CBD Linked to Lower COVID Rates
Recent research into CBD suggests that the cannabinoid can be used to reduce Covid rates. Before I’m “fact checked” by “keepers of truth”, I will reiterate that as of now there has been no clinical human trials and therefore the assumption that CBD may reduce Covid Rates is still volatile. In other words, a clinical trial could reveal different outcomes.
Nonetheless, the early research on the subject matter seems to be promising. The inspiration to the idea was explained by Dr. Marsha Rosner, PhD, Charles B. Huggins Professor in the Ben May Department of Cancer Research and a senior author of the study, who said, “CBD has anti-inflammatory effects, so we thought that maybe it would stop the second phase of COVID infection involving the immune system, the so-called ‘cytokine storm.’ Surprisingly, it directly inhibited viral replication in lung cells.” as reported in University of Chicago’s website.
This is important because that is ultimately the fatal aspect of Covid-19. Most people who will contract the virus will be completely safe from a fatal reaction, however – there are some people who could have an adverse immunological reaction which would induce a ‘cytokine storm’. Essentially, your own immune system turns on itself and attacks your lung tissue. This in turn creates scarring on the lungs which inhibits breathing. This is why they put people on ventilators and in the vast majority of cases – the patients do not survive.
This is why CBD inhibiting this process seems promising. Instead of blocking the virus from entering into the human cell, what CBD seemed to be doing was inhibiting replication early during infection. According to the article, “Like all viruses, SARS-CoV-2 affects the host cell by hijacking its gene expression machinery to produce more copies of itself and its viral proteins. This effect can be observed by tracking virus-induced changes in cellular RNAs. High concentrations of CBD almost completely eradicated the expression of viral RNAs. It was a completely unexpected result.
“We just wanted to know if CBD would affect the immune system,” Rosner said. “No one in their right mind would have ever thought that it blocked viral replication, but that’s what it did.”
Well, there are several people who could have guessed that it would. After all, it’s been long known that THC and CBD are both anti-viral & anti-bacterial agents. Nonetheless, the fact that these researchers had the idea to test this out on SARS was a good idea.
The research team worked with animal models but also looked at real world data from patients who have been prescribed Epidiolex – a FDA-approved CBD based medicine used to treat epilepsy. The researchers found from a sample group of 1212 patients who took the drug had significantly lower infection rates than those who did not.
“A clinical trial is necessary to determine whether CBD is really effective at preventing or suppressing SARS-CoV-2 infection, but we think this may have potential as a prophylactic treatment,” said Rosner. “Maybe you’re in a hot spot or you think you might have been exposed or you’ve just tested positive — that’s where we think CBD might have an effect.”
Researchers do say that it’s “not your dispensary CBD” mainly due to the bioavalibility mechanisms in the drug. They said that they did look at some off the shelf CBD brands, but found that there was inconsistency in dosage. Additionally, according to the research team, when combining equal parts THC and CBD, the effectiveness of the CBD was reduced.
“Going to your corner bakery and buying some CBD muffins or gummy bears probably won’t do anything,” said Rosner. “The commercially available CBD powder we looked at, which was off the shelf and something you could order online, was sometimes surprisingly of high purity but also of inconsistent quality. It is also hard to get into an oral solution that can be absorbed without the special, FDA-approved formulation,” Rosner said.
The research is still very much in the infancy stage and what needs to happen next would be clinical trials in humans. Fortunately, CBD isn’t in the same legislative hell that THC is in, and therefore to get these studies approved shouldn’t be too difficult. After all, there is documented evidence that CBD does possess medical properties. This would be building on that fact.
“We are very eager to see some clinical trials on this subject get off the ground,” Rosner said. “Especially as we are seeing that the pandemic is still nowhere near the end — determining whether this generally safe, well-tolerated, and non-psychoactive cannabinoid might have anti-viral effects against COVID-19 is of critical importance.”
The group of researchers come from different universities and they have been collaborating with professionals in many different disciplines.
Of course, it’s far too early to ring the bell of success and claim that CBD is a treatment option for Covid, but considering the fact that CBD is generally good for your health and is readily available – I think consuming it would not be a bad measure. Similar to taking Vitamin-D and other vitamins, after the age of 25, consuming phytocannabinoids is a good way to keep your endocannabinoid system working at full pace. This is because after the age of 25, your endocannabinoid production diminishes significantly. While activities like meditation and exercise can increase endocannabinoid production, phytocannabinoids are simply going to deliver more of it in greater doses.
As you know, the endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body, keeping that immune system regulated and working at full throttle. If CBD provides an additional layer of defense against Covid – it won’t hurt to pad yourself with this protection. Of course, you’d need to look for CBD that resembles the purity and bioavailability of Epidiolex – so “Walmart CBD” won’t do.
Please note that this is NOT a medical recommendation but simply an article looking at some recent potential good news.