CBD for Venous Leg Ulcers: Complete Wound Closure in 81% Chronic Cases
In journalism and media industry for more than twenty years, worked for a number of media companies. Business editing, research and PR specialist. Covering industry and science news for Ilesol Pharmaceuticals.
CBD for Venous Leg Ulcers: Complete Wound Closure in 81% Chronic Cases
A new study shows that a combination of CBD, terpenes, and flavonoids improves the results of compression therapy in venous leg ulcers. With the application of the topical solution containing molecules naturally present in cannabis, the wounds rapidly healed in patients with chronic conditions. The scientists believe in the efficiency of CBD for venous leg ulcers as a promising novel supportive therapy.
Venous leg ulcers are a chronic problem in many countries, especially in Northern Europe and the US. The overall prevalence of this condition is 1% rising to 3% in patients over 65 years of age. The venous leg ulcers are formed in the skin over the ankles and often are painful. Their treatment includes standardized care, which relies on a reliable diagnosis, compression, and local wound care. The healing of these wounds is variable, with common recurrence.
A recent analysis of 1323 patients reported that the proportion of patients who achieved complete closure using compression therapy at three and six months was 42.2% and 48.6%, respectively.
A new study published in May 2021 in Experimental Dermatology shows that a combination of cannabidiol, terpenes, and flavonoids leads to rapid wound closure of previously non-healing venous leg ulcers among elderly and highly complex patients.
This prospective open-label cohort trial recruited 14 patients with 16 chronic and non-healing leg ulcers referred to a regional consultative wound management clinic in Toronto, Canada.
The median age of the patients was 75.8 years, all with chronic wounds. One 81-year old patient with a surgically fused ankle was affected by his wound for 12.2 years. More than half of the patients had moderate to severe lipodermatosclerosis, edema, and peripheral arterial disease, all of which are significant factors against wound closure.
All patients had venous leg ulcers for longer than six months that failed to close despite at least four weeks of compression therapy. All patients underwent duplex venous dopplers that confirmed the presence of venous incompetency, and wound biopsies were carried out to rule out neoplasm, vasculitis, and rare vasculopathy. All patients provided informed consent for treatment using cannabis-based medicines – VS-12 and VS-14.
The cannabis-based medicines in this trial were composed of mixtures of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids applied topically to the wound beds and peri-wound tissues. VS-12 and VS-14 were chemically equivalent but compounded in separate vehicles. Formula VS-12, applied to wound bed consisted of CBD 3.8 mg/ml, THC
CBD for venous leg ulcers: The treatment
Great results obtained in this study on CBD for venous leg ulcers resulted with the following methodology:
Treatments were carried out every second day and continued until complete wound closure,
defined as the wound bed being 100% epithelialized. On their initial visits, all patients’ degrees of global medical complexity was calculated using both the M3 multimorbidity index tool and the Palliative Performance Scale score (PPS). Qualitative clinical assessments of their degrees of lipodermatosclerosis, edema, and peripheral arterial disease were also scored and documented. Following gentle cleansing with sterile normal saline, each patient underwent application of evenly applied thin layers of VS-12 to the wound beds, and VS-14 to a 4-6 cm radial cuff of peri-wound integument every second day. Tissues were then covered with one layer each of Jelonet and Mesorb. This was followed by the application of inelastic compression bandages, chosen based upon patient preferences, using a spiral technique, between the level of the metatarsal phalangeal joints and the infra-popliteal space.
Two-dimensional wound measurements, namely, widest width and longest length, were documented at each visit after debridement was carried out. Given the irregular and eclectic wound bed contours, the wound area calculations were approximated by matching them to various geometric shapes and applying their respective mathematical formulae. Data was also fitted to a linear regression model to report the general trend and the estimated time to complete wound closure. The observed time to complete wound closure, defined as the number of days since treatment onset to observe complete wound closure since the start of treatment, was calculated. The wound area data points were also fitted using a least-squares linear regression model. The slope was extracted to report both the absolute (cm² per 30 days) and relative (% of original wound area per 30 days) rates of wound healing. The estimated time to achieve wound healing, defined as the number of days since treatment onset for the linear fit line to reach zero was reported.
Rapid wound closure in 34 days
Complete wound closure, defined as being fully epithelialized, was achieved among 11 patients (79%) and 13 wounds (81%) within a median of 34 days. The three remaining patients were unavailable for follow-up because one of them moved out of the country, and two died of unrelated reasons. However, those three wounds also demonstrated progressive healing when last seen. There were no significant adverse reactions in any patients.
These positive outcomes are the result of potentiation and synergy between cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, the scientists conclude.
The rapid wound closure of previously non-healing venous leg ulcers among elderly and highly complex patients suggests that topical cannabis-based medicines may become effective adjuvants in conjunction with compression therapy. It may also indicate that they may have an even broader role within the skin and wound management.
Reviewed by Sasha Bajilo, founder of ILESOL Pharmaceuticals, an industrial scale producer of CBD products and formulations. Expert on Hemp/Cannabis policy, member of the Croatian Ministry of Health regulatory commission for medical cannabis.
CBD Effects For Leg Ulcers: Will It Actually Work?
What are the CBD effects for leg ulcers? Well, cannabidiol (CBD) is a plant extract that, in early research, shows significant effects on pain and inflammation. It’s just one of the hundred compounds in the Cannabis sativa plant.
Now, there are many cannabis varieties. Two are hemp and marijuana, distinguished by their THC content. Legal hemp plants have less than 0.3% THC. So, when you extract CBD from hemp, your extract won’t get you high.
For this reason, CBD is an appealing options if you’re for pain relief. It may help you find relief without the side effects of THC, or other pharmaceutical drugs.
Recently, researchers looked at CBD for leg ulcers. And the early results were promising. So, what are the CBD effects for leg ulcers? And will they help you heal? Keep reading to learn more!
Why Do People Develop Leg Ulcers?
Before we explore how CBD may help your leg ulcers, let’s first why they develop. Leg ulcers may be linked to poor circulation. And that often happens where your veins weaken, impacting blood flow to your legs and back to your heart.
Why is this a problem? Well, when blood doesn’t move properly, it pools in your leg veins. In turn, they bulge, or they may start to leak. And that leaking can damage your skin, resulting in leg ulcers.
Often, we treat leg ulcers by improving your circulation with the help of compression bandages. They help move blood out of your leg veins, and back to the heart. So your veins get some relief. You may also need topical ointments or medicines to heal your wounds.
Unfortunately, even with effective treatments, 40-70% of people with leg ulcers see them return. Anyone can develop this problem. But some people have a higher risk than others. And that includes elderly individuals, people with diabetes or high blood pressure, and people dealing with obesity.
CBD Effects for Leg Ulcers
Where does CBD enter the leg ulcer scene, and why might you explore this option? Well, in early studies, we’re seeing CBD improve leg ulcer healing. Which is exciting, since traditional treatments often don’t provide long-term relief.
In one study from a wound center in Toronto, doctors followed 14 patients with 16 open wounds. None of these participants got relief from traditional compression stockings and treatment plans. In fact, some used compression socks for as long as 12 years. But their leg ulcers and wounds showed little improvement. (Keep in mind, some of these patients had also additional health complications that compromised healing.)
To try and help them, researchers applied compression socks as well as topical CBD-based ointment to the patients’ wounds. And the results were very exciting! In just 34 days, 11 of the 14 patients saw complete wound closure! Some subjects even enjoyed faster healing. Best of all, none of them exhibited , unwanted side effects, according to the study findings.
What Is the Role of Cannabinoids in Wound Healing
Given these early results, CBD appears to play a crucial role when it comes to healing wounds. Aside from the fact that it may provide pain relief, cannabinoids like CBD can widen your blood vessels. This means you could notice better circulation in your legs, allowing for good blood flow in and out of your vessels. As a result, you may also notice better skin regrowth and healing, since your leg veins will have a better supply of oxygen-rich blood. CBD can also help your endocannabinoid system maintain homeostasis, helping reduce inflammation for faster wound healing and stronger leg veins.
While doctors are still testing CBD effects for approved medical treatments, this product is catching on quickly in the open market. People have started adding CBD supplements to their daily routines. And they report few (if any) side effects. Making this hemp extract appealing for further research studies.
Are There Any Negative CBD Effects for Leg Ulcers?
Currently, we’ve only seen small-scale studies and case reports reflecting the overall CBD effects in different medical settings. Of course, that’s only natural. After all, CBD was only legalized and introduced to the market back in 2018.
Still, based on the numerous reports from people who try CBD products, we can say that, for now, most users respond positively to this supplement. And they do so without noticing any serious side effects, which is why CBD is generally considered safe for public use. (Just talk to your doctor before trying a new supplement. Especially if you have underlying health concerns such as leg ulcers.)
Important Things to Remember When Buying CBD Products Online
While CBD effects for leg ulcers appear to be positive, this supplement may also help with your anxiety or insomnia. Some people even incorporate CBD into their beauty routine, which is why people notice a huge difference in their overall skin quality when using CBD oil or ointments topically. But CBD comes in many other forms, including tinctures and pills. So, how can you choose the form of CBD that works best for you?
CBD oil and its variety of products aren’t the same for all companies. Always bear in mind that the quality of hemp used matters. This means that even though the components of CBD are significantly helpful in most cases, it doesn’t mean that the quality would be the same.
When shopping for CBD products online, make sure that you look into your manufacturer’s background. See how they source the plants, how they have been extracted, and make sure that the company is completely transparent about their process. Is it locally or internationally sourced? Ideally, you should go for companies offering locally-sourced CBD products, since different countries regulate hemp growth differently.
Technology also makes it easier for consumers like you to find reliable companies that are worthy of your time and money. To help you reach those suppliers, try looking for online reviews, check your suppliers’ social media accounts for customer feedback, and explore their investment in research to understand their expertise in this industry.
As a final reminder, whenever you’re taking CBD orally or using it topically, always remember to consult your physician before going with any new supplement option. Some physicians are open to using CBD, but they’ll want to explore all your other medications and health routines, since CBD could interact with certain prescriptions. Then, once you’ve received approval from your healthcare provider, browse our online CBD store for a wide selection of full-spectrum hemp extracts.