This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.
Cannabis possesses compounds that are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. This makes it fit to fight against strep throat bacterial infections. Different studies have shown that when used, cannabis products — especially cannabis oils — can improve the antibacterial activity of antibiotics which are being used to treat strep throat symptoms.
What Is Strep Throat?
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes feelings of pain, itching, and some other forms of irritation in the throat. All these symptoms get more intense when swallowing.
Unlike sore throat which can be caused by both viral infections and bacterial infections, strep throat can only be induced by bacterial agents. The type of throat infection caused by bacteria is streptococcal pharyngitis. It is not so common, as most throat infections are brought about by viral infections. The symptoms of strep throat can be managed with antibiotics to prevent the condition from worsening.
Symptoms of Strep Throat
- Swollen tonsils
- Muffled voice
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Pains while talking
- Itchy feeling in the throat
- White patches in the tonsils
Treating Strep Throat The Normal Way
Once symptoms of strep throat are being observed, the patient heads to medical personnel to confirm if it is a bacterial causing throat infection or a virus causing infection. In hospitals, throat swab tests are carried out for more authentic results.
Strep throat infections can be cured with antibiotics. Most times, the doctor tries to prevent the case from degrading into rheumatic fever.
Traditional treatments for strep throat include:
- licking or eating lozenges that can induce the production of saliva.
- Using warm salt water to gargle at least three times a day.
- Drinking lemon tea with honey.
- Over-the-counter pain medication.
- Using a cool-mist vaporizer.
Cannabis and Strep Throat
People are now turning to cannabidiol (CBD) to be an effective treatment for throat infections, especially those brought about by bacteria. As you know, CBD is a substance that is extracted from cannabis plants. It is one of the two major compounds ground in a cannabis strain, and it has the most therapeutic benefits. This chemical substance has been applied various times in clinical trials since its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties were revealed. Researchers have a hypothesis that cannabidiol is responsible for the antibacterial effects of hemp plants and oils.
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A study revealed that CBD is highly effective against gram-positive bacteria. The experiment which was based on cellular and infection microbiology described CBD as a novel modulator of bacterial membrane vesicles. According to the contents of the study which was published in Frontiers, CBD boosted the bactericidal effect of some antibiotics. The researchers then included it in a kanamycin treatment; it was also observed to have increased the effect of the antibiotics of the drug. This means that cannabis or its CBD extract can be added to certain antibiotic treatments used to manage a wide range of infections.
To corroborate the findings in the above study, a new study was conducted. Researchers were able to ascertain that cannabidiol can be an effective compound to kill Gram-positive bacteria, especially when combined with bacitracin ( an antibacterial salve used to prevent or treat skin infections).
The researchers first assumed that cannabis could be used to cure strep throat because most bacterial throat infections are caused by Gram-positive bacteria. CBD is highly effective against gram-positive bacteria.
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Although people have used cannabis by-products like CBD oils to treat strep throat, no medical study has been carried out yet to guarantee that cannabis can effectively cure the infection. There is no scientific data to describe how CBD acts as an antibiotic in strep throat infections.
A Brief Description Of How Cannabis Works
When ingested into the system, and absorbed. CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is a system in the body whose function is to control some functions of the immune system, as well as the central nervous system. Studies about the antibacterial activity of cannabis are most times focused on the attractive therapeutic target presented by the endocannabinoid system. The receptors, CB1 and CB2, are involved in the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions of cannabis compounds. Researchers believe that the therapeutic effects are induced once these receptors are activated.
Pros And Cons Of Using Cannabis To Treat Strep
Cannabis having therapeutic benefits does not mean it could not also have its disadvantages. As indicated earlier, no direct or human trials have been carried out to test how effective cannabis compounds are against strep throat. For now, it is unproven.
Studies have revealed that cannabidiol is capable of boosting the antibacterial activity of some antibiotics. Researchers have also gathered that CBD is an effective compound to get rid of gram-positive bacteria. This means there’s a possibility that it could be effective against your strep throat infection. In most states in the United States of America, cannabis has been decriminalized, and residents can use, transport, and possess CBD. There’s no risk of being arrested as long as the CBD is carefully extracted from the hemp plants.There is no psychoactive effect to fear when using CBD. It is not capable of inducing mind-altering effects in the user. The added advantage is that all research carried out on hemp plants is supported by the federations Food and Drug Administration.
The absence of clinical information to prove that the therapeutic compounds in cannabis can be used to cure strep throat means it is a big risk to take. The FDA has approved only one cannabis drug called Epidiolex to be used in treating epilepsy and seizures. Therefore, requests for CBD medications in hospitals or health facilities may be rejected. Not to mention that health insurance providers do not cover the use of these products.
When using cannabis to treat your strep throat, take into consideration that you might suffer from the side effects of the drug. Dry mouth, reduced appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, and drowsiness are some of the after-effects that could be felt Irrespective of whether or not your strep throat is cured.
The absence of clinical evidence to support the subject makes it difficult for some to accept that cannabis can be used to treat strep throat.