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July 12, 2021
 min read

What is the best way to use CBD oil for shingles and how much does it help?

cbd oil for shingles
 Anthony Clement
Written by  
Anthony Clement
July 12, 2021

table of Contents

CBD cream, CBD oil, and other CBD topicals are sometimes mentioned as a possible solution for the skin condition. In this article, we will talk about CBD oil for shingles, its potential benefits, and drawbacks.

What are shingles?

Shingles are a painful rash that usually appears on one side of the body. It is viral in nature, and it is especially common for people who have experienced chicken pox during the early stages of life. In fact, it is caused by the same virus that leads to chicken pox, and that is the varicella zoster virus.

Although you might have treated this ailment when it first appeared at a younger age, it will still remain present within your body. The virus is dormant within the nerve cells. Perhaps the best way to eliminate this issue from the get go is by taking a chickenpox vaccine.

If your immunity is compromised in any way, you may experience varicella zoster (sometimes called shingles virus). It is also called herpes zoster, which isn't surprising given that it is activated in a similar way as herpes when your immune system is unable to defend itself. Of course, there are other factors that increase the likelihood of the virus appearing. Things such as age, other compromising conditions, high stress levels can all contribute to this problem.

The most notable symptom of this viral infection are dots that appear on the body and face. They will turn into blisters accompanied by severe shingles nerve pain. The only positive thing is that these blisters will start drying out after a week or so. Unfortunately, the shingles pain that comes with it is often unbearable. A person will not be able to sleep properly, and they will have a tingling skin sensation over the affected area. This is often accompanied by symptoms such as chills, fever, and stomach issues. 

What’s even more concerning about chickenpox is that it's contagious. If they didn't receive the shingles vaccine, people around you could easily suffer from this skin condition.

There are a few drugs that you can use for shingles. They usually work by reducing potential complications and relieving rash. Acyclovir is perhaps the most common substance used for it. You can also utilize medicines such as Ibuprofen, which has strong anti inflammatory properties, and you can find it in almost any store. Antiviral medication is mostly used for pain and inflammation. This is why CBD products have emerged as a potential solution.

How can you benefit from CBD oil for shingles?

CBD oil products are often mentioned as substances that can potentially have a strong impact on muscles. Furthermore, the only hemp based drug on the market is called Epidiolex, which is used for certain types of muscle spasms. It is believed that cannabinoids, and in particular CBD, can have a positive effect on smooth muscle tissue.

Nowadays, scientists are performing various tests as they try to learn more about cannabinoids and their positive effects. Among others, CBD is studied as a potential treatment of shingles outbreak. While there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that cannabidiol might work for the condition, there is simply not enough medical data that would corroborate that claim. Because of that, shingles patients shouldn’t stop using their prescribed medicines.

One of the main reasons why CBD oil is even considered is because of its safety profile. In that regard, the product might be better than some other popular drugs. The oil is usually made from organic hemp with very little to no chemicals. It also produces negligible side effects that will stop as soon as you stop using the product.

Experts believe that CBD might have a major impact on postherpetic neuralgia associated with herpes zoster. According to a minor study, 5 out of 8 patients were able to affect pain associated with this condition by using CBD oil. Most analgesic therapies are unable to reduce the pain that goes through nerve endings.  Cannabidiol is likely able to interact with the CB1 receptor and the CB2 receptor. They are a part of the larger endocannabinoid system, which regulates functions such as pain, sleep, appetite, mood, etc. So, by stimulating the receptors, CBD oil might reduce the pain associated with shingles.

Although the results of this study were positive, it was only performed on 8 people. We would need a much larger sample size and more variations to better understand the potential outcomes. Needless to say, cannabinoids are not approved for the treatment of severe pain or shingles.

Another interesting feature of CBD for shingles comes in the form of its potential impact on anxiety. It is believed that cannabidiol can have a strong impact on stress. Most people use it in the evening, prior to going to bed. That way, they are able to unwind and have an uninterrupted sleep. As the substance may affect stress levels, it might also play a role in reducing anxiety.

How to apply CBD oil for shingles?

Given that we have limited data regarding CBD hemp oil and shingles, it is really hard to find the optimal dosage and application. Furthermore, some of these items can be very different in terms of their ingredients. They may include various essential oil such as coconut oil, almond oil, and oregano oil. There is no proper regulation that would define the precise ingredients of medical hemp oil, which is why certain companies add unnecessary ingredients or dilute the product.

The liquid can be used topically or sublingually. Generally speaking, topical application is utilized when you wish to address problems on a surface. It might provide some benefits to muscles and tissue. You can put it directly on the shingles. The substance might also have some antimicrobial properties, so it might affect the virus directly.

The sublingual application should have a more wholesome impact on the body. For this particular ailment, both of them might work. But, it is hard to say which application type will provide better results.

Dosage is the key whenever you use cannabidiol. Usually, the optimal dose is based on the user's weight. CBD oil dosage goes from 10mg to 25mg and more. You also need to consider other factors such as tolerance, the severity of the issue, other metabolic characteristics. And while you can easily dose sublingual CBD, it becomes a bit trickier with topical application. Our recommendation is to apply a small quantity of hemp oil and see how it works. If it doesn't provide pain relief, you can try and increase the amount.

You might also consider alternating administration approaches. Sublingual and oral applications are meant to harmonize internal processes and restore stability. Also, with this method, you get the most from hemp's sedative properties. The sublingual application might help you relax, thus addressing some of the discomforts that come with pain.

On the other hand, topical application may soothe your muscles, remove redness, and alleviate minor soreness. So, when you combine these two together, you might be able to address a lot of the problems or, at least, reduce their impact. Keep in mind that we don't know how the substance will precisely affect you, which is why you should try it out and see how it goes.

Potential issues when using CBD oil for shingles

As we already mentioned, CBD oil is regarded as a safe substance. Nevertheless, it can cause a few side effects.

When used sublingually, you might experience issues such as dry mouth, drowsiness, diarrhea, change in appetite, and change in blood pressure. These problems are either due to stomach irritation or the plant's sedative properties. If you use it topically, you might experience irritation. Needless to say, you shouldn't administer this substance to the infected or wounded area.

Due to the fact that some manufacturers put essential oils in their CBD, you will need to check the label. There is always a chance that a substance may contain something that you’re allergic to. Most of these essential oils are harmless, but you can never be too certain.

A lot of people can’t tell the difference between CBD oil and cannabidiol oil. The first one is made from hemp, while the second one is made from marijuana species of cannabis. Furthermore, the first one has a lot of CBD with little THC (psychoactive substance), while the second one has a much higher THC content and way less medical CBD. Anyway, as long as you're using hemp based products, you shouldn't get high or experience any other THC related problems.

Tips that will help you use CBD oil for shingles

It is really hard to say if you’ll experience any benefits when using CBD oil for shingles. There are simply too many variables to consider. While cannabinoids may provide various improvements, there is no scientific evidence that any of these things would actually work. Having that in mind, it is very important to do everything in your power to increase the odds of success.

Here are some tips that you should follow during the process:

·         Start with a smaller dose. Lack of regulation makes it hard to assess the potency of certain items. Although CBD oil is non toxic, and you likely won't experience any issues with a slightly higher dose, there is no need to go overboard.

·         Cannabidiol products should provide quick relief. Within 10 to 15 minutes of application, you should experience the first improvements. You have the option of using them according to needs when you feel pain, or you can use them every day at the same time.

·         We don’t know much about simultaneous application. In theory, you should be able to apply cannabidiol oil topically and sublingually at the same time. During topical application, the substance will not penetrate your bloodstream. On the other hand, with the sublingual method, the chemical will end up in your bloodstream but will not affect the skin. There shouldn't be any interaction between the two, which might allow both applications.

·         Don’t expect instant results. Although the substance works quickly, that doesn’t mean that you’ll feel benefits on the first try. You might need several applications to feel better. Be consistent, be patient, and don’t give up.

Choosing the right CBD product type for shingles

There are a lot of different hemp cannabis products on the market. You can choose between CBD capsules, bath bombs, dog treats, etc. Although seemingly different, they are created with the same principle: you can an object and put CBD oil in it.

That being said, we differentiate 3 types of CBD oils for shingles:

Full spectrum CBD oil

This substance has all the same cannabinoids and terpenes as the hemp plant. It provides the most wholesome impact on our bodies.

Broad spectrum CBD oil

The main difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum is that broad spectrum CBD doesn’t have THC. In that sense, it can be regarded as a safer substance. No matter, neither broad spectrum nor full spectrum should cause psychoactive episodes.

CBD isolate

As the name implies, this item has only one substance - CBD. It is ideal for all those who want to focus on cannabidiol while omitting everything else.


Iffland, K., Grotenhermen, F., (2017), An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, New Rochelle, NY, the United States of America


Phan, N., Q.,  Siepmann, D., Gralow, I., Ständer, S., (2009), Adjuvant topical therapy with a cannabinoid receptor agonist in facial postherpetic neuralgia, Journal of the German Society of Dermatology : JDDG, Berlin, Germany