HAQ-DI) was administrated baseline and at the end of treatment. Safety of CBD was evaluated by patient’s records of side effects, while vital signs and laboratory parameter variations were monitored at each weekly medication.
Results: The local treatment with CBD produced a significant reduction of SSU-related pain. After 1 month of therapy, pain VAS decreased from 94.8 ± 8.72 SD to 54.7 ± 9.4 SD (P<0.0001), total hours of sleep increased from 2.56 ±1.28 SD to 5.67 ± 0.85 SD (P <0.000). Additional analgesic therapy was necessary in 12/25 (48%). After 2 months, further clinical improvement was observed: the pain VAS reduced to 40.9 ± 12.9 SD, the mean total hours of sleep per night was 6.10 ± 0.85 SD and the HAQ-DI decreased from 1.1 ± 0.67 SD (baseline) to 0.46 ± 0.46 SD at the last patients’ evaluation, when complete healing of SSU and pain relief were obtained and CBD was discontinued. 20/25 (80%) pt registered a better compliance to the local wound management.
No reported significant side effects with CBD oil.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that the use of CBD as a local therapy is effective and safe in maintaining analgesia in patients with SSU; not secondarily it could be essential for an adequate healing of a local wound with consequent improvement of SSc patients’ quality of life and compliance on local SSU management. Further larger-scale studies will be needed to finally demonstrate CBD efficacy and to monitor long-term effects.
Can CBD Oil Or Herbal Supplements Help Varicose Vein Symptoms?
Varicose veins affect 30-40% of the population and cause symptoms such as leg swelling, pain, aching, heaviness, burning, or throbbing for many of these people. Naturally, those who suffer with these symptoms want to know what they can do, or if there’s anything they can take, to alleviate the symptoms on their own, short of medical treatment procedures.
Towards that end, a quick search online shows hundreds of options for natural supplements that claim to reduce varicose vein symptoms. In addition, the recent surge in popularity of CBD products has many people wondering if a CBD oil or cream can improve or even eliminate their varicose vein symptoms.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a chemical in the cannabis plant. Unlike its well-known cousin, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not make you high. It’s available as oral drops and topical sprays and creams, and even is being formulated in bath bombs and dog treats. CBD is being marketed as a treatment for just about any condition, including varicose veins.
According to AARP , baby boomers are embracing CBD and using it as a treatment for pain, arthritis, and other age-related health problems like varicose veins. The theory is that CBD reduces inflammation in the body, which can then reduce symptoms like pain and swelling.
For those who are considering trying CBD for varicose vein symptoms, It’s important to note that research of CBD is in its infancy, and the purity of some CBD consumer products may not be reliable. In addition, CBD may have negative interactions with many medications, so patients with any medical conditions or diseases should talk to their doctors before taking it.
Similarly, there are many over-the-counter supplements on the market that claim to reduce varicose vein symptoms. Though they haven’t been well-studied, a number of herbal therapies also claim to be helpful for those with varicose veins, such as horse chestnut and grape seed extract. However, you should talk with your doctor before trying any herbal or dietary supplement to make sure these products won’t interfere with any medications you’re currently taking.
The bottom line is that whether or not CBD or supplements are effective for reducing varicose vein symptoms is measured on a person-to-person basis, as conclusive research has yet to be determined. The most important thing to keep in mind is that these products are meant to ease symptoms of varicose veins, like pain and swelling. They cannot make existing veins disappear, or even prevent the gradual progression of varicose veins . Any product that claims to do so should not be trusted.
Varicose veins are a chronic and progressive condition, and regardless of whether CBD products or supplements temporarily help with your symptoms, you should know that today’s advanced treatments are quick and easy, requiring little to no down-time.
As the first physician dedicated solely to the treatment of vein disease in Tennessee, Dr. Douglass and East Tennessee Vein Clinic leads the region in experience and expertise of varicose veins. We treat veins differently than other clinics precisely because of our dedication to treating the root cause and full extent of each patient’s vein disease.
Visit us online at East Tennessee Vein Clinic , or call 866-281-VEIN, or request an appointment online today. We are offering free vein screenings through April. Please mention free screenings when making your appointment.