The coronavirus pandemic continues to plague the world over a year after the first case was confirmed. Since then, health experts have scrambled to come up with ways to defeat or at least control the severity of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
CBD may contain antiviral properties that can be useful against the replication of viral respiratory infections. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits that can help control the damage caused by these infections as well as immunosuppressant abilities that could help protect against the cytokine storm associated with COVID-19. In this article, we’ll discuss what research says about using CBD for COVID-19.
Can CBD Help With COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a disease that is caused by the coronavirus, which is defined as a group of viruses that is highly contagious. Symptoms of COVID-19 include the following:
- Fever or chills
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Body aches
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Vomiting or nausea
Research shows that COVID-19 can be very deadly for people who are at high-risk, including the elderly, those over 65 years old, people with underlying heart or lung conditions, and weakened immune responses. People who have been diagnosed with obesity or diabetes may also experience more serious complications if they become infected with COVID-19.
Studies show that cannabidiol may be able to limit the severity of COVID-19 for several reasons, such as:
- By down-regulating the expression of two key receptors for SARS-CoV2 in several human studies
- By exerting a wide range of anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects that mitigate the uncontrolled cytokine response, which may protect against acute lung injury
- By acting as a PPARy agonist, which displays antiviral activity
- By regulating myofibroblast/fibroblast activation to prevent the development of pulmonary fibrosis and improving lung function in recovering patients
CBD and Cytokine Storms
Since the pandemic began, it became clear that strengthening your immune system and fighting inflammation was key to protecting yourself against deadly COVID-19 symptoms. However, a cytokine storm has taken health experts by surprise. It occurs when some people have a continuous overactive inflammatory response to the virus, and they can’t turn their immune system off, so to speak.
Research shows that cannabidiol helps modulate the cytokine storm response associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome, due to its anti-inflammatory (ARDS) and calming effect on the body. According to one study, patients with severe COVID-19 transition to ARDS mainly because of a cytokine storm and excessive inflammation, including mass production of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1β, IL-17.
The researchers noted that cannabinoids may be able to function as immune modulators to limit the negative effects of inflammatory diseases. They stated that endocannabinoids are made in the respiratory system and that cannabinoid-induced bronchial dilation suggests a potential therapeutic effect for cannabinoids in the treatment of respiratory diseases, such as ARDS from patients with severe COVID-19.
Study authors state that several reports have shown that CBD, a phytocannabinoid made by the cannabis plant, may block IL-6 proinflammatory cytokines in subjects with inflammatory diseases, which may be able to help reduce the effects of a cytokine storm as well as the symptoms of COVID-19 and ARDS.
CBD and Potential Antiviral Protection
In addition to reducing inflammation and possibly suppressing the immune response during a cytokine storm, CBD may possibly contain antiviral properties, which may help protect against viral infections, such as COVID-19.
Research shows that CBD has several properties that make it an excellent candidate for antiviral activity. Other plant-derived compounds with a similar chemical structure to CBD have been shown to contain antiviral properties. Additionally, studies show that CBD induces apoptosis in mammalian cells, which is thought to be in response to viral infections.
According to one study, a single dose of CBD inhibited the replication of hepatitis C by 86.4%, suggesting that CBD may have antiviral properties that could protect against the spread of infections. It should be noted that CBD has not been confirmed to possess antiviral activity that could stop the spread of COVID-19.
However, it has been shown to help in other ways, such as reducing lung inflammation to reduce the severity of respiratory infections. This might be a beneficial way to reduce shortness of breath and other common symptoms of upper respiratory infections. CBD has also been shown to reduce anxiety and pain that may accompany some illnesses.
If you are interested in taking CBD for COVID-19 or any other viral infection, then we recommend sticking with an oral capsule, gummies, tincture, or oil form. Avoid vaping or inhaling CBD as this may cause lung irritation and further complication breathing issues.