COVID and cannabinoids: Can CBD help prevent or treat COVID-19?
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Early research indicates that cannabidiol (CBD) may help prevent or treat COVID-19. There have been several laboratory studies recently that show promise in CBD being a potential treatment, but how effective is it?
Researchers say we need to find out more and they have hit the ground running to find out if CBD can help in the prevention and treatment of COVID. As all cannabinoid connoisseurs cross their fingers, let’s take a look at what we know so far.
CBD For COVID-19 Early Evidence
A team at the University of Chicago found that CBD seems to help curb the SARS-CoV-2 virus in infected cells. During laboratory experiments, small doses of a highly purified CBD were found to block the virus from making copies of itself. CBD did not keep the coronavirus from entering and infecting cells but rather blocked its replication.
Team leader Marsha Rosner told news outlets the findings do not outright say this will work in patients, but their “findings make a strong case for a clinical trial.”
CBD is thought to have a strong anti-inflammatory response which could in part be the reason for its potential as a preventative measure for COVID. A report in Science Advances from the same team at the University of Chicago found similar effects in infected mice.
When Rosner and her team looked at group of adults who experience severe epilepsy, they saw those taking approved CBD medication had lower rates of COVID infection. Though this is promising, more research and clinical trials are needed. Small CBD trials in humans with COVID-19 are said to be happening.
Put CBD To The Test
Though some of this early research is promising, there is a big difference between cells in a tube and a real living organism, or human. Researchers have begun testing CBD on mice infected with COVID and early evidence seems to show CBD-treated mice carried a smaller viral load than untreated mice.
The findings so far with the mice is a good start, but more testing and clinical trials is needed. The research team did find that CBD helps trigger the production of interferons. These immune system compounds are a natural defense against viral replication in a cell. Similarly, they found that CBD can promote the “unfolded protein response,” which helps to prevent a virus from making copies of itself and maintain cell function.
Another recent study in the Journal of Natural Products, researchers from Oregon State University described CBGA (cannabigerolic acid) and CBDA (cannabidolic acid) could bind with a coronavirus spike protein, preventing it from entering a cell. This study centers on different cannabinoids than just CBD and was conducted in a laboratory environment without animal or human subjects.
In order to apply for clinical trials in humans, researchers and scientists have to show preclinical data pointing to a drug or compound has an impact and is safe. One CBD drug is already FDA approved for the treatment of epilepsy, so progress for more is very possible.
A clinical trial or human study on CBD and COVID-19 would require a massive sample size, similar to studies conducted on vaccinations. Because of this, researchers say it could take time for more scientific evidence and an approved CBD treatment for COVID-19.
Should You Rush to Buy CBD?
When it comes to preventing or treating COVID-19, the measures recommended by the CDC are generally your best bet. However, adding CBD to your daily routine could help out if you do catch coronavirus but more research and clinical trials are needed to say so for sure.
A high-quality CBD product can positively impact your daily routine in general, from potential stress relief to pain management. CBD interacts directly with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, which is largely responsible for functions like mood, appetite, pain management, sleep cycles and more.
Though CBD may not be a proven treatment or prevention measure for COVID-19 (yet!), it could have other benefits for you. Click here to learn more about CBD and how it could help you. And check here to learn more about why third-party lab testing matters when it comes to finding a high-quality product that is reliable, safe and effective.