Can Cannabis Help Treat The Symptoms Of Herpes?

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Categories : Medical cannabis

Can Cannabis Help Treat The Symptoms Of Herpes?

Herpes is a lifelong condition with a great deal of social stigma attached to it, even though it affects a huge portion of Western society. Could cannabis be the answer for boosting the immune system and treating the symptoms?

There's nothing better than sharing a couple of bongs or spliffs with a group of friends after a long week. Most of us try not to dwell too much on the fact that a spliff passed around a smoke circle can be contaminated with cooties. The hazards associated with communal smoking often go overlooked, yet it is not uncommon for the occasional social stoner to wake up with a nasty spot on the side of their face.


Herpes is part of a virus family known as the herpes simplex virus. The most commonly found type is herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1), which may well affect up to 95% of the American population. Herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2) is more commonly known as genital herpes, and could affect up to 20% of the US population.

Symptoms of herpes never go away and can often increase in severity when a person is feeling stressed or the immune system is weakened. These symptoms vary in severity and can cause more serious conditions such as genital herpes outbreaks, chickenpox, cold sores, and mono.

If you are affected by herpes, understand that you are by no means alone. Plus, it could give you the perfect opportunity to use cannabis! This is because cannabinoids have excellent potential for reducing stress and boosting the immune system, as well as treating some of the more severe symptoms of the virus.


Herpes is a particularly difficult virus to manage since it can spread easily. HSV-1 spreads through simple skin contact, kissing, and sharing drinks. HSV-2, however, is a sexually transmitted infection. Both forms of herpes require a constant level of management to lessen the symptoms.

Outbreaks of the viral infection can often cause problems in day-to-day life, not just due to pain, but also the social stigma attached to it. Even some of the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs can cause less than desirable reactions such as vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches. The three drugs most commonly prescribed to treat this virus are acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir.

As a result, many patients look for other, more natural alternatives.


Research into the use of cannabis for preventing outbreaks of herpes has been slim, and there is little clinical data available. However, preliminary studies have shown considerable potential since the early 1980s, and later in 2004. All of the studies showed the same thing: cells treated with THC are able to stop cells infected with HSV-1 or 2 from replicating. If this wasn't interesting enough, a study conducted in 1991 showed that THC may also reduce the rate of infection.

Pain associated with the symptoms of herpes can be reduced with cannabinoids, and topical therapies have shown promise for reducing the pain associated with shingles. Since cannabis is able to soothe the mental stress that often triggers a herpes outbreak, as well as some of the physical symptoms, cannabinoids are definitely intriguing as a possible future treatment for the condition.

Can Cannabis Help Treat The Symptoms Of Herpes?


This is going to take some trial and error. If you have a canna-friendly doctor, by all means engage them. Certain strains of medicinal cannabis are bred for their antiviral properties. They might be able to suggest particular strains to start with. This is also a discussion you should have with your local dispensary, even if you are discreet about the actual condition.

Both oral ingestion and smoking or vaporizing will produce different effects that are more or less effective at boosting the immune system. Topical treatments such as THC creams and oils have displayed the ability to stop or reduce the progression of pain and sores caused by the herpes virus.


Some lifestyle changes may be necessary in order to control and manage the symptoms of herpes. The reduction of stress can be managed through maintaining a healthy diet, a regular sleeping pattern, and regular exercise. Since it is a lifelong condition, it is important to think about how lifestyle changes such as regular use of cannabis will affect your everyday life.