Herpes is a general name for diseases that are caused by the HSV virus. Counting both the HSV-1 and the HSV-2 virus, the prevalence of HSV is about 90% worldwide. The majority of people who carry these viruses are undiagnosed or display no physical symptoms. When symptoms are visible this is usually the case around the mouth (e.g. cold sores) or around the genitals. Complaints are often a painful and/or burning sensation, but can vary greatly in severity. Often herpes in the genital area is worse than herpes around the mouth.
Certain types of the herpesvirus can cause cancer or accelerate the growth of cancer.
Herpes and CBD
To our knowledge, no research has been done on the specific effect of CBD on the symptoms of herpes. You can learn more about how CBD generally affects inflammation by clicking here.
Herpes and THC
Another major cannabinoid, THC, has been researched in relation to different cancer-causing herpes viruses. When a person is infected with one of these viruses, a long time may pass before the viruses become active and begin to multiply. When cells were grown in the presence of THC, this sudden activity was prevented from happening. This effect was limited to the cancer-causing “gamma herpes viruses” and was not observed in the related “Simplix herpes-1 virus”, which is responsible for genital herpes (among other things).
In this study THC was found to have a better effect than regular antiviral medication. Nevertheless, we must be careful with interpreting these results. The researchers warn that this study took place in a laboratory and that no tests have been performed on animals or humans.
Advice for using cannabinoids against herpes
The effects of using cannabinoids such as THC and CBD against common types of herpes (such as cold sores) have not been studied. We do know that CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect. One study found indications that THC works against a cancer causing herpes virus. Click here to read more about safe use of cannabinoids.
- Medveczky, M., Sherwood, T., Klein, T., Friendman, H., Medveczky, P. (2004). THC inhibits lytic replication of Gamma oncogenic herpes viruses in vitro. BMC Medine, online gepubliceerd.