Outbreaks of the new coronavirus that caused a global pandemic are still continuing, and everyone is still waiting and hoping that new treatments will be developed that can be efficient in treating, curing, or preventing the potentially deadly virus. While the world is still waiting for vaccines to be fully developed, cannabis has shown great potential in treating patients from COVID-19.
Could CBD Help With Coronavirus?
Recently, new evidence has been brought up to support the theory that cannabis derived CBD could have a role in helping patients suffering from severe lung inflammations that occur in more serious cases of coronavirus.
There are numerous possibilities that are being explored by scientists with the purpose of fighting COVID-19, and a group of researchers is looking into whether cannabis or cannabis derived CBD could be beneficial for those who suffer severe symptoms of this disease. CBD became a topic of interest after showing the capability to help with treatment in a few different ways.
The ability to reduce ACE2 expression and pro-inflammatory cytokine production in order to combat lung inflammation is very promising and its antiviral capabilities. However, there have only been a few studies conducted to test these theories with legit experiments.
What is CBD?
Cannabis plants usually contain both marijuana and hemp components, aside from hundreds of other different compounds. The most known compound is known as THC, and it is the chemical that makes you “high”. On the other hand, there is CBD that is often used because unlike THC it doesn’t create a high.
Hemp plants contain insignificant amounts of THC, and this is one of the main reasons why companies have been able to sell a wide range of hemp products. In the last few years, CBD has become widely popular, with numerous products containing this substance in everything from pills and tinctures to teas and skin cream.
You can find a lot of CBD products online, with a huge number being available in dispensaries in states that have legalized medical or recreational cannabis.
How Can CBD Help With Coronavirus?
Researchers that studied these effects at Augusta University in Georgia claim that CBD may positively impact ARDS or acute respiratory distress syndrome. This is a very dangerous symptom caused by COVID-19 that leads to an overactive inflammatory response. The authors of this study say that “Apart from the current auxiliary measures, there isn’t a cure for ARDS, explaining the urge for new and efficient therapeutic methods to treat this complicated condition.”
However, CBD has shown some potential to be able to help treat this dangerous symptom. Researchers conducting this study explain how CBD could possibly help by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokine production.
By reducing specific cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1b, and IL-17, inflammation could be brought down and lead to the end of respiratory distress and damage. The results brought by this study seem to support this theory.
The research was mostly performed on mice, who were injected with a treatment called Poly(I:C) to artificially induce ARDS because the symptoms look very similar to the ones we see in severe COVID-19 patients. This leads to a cytokine storm, and reduces the blood oxygen saturation by 10%, and caused structural damages to the lungs in mice subjects. After the mice have experienced the cytokine storm and respiratory distress, they were injected with CBD. The results have proved how significant CBD can be when treating ARDS. “The symptoms were almost completely conversed and led to the normal condition of the after treatment with CBD” researchers explain.
Mice that were treated with CBD underwent reduced expression of IL-6, an important marker for cytokine storms, and lowered the levels of other proinflammatory cytokines. While the Poly:(I:C) impaled inflammatory markers, CBD treatment has conversed all these inflammatory indications and partially restored the balance. Mice that were injected with CBD also had increases in lymphocyte levels in their blood that are crucial for white blood cells when combating infections.
Researchers believe that CBD could play an immunotherapeutic role in treating severe respiratory viral infections like coronavirus, based on the results of this study.
The data that has been collected so far shows that the anti-inflammatory function of CBD could curtail cytokine storm and minimize the effects of overstated inflammation” they explain. They also say that “considering all potential regulatory effects of CBD as well as the vast distribution of endocannabinoid system in the body, it is plausible that CBD may be used as a therapeutic candidate in the treatment of various inflammatory conditions including COVID-19 and other virus-induced ARDS.”
However, we should keep in mind that this is only an early study, and much more research is needed. Especially research conducted on human subjects with coronavirus related ARDS. The authors explain that it is obvious that more studies are required to expand this treatment strategy.
Despite the fact that we will still have to wait for these additional studies before we opt for CBD treatment for COVID-19, the study provides hope that CBD could be helpful in fighting ARDS. It also motivates other researchers and cannabis advocates that are suggesting that we look further into cannabis and its role in fighting this deadly virus.
If you are facing severe respiratory problems, we understand that you might want to try any type of treatment that has the potential to help. However, make sure to consult with your doctor and medical provider before you decide to use CBD.
It is very important that you purchase it from a reputable company or source. Look for a company that tests each batch of product and lists the batch number on the bottle itself, so you can find the corresponding test results on the company’s website.
If the product is too cheap, it’s best that you avoid it. Good CBD products are usually expensive, with a bottle of tincture typically selling for about $50.
When it comes to dosage, it is really anyone’s guess. There haven’t been studies on the various dosages, so it’s still rather uncertain what the right amount is.