Shingles and Marijuana Information: Treat Shingles With Cannabis

Shingles is a viral infection of an individual nerve and the skin surface that is supplied by the nerve. Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.

Varicella-zoster virus belongs to a group of viruses called herpes viruses, which is why shingles is also known as herpes zoster. All herpes viruses can hide in the nervous system where they can remain almost indefinitely. Given the right conditions, the herpes zoster virus can “reactivate” (or wake up from hibernation) and travel down nerve fibers to cause a new active infection.


While it isn’t a life-threatening condition, shingles can be very painful. Some of the signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain, burning, numbness or tingling
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • A red rash that begins a few days after the pain
  • Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over
  • Itching

Some people also experience:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Fatigue

Clinical Information Related to Shingles and Medical Marijuana

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