I’m always on the lookout for new ways to use CBD to help my patients, but this latest method was inspired by a family member in need. This week, my mom celebrated her 76th birthday, but it also marked the end of her radiation therapy for breast cancer. Luckily, her cancer stage and type did not require chemotherapy, just surgery and radiation. Surgery was fine, but as anyone that has undergone radiation therapy knows, it tends to leave painful burns on the skin. For my mom, it was quite agonizing, and that pain was interfering with her all-important sleep. It was also interfering with her desire to continue radiation therapy. She was really struggling.
Someone had given her a sample bottle of a CBD tincture (different brand) to apply topically, but she didn’t think it was helping at all, so she reached out to me to be sure she was using it correctly. I made her a balm by adding some liquid coconut oil to a small jar of OCPharm CBD isolate. Happily, my mom reported that it worked MUCH better! This made a lot of sense because the small jar of isolate would be a much higher concentration of CBD compared with the bigger 30ml jar of tincture.
I was curious if there was medical literature containing any solid studies to support our observations. There are only a few preliminary reports, but the results are encouraging so far. I did come across numerous articles explaining the various cannabinoid receptors in the skin and the role that CBD seems to play in helping a variety of common skin disorders. It’s important to note that CBD is not currently FDA approved for the treatment of burns or other skin problems, but many do report feeling relief from their ailments.
I also discovered some other products out there that are being marketed for radiation burns. One such product only contained 200mg of CBD in a 120ml (4oz) jar. That’s only 1.6mg of CBD per ml. The salve I was making contained 1000mg in 5ml, which is 200mg per ml. No wonder mine seemed to work so much better!
My mom ended up also using the 50mg capsules when we ran out of the isolate. These seemed to work just as well and were quite a bit easier to use. Simply prick a capsule with a pin and then squeeze out the oil directly onto the burn area. The volume of these capsules is approximately 0.35ml, which would give a good concentration of about 140mg CBD per ml.
So glad my mom thought to ask me and was able to find some relief, because she was seriously considering stopping her radiation therapy due to the painful burns.