Can CBD help to treat COVID-19 symptoms?
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As we just past one year dealing with this new, deadly virus and with cases still rising is some parts of the world, scientists and investigators are begining to look for solutions in places that the majority of the population will find hard to believe.
There are many solutions being looked into, however, to our interest we are going to talk about one in particular being researched at the University of Nebraska and the Texas Biomedical Reasearch Institute. These scientists and researchers have been looking into the potencial of CBD being an effective treatment for reducing the inflammation in the lungs caused by the disease. Let’s look into it.
What they found
The researchers published a peer reviewed article, in which they detail the evidence of how the cannabinoids anti-inflammatory prorerties can help with the inflammation caused in the lungs by the virus. In their words they explain that “recent reports have suggested that acute infection is associated with a cytokine superstorm, which contributes to the symptoms of fever, cough and muscle pain”
This means that scientists are looking to reduce the inflammation caused by COVID-19 in hope that it can help to treat patients more efectively.
More specifically, scientists are looking at treatments that will help to reduce the IL-6 cytokine activity. For example, there is a medication called Tocilizumab, and in trials it managed to help 90% of its users recover from the virus, however, at the same time it also caused a plethora of nasty side effects that nobody would like to experience like inflammation of the pancreas, which can be very painful, and hypertriglyceridemia.
CBD not only reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, researchers also found that it incresed the production of interferons.
Where does CBD come in to it?
As the treatments being used were causing all of these unwanted side effects, the scientists and reasearchers from the study decided to look in to the cannabis plant. The plant is now well known for the benefits asociated with consuming it’s cannabinoids, THC and CBD being the most common ones. Whereas both of these cannabinoids have been proven to be effective in treating inflammation, due to the fact that THC isn’t tolerated very well by most, CBD is the particular cannabinoid that researchers are looking to use.
While the particular IL-6 cytokines are the ones that scientists are trying to reduce in COVID-19 patients, there are previous studies done that prove that CBD is not only sucsesfull in reducing IL-6 cytokines, but it also reduces IL-2, IL-1a and β, interferon gama, inducible protein-10, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, and tumor necrosis factor-α. Not only does CBD reduce all of these pro-inflammatory cytokines, but reasearches also found that it incresed the production of interferons. Interferons are proteins used by the body to activate immune cells and prevent viruses from replicating.
Studies done in the past also support the claims of these scientists that CBD can help reducing inflammation in the lungs due to COVID-19. One in particular used mice to study the effects that CBD had when treating asthma. They found that CBD was able to successfully reduce pro-inflammatory cytokine production, which resulted in reducing the inflamation of the airways. Furthermore, the study also proved a reduction in pulminary fibrosis, which is when damaged tisuse in the lung thickens and therefore dificults breathing.
Other bennefits of using CBD
While it is looking promising for CBD to become a conjunct treatment for COVID-19 patients, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done to make sure that it is safe. That being said though, reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines is not the only way you could bennefit from using CBD.
CBD can also help with anxiety. Due to the whole pandemic and the way that it has affected our lifes, most people will have suffered with some form of anxiety in the last year. The lack of information and the uncertainty of weather you still have a job, will be able to pay the rent or even just losing contact with close friends can cause severe anxiety, depresion and stress to an individual.
In fact, one of the main reasons people report using CBD for is anxiety, from students at university to stay at home mothers, the results of taking CBD for anxiety are quite positive. Therefore, CBD will be a great addition to your daily health routine even if you don’t have COVID-19.
CBD works as a preventative. That’s right, CBD helps to protect your body from future infection by reenforcing and regenerating any damaged cells in the body. It also helps to reenforce your endocannabinoid system, which is in charge of homeostasis in the body. Therefore meaning that you will have a better chance of fighting off any kind of infection or disease before you even know that you have it.
While by no means do the researchers intend to suggest that CBD is the answer to curing COVID-19 on its own, they are calling for more research to be done as the initial studies do suggest that together with other treatmens, CBD could potencially be a very successfull treatment to reduce the inflammation in the lungs with little to no side effects at all, allowing the survival rate to increase. Therefore CBD to help treat COVID-19 symptoms may soon become an option for patients far and wide, or at lease we hope so anyway.