Miracle Plant: Can Medical Marijuana Heal Wounds?

Research shows promise for wound-healing cannabis balms.

Heal Wounds
Photo by Flickr user Judith Doyle

Marijuana-infused topical creams and lotions are useful for everything from tired feet and bags under your eyes, to your sex life. But could they also help heal serious wounds?

In a report published in the Journal of Symptom and Pain Management, researchers used the case study of a 44 year old Canadian man diagnosed with oral cancer. Malignant wounds, they write, affect approximately 15 percent of cancer patients and are often a source of constant pain.

According to the study:

The patient was prescribed vaporized cannabis to ease pain associated with the condition. This also helped reduce his reliance on prescription opioids. Eventually, he had to stop treatment due to a hole that formed on his cheek. Maida then issued the use of cannabis oil as an alternative to vaporized cannabis. While applying the topical at a rate of four times per day for an entire month, the patient noticed that the wound stopped growing.

Moreover, it also decreased in size, by roughly five percent in the following month. Pain relief that came with the treatment lasted for two hours after applying the cannabis oil. In a major twist of events, the patient died from cancer-related complications arising out of severe deterioration of his condition.

So, is marijuana a miracle balm for treating open wounds? Before you start slathering weed lotion all over a sliced-open finger, remember: As with most medical marijuana research, more studies are needed on a wider variety of patients to make a claim one way or the other. But this is a positive sign for people coping with the the symptoms of cancer and managing their treatments better.

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