Apart from helping treat some of the most insidious illnesses, cannabis can also be used to treat non-life-threatening diseases, like the Herpes Simplex Viruses (HSV) for example. While the research isn’t entirely complete on cannabinoids’ effects on these lifelong viruses, plenty of anecdotal and scientific evidence show a promising future to the development of cannabis-derived drugs to treat HSV types 1 and 2 (oral and genital, respectively).
Symptoms of types 1 and 2 of the HSV are blisters, sores, and ulcers in or around the mouth, genitals, or anus. These skin lesions can be treated with herpes medication to reduce duration and severity of symptoms. While these medications may work for some, they don’t work for all. Cannabis can be a safe treatment option for those looking for natural antiviral and pain relief from HSV.
THC Can Decrease Herpes Simplex Virus Replication
A study in 1980 tested the effects of various concentrations of THC on the two main types of Herpes viruses in human cells. Human cells treated outside the body with THC saw a complete reduction of virus replication in both types of herpes viruses.. THC has been shown to possess antiviral characteristics time and time again, although the exact mechanism by which it stop herpes virus replication is unknown.
THC Reduces Infectivity of Herpes Simplex Virus
A study in 1991 found similar results to the previous study using cannabinoids on the herpes simplex virus. During this particular study, THC lowered the ability of the herpes virus to cause infection by up to 80 percent. Especially with very high concentrations of THC (commonly found in cannabis oil), this active chemical compound found in cannabis can decrease the infectivity of virions, the infectious agent in the virus responsible for spreading it from cell to cell.
Cannabis Fights Cellular Mechanisms in Herpes
Until this 2004 study, researchers weren’t sure how cannabis interacts with these viral agents. Researchers found that THC selectively inhibits gamma herpes viruses by targeting the ORF50 gene. The ORF50 protein is absolutely critical in the process of reactivating the virus. Inhibiting the ORF50 gene, essentially, prevents herpes viruses from replicating.
Topic Cannabis Treatments of Herpes
Since cannabinoids in cannabis oils are very fat soluble, it is easier to isolate the active chemical compounds found in cannabis to enhance therapeutic benefits. Cannabis lotions, oils, salves, and balms all work by penetrating the skin and acting at a molecular level to fight against the herpes virus. Apart from using THC alone, CBD can help mitigate the pain and inflammation brought on by herpes outbreaks.
Cannabis not only helps reduce the occurrence of HSV symptoms, but also helps relieve anxiety, depression, and stress associated with contracting unsightly and painful sores. Until more research into cannabinoids is performed, patients must use current research and a doctor’s recommendation to treat their herpes infections with cannabis oils.