There are two topics spreading across the globe these days: CBD and coronavirus. Interestingly, these two things have also been the contenders of a debate: Can cannabis or CBD knock out COVID-19? Or will cannabis exacerbate the coronavirus? Recently, there has been research conducted that opened the door to the possibility of CBD stopping COVID-19 infections from spreading.
Are certain strains of cannabis more effective? Where does CBD fit into virus prevention? And can taking CBD help you get through this global pandemic? Let’s find out.
Research On Cannabis and COVID-19
The research was conducted by students of the University of Lethbridge, Canada in a hope to open the door towards further research on cannabis and the novel coronavirus. The study was fronted by Dr. Igor Kovalchuk, who has developed over 800 cannabis sativa extracts and lines. The group worked to develop new cannabis plants that have high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) to use for its anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
Then, the researchers mapped out how various strains of cannabis can impact COVID-19 infections within the mouth, airway, and intestines of humans. They also monitored how various strains modulated ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) levels, which has been connected to COVID-19 infections.
By the conclusion of the research, 13 CBD-rich extracts were discovered to assist with ACE2 levels. Kovalchuk commented that many CBD extracts “reduced the number of these (virus) receptors by 73 percent…if [CBD] can reduce the number of receptors, there’s much less chance of getting infected."
However, you should know that the findings have yet to be peer reviewed. Therefore, you shouldn’t consider this as conclusive evidence but as a hypothetical way to increase your immunity. Researchers have yet to identify the specific amount of CBD that could help with increasing your resistance to COVID-19 transmission, or if there is a reason CBD performed better than THC or THC/CBD blends.
Another study done by the NAS report looked into cannabis and the effect it has on the immune system. The report discussed the decrease in cytokine production. Cytokines are immune system proteins that assist with inflammation. Scientists have reported that, in the most severe cases of COVID-19, patients undergo what is called a “cytokine storm,” which causes the body to attack itself rather than fighting off the virus . Since cannabis and CBD can temper autoimmune disease, the hypothesis is that it can also assist with limiting the severity of the novel coronavirus. Again, evidence is lacking overall, so it is just assumption right now.
How Can CBD Help With COVID-19?
But what if you get COVID-19, or another virus, for that matter? Can CBD soothe your symptoms? As you probably already know, there are many benefits to taking CBD as part of a daily routine. Those same benefits can help should you get sick or end up feeling unwell during these trying times.
- Soothes coughing. CBD oil can be effective at controlling a cough than an over-the-counter cough syrup.
- Helps the gut. 90 percent of CB2 receptors—the points the CBD binds to—are within the intestines. This means CBD can help calm your nerves and your upset stomach.
- Works as an antioxidant. When you are sick with COVID-19 or another virus, the virus works by infecting cells then oxidizing them. CBD counteracts this process by stopping the development of free radicals. CBD also has antibacterial properties.
- Anti-inflammatory properties. Fever is caused by inflammation. CBD is noted for its anti-inflammatory abilities, thus assisting with reducing potentially dangerous high fevers.
- Sedative. At higher doses, CBD can help you get a much better night’s sleep. Rest is one of the best ways to beat a virus, after all, so go on, sleep in.
Always speak to a doctor before trying to treat any sickness or illness by yourself, especially if you have the symptoms of COVID-19. Remember that COVID-19 affects the lungs, so you want to avoid any method of delivery, like vaping, that could potentially irritate your lungs. Tinctures and edibles are the best source of CBD in this case.
Other Ways CBD Is Beneficial To Health
During times of crisis, it is without a doubt that your cortisol (stress) levels are sky high and that you are probably anxious about the future. You are not alone. There is a growing concern about a shadowed global mental health issue looming behind the current pandemic. Aside from social isolation, economic instability, and the impending second wave, people are also fretting over so much more. No wonder more and more people in the UK are turning towards CBD to assist with anxiety.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis and Coronavirus
Research has told us that cannabis strains high in CBD and low in THC can potentially treat COVID-19 or even hinder transmission from one person to another. While the research has yet to be peer reviewed, it does show promise. In the mean time, you can use CBD to help with coronavirus-related anxiety and get better sleep, so you can tackle those Zoom conferences and social distancing measures with ease.
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