A new study from Thailand has shown cannabidiol’s (CBD) efficacy as a treatment for canker sores, also known as recurrent aphthous ulcers (RAUs).
Topical steroids are a standard RAU treatment, though long-term use can lead to candidiasis, a bacterial infection.
Study authors say CBD is an alternative for pharmacologically treating RAUs because of its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
But despite anecdotal or other evidence, study authors say there’s a lack of clinical and safety trials on its use.
The goal of the study was to determine the clinical safety and efficacy of topical 0.1 percent CBD for managing RAUs.
For the study, researchers enlisted 100 healthy subjects and used a CBD patch.
Fifty subjects received CBD applications on normal oral mucosa three times daily for seven days.
Researchers did oral examinations, measured vitals, and performed blood tests before and after CBD use.
Sixty-nine subjects randomly received one of three topical interventions—0.1 percent CBD, 0.1 percent triamcinolone acetonide (TA), or placebo.
Subjects received applications three times daily for seven days.
Researchers measured ulcer and erythematous size on days zero, two, five, and seven while recording pain ratings daily.
Subjects rated their satisfaction with the results and completed quality-of-life questionnaires.
“None of the subjects exhibited reactions or side effects,” state the study authors. “Their vital signs and blood parameters were stable before and after the 7-day CBD intervention. CBD and TA significantly reduced ulcer size more than placebo at all time points.”
Researchers say none of the subjects experienced negative side effects or allergic reactions to the treatments.
Subjects’ vital signs and blood parameters were also stable before and after the seven-day CBD intervention.
According to the researchers, CBD and TA significantly reduced ulcer size compared to the placebo at all time points.
The researchers say the subjects reported higher satisfaction with CBD than the placebo, though OHIP-14 scores were comparable.
According to the results, topical 0.1 percent CBD reduced ulcer size and accelerated ulcer healing without side effects.
Researchers say CBD demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects in the early stage and analgesic effects in the late RAU stage.
The researchers concluded that CBD might be better for RAU patients who refuse topical steroids.