There are many things to love about summer. The profusion of bugs is not generally one of them. While insects and spiders play an important role in our ecosystem, getting bitten or stung can be painful and annoying.
Traditionally, bug bites and stings have been treated with a range of home remedies — like putting a baking soda paste over a bee sting, icing the affected area, or taking an antihistamine medication to control the itchiness. Of course, each of these methods has its drawbacks, and may not be entirely effective.
If you’re “bugged” by the pain, itchiness or swelling that often accompanies insect bites or stings, CBD may be a good choice for you. Research indicates that when applied topically or taken orally, CBD may help to control these symptoms.
What Happens to Your Body After You’re Bitten by an Insect?
A bite or sting from an insect can be incredibly painful, or simply uncomfortable. Depending on the type of insect, it may even lead to an infection, allergic reaction, serious illness, or death. In most cases, however, a bite or sting will cause relatively minor symptoms.
There are a number of insects and spiders that bite or sting. This includes ticks, mites, bedbugs, fleas, lice, horse flies, mosquitos, black flies, bees, yellow jackets, hornets, fire ants, and wasps.
When a bug bites or stings you, their saliva or the venom that they inject causes an immune system response. For most people, the immediate response is redness and swelling, followed by itching and soreness. Individuals who are sensitive or allergic to an insect’s venom may go into anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening condition.
Common symptoms of a bug bite or sting include:
If you experience more serious symptoms that may indicate an allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, fainting, or chest pain, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Most bites and stings can be treated with simple, at-home care. This may include removing the stinger from a bee sting, washing the site, and then applying ice and/or an antihistamine cream. In addition, an oral antihistamine, pain reliever, or an anti-inflammatory medication can be taken to reduce itchiness and swelling.
Using CBD for Bug Bites and Stings
CBD — also known as cannabidiol — is a naturally-occurring compound derived from the hemp plant (a type of cannabis). Unlike THC, another cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis plant, CBD is not psychoactive and won’t get you high. Both THC and CBD interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or balance, in our bodies. It has been linked to a number of processes in our bodies, including skin and nerve function, inflammation, stress, metabolism, and mood. While scientists are still figuring out exactly how CBD interacts with the ECS, preliminary research has indicated that it may produce positive effects related to a number of conditions and symptoms.
As described above, bug bites and stings often cause pain and swelling due to the body’s inflammatory reaction to venom or saliva. Scientists have determined that CBD may help to reduce both pain and inflammation.
A 2018 review found that CBD is effective in pain management, with no negative side effects. A 2016 study involving rats with arthritis, scientists found that applying a CBD gel reduced pain and inflammation in affected joints. Similarly, a 2016 study and a 2015 review found that CBD reduces inflammation in the body.
Research has also shown that CBD can help with a range of skin issues. In 2014, scientists determined that CBD reduces skin inflammation. It may also help people who suffer from psoriasis, acne, dry skin, dermatitis and systemic sclerosis.
In 2006, scientists performed a study on patients with pruritus — the medical term for chronically itchy skin. After the application of topical cannabinoid creams, 14 out of 22 study participants experienced a reduction in itchiness — with an average reduction of 86.4%. This study demonstrates that CBD may be incredibly useful in controlling a primary symptom of bug bites and stings: itchiness.
While this research is still developing, it shows potential for the ability to help the symptoms of bug bites and stings with CBD. With minimal side effects, CBD in topical or oral form may be something to keep around when the pain, swelling and itchiness of bug bites gets to be too much.
Considering CBD? We Can Help.
For most people, being stung or bitten by a bug is a minor inconvenience that results in redness, inflammation, pain and itchiness. But even though these symptoms go away after a few days or a week, it can be hard to not let a bug bite drive you crazy. CBD can help you stop focusing on the bite or sting by alleviating some of the more bothersome symptoms.
Green Wellness Life offers an array of high quality, independently tested CBD products to meet your needs. Products that may be helpful for bug bites include:
- Empower Topical Relief Lotion
- Plus CBD Hemp Oil Skin Serum
- Papa & Barkley Releaf CBD Balm
- Bluebird Botanicals Hemp CBD Lotion
- Endoca Hemp Whipped Body Butter
- Empower Topical CBD Relief Oil
- Lazarus Naturals CBD Balm
While we aren’t doctors and can’t diagnose or treat any medical condition, we are happy to offer the latest research on CBD and its possible benefits. If you are considering CBD, read the studies for yourself, and talk it over with your healthcare provider.
If you’re ready to buy, we offer a shopping assistant and buyer’s guide to help you make a decision. If you have additional questions, we are available to help you. Contact us any time via email or call us at 1-888-772-7875.