Porphyria can be tough to manage whether you’ve been recently diagnosed with the condition or have struggled with it for years. Though there are people who are able to manage porphyria and not let the disorder come between them and their daily life, there are others who have had their entire world turned upside down because of this skin condition. In fact, porphyria symptoms could make simple activities feel like onerous tasks.

What Is Porphyria?

Porphyria is a collection of disorders that causes skin or nerve-related issues. It may even cause abdominal pain. When diagnosed, the body cells do not change the chemical porphyrins and porphyrin precursors into heme, which is a substance that gives blood its red hue. Eight enzymes manage the various steps in the heme-making process. If one or more enzymes aren’t doing their jobs right, the human body would not make heme. As a result, porphyrins and porphyrin precursors start to accumulate in the body, leading to this illness. Patients invariably inherit the condition from their parents.

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Symptoms

Porphyria symptoms could vary with the severity of the condition, and also its type and the individual affected. If gene mutations have caused porphyria, there would be no visible symptoms.

Acute porphyria conditions will exhibit sudden and severe nervous system symptoms. Intermittent porphyria is the most common form of acute porphyria. Acute porphyria symptoms include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, urination and breathing problems, high blood pressure, and mental changes (such as anxiety, disorientation, or confusion).
Cutaneous porphyrias comprise conditions that cause sunlight sensitivity-caused skin symptoms; the nervous system is generally not affected. Porphyria cutanea tadra is the most common type. Due to exposure to the sun, you may experience blisters (on typically the face, arms and hands); itching; fragile, thin skin with changes in skin color or pigmentation; edema and erythema; and excessive hair growth in the affected regions Heme production problem is the reason behind the various forms of porphyria taking shape. Heme is a component of haemoglobin, which is a red blood cell protein transferring oxygen from the lungs to the whole body. As aforementioned, heme gives blood its characteristic red color. It contains iron as well. Heme is produced in the liver and bone marrow and entails several distinct enzymes. When these enzymes aren’t available in necessary amounts in the body, it leads to a superfluous build-up of certain chemical compounds that are linked with heme production. The scarcity of enzyme would ascertain the specific porphyria type.

Effects

The type of porphyria determines the complications you may experience. If treatment isn’t prompt enough, acute porphyrias could be life-threatening. When under a porphyria attack, you may experience breathing issues, high blood pressure, dehydration and seizures. Recurrent acute attacks could cause long-term physical issues, such as chronic liver damage and chronic kidney failure. Cutaneous porphyrias could damage your skin permanently. Moreover, skin blisters could get infected. Anxiety and depression are common mental effects of porphyria.

Diagnosis

Doctors at times may find it complicated to diagnose porphyria since the symptoms can be similar to a few other diseases’ symptoms. If your doctor suspects you have porphyria, he could order urine, stool, and blood tests for proper diagnosis. The ideal time to get these tests done is when the symptoms are active. At times, you’ll be put through multiple exams so that your doctor could figure out the porphyria type you are suffering from. Your doctor could also ask you to get genetic testing done. Because porphyria typically runs in the blood, other members of your family could be asked to get this test done as well.

CBD And Porphyria – CBD As An Effective Treatment

There is no real cure for porphyria. Traditional treatments help manage the disorder’s symptoms. Essentially, conventional treatment intends to supplement and substitute the heme enzyme.

Actual treatment varies with the condition type and the symptoms’ severity. Treatment usually entails detecting the signs and keeping triggers at bay. The treatments could include hemin injections, intravenous glucose, and hospitalisation (in case of acute porphyrias). The therapy for cutaneous porphyrias should primarily focus on reducing triggers, such as sunlight exposure, and minimizing the body’s porphyrins content to help relieve the symptoms. This could entail administering medicines, such as Plaquenil and Aralen, but there are several side effects to using these medicines.

Cannabidiol (CBD) can be quite an effective treatment option for people struggling with vomiting and nausea caused by the condition. Medical cannabis treatment is devoid of the uncomfortable symptoms accompanying certain conventional medications, and they are not addictive like opiates. CBD can also work in conjunction with other medications.

Why CBD Can Be an Effective Treatment for Porphyria?

CBD helps relieve inflammation, convulsion, cough and congestion, anxiety, and nausea. Several studies have also exhibited cannabidiol’s effectiveness in treating schizophrenia.

The FDA recently approved the first medication derived from cannabis plant, Epidiolex (pure CBD in oral form). The medication helps treat seizures linked with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Since cannabidiol helps relieve the symptoms aforementioned, physicians could recommend CBD or cannabis strains with an increased amount of CBD off-label to help individuals suffering from other conditions, such as porphyria.

How to Use CBD to Treat Porphyria?

Cannabis is professionally cultivated to come up with a product that is consistent across batches. There are several different medical cannabis variations, and commercial growers are able to grow plants and produce strains that have the proper chemical compound balance.

There are various methods through which you can receive CBD and porphyria therapy. The following are some of the common routes:

If the mere thought of smoking doesn’t go down well with you, you may opt for edibles. These offer you a milder, yet extended effect. These effects could take their time to manifest, but they shall remain longer.

Many patients resort to topicals, such as lotions and balms or CBD creams for porphyria, to manage their pain. There are also transdermal patches that directly release medication into your system via your skin.

Having become popular in recent times, CBD oil for porphyria can be administered sublingually as a pill or under your tongue.

What is Medical Research Saying About Using CBD for Porphyria?

There is medical evidence indicating that cannabis could help with treating several symptoms (such as seizures) of porphyria with minimal to zero side effects. One among the first few therapeutic uses found for cannabis was an anticonvulsant.

Cannabis contains more than 300 compounds. 66 of these compounds (at least) are cannabinoids, which form the base for cannabis’ scientific and medical applications. Cannabinoids could serve as antiemetics, appetite stimulants, and antispasmodics. They could have analgesic effects too. The cannabis plant has five important cannabinoids, which are cannabidiol, tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabinol, cannabigerol, and caryophyllene.

The blend of these cannabinoids has antagonistic and synergistic effects on your body. Multiple studies have exhibited cannabinoids’ anticonvulsant effect. Part of the process through which medical cannabis helps minimise tissue inflammation is courtesy the caryophyllene compound. CB2, a cannabinoid receptor, plays a major part in decreasing inflammation in both humans and animals. Caryophyllene has exhibited its ability to activate the CB2 receptor selectively. It is particularly concentrated in cannabis oil that contains about 12 to 35 percent caryophyllene.

CBD Testimonials and Review by Customers

We at Nordic Oil receive many success stories and testimonials from our customers. And we are so proud of the fact that our products help so many people. In this post, we want to share with you Lina’s story and how her struggles with porphyria have been eliminated thanks to Nordic Oil’s topical cream Frejya.

Read Lina’s success story here!

Conclusion

Porphyria is not a common disorder, affecting lesser than 200,000 people in America, even if all the types of porphyria are combined. However, the people who’ve been diagnosed with the disorder could be going through extreme pain and horror. It therefore becomes important to not overlook porphyria and come up with treatment options that could help manage things and leave behind zero or minimal side effects. Medical marijuana could be the much-needed alternative treatment choice since it helps with the pain and anxiety identified with porphyria and would also not lead to multiple debilitating side effects that traditional medicines are identified with.

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