COVID-19 seems to have changed our way of life globally more quickly than any other event in recent history. The virus, which is not even one year old, has infected more than 16 million people and claimed the lives of more than 660,000.
Right now, there is no cure for the infection, which targets the lungs. Most patients that become seriously ill experience a cytokine storm in which the body’s own immune system over responds and causes inflammation in the lungs, leading to pneumonia and in some cases death.
CBD and Coronavirus
Coronavirus is a group of viral infections that include mild illnesses such as the common cold and upper respiratory infections. However, there are also serious illnesses caused by a coronavirus. These include: COVID-19, SARS, and MERS. CBD, which is derived from cannabis or hemp, is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which could aid in relieving symptoms associated with coronaviruses. Unlike THC, it doesn’t produce a high and is effective in treating inflammatory ailments such as arthritis, naturally.
Since a coronavirus often targets the respiratory tract, the lungs often become inflamed as your body tries to stop the infection from spreading. CBD may help prevent this deadly reaction.
There is also some evidence that CBD may boost the immune system and help the body fend off infections. In one study, CBD had a direct impact on preventing Hepatitis C viral infections. Although the study is small, its results are promising for the use of CBD as an antiviral medication for some viruses.
However, more research is needed to determine CBD’s safety and efficacy in treating coronavirus infections. With COVID-19 cases continuing to climb with no end in sight, it is the perfect time for researchers to take a look at CBD as a way to prevent and treat coronaviruses.
CBD and COVID-19
Despite the fact that there is no cure or vaccine for COVID-19, recent scientific studies suggest that cannabidoids like CBD, or cannabidiol, may help prevent infection and relieve the inflammation that causes severe illness in COVID-19 patients. Although limited, this research is promising, indicating that there may be natural and widely available products that could be preventative and life-saving.
Most severe COVID-19 infections are caused by a cytokine storm. To prevent the spread of the virus, the immune system will attempt to contain it by inflaming infected areas of the body. When the immune system over reacts, it can cause a blockage of the airways. Although the reasons for over-reaction are unknown, COVID-19 can cause this over stimulation of the immune system, which results in the immune system produces too many cytokines.
The resulting inflammation makes it difficult for patients to breath and can result in low blood oxygen levels and even death. One study indicated that CBD was effective in preventing this
type of overproduction of cytokines. For people with COVID-19, this could be a life-saving discovery.
Does CBD prevent COVID-19?
Another study on CBD and COVID-19 tested different strands of CBD and was able to determine that some strands were able to help the immune system respond to the virus more effectively.
The immune system can target the virus two different ways. B-cells, produced by the bone marrow, create antibodies that seek out and neutralize a virus before it infects your cells, preventing infection. Once your cells are infected, T-cells, cells produced by the thymus, known as helper T-cells and Cytotoxic T-Cells, attack the virus.
The helper T-cells help the immune system target, contain, and neutralize infected cells whereas cytotoxic T-cells are more aggressive. Cytotoxic T-cells produce the cytokines. The job of a cytokine is to kill the infected cells and prevent the virus from spreading beyond infected cells.
A cytokine storm occurs when the cytotoxic T-cells are overstimulated and produce more cytokines than needed. This causes the dangerous inflammation of multiple organs, but most notably, the lungs. Some CBD strains may prevent this inflammation.
It is not understood how this happens or why it happens to certain people and not others. All we know for sure is that preventing this type of immune system response by relaxing the immune system is critical in preventing deaths. CBD may be able to do this.
Although the question of whether CBD can prevent coronavirus infections is up in the air until more studies are conducted, the studies show promise in this natural product. Full spectrum CBD products may have the greatest benefit in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and other coronaviruses. It is also worth noting that many products sold by retailers such as Amazon, are not pure CBD products. That means that they will not be effective against preventing or treating COVID-19.
When choosing a CBD products, be sure to look for a full spectrum product that also has a certificate of analysis. This will tell you the exact breakdown of the compounds in the product and guarantees its quality. Full spectrum CBD is available in capsules, edibles, gummies, tinctures, and vape. It is important to choose the product that makes you the most comfortable. For instance, capsules are great if you don’t want to taste the product, but tinctures and oils work faster and don’t require swallowing a capsule, which some people struggle with.
Preventing and Treating COVID-19
Since there is currently no vaccine and no cure for COVID-19, prevention and relief of symptoms associated with the virus are our best defense.
Since this coronavirus is so new, research is limited. Most research is currently being focused on pharmaceuticals which come with serious side effects and drug interactions. Although CBD can affect people differently and cause drug interactions, it is typically much safer than many of the drugs used in current studies.
Taking CBD and following healthy guidelines such as wearing a mask, washing you hands frequently, and maintaining social distance of a minimum of 6 feet may help prevent a COVID-19 infection and reduce the severity of symptoms should you become infected