CBD Oil for Candida
Posted on August 5th, 2020
Candida is a type of fungus that lives in the human body. It usually resides in small amounts in areas such as your mouth, stomach, or skin. In most cases, the fungus will not cause any problem until the environment gives it room to thrive. Once it begins to grow and multiply, an infection called candidiasis can arise. The onset of candidiasis is not uncommon and is often treated using over the counter drugs. There are different types of candidiasis that can manifest in different parts of the body. Candida infections can manifest in different ways such as vaginal candidiasis, invasive candidiasis, and oropharyngeal candidiasis. While candidiasis can be treated with over the counter drugs, some infections can persist with failure to respond to treatment. Some people have resorted to seeking out alternative options to help manage the symptoms of candidiasis, including the use of CBD oil. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the compounds found in the cannabis plant. It has no psychoactive effects and boasts its potential to provide numerous health benefits. The compound cannabidiol reacts with the cannabinoid receptors in human cells, which are responsible for releasing and repressing neurotransmitters in the brain. So you may be wondering how then could CBD oil be used for candida? Read on to learn more.
What Causes Candida and Yeast Infections?
It’s not uncommon to have a fungal infection throughout your life. In fact, some may be more prone to them than others. The significant health challenge for those trying to manage a fungal infection is more often than not, the discomfort that it brings. Some of this discomfort may be caused by itchiness and irritation from the fungal infection. As previously mentioned, candida is naturally found on and in your body, but in excess may prove problematic. For example, an imbalance in the amount of yeast in women may lead to vaginal candidiasis. This overgrowth may cause issues and show its symptoms such as inflammation, pain while urinating, and itching. There are several causes of yeast infections including a weak immune system, too many antibiotics, stress, and oral contraceptive pills. Understanding the symptoms of a fungal infection can better help you recognize and tend to it when one occurs.
Does CBD Oil Have Antifungal Properties?
Research suggests that CBD carries antifungal properties. This is might be why some people are looking into using CBD products for their antifungal needs. But how exactly might these antifungal properties work? CBD is said to have the ability to boost the effects of caryophyllene oxide, which is an oxidized form of beta-caryophyllene. Beta-caryophyllene oxide is a form of terpene found in cannabis, and it is responsible for giving the cannabis plant its distinctive flavor and aroma. Terpenes have been found to have antifungal properties and research suggests that many of the compounds present in cannabis may boast several health benefits, including minimizing inflammation. What’s more? They also act as a potential fungicide. This property makes CBD oil a potential solution for candida concerns.
The potential anti-inflammatory properties in CBD may offer relief from fungal infections and associated symptoms such as swelling and redness. Similar to other essential oils such as tea tree and thyme that may be used to help yeast infections, research shows that purified CBD oil may be as effective. The highly lipophilic nature of the terpenes in CBD enables them to disrupt the cell membrane, causing the possible death of the fungal cells and inhibiting any proliferation of other fungi.
Why Are People Considering CBD Oil for Fungal Infections?
There is a reason why people are considering CBD oil for candida infections. Antifungal medications may offer undesirable side effects, especially when taken orally. Some of these mild side effects may include abdominal pain, rashes, skin redness, and burning. However, the duration of these side effects is typically short-lived. Another rare, but more serious, side effect of antifungal medications might include symptoms of liver damage, such as loss of appetite or nausea, among other symptoms.
This is where CBD may come in. CBD has the potential to offer natural relief from fungal infections with a low risk of side effects. Some of these side effects might include drowsiness, dry mouth, and fatigue. And, since CBD has other potential benefits, such as relieving stress, it may offer more value than just its use as an antifungal.
How Might CBD Work as an Antifungal?
In order to understand how CBD oil might work as an antifungal, we need to understand the mechanisms by which antifungals work. Fungi, just like humans, have an intracellular structure that is composed of eukaryotic cells. Fungi cells also have a membrane that protects the nuclei. Antifungals work to destroy the fungal cells by damaging the cell membrane and limiting the production of ergosterol. Without the presence of ergosterol, fungi cells die without causing any harm to the surrounding cells. If the cell membranes are not there to protect the fungi, the fungi cannot survive.
Cannabinoids have a single hydroxyl group composed of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom at their chemical core . These compounds combine with other molecules, including oxygen, to create a chemical reaction called oxidation. Once this oxidation process occurs with cannabinoids, the fungi cells are not able to build on themselves. These fungal cells are unable to produce ergosterol in their oxidized state, which is vital for their survival and also inhibits them from multiplying .
Cannabinoids have the potential to prevent fungal infections by blocking their spread on a molecular level. Two other important cannabinoids that can be found in full-spectrum CBD oil are CBC and CBG, which might also have significant antifungal properties.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
CBD oil is federally legal when it is derived from hemp and only contains less than 0.3% of the psychoactive compound THC. While CBD oil is federally legal, each state may have its own rules and regulations around CBD oil. This is why it is important to do your CBD research on local laws and purchase CBD products from a reputable source. Because the CBD market is unregulated, it’s important to look for transparency from manufacturers and their products. Some manufacturers may take advantage and choose to produce substandard products. If you’re looking to reap the benefits of CBD’s many potential properties, it’s vital to purchase a high-quality CBD oil. You’ll want to look for third-party testing and a certificate of analysis to understand what exactly is in the product you are buying.
The Advantage of CBD Oil as a Potential Antifungal
The anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties of CBD bring great potential for its use in fighting fungal infections. CBD oil may be effective when it comes to eliminating fungi cells and may also help to reduce the symptoms of an infection from candida, such as inflammation and irritation. In short, CBD oil may provide relief from many symptoms associated with candida and yeast infections. CBD offers no psychoactive effects, is non-addictive, and offers a good safety profile. Another advantage of using CBD is that it is generally well-tolerated with minimal if any, side effects. CBD is easily available in many areas across the country, just be sure to check with the local and state laws in your area.
Disadvantages of CBD Oil as a Potential Antifungal
One disadvantage of using CBD is that it can easily alter how the body metabolizes certain medications. Whether you have an existing condition or not, you should always consult your doctor before using CBD. Some medications, including those to treat fungal infections, anti-inflammatory disease, and depression are among those that can adversely react with CBD. There are also the possible side effects of using CBD to consider which may include fatigue, reduced appetite, diarrhea, and dry mouth.
When seeking the help of CBD oil to manage fungal infections, it’s important to remember that the CBD market is relatively new, and therefore, is not FDA regulated making it easy for some sources to make untrue claims about their product. This is where third-party testing might help. Third-party testing shows the potency and purity of the tested product. Be sure to look for ingredients and their percentage in the product label and certificate of analysis. Also look for a manufacturer who can provide dosing instructions as this can help guide you, with the help of your physician, towards the proper dosage. It’s recommended to start with the lowest suggested dose, and gradually increase until you experience your desired effects.
If you are suffering from fungal infections, you need to find an option that will help eliminate symptoms and provide relief. With its potential anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, CBD oil may be a more natural way to help manage the symptoms of candidiasis and fungal infections.
Research suggests that CBD may carry antifungal properties. But how exactly might these antifungal properties work? Can CBD oil be used for candida?
Can CBD Help Fight Candidiasis? Explore the Science Behind It.
Have you heard of Athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm, thrush, or yeast infections? If you have, then you must know these are all fungal infections, caused by certain groups of harmful fungi or overgrowth of relatively non-harmful groups of fungi.
Penicillin, truffles, Quorn, marmite, cheese, and edible mushrooms, which are also strains of fungi, have done more “good than harm” to mankind. However, some fungi may cause severe rashes, itchiness, swelling, burning sensations, and depreciate our overall quality of life.
One such strain of fungi is candida that causes a type of yeast (fungal species) infection, called Candidiasis, causing red patchy rashes, itching, pruritic rashes, hair follicle infections that look like pimples, etc.
Unlike ringworms (also a group of fungi), candida causes yeast infections that aren’t restricted to the skin, nails, and hair, but can spread to several internal body parts, including organs, such as the heart and brain, and soft tissues in the eyes and bones.
Candidiasis that affect our externals, like mouth, groin, or vagina, is known as superficial candidiasis, whereas those that infect our innards are called systemic or invasive candidiasis, which is often accompanied by fever and chills. Candidemia, a type of invasive candidiasis, commonly seen among hospitalized patients, occurs when candida infects the bloodstream.
Like any infection, it’s usually our weakened immune system that is to blame for candida invasion. Other reasons may include a high intake of antibiotics, excessive alcohol intake, use of tampons and oral contraceptives, diabetes, and increased stress levels.
But these may sometimes be unavoidable circumstances.
So, it’s no wonder that over 700,000 cases of invasive candidiasis occur across the world each year.
Conventional Treatments vs. Cannabidiol for Candidemia
Candidemia is usually treated with antifungal medications, called azoles (miconazole, terconazole, fluconazole). Usually administered topically (gels, creams, ointments, sprays), or orally (capsules and liquids), injections and suppositories may are also used in more severe cases.
In most cases, a short course of 5 – 10 days of azoles alleviates the symptoms. At times, though, even a 6-month-long course with varying doses may not be enough. In such azole-resistant strains of candida, doctors often prescribe boric acid capsules as an alternative therapy. These are used as suppositories (inserted into the vagina or rectum), as they’re unfit for oral consumption.
Unfortunately, not only do these anti-fungal treatments offer little relief to patients, these medications may do more harm to the human body. For instance, fluconazole is known for adverse effects, like headaches, aggravation in rashes, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. In some severe cases, it may also cause very high fever, trouble breathing, jaundice, hepatitis, seizures, abnormalities in blood cells, and abnormal heart rhythm that may even cause death.
To add to that, advancements in antifungal therapies have not failed to check the rise of fungal infections and the growing number of medication-resistant fungi strains. This is why it’s imperative to find better and safer alternative therapies for the prevention and treatment of fungal infections.
A lot of people seem to have found that in cannabidiol (CBD).
While research on the effects of this cannabinoid and its efficacy in addressing fungal infections is still in its nascent stage, its natural antifungal properties have found some support from certain groups of scientists as well as the general public.
CBD, ECS, and Fungal Infection
According to some scientific studies and reviews, the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which works in tandem with the nervous system, maintains homeostasis in the human body. This includes the prevention of infectious diseases and the protection of the body from microbial attacks, like fungi.
This system, along with its (eCB) receptors (primarily CB1 and CB2), interacts with certain chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, like those found in cannabis plants. Such compounds are also available in the human body (like anandamide). This system (in interaction with the nervous system) controls and regulates the normal functioning of most parts of our body, including boosting our immune system and warding off foreign microbes.
A closer look at the way Cannabidiol works on external microorganisms showed researchers that the chemical structure of CBD has a pair of free atoms of oxygen and hydrogen. These oxygen atoms attract other oxygen atoms from other compounds and bind with them through the process of oxidation. When fungal cells are oxidized with CBD, they can’t multiply or grow, thus checking the spread of infection.
The aggregated document points out:
- CBD offers “analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic and chemopreventive” properties.
- CBD does not interact with the usual ECS receptors. Instead, it interacts with atypical receptors to protect the body from invasion, promote cell death and regeneration, besides cleansing the body of dead and damaged cells.
Many users would have you believe that CBD is as effective as most antifungal medications, like cyclopiroxolamine and sulconazole.
The Science Behind CBD as an Anti-Fungal Agent
While many scientists claim that CBD has strong antifungal properties, many others deny that saying that there is very little evidence to prove ECS activation during fungal infections. In fact, they maintain that cannabinoids, like CBD, tend to turn off the body’s immunity, exposing the host to further invasion and possible death.
Irrespective of who found what, here are a few studies that establish that medical cannabis, and possibly CBD, in combination with other substances and drugs, can play an important role in future antifungal treatment.
- Through a 2019 research paper, published in the Molecules, researchers reviewed some previous clinical trials and studies on ECS’ relation to skin health, its diseases, cell growth and regeneration. Their findings revealed that by regulating the skin’s cannabinoid signaling system with the help of external cannabinoids can help manage skin diseases effectively.
- According to a 2016 review, published in the Frontiers in Plant Science, CBD and THC have extremely potent antifungal properties. While the two cannabinoids act differently in the body, each following a slightly different pathway, they both act as protectors of the body and deterrents of fungal growth.
- Another 2016 study, published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, found more evidence of CBD’s antifungal properties. It was further administered alongside an antifungal medication, ketoconazole, which is an inhibitor of CYP3A4 (an enzyme CBD inhibits as well). Their interaction resulted in an increase in CBD’s level in the bloodstream of the test subjects, indicating an enhancement of the potency of the cannabinoid. While this could mean detrimental to the user’s health, it could also mean that much smaller doses of CBD would be enough if used with ketoconazole. However, more studies are required to establish the safety of such drug interactions and CBD’s efficacy as an antifungal agent.
- In a 2017 study published in Ceska a Slovenska Farmacie, a group of researchers suggested that the inclusion of natural substances, like cannabis oil, to antifungal drugs can increase the latter’s potency by 9.55-14.25%. This study did not, however, talk specifically about CBD. Besides, other natural substances were also used in the test, including tea tree oil and other essential oils.
Apart from CBD and THC, some newly found cannabinoids and esters have, incidentally, shown more promise in warding off and cleansing a host of candida fungi.
- Another 2012 study, published in Pharmacognosy Review, showed that a newly found chemical compound in cannabis sativa plants, an ester, identified as 4-terpenyl cannabinolate has antifungal properties, specifically against Candida albicans. Although this study does not throw any light on CBD’s efficacy as an antifungal agent, it shows that cannabis can still hold some value in this respect.
- Another 2009 study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, discussed nine newly found cannabinoids, out of which 8-hydroxycannabinol were found to possess antifungal properties.
Concluding Analysis: CBD for Candida
It’s amply clear that the endocannabinoid system plays an integral part in regulating and modulating antifungal activity in the body.
Cannabinoids hold much promise as a combination drug, owing to the absence of safe, side-effect-free, and more effective mode of antifungal treatment, especially in view of the ever-evolving and ever-growing spread of fungal infection in the world.
That being said, studies that can rationalize the use of CBD as an antifungal agent are, however, very few and mostly inconclusive.
Meanwhile, other newly identified cannabinoids and other chemical compounds isolated from cannabis sativa plants have shown more promise as an antifungal agent.
While it goes without saying that one must consult a doctor before self-medicating oneself with CBD for candida infection, we can only hope that future examination and study of the cannabis sativa plant will yield more promising results of its potential use in mainstream medicine.
Is candidemia affecting your quality of life? Explore how CBD can help combat candidiasis.