Yeast Infection

Can medical marijuana help patients with symptoms of a yeast infection? Find out below.

What is a yeast infection?

A vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection caused by a yeast called candida that is naturally produced in the body. Yeast is a type of fungus, and candida is a specific type of yeast that multiplies when out of balance and causes a yeast infection. Symptoms of a yeast infection include burning, itching, redness in the vulva, and changes in discharge. Other names for this type of yeast infection include vulvovaginal candidiasis or vaginal candidiasis. 

How common is it?

Around 75 percent of women will experience at least one vaginal yeast infection, and over half will get two or more throughout their lives.

Who does it affect?

Anyone with a vagina can get a yeast infection; however, they are common after puberty and before menopause. Various factors can increase your risk of developing a yeast infection, but they are widespread and treatable.

Risk Factors for Yeast Infections

Some of the factors that increase the risk of getting a vaginal yeast infection include the following:

  • Using antibiotics, birth control pills, or steroids.
  • Pregnancy
  • Weak immune system
  • Uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Wearing a wet bathing suit or sweaty clothes for a long time
  • Using scented tampons or vaginal deodorant.

Signs and Symptoms

Yeast Infection signs and symptoms may include:

  • An itchy or burning sensation in the vagina or vulva
  • Thick, white vaginal discharge
  • Redness and swelling of the vagina or vulva
  • Minor cuts or tiny cracks in the skin of the vulva
  • Burning sensation when urinating

Diagnosis and Treatment

Your physician can diagnose a vaginal yeast infection during an appointment to discuss and examine your symptoms. Your doctor may need a sample of the discharge to confirm a yeast infection. The combination of symptoms and the lab results will tell your healthcare provider the type of yeast infection and how to treat it.

Antifungal medications can effectively treat most vaginal yeast infections, depending on the severity of the illness. Your doctor will prescribe the best treatment based on the symptoms and condition characteristics. 

Antifungal medications fight yeast overgrowth in the body and are either oral or topical.  Two common antifungal medications are miconazole (Monistat®) and terconazole. Always follow the doctor’s instructions when using drugs to ensure the infection is fully resolved. If you’re prescribed medication for a yeast infection, you shouldn’t have sex until treatment is complete because it can cause more irritation.

Can medical marijuana help?

Medical marijuana is commonly found to possess significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help with chronic pain management reasonably quickly. Cannabinoid receptors bind to the brain and peripheral nerve cells and help regulate how you see and feel the pain to reduce symptoms. Medical cannabis, therefore, as opposed to other drugs, appears to be an excellent alternative to treat and manage pain due to inflammation. 

CBD has anti-inflammatory qualities, can reduce pain, and even fully treat pain in some patients. It is also an antioxidant and can help reduce long-term inflammation. CBD contains cannabinoid receptors that can block chronic pain signals in the brain and trigger an increased immune response.  

Recent studies from medicine and health sciences professionals suggest that certain cannabis products may effectively treat an overactive immune system. It can connect with the cannabinoid receptors of the body to combat the proinflammatory t-cell responses needed. It has been used to treat rare skin conditions, Crohn’s disease, neuropathic pain, particularly autoimmune disease, inflammatory bowel disease, acute psychosocial stress, and many other conditions. 

The cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant can activate the endocannabinoid system in the human body and may help many chronic issues. Cannabis activates CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and CB2 receptors in organs, muscles, and tissues. Cannabinoids can directly influence our ability to maintain homeostasis.

CB1 receptors are responsible for large and small bowel muscles and digestion in the intestines. Activating the CB2 receptors targets immune cells that can reduce intestinal pain and inflammation. Cannabinoids can interact with other receptors influencing everyday bodily functions and PH balance.

Last Updated: July 25, 2023

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