Shingles term used for herpes zoster, is a painful condition that originates from the same virus that causes chickenpox, called varicella zoster. For reasons that are poorly understood, decades after contracting chickenpox, the virus can “wake up” in some individuals, causing shingles.
According to Government of Canada Shingles Fact Sheet info… People get shingles when the virus that causes chicken pox, varicella zoster, is reactivated in their body. The varicella zoster virus doesn’t leave the body, even after a person has recovered from chicken pox. It can flare up again, causing shingles, often many years after a person has had chicken pox. The virus tends to reactivate when a person’s immune system is weakened because of another health problem.
There is no cure for shingles, but treatment may shorten the length of illness and prevent complications. Treatment options include:
- Antiviral medications
- Pain medicines, antidepressants, and topical creams.
Many of these treatments are ineffective and also come with a myriad of unwanted side effects.
How Medical Marijuana Helps Patients with Shingles
Medical marijuana can help relieve the symptoms of pain caused by shingles as well as potentially reduce inflammation and protect nerve cells no matter how patients choose to take their medication. This means that shingles patients have many options of how to medicate using medical marijuana according to what feels most comfortable.
These options include:
- Vaporizing medical marijuana using vaporizer equipment to inhale medical marijuana’s cannabinoids as steam
- Smoking medical marijuana through more traditional means, such as pipes or cigarettes
- Ingesting medical marijuana prepared in food, liquids or tinctures