The impact of medical cannabis consumption on the oral flora and saliva

George Habib*, Doron Steinberg, Adel Jabbour

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective To evaluate the effect of medical cannabis consumption on oral flora and saliva. Design A clinical prospective study, at the rheumatology clinic of the Nazareth Hospital in Nazareth, recruiting consecutively patients approved for medical cannabis, evaluating their saliva flow, pH and microbial load of Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus, prior to and under medical cannabis treatment. Methods Patients recently licensed for medical cannabis treatment, were recruited just prior to starting medical cannabis consumption (week 0), 1 and 4 weeks later, patients provided 5-minute time saliva samples, which were measured for their volume and pH, and cultured on a special microbial kit, evaluating the growth of Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus. Results Out of 16 patients enrolled, 14 were female and had fibromyalgia. The mean age of the patients was 52.8±12.9 years. The mean saliva flow at week 0, week 1 and week 4 were 5.38±3.36 ml/5-minutes, 6 (p = 0.769) and 5.45 (p = 0.391), respectively, and for saliva pH were 6.28, 5.94 (p = 0.51) and 5.5 (p = 0.07) respectively also. The mean Streptococcus mutans growth score at weeks 0, 1 and 4 was1.8±0.75, 1.6±0.83 (p = 0.234), and 2.4±0.84 (p = 0.058), respectively. The mean Lactobacilli growth score at weeks 0, 1 and 4 was 2.59±0.88, 3.1±0.69 (p = 0.033) and 3.3±0.67 (p = 0.025), respectively. Conclusions The results of this study show that medical cannabis consumption has no significant effect on saliva volume or pH, but it may be associated with changes in salivary levels of oral microbes such as Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacilli.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere0247044
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2 Febuary
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Habib et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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