As COVID-19 cases continue to rise and much of the country faces lockdowns, it’s becoming evident that we urgently need to explore additional treatment options that can prevent, cure or at least lessen the symptoms of this virus. In an exciting discovery, it turns out cannabis may help combat COVID-19.
Researchers have recently discovered that CBD and its active metabolite, 7-OH-CBD, can block COVID replication in lung epithelial cells. This amazing cannabinoid not only acts as a preventative but also as a therapeutic treatment in the early stages of infection.
Stick with us while we don our lab coats and get stuck into some of the science behind these claims.
A recent study has demonstrated that CBD acts as an antiviral agent after infection by inhibiting viral gene expression, and reversing many effects of COVID-19 on host gene transcription. The study also notes that a group of human patients previously taking CBD had significantly lower COVID infection rates than the general population .
Not only can CBD have positive therapeutic benefits in early infection, but it’s also a potential treatment option for reducing mortality in critically ill COVID patients who are experiencing the effects of the cytokine storm, which is characterised by an intense immune overreaction in the lungs .
Another study which was conducted on mice, suggests that CBD may help by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokine production to relieve respiratory distress and lung damage .
Of course, these are early studies, and more research needs to be done to understand the complex relationship between cannabis and its effect on this virus. But we know that CBD has been used as a medicine for thousands of years and is an intelligent compound that works in symbiosis with the body’s ever-changing requirements.
It can either suppress or enhance immune function depending on the body’s condition; this gives credence to the notion that it certainly can be a beneficial natural compound in the case of COVID infections.
Sure, CBD is amazing and has wide-ranging benefits, but it’s not a panacea. There’s a lot we don’t know about this magical plant, but at the very least this research provides a springboard for further investigation into its therapeutic potential.
As a collective, we are facing unprecedented times; we are divided, isolated and afraid. Every day the media rolls out a new horror story that only adds to the stress and anxiety of our present situation.
Now more than ever, we need to advocate for our physical and mental health. If a plant has the potential to ease our hearts and minds during these times of unparalleled chaos, then sign me up and count me. I’m all for it.
If you are interested in reading through some of the scientific literature on these findings, here are some great resources:
- Cannabidiol Modulates Cytokine Storm in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Induced by Simulated Viral Infection Using Synthetic RNA
- In Search of Preventative Strategies: Novel Anti-Inflammatory High-CBD Cannabis Sativa Extracts Modulate ACE2 Expression in COVID-19 Gateway Tissues
- Cannabidiol Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication and Promotes the Host Innate Immune Response