Burns are a very common occurrence, and they can range from minor to life-threatening. According to the CDC, there are three main categories of burns:
- First-Degree: This is the least severe burn which affects the top layer of skin. Skin will be red, painful to the touch, and possibly show mild swelling. Typical treatments include the application of a wet compress and covering the wound with a clean cloth.
- Second-Degree: This type of burn affects the two top layers of skin. Symptoms include blisters, severe pain, and the possible loss of skin. Treatment involves immersion in cold water, elevation of the affected area, and making sure not to break any blisters.
- Third-Degree: This is the most severe type of burn injury as it penetrates the thickness of the skin and destroys tissue. Immediate medical attention is required because third-degree burns can be fatal.
Is CBD an Effective Burn Treatment?
To answer this question, we must first look at the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD interact with the ECS, which has receptors in the skin and is involved in growth, proliferation, hormone production, and apoptosis. Cannabinoids have shown anti-inflammatory properties, which means they could potentially be used for healing and pain management in theory.
A 2010 study by Zhao et al., performed at China Medical University, looked at the cannabinoid receptors at the wound sites of mice. They found that CB1 receptors were found in the location of the injuries on fibroblastic and mononuclear cells. Moreover, CB1 positive cells were found at the wound site 6 hours after the injury occurred, and they were still there after 14 days.
As a result, the research team concluded that the CB1 receptor is activated when a wound heals, which means it is involved in inflammation. If CB1 receptors are found at the site of wounds, it means they could act as binding sites for cannabinoids such as THC, which may result in anti-inflammatory, pain-killing, and antibiotic effects.
While THC is still illegal in 17 states, hemp-based CBD is widely legal. The passing of the Farm Bill of 2018 made industrial hemp growing legal, and it is currently permitted in 46 of the 50 states. Therefore, farmers in these 46 states can safely grow CBD-rich hemp plants, which means you can expect even more CBD products to be found in major stores.
The above information looked at how THC can help burns, but what about CBD? CBD is known to decrease inflammation and can help with pain relief. So let’s see what it may be able to do for burns.
CBD & Burn Relief – The Science
It is important to remember that research into CBD’s effects is still in the very early stages. Even so, the findings to date have been very promising. We can go back over 40 years to find evidence of CBD acting as an anti-bacterial. This was the conclusion drawn by a study done in 1976, which showed that both CBD and THC were bactericidal.
In the case of a burn, CBD could potentially sterilize the wound. Its antibacterial properties mean CBD is a potential way to prevent bacteria and other pathogens from entering the body via broken skin.
Ideally, one would apply the CBD to the affected area as soon as the injury occurs.
Inflammation is another area of concern when skin is burned. Remember, the body is designed to fight off the pathogens, and when suffering any injury, an army of immune cells are sent to the site of the burn to fight off the enemy. However, excessive inflammation results in pain and also slows down the healing process.
CBD potentially reduces the inflammation via the body’s CB2 receptors, and could also reduce the pain felt. A study by Nagarkatti et al., published in Future Medicinal Chemistry in 2010, found that CBD works as an anti-inflammatory. Another study, this time by the University of Aberdeen in 2009, discovered that CBD helps maintain normal levels of calcium in cells, which helps protect the cells from trauma.
What all of this means is that initial studies show the potential for CBD to help address burns.
Best CBD Products for Burns
It is best only to use the cannabinoid for minor first-degree burns. And it is imperative that one seeks medical advice for any painful or severe burn or else they risk infection, or worse.
There are several forms of CBD consumption, but topicals are the only way to go when it comes to treating burns. The CBD topical should be applied to the affected area as soon as possible after suffering the burn. If the existing scientific research is correct, the CBD should help ease the pain and prevent a possible infection.
Here are three CBD topical brands to consider:
1 – CBD FX
This brand has numerous customers who are delighted at the way the cream and balm work to treat skin problems. CBD FX’s topicals contain full-spectrum CBD, which means their products also give the benefit of other cannabinoids, vitamins, amino acids, terpenes, and fatty acids.
2 – CBD MD
This brand’s premium products contain a broad-spectrum CBD oil derived from hemp. CBD MD has a wide range of topicals including CBD Freeze, an inflammation formula called Recover, and a Moisturizing Lotion range called Revive.
3 – Fab CBD
It’s important to note that Fab CBD’s Muscle & Joint Pain topical can contain up to 0.3% THC. Ingredients of this product include cocoa butter, aloe vera, and coconut oil. The blood orange scent is extremely pleasant, and all Fab CBD products are derived from organic hemp.
Final Thoughts on CBD as a Burn Treatment
If one experiences a mild burn that affects the top layer of skin, they could consider using CBD immediately to relieve the pain, reduce swelling, tackle inflammation, and perhaps speed up the recovery process. However, make sure to seek immediate medical attention for anything more severe than a minor burn.