Can CBD Work as a Herpes Cure? | cannabisMD

Can CBD Work as a Herpes Cure?

CBD as Herpes Cure

A CBD herpes cure would be fantastic. Any cure for herpes would be fantastic. However even the most powerful antiretroviral drugs cannot get rid of it. However, there are some treatments that can be very effective at reducing the severity of a herpes outbreak, one of which is CBD.

As much as a CBD herpes cure would be ideal, the 90% of the human population with herpes will have to wait a while longer to get their cure. At the moment, because of the nature of herpes, all anyone can do is treat herpes with herbal remedies, anti-inflammatory drugs, hygiene, and patience.

Why is Herpes Incurable?

The herpes simplex viruses that causes oral herpes and genital herpes are known as simplex I and simplex II and can be sexually transmitted or transmitted via skin contact. They are a retrovirus, which means they avoid the immune response of the body when it is lying dormant. In a similar way to the way HIV is incurable, herpes avoids detection by inserting itself into the DNA of its host cell.

This might sound like something out of science fiction, but it is genuinely how retroviruses work. They hijack the infected cell to use its own mechanisms to insert itself into the DNA, where it remains dormant until the right conditions arise. Those conditions might be stress, infection, or an amount of time having passed, as the regularity with which herpes recurs suggests.

When the cell dies, it bursts and spreads broken bits of cell and viruses all over the surrounding area. This is a clear signal something is going wrong and the body mounts an immune response. There is extra blood flow to the area, lots of cytokines (immune system proteins) and immune cells flood the surrounding area. The result of this is inflammation, soreness, itching and pain.

Eventually, the immune system mops up all the viruses in the blood stream and kills any detectably infected cells. The inflammation goes down and the herpes sores disappear. However, if only one virus infected a single cell, the virus has not been wiped out and it can easily come back. It usually does when the conditions are right, and the cycle repeats itself.

Modern genetic science is figuring out ways of entering cells and removing or changing the DNA of that cell without killing it. There is a technique called CRISPR which does exactly that. Unfortunately, for the moment, there is no way of getting herpes viruses out of the infected cells. All anyone can do is treat the symptoms.

Using CBD for a Herpes Outbreak

The two best known cannabinoids (the neurotransmitters found in the cannabis plant) are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC gets you high but CBD does not. They both have remarkable effects on the body, including anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. For this reason, CBD oil and pure THC have been experimented with to try find a CBD herpes cure.

Obviously, that hasn’t happened. However, the findings of several studies point to medical CBD being significantly useful for treating the symptoms of herpes with few side effects. One of the problems with taking antiretroviral drugs is that they have some odd and unpleasant effects on the body. CBD in particular has very few, as well as not being psychoactive. For this reason, it is being explored extensively for the treatment of the painful sores that herpes causes.

Why CBD Can Help

When a small amount of cannabis oil or pure CBD/THC is applied topically to the affected area, the immune system is suppressed in a local way. By reducing the immune response, the itching, swelling and redness from cold sores goes down. This has the unfortunate side effect of potentially increasing the length of a herpes outbreak. However, for many people a few extra days of slightly itching herpes instead of a shorter, intensely painful and itching outbreak is a worthy compromise.

There are well observed anti-viral properties to THC. One study found that THC inhibited the replication of the herpes simplex virus and “concentrations of THC that inhibit virus replication of gamma herpesviruses have no effect on cell growth or HSV-1 replication, indicating selectivity”. In simple terms, THC stopped the virus from multiplying without killing the human cells around it. It should be noted that this was only observed in a lab, so whether it is the case for living humans or not is yet to be shown. It is a hopeful sign though.

A major advantage of CBD over many drugs is that it does not often make the patient ill. Many drugs have severe side effects, including anti-inflammatories like antihistamines (the wooziness and spaced-out feeling of hay fever tablets is well known to many people). However, CBD does not have psychoactive effects and the herpes-fighting properties can be enjoyed without having to take time off work or driving. THC can cause the ‘high’ effect though, so if that’s not desired users are advised to opt for CBD instead.

Obtaining CBD, even where it is illegal, is remarkably easy. In countries that have legalized medical marijuana, it can be obtained on prescription or bought from medical marijuana dispensaries. For countries that continue their prohibition of CBD, it can be bought online through the dark web or from people on the street, or your friendly local drug dealer. It is not recommended that the user break the law in getting hold of CBD, so if it is illegal, look for something else.

If you can get hold of CBD legally, only take it for your herpes in consultation with your doctor. There can be side effects, and while they are rarely severe or long lasting, they do exist. CBD may interact poorly with other medications that you take. It’s better to be safe than sorry. So exercise a level of caution, apply just a little to an unaffected part of the skin, on the arm for example, to test for allergic reactions before applying to the herpes sore.

Figuring how best to treat herpes can be confusing and really frustrating. The use of CBD is a relatively safe choice. Any information about CBD should be taken with a pinch of salt because there is a lot of hype surrounding the drug, especially online. Misinformation is rife, so look for proper scientific studies before seeking out your CBD herpes cure.

Learn more about the healing properties of CBD here!

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