Varicella (Chicken Pox)

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Varicella and Medical Cannabis Treatment

Varicella, also called Chicken Pox, is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The highly contagious condition is preventable by vaccine, but if contracted can be very uncomfortable, even leaving permanent scarring from the itchy rash it causes. Contractable by the outbreak itself or if an infected person coughs or sneezes on someone not infected, varicella is most often only suffered once, according to the Mayo Clinic.

While there are varicella vaccinations and treatments to soothe symptoms, medical cannabis could relieve the infection that causes a severe skin rash. In 2020, journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research reported on specific plant properties able to fight infection. “The possibility of cannabidiol (CBD) to be used as an antiviral or to treat viral diseases has received limited attention so far, despite the growing number of claims that CBD could be used to treat viral infection-related conditions,” according to the journal. 

Meanwhile, WebMD reports that CBD is considered a superbug antibiotic, able to fight off severe infection and viruses. Mark Blaskovich, Ph.D., senior research officer at the Centre for Superbug Solutions at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience in Australia, explained his findings to the medical website. 

“We looked at how quickly the CBD killed the bacteria. It’s quite fast, within 3 hours, which is pretty good. Vancomycin (Vancocin) kills over 6 to 8 hours,” Blaskovich said. Additionally, WebMD reported that “the CBD also disrupted the biofilm, the layer of ‘goop’ around bacteria that makes it more difficult for the antibiotic to penetrate and kill.”

Varicella Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Varicella is caused by contracting the virus from an infected individual. Once infected, symptoms began to show and include fever, loss of appetite, headache, according to the Mayo Clinic, adding once the chickenpox rash appears it creates raised pink bumps, small fluid-filled blisters, and crusts and scabs. 

Severe cases include legions forming in the throat and eyes and on the membranes of the anus, vagina, and urethra. Though rare, chickenpox can lead to further complications, including inflammation of the brain, toxic shock syndrome, and even death. There is no set treatment for varicella, especially with children, who often only contract mild cases. The virus must run its course out of the system before all symptoms disappear. 

Varicella and CBD

While more research is needed to report that medical cannabis can treat varicella conclusively, what is for sure is that CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory that eases dozens of conditions that cause swelling of the skin like chickenpox. Take, for example, skin inflammation caused by acne. Pure Green Chief Medical Officer Dr. Debra Kimless told Veriheal how exactly medical cannabis eases infectious swelling. “Most disease processes are based on inflammation, so when you are looking at everything from acne to autoimmune to high blood pressure, really everything is based on inflammation,” Dr. Kimless said to Veriheal. “Chronic inflammation does a lot of deleterious things to our bodies.”

Dr. Kimless details why medical cannabis is effective, saying, “the reason why cannabis is truly a medicine is that the purpose is to maintain homeostasis, or a physiologic balance, and tries to work with all the other biologic systems.” Medical cannabis eases skin disorders, including eczema, and suggests it is also excellent at relieving skin conditions like varicella.

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Data Last Updated 10/08/2020

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