If it could happen to anyone, it usually does to me. In this case, I am one of those people who had chickenpox as a child and the varicella-zoster virus didn’t want to stay dormant in my adult nerves, giving me shingles… three separate times.

Ask those who have experienced it and they will tell you, shingles is excruciatingly painful. Treatments include skin patches with painkillers put directly on the area and nerve-affecting drugs such as gabapentin or lyrica; but, most people need opiates to deal with the level of pain that it causes and doctors are happy to prescribe them.

Lucky for me, I know an incredible secret; cannabis and its effects make it one of the best and most effective options when it comes to shingles. The level of relief that it brings it unfathomable and if it ever happens to you, this is what you need to know.

What is shingles?

Shingles is a viral infection of a sensory nerve connected to an area of skin. It is characterized by the rash that appears and the painful symptoms it causes. It can cause a great deal of pain as well as other symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, severe muscle aches and flu like symptoms. The pain is pretty intense and I like to describe it as coming in a few forms.

What does shingles feel like?

Essentially, I have narrowed down the three different types of pain that you experience when you have a shingles rash:

1, You know the feeling that you get when you take a bad burn off of ice or cold water? The surface of your skin feels that way wherever you have the rash. I would rate this pain level at a solid 9 out of 10.

2, It comes with severe muscle pain. I have had it both times on my neck and shoulder and it felt like I broke my collarbone. I could hardly lift my arm and it caused some seriously weird shooting pains down my arm.

3, You can feel the length of your entire nerves themselves, right from the edge of your skin down to the bone; the rash sends lightning shocks through each one. It is a very bizarre and stressful sensation and the worst part is that you never know when it is coming.

How could cannabis help?

Topical Cannabis

If you have had chickenpox, then you could get shingles and it would be wise to go out right now and make sure you are fully stocked with topical products. The amount of pain relief that a cannabis cream can give is miraculously effective and instantaneous; the second its on the rash, the bad burn pain excruciating drops from a level 9 to a 2.

Edibles

I don’t think I would ever be able handle a shingles outbreak without high THC, edible cannabis. The type of pain I described as electric shocks throughout the nerves can literally cause severe anxiety because its so weird and uncomfortable. Like hitting a mute button, the moment I felt the effects of the edible starting to take effect, it was like it sent all the shocks and pain far away to someplace else.

With such a large concentration of pain receptors residing in the intestines, using edible cannabis to effectively treat the pain caused by shingles, makes sense and it works.

I can’t explain this but it’s true

I swear that using cannabis to deal with the symptoms of my shingles outbreak made me heal faster; I can’t tell you exactly why but I imagine it has something to do with the neuroprotective properties of cannabis.

In most cases, you can expect shingles to last between 3 to 5 weeks. The longest it has ever taken my body to fully heal, start to finish was 10 days… I really believe I healed faster thanks to cannabis.

For me, the onset has always been rapid but I noticed that the second I saturate the area in THC, it slowed right down. Yes, I started taking antiviral medication immediately all three times but the effect that cannabis had on the area was instantaneous. Taking the antiviral medication was nowhere near as quick or obvious in taking effect.

Cannabis plays a huge role in promoting proper nerve function for conditions such as Epilepsy and MS so it makes sense to me that it could make a big impact in treating an infected nerve.

What to do if you have shingles right now

  • Go to your local dispensary and overstock yourself on edible and topical products. Despite whatever legal status they might be operating under, you will need to go to a dispensary because licensed producers don’t sell either of these life saving products.
  • Try to relax and de-stress as much as possible. The more you sleep and relax, the easier it is for your body to regenerate.
  • Drink lots of fluid and eat food that provides your body with benefits, not takes them from it.

1 in 3 people are going to experience shingles. If there was one thing I could say to everyone who is or is about to get a shingles outbreak, it would be that for me, having shingles three times was easy, not really painful and no big deal…as long as I had enough cannabis.