How is science using CBD for COVID-19?
In a recent research paper published in the scientific journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, researchers have proposed including CBD in a battery of immunity supporting to assist recovery from COVID-19, the novel Coronavirus. This fascinating study illustrates a novel approach to the disease and suggests that there may be more in store in the future for both CBD and COVID-19.
As you probably know, COVID-19 has seen the world enter and exit various stages of “lockdown” as the Coronavirus has spread across 192 countries and territories, infecting an estimated 200 million people. Although vaccines have started to roll out worldwide, and there has been favorable adoption of them here in the US and other countries, there is still no standard treatment protocol for COVID-19. Here at home, the FDA has only approved one drug, Remdesivir, to manage the disease, with the priority shifting to fighting the disease through the use of vaccines. However, as the authors of this study have proposed, a method of managing the disease is still worth investigating as it is still unclear how long the vaccines can protect an individual against the virus. So perhaps we are yet to see a face-off with CBD and COVID-19?
In their study the research team has investigated the clinical evidence supporting a battery of immune-supporting and antiviral medications, specifically the mention favorable findings for the following drugs and supplements (in Alphabetical order): Cannabidiol (CBD), Doxycycline (an FDA approved, broad-spectrum antibiotic), Ivermectin (an FDA approved, broad-spectrum antiparasitic and antiviral drug), Vitamin C (an excellent antioxidant, and immune booster that can help with inflammation), Vitamin D (Lack of Vitamin-D can lead to autoimmune diseases and increase the vulnerability to infections), Zinc (an essential, often overlooked micronutrient). Given the as yet unknown limitations of our vaccines, the authors have proposed this battery of preventative medications as an alternative way of managing the virus, its spread, and our recovery from it. But is this all good news, especially for the use of CBD with COVID-19?
In short, yes. The report indicates that all of these medications proved effective in the management of COVID-19. The authors cite many studies illustrating that Doxycycline, Ivermectin, Vitamin-C, Vitamin-D, Zinc, and CBD are effective prophylactic and therapeutic measures against COVID-19.
More specifically, they point to two distinct advantages of their proposed drug battery. Firstly, this group of drugs may be used prophylactically as a preventative measure against COVID-19. Secondly, the authors found that these drugs shared a good safety profile and were widely available. This second point is a boon for poorer countries with weaker vaccine rollouts and more vulnerable populations with limited access to vaccines. Although CBD isn’t universally welcomed yet, in the same way Vitamin-C is, a strong case could be made for it, based on the author’s proposal, in pitting CBD against COVID-19.
Why CBD for COVID-19 treatment specifically?
Cannabidiol is an immensely versatile, non-psychoactive cannabinoid extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD comes with a broad range of therapeutic benefits. For the case of CBD and COVID-19, the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, pain managing, neuroprotective properties of CBD seem to add real value to this battery.
However, the Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy article isn’t the first to suggest CBD for use in the treatment of COVID-19. A paper published in 2020 in the British Journal of Pharmacology fingered CBD not only for its more well-known benefits (above) but also for the specific interactions of CBD and COVID-19. The authors suggest CBD would be helpful in the treatment of COVID-19 for several reasons:
- Because CBD is known to down-regulate the expression of the two key receptors for the SARS-CoV2 virus.
- CBD brings a range of immune-modulating and anti-inflammatory effects to bear on the body. It can mitigate the uncontrolled cytokine production responsible for acute lung injury typical of COVID-19 infections.
- CBD is a PPARy (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor) agonist which may have direct antiviral action against COVID-19.
- PPARy agonists can help limit the development of lung damage (pulmonary fibrosis) and help to restore lung function in recovering COVID-19 patients.
Another CBD and COVID-19 research paper, has also shown CBD to be a strong contender for inclusion in a preventative battery of medication in the fight against COVID-19. The Wang et al. paper makes a reasonable suggestion that CBD might down-regulate ACE2 levels in the COVID-19 gateway tissues of the throat (a preferred site for infection). In layman’s terms, COVID-19 has a “spike” protein that binds to these ACE2 receptors in cells in the throat (for example); with fewer ACE2 receptors available comes a lower risk of COVID-19 infection. A simple enough theory, but much more research–as the authors suggest–is needed before we can convincingly pit CBD and COVID-19 together in an ugly fight for the human throat!
What does the future hold for CBD in the treatment of COVID-19?
With COVID taking over the world in 2020, all research into solving this deadly viral infection is still at an early stage. However, as the authors of the Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy article have pointed out, there definitely seems to be a place for CBD in this fight. Their suggestion is also a novel one and follows on from Wang’s earlier idea that a high‐cannabidiol containing mouthwash might be a helpful preventive strategy due to CBD’s ability to act on cells in the throat, limiting COVID-19s ability to bind to those cells. Although we can’t recommend a strong CBD mouthwash, we can tell you that we’ll most definitely be taking our CBD sublingually as we’ve always done, and swallowing it after to give our throats a good coating of Soulsome cold-pressed CBD oil! (Just in case).
We live in some scary old times, folks. We urge our readers to listen to your doctor or healthcare practitioner’s good advice, follow the practical regulations the government is suggesting, wash your hands and wear a mask and above all… Be safe, and be kind to one another.