Cannabis and Human Papillomavirus (HPV): Friend or Foe?

Human papillomavirus or human papillomavirus

With steadily increasing HPV positive cancer rates, research into the effect of CBD and THC on human papillomavirus is not yet ready

Often called the cold of the sexual world, the Centers for Disease Control says that HPV has infected more than 79 million people worldwide. Both widespread and highly contagious, HPV tends to grow on the porous skin located in the throat, anal cavity, cervix, and tongue, making it extremely difficult to test and eradicate in the whole world.

The risk factors for HPV are a weakened immune system, smoking and poor diet and poor sleep. HPV is thought to be the cause of more than 70% of cervical cancers. The World Health Organization says that HPV is present in more than 100 types and has one of the best known defenses: vaccination.

For decades, researchers believed that marijuana played a negative role in HPV-linked cervical cancer. However, a 2010 study published at the National Library of Medicine of the United States, found that marijuana does not cause cancer of the uterus.

Understanding the infectivity of HPV

While it was once thought that the virus was only contracted sexually, studies over the past two decades have shown that HPV can live on surfaces. A 2002 study, published in the British Medical Journal, showed that HPV DNA could live in a clinical environment, without skin-to-skin contact. A more recent and in-depth study, featured in Taylor & Francis Online, found that, comparing bovine papillomavirus and human papillomavirus, both showed a remarkable ability to maintain 50% infectivity at room temperature after three days.

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Additionally, in 2014, Penn State further researched past findings, finding that unless there was a special method of cleaning instruments (autoclaving) or bleach, HPV was persistent on surfaces. and could be transmitted. Although it is always cited as a "sexually transmitted infection", HPV appears to be anything but that.

Craig Meyers, professor of microbiology and immunology at Penn State College of Medicine, explains, “Chemical disinfectants used in hospitals and other health care settings have absolutely no effect on destroying human papillomavirus… unless '' use bleach or autoclaving in the hospital setting, the human papillomavirus is not destroyed and there is a risk of spreading HPV by infection acquired in hospital or by instruments or tools ”.

The role of THC in relation to HPV

A recent study published by Joseph A. Califano III, MD, found an interesting juxtaposition between HPV and THC. He told UC San Diego Health in a report that he believes that since HPV-related head and neck cancers as well as marijuana use are both on the rise, there may be a correlation between the two. . Her father, Joseph A. Califano Jr, is the former Secretary of State, founder and well-known president of the National Center on Substance Abuse and Addiction (CASA) at Columbia University, which runs an organization s 'raising against marijuana.

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In the study, Califano III cited the fact that THC activated MAPK p38 (a protein that responds to stress or other stimuli) and that while the protein was activated, head and neck cancer HPV-positive has lost apoptosis (a form of cell death). Citing the study as a "uplifting tale," Califano III is now leading a study to see if CBD has the same effect.

Interestingly, a study published in 2016 by the University of the North West in Potchefstroom, South Africa was found to be in direct opposition to Caifano's findings.

Citing the same method of apoptosis, the researchers found that CBD could be considered anticarcinogenic for cervical cancer. The data further illustrated that "crude extracts of cannabidiol rather than cannabis sativa inhibit cell growth and induce cell death in cervical cancer cell lines." Could Cannabis Hurt Head And Neck Cancers As CBD Kills Cervical Cancer Cells?

Kellie Lease Stecher, MD, gynecologist in Edina, a suburb of Minneapolis, Minn. believes that both studies underscore the importance of ongoing research. “As marijuana use increases due to legality, more studies need to be done to look at HPV DNA and how each strand is affected by CBD or marijuana,” says Stecher. “Further studies should examine how the expression of HPV is altered by marijuana or its components in different tissues; because we don't have enough data to determine whether CBD or THC is helpful or harmful due to conflicting data ”.

With the prospect of the future and the steadily increasing rates of HPV positive cancers, research is not far off.

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Weed media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet as well as the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.