To date, the pathophysiology of scleroderma is still very poorly understood. It is estimated that the disease affects about 8,000 patients in France, but the figures are not accurate due to a delay in diagnosis.
What is scleroderma and how is it treated
The human body is capable of producing cannabinoids and these are therefore of endogenous origin. The phytocannabinoids are substances derived from plants. The cannabidiol is the main source of plant-derived cannabinoids. This is because this substance is not psychoactive due to its low THC content.
The use of cannabinoids to relieve scleroderma
The mode of consumption also plays an important role on the dosage. Ingestion requires passage through the digestive tract and breakdown by stomach and liver enzymes before it can enter the bloodstream. If you opt for this method, daily doses will be higher.
Background: Skin ulcers (SU) represent one of the most frequent complications of Systemic Sclerosis (SSc), characterized by severe chronic pain and frequent complications. Pain related to SSc SU(SSU) remains yet an area of significant unmet need. Moreover, pain control is fundamental for the wound care procedures in SSc patients (pt), increasing treatment adherence and compliance to skin ulcers dressing changes. The pain relief provided by standard therapy (i.e. NSAIDs, tramadol) is often inadequate or dose limited by side effects. Opioids currently are the mainstay of SSU pain treatment but burdened by side effect profile and/or ineffective. Thus, novel analgesic strategies need to be investigated. Cannabidiol (CBD), one of many constituents of the Cannabis sativa, has received renewed interest in the treatment of numerous pathological conditions.
Methods: 25 SSc pt (F/M 22/3, mean age 52.3 ± 12.9-SD-years), referred to our Scleroderma Unit during 2018, were consecutively included. In all pt the disease was complicated by long-standing, painful SU resistant to opioids. Pain was classified as severe, according to WHO guidelines in all subjects. 25/25 pt carried out systemic (calcium-channel blockers, prostanoids and/or anti-ET receptors) and local (debridement and dressing) therapies. The CBD (10% oral administration oil) was used daily for the treatment of SSU-related pain. We performed both an oral (five drops bid) as local treatment (two drops in the site of SSU) during surgical debridement of SSU for a period of 5.9 ± 3.2 SD months. Patients have been provided with a diary to record the following symptoms daily: self-evaluation of pain at the same time in the evening, using a visual analog scale (VAS), use of other analgesics, eventual side effects. Health assessment Questionnaire-Disability index (HAQ-DI) was administrated baseline and at the end of treatment. Safety of CBD was evaluated by patient’s records of side effects, while vital signs and laboratory parameter variations were monitored at each weekly medication.
No reported significant side effects with CBD oil.