CBD Oil For Yeast Infection

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We know that CBD has numerous benefits for health, but is it antifungal too? We take a look at the current research on the subject. The endocannabinoid system may hold answers to many difficult questions about human health. Is CBD oil the answer to candida overgrowth and other yeast infections? Can CBD Oil help with Candida, and if so, how? Read here to know how it works and what CBD Oils are best for Candida.

Is CBD Oil Antifungal? [We Look at the Science]

The cannabis plant and its constituents, like CBD, are becoming increasingly popular for their medicinal value. Many know CBD as being the most medicinal part of the cannabis plant.

It’s touted for its variety of potential health benefits, including the anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anti-pain, neuroprotective, and antioxidant effects. It is also famous for its ability to help in the treatment of seizures, depression, insomnia and more. But one potential health benefit we don’t seem to hear much about is the antifungal effects of CBD.

A fungus is a microorganism that can be almost anywhere; in the water we drink, the air we breathe, our homes, and even in our bodies. The most common fungi include mildew, mold, and mushrooms.

Fungal infections aren’t something that most people want to talk about, but when they occur, they can be very uncomfortable. They are a major health challenge and can range from annoying to deadly. While most people opt for pharmaceuticals to treat fungal infections, others have found that CBD oil has helped relieve the itchiness and discomfort associated with the condition.

Research suggests that CBD has antifungal properties, which backs up these claims. Fungal infections are an embarrassing topic and don’t get discussed as often as they should. So today, we are going to discuss whether CBD oil is antifungal.

What Are Fungal Infections?

A fungal infection is a skin disease caused by a fungus. Like many microbes, there are harmful fungi and helpful fungi. When harmful fungi invade the body, they’re often difficult to kill because they can easily survive in the environment and re-infect the person trying to get better.

If you’ve ever suffered from athlete’s foot or a yeast infection, fungus is to blame. Jock itch and ringworm are other common types of fungal infections. They aren’t deadly, but are very uncomfortable and can be difficult to treat. Fungal meningitis and other fungal infections that affect the bloodstream aren’t as common but can be fatal without proper treatment.

The symptoms of fungal infections depend on the type. The most common symptoms include:

  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Irritation
  • Skin changes
  • Red and possibly cracking or peeling skin

Unlike bacteria that are prokaryotes and have no nuclei, fungi are eukaryotes. They have a DNA-containing nucleus, like all plants and animals. Unlike bacteria, which are easy to treat, it’s difficult to treat fungi without harming or killing human cells. It’s also worth noting that a compound known as ergosterol is necessary for maintaining the structure of the cell membrane of fungi.

This explains why many pharmaceutical antifungal drugs work by hindering the production of ergosterol, which microbes need. The aim is to stop the cell membranes of fungi from forming properly, thereby destroying the fungal infection without harming the human host.

Is CBD Oil Antifungal?

There are indications that CBD has some antifungal properties which are enhanced by caryophyllene oxide – an extremely potent antifungal.

A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology reported that certain cannabinoids, such as CBD, CBG, and CBC, have some antifungal effects. The study noted that these cannabinoids may have the ability to boost the effects of caryophyllene oxide.

Caryophyllene oxide is the oxidized form of beta-caryophyllene – a primary terpene found in cannabis, pepper, basil, rosemary, and hops. Terpenes are similar to essential oils and give cannabis plants their distinctive flavors and aromas. According to a 2018 study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal, many terpenes have been found to possess antifungal properties in vitro.

In one study, researchers reported that essential oils that contain alpha-pinene as well as delta 3 carene (also present in cannabis), have powerful antifungal properties.

Another study reported that beta-caryophyllene has potent antifungal properties. While these studies aren’t specific to CBD, the results indicate that many of the compounds found in cannabis have a variety of therapeutic benefits, including as a potential fungicide.

Moreover, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help with some of the symptoms of fungal infections, like swelling, heat, and redness.

Currently, the effectiveness of CBD in treating fungi is not fully understood because very little research has been done on the subject. Nonetheless, scientists have observed similarities between pharmaceutical agents and CBD with antifungal properties.

How CBD Oil Works as an Antifungal

To understand how CBD and other cannabinoids act as an antifungal, we need to understand how antifungals work.

Fungi cells are eukaryotic cells and have membranes that protect the nuclei. Antifungals destroy fungal cells by demolishing the cell membrane through hindering the production of ergosterol – active lipids that feed fungi cells. With no ergosterol, fungi cells die off and don’t cause any harm to surrounding cells.

The core of a cannabinoid is composed of one hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom. These types of compounds attract other compounds that contain oxygen molecules. Once this happens, a chemical reaction known as oxidation occurs, and the compounds bind. When CBD oxidizes fungal cells they can no longer multiply or grow.

This is because fungal cells aren’t able to produce ergosterol, which is essential for growth and survival. The process of CBD oxidizing and destroying the fungal cells is how it displays antifungal properties.

How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Fungus

Conventional antifungal medications are known to have some side effects, especially when taken orally or internally. Some of these include abdominal pain, rashes, diarrhea, flatulence, and indigestion. Typically, these side effects are mild and only last for a short time.

In some cases, antifungal medicines may cause severe side effects. They include:

  • Swelling of the neck, face, and tongue
  • Peeling or blistering skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Liver damage (characterized by loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, and jaundice)

For those who are after a more natural and safer remedy, CBD may provide relief without the side effects that we typically associate with conventional antifungals.

According to a 2017 study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal, CBD may have a better side effect profile in comparison to other drugs. Therefore, most people consider CBD generally safe to use.

Final Thoughts on CBD as an Antifungal

Many scientists agree that CBD is not only an effective way to treat fungi, but it’s also a safer option. This is since it doesn’t have adverse side effects like the traditional medications used to treat fungi.

If you do a quick internet search, you will find numerous anecdotal reports of people who have successfully used CBD to treat fungal infections. That said, more research should be done on the subject. There is currently very little scientific evidence to back up claims that CBD oil is antifungal.

If you are interested in using CBD oil as an antifungal medication, choose a full-spectrum CBD product that contains all the beneficial terpenes and other cannabinoids. The findings we’ve discussed are largely related to cannabinoids and terpenes as a whole, and not the use of CBD on its own (as an isolate).

CBD Oil for Candida: Benefits, Does It Help, & How to Use?

Medical researchers discovered the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and its receptors in the late 80s. Since then, we have observed a massive amount of research investigating the role of this system in regulating human health. Current evidence has helped us understand the health benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids from hemp. It turns out that humans are hardwired to cannabis — and the ECS is the best proof of that.

Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are found everywhere throughout the body, including the gut microbiome and the cells of the immune system (1). CBD is known to modulate the activity of these receptors, hence its therapeutic effects. In recent years, CBD has been suggested as the potential aid for people with compromised immune systems, especially those suffering from autoimmune conditions and infections.

Is CBD a viable option for candida — one of the most common yeast infections in humans?

While the research in this area is inconclusive, some studies indicate that consistent supplementation with CBD oil may help candida sufferers manage the condition and overcome the problem of itching skin.

Here we present the health benefits of CBD oil for candida.

Why People Are Turning to CBD Oil for Candida?

The ECS is a vast and complex neurochemical network that controls a wide range of biological functions, including memory, mood, pain perception, immune response, cognitive performance, bone growth, neurological functioning, fertility, and more. It is the master regulatory network in all mammals (2).

The ECS is responsible for maintaining the body’s homeostasis — a fancy term for the balance between the aforementioned processes. Whenever that balance is compromised, the system starts to produce increased amounts of endocannabinoids, its natural chemical messengers.

These endocannabinoids bind to the cannabinoid receptors and work to restore homeostasis where it’s needed. The problem is that endocannabinoids are available for the body for a short time span, and the ECS doesn’t store them for later.

This is where CBD steps in. When you take CBD, it interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the ECS. For one, CBD is an agonist of the CB2 receptor, whose largest concentrations are found in the immune system. Another important mechanism that CBD uses is the signaling of the ECS to produce more of its endocannabinoids. On top of that, CBD inhibits the enzyme that metabolizes these neurotransmitters, making them more available to the body.

With more endocannabinoids circulating in the blood, the endocannabinoid system can restore homeostasis more efficiently, preventing cannabinoid deficiencies and leveling them up when the ECS goes out of whack.

How does it relate to candida?

Let’s take a look.

Is CBD Oil Good for Candida?

The potential benefits of CBD for candida come from its interaction with the CB2 receptors in the ECS — and how CBD modulates the immune response.

Prolonged exposure to pro-inflammatory molecules causes damage to the pain receptors and nerve cells. These molecules, known as cytokines, increase pain signaling caused by nerve damage and worsen the pain from oral and vaginal candida infections.

Upon binding to the CB2 receptors on the surface of the immune cells, CBD lowers hyperactivity and activates anti-inflammatory proteins called caspases (3).

Caspase triggers programmed cell death of cytokines. As their production gets reduced, it facilitates better restoration of a compromised immune system. Moreover, studies show that CBD can reduce skin irritation and itchiness caused by candidiasis through its anti-inflammatory and antipruritic effects.

Is CBD Antifungal?

CBD and other cannabinoids, such as CBC and CBG, have been identified as natural antifungal agents that may help treat candida and other fungal infections.

A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology showed that the said cannabinoids have “moderate antifungal properties.” However, the study concentrated on the health benefits of THC, not CBD (4).

Still, the researchers found that CBD, CBC, and CBG may strengthen the effects of a potent antifungal, caryophyllene oxide. This substance is the oxidized form of beta-caryophyllene, one of the most prevalent terpenes found in cannabis, rosemary, pepper, hops, basil, and broccoli.

Terpenes are volatile molecules that are responsible for the unique aromas and flavors of different cannabis strains. They also have their own therapeutic properties, but the most important thing in relation to terpenes and CBD is their ability to enhance the efficacy of cannabidiol through a mechanism known as “the entourage effect.”

The entourage effects is a term first coined by the father of cannabis research Raphael Mechoulam — and further expanded by Dr. Ethan Russo, a neurobiologist, and expert in the cannabis field. It refers to synergistic effects achieved by all cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds from the plant. This synergy makes them more effective when they appear next to each other than in isolation. In other words, whole-plant extracts have a greater therapeutic value than isolate-based drugs (5–6).

Some terpenes found in CBD oil can help reduce inflammation, while others are antifungal agents. Combined with the same properties of CBD, they may be helpful in easing the symptoms of candida and making the condition more manageable.

CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefits have been mentioned in several human and animal studies, including the 2010 review that refers to cannabinoids as “novel anti-inflammatory drugs.” (7)

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Pros and Cons of Using CBD for Candida

The Pros

  • CBD is a remarkable anti-inflammatory agent. Studies also mention CBD’s ability to reduce itching and slow down the growth of fungi, both of which can be helpful for candidiasis patients.
  • CBD is non-addictive. Many health agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have acknowledged it as safe for daily use.
  • CBD oil and other hemp-derived products are available without a prescription.

The Cons

  • There’s a lack of human clinical studies regarding the direct effects of CBD on candida overgrowth. The FDA has only approved CBD as the treatment for epilepsy. However, the medication is based on isolated CBD, not on full-spectrum extracts.
  • CBD has a few mild side effects, including drowsiness, diarrhea, dry mouth, and appetite fluctuation. However, these reactions are very rare in normal doses.
  • CBD may affect the way your body processes certain medications, including conditional treatments for candidiasis.
  • The CBD market is unregulated when it comes to labeling and manufacturing standards, so there’s a risk of buying a fake and dangerous product. If you’re looking for high-quality CBD oil, you should look for a reputable company online. Research is paramount for buying CBD products.

CBD vs. Other Candida Treatments

Healthy individuals with skin candidiasis, thrush, or vaginal yeast infections can deal with them using a short-term treatment or even a single dose of antifungal medication.

However, those with compromised immune systems find candida particularly difficult to treat. For many of them, candidiasis is a recurring ailment.

Most autoimmune diseases are caused by chronic inflammation, and CBD seems to modulate the immune response, reducing its hyperactivity. With a bolstered immune system, yeast infections such as candida may be easier to cure.

On a positive note, most candida infections can be prevented by decent skin hygiene, eating nutrient-dense food, and following a healthy lifestyle. When you catch a candida infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

One risky side effect of using antibiotics for candida is that they can promote yeast infection in the long run, as studies report. The problem starts when a person takes one antibiotic for candida but then has to deal with the undesired symptoms of a yeast infection.

CBD can support the activity of antibiotics without causing candida overgrowth. As noted by a study performed by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), CBD kills off Gram-positive bacteria, showing similar results to antibiotics such as vancomycin or daptomycin (8).

The authors of the study said, “The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive.”

Other studies have also found CBD to be beneficial at reducing biofilms, a type of bacteria that triggers treatment-resistant infections.

How to Use CBD for Candida?

Different types of candida infections may require different forms of CBD depending on the areas of the body affected by the condition.

Effective Candida treatment requires the user to apply CBD directly where it’s needed. A doctor’s diagnosis should help you determine the type of candidiasis you have. Once there, you’ll need to choose the right product for your situation.

CBD Oil for Candida to Curb Infection from Within

If you suffer from recurring candida infections, you may have a weakened immune system. In this case, some form of CBD oil will be the best option, as using CBD internally helps the ECS reduce hyperactivity in your immune cells.

Sublingual absorption is one of the most efficient methods of taking CBD oil. Its peak blood levels are achieved in 15–20 minutes, which is faster than with oral products. You can choose from oil drops, tinctures, and sprays.

The oil is taken under the tongue, where it absorbs through the tiny blood vessels in the mouth. Direct absorption into the bloodstream increases the bioavailability and potency of CBD.

If you don’t like the taste of CBD oil, you can try CBD capsules, gummies, or honey sticks, which are three common oral products. Oral forms of CBD provide a predetermined amount of CBD per serving; they are also easier to take and more discreet than CBD oil. However, since they are first metabolized in the digestive system, the effects are usually felt after 40–90 minutes.

CBD is also available as vape pens. Vaporization offers the highest bioavailability of all consumption methods, ensuring that up to 56% of the inhaled substance ends up in your bloodstream. The effects are also fast-acting, showing up within minutes after inhalation. However, they also have the shortest duration, up to 4 hours.

CBD Cream for Candida Flare-ups

Topicals, such as CBD creams, gels, lotions, and suppositories, work best for candida infections that are close to the skin or a mucous membrane. These products will bring the most CBD to the target area. Topical formulations may also include other supportive ingredients, such as essential oils and leaf extracts to boost or complement the beneficial effects of cannabinoids.

If you’re using a CBD cream, apply the recommended serving to the affected area and wait until it absorbs into the skin. The absorption rate and duration of effects vary depending on the product’s formula and the type of fat base. You may need to reapply the first dose after a few hours for consistent results.

CBD Dosage for Candida

There are no dosing guidelines when it comes to using CBD for candida.

More high-quality clinical human trials are needed to provide sufficient understanding of different doses of CBD and their impact on any particular health condition. Since the market lacks regulations, it’s difficult to know what you’re buying.

When you get a high-quality CBD oil, read the back of the label to check if the manufacturer provides a recommended serving size. Start low and slow, testing each dosage for about a week. Adjust the amount of CBD oil to the severity of your symptoms, and once you’ve found the amount of CBD that works for you, stick to that dosage. CBD use doesn’t carry a risk of building a tolerance.

Understanding Candida

Candida belongs to the family of fungi that cause an infection known as candidiasis. This condition may cause discomfort, although it’s generally considered to be harmless.

Human bodies host several types of fungi, and candida naturally occurs in minimum concentrations in the oral cavity, digestive tract, gut microbiome, and vaginal tract. When maintained on the right level, candida doesn’t cause any health problems.

However, candida overgrowth doesn’t mean anything good for your body.

Different Types of Candida

Candida overgrowth can lead to an array of unpleasant symptoms. For example, when candidiasis affects the skin, it leaves a red and painful rash that gains a white or yellowish discharge over time. The infection typically manifests itself as fungus in the armpits and between the fingers or groin.

When left untreated, the candida infection may transform into systemic candidiasis, affecting many parts of the body at the same time. Systemic candidiasis is caused by a weakened immune system.

Invasive candidiasis is another fungal infection related to candida overgrowth. It develops when candida species pass into the bloodstream or binds to internal organs such as the brain, heart, or kidney. Invasive candidiasis is usually treated with antifungal medication, as reported by a 2016 study published in the Clinical Infectious Disease Journal.

Typical Candida Symptoms

  • Autoimmune diseases caused by leaky gut
  • Digestive issues, such as constipation, bloating, and gas
  • Skin disorders like dandruff, eczema, rosacea, and Versicolor
  • Sugar cravings or chronic sinus infections
  • Fatigue

How Doctors Diagnose Candida?

There are several methods to diagnose candida. One of them includes running an interview with the patient based on seven basic questions from the book Reset the Yeast Connection by Carolyn G.A. Dean MD ND (9).

Demand introduces the term Yeast Overgrowth Syndrome (YOS) to talk about candidiasis, Candida-related complex, Candida hypersensitivity, and allergies to yeast.

The list includes the following questions:

  • Have you, at any time in your life, taken broad-spectrum antibiotics?
  • Have you taken antibiotics (mostly tetracycline) for more than one month?
  • Do your symptoms get worse on damp, muggy days or in moldy places?
  • Do you have sugar cravings?
  • Do you have a feeling of being drained?
  • Are you bothered with vaginal (or penile) discharge or burning itching?
  • Are you bothered by burning, itching, or tearing eyes?

How is Candidiasis Commonly Treated?

According to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry, the following drugs are effective candida treatment:

  • Nystatin
  • Amphotericin B
  • Fluconazole oral suspension

The above compounds were analyzed in terms of their efficacy in treating oral candidiasis (10).

For skin candidiasis, the study highlighted different antifungal powders and creams as effective medications. The research team also stressed the importance of keeping the skin surrounding the problematic area clean and dry for the treatment’s duration.

When it comes to vaginal yeast infections, the authors of the study recommend antifungal medications to reduce their frequency and severity. More studies are needed to determine if any alternative therapies can treat vaginal candidiasis.

The study suggested that patients use the above medications along with complementary therapies, such as herbal treatments, under a physician’s supervision.

Summarizing the use of CBD for Candida

CBD has been highlighted multiple times as a natural treatment for fungal infections. The anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, and painkilling properties of CBD oil may prove useful in relieving the symptoms of candida overgrowth and further infections.

Candida overgrowth is categorized into different types depending on the area of the body it affects. The choice of the treatment, as well as types of CBD products, will also vary depending on your situation.

To date, no study has analyzed CBD’s efficacy and dosage specifically for candida. If you’re considering adding CBD oil to your daily routine, make sure to consult a doctor, preferably a holistic dermatologist, in order to establish an accurate dosing strategy and avoid negative interactions with antifungal medications.

When choosing the best CBD oil for candida, it’s essential to research your potential supplier roots to branches, from hemp farming practices to extraction technology and laboratory testing.

Literature:

  1. Lu, Hui-Chen, and Ken Mackie. “An Introduction to the Endogenous Cannabinoid System.” Biological psychiatry vol. 79,7 (2016): 516-25. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.07.028
  2. Kaur, Rimplejeet et al. “Endocannabinoid System: A Multi-Facet Therapeutic Target.” Current clinical pharmacology vol. 11,2 (2016): 110-7. doi:10.2174/1574884711666160418105339
  3. Rom, Slava, and Yuri Persidsky. “Cannabinoid receptor 2: potential role in immunomodulation and neuroinflammation.” Journal of neuroimmune pharmacology: the official journal of the Society on Neuroimmune Pharmacology vol. 8,3 (2013): 608-20. doi:10.1007/s11481-013-9445-9
  4. Russo, Ethan B. “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects.” British journal of pharmacology vol. 163,7 (2011): 1344-64. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x
  5. Ben-Shabat, S et al. “An entourage effect: inactive endogenous fatty acid glycerol esters enhance 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol cannabinoid activity.” European journal of pharmacology vol. 353,1 (1998): 23-31. doi:10.1016/s0014-2999(98)00392-6
  6. Russo, Ethan B. Op. Cit.
  7. Nagarkatti, Prakash et al. “Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.” Future medicinal chemistry vol. 1,7 (2009): 1333-49. doi:10.4155/fmc.09.93
  8. American Society for Microbiology (2017). “Cannabidiol is a Powerful New Antibiotic.”
  9. Dean, C.A.F. “Reset the Yeast Connection.”
  10. Garcia-Cuesta, Carla et al. “Current treatment of oral candidiasis: A literature review.” Journal of clinical and experimental dentistry vol. 6,5 e576-82. 1 Dec. 2014, doi:10.4317/jced.51798
Livvy Ashton

Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.

CBD Oil for Candida – August 2022

Candidiasis or thrush is a medical condition caused by Candida albicans, a yeast-like fungus. This type of fungus spreads over within the mouth and throat, and it usually infects men and women alike.

Certain cannabinoids, like CBD, have been shown as a natural, potent antifungal remedy that may help treat fungal and yeast infections effectively, making CBD a potential alternative treatment to candidiasis.

A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology showed that certain cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabichromene (CBC), have moderate antifungal properties (4 ) .

The study mostly examined the therapeutic benefits of THC, the cannabinoid that induces psychoactive effects on the user, and not CBD.

Still, the researchers noted that the three cannabinoids CBD, CBG, and CBC might boost the effects of an extremely potent antifungal, caryophyllene oxide.

Caryophyllene oxide is the oxidized form of beta-caryophyllene, one of the primary terpenes found in cannabis, basil, hops, pepper, and rosemary.

Terpenes, or isoprenoids, which are similar to essential oils, provide cannabis plants their distinctive aromas and flavors. Many of the terpenes have also been found to possess antifungal properties, as a study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal in 2018 indicated (5 ) .

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In the said study, the researchers noted that none of the essential oils was as effective as CBD. They also suggested that terpenoids (chemically-modified terpenes) may be used to reduce inflammation.

Inflammation promotes Candida colonization, which, in turn, delays healing (6 ) .

Meanwhile, CBD’s anti-inflammatory characteristics have been shown in several human and animal studies, like that of a 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and a 2012 research conducted by authors from the Department of Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine in the University of São Paulo, Brazil (7 ) .

Another research published in the Free Radical Biology & Medicine Journal by George Booz from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the University of Mississippi Medical Center showed that CBD, which may interact with the endocannabinoid system, is a promising prototype for anti-inflammatory drug development (8 ) .

Studies like these suggest that CBD, as a potent anti-inflammation compound, may also help with candidiasis.

How CBD Oil Works to Help with Candida

CBD works upon the CB2 receptors of the ECS and regulates the immune response. As an anti-inflammatory agent, CBD curbs inflammation and regulates the immune system.

The proinflammatory cells cytokines activate the pain receptors of the nerve cells, and the longer they remain inside the system, the greater the stimulation of the pain receptors. This mechanism is explained in Chapter 8 of the book Translational Pain Research: From Mouse to Man by Lawrence Kruger and Alan R. Light (9 ) .

Cytokines heighten pathologic pain (caused by tissue damage) and also exacerbate the pain experienced in oral and vaginal thrush, as a 2012 study on cytokines and Candida vaginitis shows (10 ) .

As CBD binds to the CB2 receptors of the immune cells that are overactive, it activates an anti-inflammatory protein known as the caspase.

Once activated, the caspase transmits a signal that starts cell death of the immune cell, and then the inflammation gets regulated as cytokines production gets reduced.

In the African Health Sciences Journal , a 2018 study showed that the reduction of cytokines restores a weakened immune system, one of the primary causes of thrush infection and overgrowth of candidiasis (11 ) .

However, besides the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD, could it also help reduce the skin itchiness and stinging felt in thrush?

Although there have been no studies specific to CBD’s effects on itchiness, there have been studies on how cannabinoids may help with alleviating itchy skin conditions resulting from candidiasis of the skin.

In a 2019 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment , researchers found that cannabinoids have shown to demonstrate anti-inflammatory and antipruritic (anti-itch) properties, making it a potential alternative to conventional skin treatments (12 ) .

The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Candida

The Pros

  • Studies mentioned previously show CBD’s anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antipruritic properties, which may help treat candidiasis or thrush.
  • CBD is non-addictive, says Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in a 2015 article (13 ) . This characteristic makes CBD safe for daily intake when fasting for an extended period.
  • CBD “is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile,” as the World Health Organization (WHO) stated in a critical review (14 ) .
  • CBD oil may be purchased without a prescription in locations where they are legally available.

The Cons

  • Studies are too limited to determine whether or not CBD is an effective treatment for conditions other than the ones approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • As with the use of any natural chemical compound, there are risks involved in using CBD. According to the Mayo Clinic, possible side effects include drowsiness, dry mouth, diarrhea, fatigue, and reduced appetite (15 ) .
  • CBD can alter how the body metabolizes certain medications. Data from a 2019 study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine indicate that antifungals and anti-inflammatory medicines are among those that adversely interact with CBD (16 ) .
  • Dr Doris Trauner, professor of neurosciences and pediatrics at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and a physician at San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital, cautions that CBD products marketed online and in dispensaries are mostly unregulated (17 ) .

The lack of regulation makes it difficult to determine whether the CBD gummies, tinctures, patches, balms, and gelcaps contain what the product label claims .

A 2107 review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed labeling inaccuracies among CBD products. Some products had less CBD than stated, while others had more (18 ) .

How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Candida

In otherwise healthy individuals who have cutaneous candidiasis, thrush, or vaginal yeast infections, Candida infections can often be remedied with a short treatment or even a single dose of antifungal medication (19 ) .

However, in people with a weak immune system, Candida infections can be challenging to treat and can recur after treatment.

Fortunately, several studies, like those mentioned previously, reveal that CBD possesses anti-inflammatory properties.

Most of the autoimmune diseases are caused by inflammation, and CBD tends to be very useful in strengthening the immune system, as results from a 2009 research suggested (20 ) . When the immune system is robust, Candida infections may not be that difficult to treat.

In general, most Candida infections may be prevented by keeping the skin clean and dry, following a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition, and by using antibiotics only as the doctor prescribed.

One adverse side effect of using antibiotics is that it can promote yeast infections, as results of a study suggested (21 ) .

Published in the Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology Journal in 2008, the said study explored the effects of tetracycline, an antibiotic, on Candida albicans. Researchers found that low concentration levels of the antibiotic caused some vaginitis symptoms to appear.

A problem occurs when an individual takes some antibiotics for an ailment but then has to deal with the unwanted symptoms of a yeast infection. In situations like this, CBD can help by acting as a potent antibiotic without causing yeast infection or overgrowth.

According to an article posted by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) in June 2019, research has found that cannabidiol is active against Gram-positive bacteria, with a potency similar to that of established antibiotics such as vancomycin or daptomycin (22 ) .

Dr Mark Blaskovich led the research at The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions.

Blaskovich and his team found that CBD was remarkably effective at killing a wide variety of Gram-positive bacteria, including those that are resistant to other antibiotics, and did not lose effectiveness after extended treatment.

Dr Blaskovich said, “The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive.”

The authors of the said study also noted that CBD was beneficial at disrupting biofilms, a type of bacteria growth that leads to difficult-to-treat infections.

The lab studies also showed that “CBD is much less likely to cause resistance than the existing antibiotics,” Blaskovich says.

How to Choose the Right CBD for Candida

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all phytonutrients from hemp, including trace amounts of THC, terpenes, flavonoids, and essential oils. These compounds work together to intensify the therapeutic benefits of each individual cannabinoid, resulting in the “entourage effect”.

Those with allergies to THC may opt to use broad-spectrum CBD oil, which is like full-spectrum CBD but without the THC that makes the user high.

Meanwhile, CBD isolates carry only pure, isolated cannabidiol. CBD isolates are typically derived hemp, due to hemp plants’ low to non-existent THC-content.

However, regardless of the form of CBD product of choice, careful consideration must still be employed in selecting the best CBD oil to help with inflammation, fungal infection, and itchiness.

The following factors are essential to ensure the safety and reliability of the CBD products purchased:

  1. Research on the exact legal stipulations applicable to CBD in the area where it would be purchased and used.
  2. Purchase only high-quality CBD products from legitimate and reliable brands. The majority of companies that manufacture the best CBD oil products grow their hemp from their farm, or they purchase from licensed hemp producers.
  3. Research product reviews before buying from an online store. When buying from a physical store or dispensary, check whether the store is authorized by the government to sell CBD.
  4. One important thing to look for in CBD products is certification codes. Several certification authorities approve certain products only after some thorough screening tests.
  5. Compare company claims about their products’ potency with that of the third-party lab reports.
  6. Consulting with a trusted medical professional who is experienced in CBD use is ideal before one purchases his or her first bottle of CBD.

CBD Dosage for Candida

There is no recommended CBD dosage specific for Candida.

According to an article written by Peter Grinspoon, MD, on Harvard Health in August 2019, experts do not know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.

Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies, effective doses cannot be determined. Also, Grinspoon says that given that BD is currently mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it is difficult to know what the consumers are getting.

Grinspoon’s advice to those looking to try and purchase CBD products is to talk with their doctor to make sure that taking CBD would not cause adverse interactions with other medications that are currently taken (23 ) .

In a 2017 study , researchers said that chronic CBD use and large doses of up to 1500 mg a day had been repeatedly shown to be well tolerated by humans (24 ) .

While CBD is considered generally safe, as the 2011 review in the Current Drug Safety Journal suggests, the long-term effects are yet to be examined further (25 ) .

How to Take CBD Oil for Candida

There are different types of candidiasis, depending on the particular area of the body that was affected. Treatment also varies with each type.

For CBD to be effective, it must go where it is needed. Thus, it is essential to know the location of the CBD’s target.

A consultation with a doctor can help determine the type of candidiasis that one has, and this information can help an individual set a specific target for the CBD.

One of the fastest ways to feel the effects of CBD is to vape it. However, if vaping is not an option, there are still other methods.

If the target is close to the skin or a mucous membrane, like the vagina, one could first try a localized CBD product, such as a topical or suppository. These products deliver the highest concentration of CBD in a specific area.

Topicals like CBD creams, lotions, and patches may be applied to a target area on the skin.

Otherwise, there are broad-spectrum CBD suppositories available that may be used vaginally or rectally. However, this should only be used upon the advice of a doctor.

In cases of inflammation, CBD needs to travel through the bloodstream to reach its target. Oral CBD products like tinctures are best for this purpose. Sublingual (under the tongue) absorption is an efficient method of taking CBD oil.

In a 2010 review, published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences , researchers found that peak blood levels of most substances given sublingually are achieved in 10 to 15 minutes, which is faster than when those same drugs are ingested orally (26 ) .

CBD gummies and capsules are CBD products that may also be taken orally.

A Close Look at Candida

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes Candidiasis as a fungal infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida. Some Candida species , the most common of which is Candida albicans, can cause infection in people (27 ) . The infection may cause discomfort, although it is typically harmless.

Many types of fungi live in the human body, and Candida is naturally found in minimum amounts in the gut microbiome, vaginal tract, oral cavity, and digestive tract, without inducing any problems.

Candidiasis also impacts the skin in the armpits and between the fingers or groin. The presence of this type of fungus in those areas results in a red or painful scratch or a rash that becomes serious with a yellowish or white discharge.

If an oral thrush infection is left untreated, it can lead to a systemic Candida infection. Systemic Candidiasis affects many parts of the body and is usually caused by an immune deficiency (28 ) .

The CDC also said that when Candida species enter the bloodstream or impact internal organs, such as the kidney, heart, or brain, invasive candidiasis occurs (29 ) .

Antifungal medication can cure invasive candidiasis. People with cancer or organ transplants may also receive antifungal medications to prevent invasive candidiasis, as explained in a 2016 study published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal (30 ) .

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The other typical symptoms of Candida overgrowth include:

  • Fatigue that may be accompanied by fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness of muscles and joints without detectable inflammation .
  • Issues with the digestive system like gas, bloating, and constipation
  • Sugar cravings – Sugar is food for yeast.
  • Mercury overload – Yeast overgrowths may manifest to protect mercury in the body
  • Skin problems like dandruff, rashes, eczema, rosacea, hives, and tinea versicolor (a condition marked by the appearance of white spots when one’s skin gets exposed to the sun)
  • Seasonal allergies or chronic sinus infections
  • Leaky gut connected to autoimmune diseases due to the suppression of serotonin
  • Vaginal infections or urinary tract infections

Types of Candidiasis and Their Treatments

In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry , the researchers explored the different pharmaceuticals used to treat oral candidiasis (31 ) .

Although nystatin and amphotericin B were the drugs mostly used locally, fluconazole oral suspension is proving to be an effective drug as well in the treatment of oral candidiasis (32 ) .

For cutaneous candidiasis (skin candidiasis), a variety of antifungal powders and creams can be an effective medication. Keeping the skin surrounding the affected area clean and dry during the treatment is also essential.

Meanwhile, antifungal medications that are applied directly into the vagina work best to combat vaginal yeast infections.

In an article posted in July 2019, Mayo Clinic says that the appropriate treatment for yeast infections is determined by the severity and frequency of infections (33 ) .

Medications come in the form of suppositories, creams, ointments, or tablets.

Some complementary and alternative therapies may provide some relief when combined with a doctor’s supervision.

However, according to the same article, no alternative medicine therapies have been proved to treat vaginal yeast infections.

The Seven Questions

Several methods could help diagnose candidiasis, and most of these examinations are best done through the directions and advice of a medical professional.

In her book, Reset the Yeast Connection, Carolyn F. A. Dean MD ND talked about the seven questions she asks her patients to determine whether or not they have yeast overgrowth syndrome (34 ) .

Yeast Overgrowth Syndrome (YOS) is a term Dean uses to refer to candidiasis, Candida-related complex, Candida hypersensitivity, and yeast allergies.

In the book, Dean also discussed the FRDQ-7 (Fungus Related Disease Questionnaire-7) that Dr Heiko Santelmann, a German physician from Oslo, Norway, designed to diagnose YOS (35 ) .

Answering positively to two or more of these questions means there is yeast overgrowth.

  1. Have you, at any time in your life, taken “broad-spectrum” antibiotics?
  2. Have you taken tetracycline or other broad-spectrum antibiotics for one month or longer?
  3. Are your symptoms worse on damp, muggy days or in moldy places?
  4. Do you crave sugar?
  5. Do you have a feeling of being “drained”?
  6. Are you bothered with vaginal (or penile) burning itching or discharge?
  7. Are you bothered by burning, itching or tearing of eyes?

Supplements for Yeast Overgrowth

Common antifungal supplements that are effective in treating yeast overgrowth include caprylic acid, which is naturally found in coconut oil (36 ) .

Also, taking high-quality probiotic supplements may help during the treatment (37 ) .

These supplements would protect the body against another episode of yeast overgrown that could arise in the future.

The probiotics feed the good bacteria and yeast as well, so the supplements should only be taken after the Candida is already contained .

Understanding CBD

Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae) is a type of cannabis that is one of the most recognized ancient plants. Sativa is Latin for “useful”, and it is a term that is commonly used in plant names.

Both hemp and marijuana plants belong to the plant genus cannabis. Cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States but is legally accepted in 16 states and the District of Columbia for therapeutic purposes.

CBD is naturally found in hemp plants, and this compound is commonly used to produce CBD hemp oil supplements. CBD is non-intoxicating and non-addictive. CBD derived from extracted from hemp is legal under United States federal law (38 ) .

Although CBD and THC are similar in chemical structure, they do not share the same psychoactive effects. THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 or CB1 receptors in the brain and produces a sense of euphoria.

CBD, however, binds inadequately to CB1 receptors. CBD can even disrupt the binding of THC and suppress its psychoactive effect, as researchers of a 2018 study published in the Neuropsychopharmacology Journal suggest. CBD, a non-psychoactive compound, does not induce the “high” associated with THC (39 ) .

CBD and Drug Tests

Some people are apprehensive whether or not CBD would manifest on their drug test if they use CBD. The good news is that it would not. However, use only a pure broad-spectrum CBD product which does not have any THC added.

Full-spectrum CBD products contain trace amounts of THC, and CBD may be detected during a drug test. To be sure that there would be no trace of THC in the body, choose a THC free product that has “broad spectrum” or “isolate THC free” on the label (40 ) .

Note that medical marijuana is legal in some states. For a complete list with the corresponding laws, fees, and possession limits, visit ProCon.org. (41 ) .

Conclusion

In several studies mentioned previously, CBD has been shown to possess natural antifungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties that may help with Candida and treat yeast overgrowth.

There are different types of candidiasis, depending on the particular area of the body that was affected. Treatments, even those with CBD products, also vary with each type.

Keep in mind, however, that there is no recommended CBD dosage specific for Candida. Thus, consulting with a trusted medical practitioner experienced with cannabis use is the best course of action for anyone looking to try CBD for the first time or include CBD in their current regimen.

To learn more about the studies on Candida, go to PubMed.gov (42 ) .

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Table of Contents

  • Can CBD oil help with Candida?
  • Why People are Turning to CBD for Candida

Immune System

Dr. Kimberly Langdon, MD

Kimberly Langdon, MD is a retired, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University.

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