Study: Topical Cannabinoids Heal Intractable Leg Ulcers

Toronto, CA: The topical administration of plant-derived cannabinoids is associated with wound closure in patients with refractory leg ulcers, according to data published in the journal Experimental Dermatology.

A team of researchers affiliated with the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa assessed the effects of topical cannabis-based treatments in conjunction with compression bandaging in 14 elderly patients with recalcitrant leg ulcers. They reported that “complete wound closure” was achieved in 11 patients. The treatments were well-tolerated and no adverse reactions were reported. 

Authors concluded: “The rapid wound closure of previously non-healing venous leg ulcers among elderly and highly complex patients suggests that Topical Cannabis-Based Medicines may become effective adjuvants in conjunction with compression therapy. This may also indicate that they may have an even broader role within integumentary and wound management.”

A previous paper published by the same team of researchers in September documented similar results in a cohort of two elderly patients. 

A pair of prior case reports have similarly shown that the topical administration of cannabinoids facilitates wound healing and reduces the use of analgesics in patients with the rare skin-blistering disease epidermolysis bullosa.

Full text of the study, “Topical cannabis-based medicines – A novel adjuvant treatment for venous leg ulcers: An open-label trial,” appears in Experimental Dermatology.