Is CBD Oil Antifungal?

Is CBD Oil Antifungal?

By Meredith Summers   |   March 28, 2018

A fungus is a microorganism that can be found just about anywhere: the air you breathe, the water you drink, the home you live in, and even in your own body. The most common fungi include mold, mildew, and mushrooms. 

Research has shown that CBD has antifungal properties, read more to see what makes CBD oil antifungal.


Is CBD Oil Antifungal? 

Cannabidiol, or CBD,  is a naturally-occurring compound found in the cannabis plant family that is commonly extracted for its various wellness benefits. One of the benefits of CBD oil is that it displays antifungal properties. 

A study from 2011 revealed that specific compounds found in cannabis plants contain antifungal properties. These cannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabigerol (CBG). To understand how cannabinoids act as an antifungal, one must understand how antifungals work. Fungi cells are eukaryotic cells, which have membranes protecting the nuclei. Antifungals kill the fungal cells by destroying the cell membrane through inhibiting the production of ergosterol, the active lipids that feed the fungi cells. Without ergosterol, the fungi cell dies off without causing harm to any of the other surrounding cells. 

The core of a cannabinoid is composed of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom. These kinds of compounds attract other compounds that contain oxygen molecules. Once these compounds attract other oxygen compounds, they go through a chemical reaction called oxidation, which binds the compounds. When fungal cells are oxidized with cannabinoids, fungal cells are no longer able to multiply or grow. This is due to the fungal cells not being able to produce ergosterol which is necessary for growth and survival. The process of cannabinoids oxidizing and eliminating the fungal cells is how cannabinoids display their antifungal properties. 

In addition to having antifungal properties, cannabinoids can also boost the effectiveness of other antifungal compounds. The study also showed that these cannabinoids can boost the effectiveness of another naturally-occuring and extremely potent and effective antifungal called caryophyllene oxide. Caryophyllene oxide is a terpene found in cannabis and other plants, including basil, rosemary, and hops. 


What Are Antifungal Terpenes in CBD Oil? 

Feline cbd hemp oil tincture

Terpenes are the natural scents and flavors extracted from plants. When CBD is extracted from hemp plants, the terpenes are also extracted and remain in full-spectrum CBD oils. Research shows that cannabis terpenes contain antifungal properties. 

Even before hemp is harvested, it exhibits antifungal properties while it’s growing. Hemp is considered a weed because it tends to grow in large quantities very quickly with very little help.  Hemp plants are able to flourish without help because they have some very strong defenses when it comes to bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These antibacterial and antifungal properties are found in the terpenes of the plant.

These terpenes act as an antifungal because of their highly lipophilic nature. In other words, these terpenes tend to combine well with fats. This characteristic makes it easy for the terpenes to disrupt the fungi cell membrane and cause the cell to die or decrease its growth. Certain terpenes act as a natural antifungal by killing off or decreasing the growth of fungal cells. 

Some CBD manufacturers will remove the terpenes from their CBD oils during the refining process. CBD oils that include the terpenes are called full spectrum rich CBD oil or whole plant CBD oil. These whole plant CBD oils contain more antifungal properties than CBD isolate oil because the terpenes and cannabinoids work together to destroy fungi cells. 


The content on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. While research has shown that CBD has the potential to help provide beneficial outcomes for several complaints, it is advisable to seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider when you have questions regarding any medical condition and when starting, augmenting or discontinuing any existing health routine. 


Recommended Readings 

Can I Use CBD Oil While Taking Supplements?

Beware of Forgery CBD Oils on the Market 

Does CBD Oil Give You Energy? 

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