How CBD Helps with Burns
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid found in hemp plants that interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system(1). These phytocannabinoids refer to the various naturally occurring components of a cannabis plant(2).
The ECS is said to modulate the body’s inflammatory and pain management and responses. It has two receptors: CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors(3).
These cannabinoid receptors regulate different body functions. CB1 receptors affect memory, movement, mood, and perception, while CB2 receptors are linked with pain and inflammation, and bind with immune cells(4).
The use of topical CBD has also shown safe and non-invasive effects in some inflammatory skin disorders(6).
A burn is a condition where specific body tissues on the skin are damaged because of heat, radiation, chemicals, or electricity(7). Its severity is categorized per degree.
First degree burns damage only the epidermis or the outermost layer of the skin. These are the mildest form of burns and do not cause infection or scarring(8).
Slightly severe second-degree burns cause damage to the two layers of skin: the epidermis and the dermis. This burn type may cause pain, swelling with red areas and blisters, and infection to the skin(9).
Third-degree or full-thickness burns harm the skin and other deeper tissues in the affected area. This type of burn can leave the skin almost numb and scorched-looking. It may require skin grafting(10).
Skin grafting is when a thin layer of the skin is taken from another area of the body to cover the burns(11).
Most problems caused by severe burns occur due to the body’s spiked anti-inflammatory response(12).
This response is a natural reaction to injury and protection from bacteria and other foreign bodies. However, the overreaction to this response caused by severe burns may add to the burn injury’s severity and affect other body organs(13).
Uses and Benefits of CBD for Burns
Burns cause physical trauma on the skin and break its protective layer. This damage may lead to other complications, like bacterial infections.
The debilitation of the immune system caused by burns may also affect how the body resists infection(14).
Slow wound–healing process, pain, hypertrophic scarring, and infections are crucial concerns when it comes to skin burn management(15).
Due to the slow healing and exposure of wounds, infection is one of the primary reasons for the mortality and morbidity of individuals with burns(16).
The increasing use of cannabis in treating several people who suffer from severe and large burns was reported in a study(17). The researchers observed that the people who use cannabis had larger burns, need more operations, and have longer stays in the ICU.
CBD is usually associated with the enhancement of wellness overall. However, with the growing interest in CBD and its over-the-counter availability in some states, more CBD brands assert therapeutic claims.
In a study reviewing natural fiber plants, hemp was mentioned to have antibacterial properties against pathogens(21).
Another study also mentioned that the combined antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative effects of CBD may be useful in the treating of acne vulgaris(23).
A different study on cannabinoids and pain suggested the use of medical cannabis’ cannabinoids as a possible treatment for chronic pain in adults(25).
Routes of Administration
There are several ways you can use CBD products, including inhalation, sublingual, mucosal, or transdermal application, oral ingestion, and topical absorption.
Two of the most common delivery methods for CBD products are sublingual or mucosal administration and inhalation.
Animal studies showed that CBD tinctures taken sublingually or absorbed by the mucosal membranes under the tongue or in the cheeks permits better absorption of terpenes(26).
Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds in plants known for their ability to counter parasites(antiplasmodial activity) and their potential as anticancer and antidiabetic agents(27).
It takes 15 to 30 minutes for sublingual products to take effect. These effects last for two to four hours(28).
These topicals and transdermal products have the same onset time of 5 to 30 minutes(30). However, the transdermal route appears to have a longer subsistence of four hours for CBD gels and eight hours or longer for CBD patches(31).
Risks of Using CBD Oil for Burns
Side Effects and Drug Interactions
Even with the growing research on CBD’s benefits, there are still possible adverse effects that the substance may cause, including(33):
- Reduced appetite
- Dry mouth
Although these side effects are said to be tolerable, they may lead to more serious complications. Thus, further research on the side effects of CBD is warranted.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using CBD products, as some ingredients may affect the infant.
Since CBD may share similar effects with antihistamines, opioids, and antidepressants, it is not advisable to take CBD products with these medications to avoid oversedation and disruption of daily activities(34).
You should also avoid using CBD with other herbal supplements and products that have sedative properties(35).
Legality of CBD
The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) puts FDA regulated substances into one of the five schedules based on their potential abuse, medical use, dependence liability, and safety(37).
Moreover, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD-infused drug for severe and rare forms of childhood epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome(39).
However, US states have different laws and regulations regarding CBD products. It is highly recommended to research and follow these regulations to avoid adverse repercussions.
Things to Consider in Buying CBD Oil for Burns
In choosing the best CBD product for burns and other medical conditions, you should assess the following:
Type of CBD Extract
There are three types of CBD. Full-spectrum CBD or whole-plant extract contains terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytocannabinoids, including traces of THC. The synergy of these cannabinoids and phytocompounds causes an entourage effect(40).
Source of Hemp
Some well-known states part of the hemp pilot programs include Colorado, Kentucky, Oregon, and North Carolina(42).
Certificate of Analysis
The certificate of analysis (COA) includes the lab results for the contaminants, like pesticides, microbials, and chemicals. Information on the CBD concentration and potency is also shown in the COA.
Amount of CBD Concentration and Potency
Some topical CBD products have aloe vera, essential oils, and vitamin E that may contribute to skincare and skin health.
Examining the ingredients of the CBD product gives you information on the other components included in the product.