"I get vaginal yeast infections often, especially around the time of my period. They’re really uncomfortable and annoying. Is there some type of cannabis that could treat them? If not, could something decrease how often I get them, or make them more bearable?"
A 1991 UCLA study concluded that both cannabis and tobacco smoking decreases the ability of macrophages in the lungs to ingest and kill Candida albicans. A German study published in 2010 demonstrated that cannabinoid receptors protect against cerebral ischemia by inhibiting neutrophil recruitment, a mechanism by which the body fights yeast. There are many anecdotal accounts of candidiasis associated with cannabis smoking but I believe these cases all involve heavy cannabis use; and as I have said previously, nothing in excess is healthy. That being said, I have managed hundreds of patients who use cannabis (although fewer than 20% of my patients smoke and far fewer than that smoke more than two- three ounces per month) and have not encountered thrush (oral candidiasis) or candida vaginitis as a side effect in my patients. Indeed, there are cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis that are known to have potent anti-fungal properties… perhaps to counter the plants impeding effects on macrophage and neutrophil activity. So, I welcome the opinions of my esteemed colleagues but will venture to guess that the effect of cannabis on yeast infestation may be dose dependent and may also be influenced by the status of the individual’s immune system.