Since the advent of COVID 19 all over the world, Scientists have taken to their labs to provide a cure and vaccine for the virus. COVID 19 is fast spreading and needs to be curtailed due to the huge death rate. CBD recently presents to be beneficial to the body system without having psychoactive effects. This has led to tons of research to see if there might be a possibility of using CBD for the treatment of COVID-19. Some ongoing research suggests that it might be a possible cure for COVID 19.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol [CBD] is a chemical in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as marijuana or hemp. Over 80 chemicals, known as cannabinoids, have been identified in the Cannabis sativa plant. delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] is the most active cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Manufacturers also extract CBD from the hemp plant but it doesn’t contain psychoactive properties like THC
Since cannabidiol has been studied as a new drug, it can’t be legally included in foods or dietary supplements. Also, cannabidiol is not present in products that people sell with therapeutic claims. Cannabidiol can only be present in “cosmetic” products and only if it contains less than 0.3% THC. But there are still products labeled as dietary supplements on the market that contain cannabidiol. The amount of cannabidiol contained in these products is not always reported accurately on the product label.
Cannabidiol is most commonly used for seizure disorder (epilepsy). It is also used for anxiety, pain, a muscle disorder called dystonia, Parkinson disease, Crohn disease, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Effects of COVID 19 in the body system.
There are many types of coronaviruses. Some give you the common cold. The new coronavirus behind the 2019-2020 pandemic causes an illness called COVID-19. Let’s go through the steps by which COVID 19 affects the body;
- A virus infects your body by entering healthy cells. There, the invader makes copies of itself and multiplies throughout your body.
The virus latches its spiky surface proteins to receptors on healthy cells, especially those in your lungs.
- Specifically, the viral proteins bust into cells through ACE2 receptors. Once inside, the coronavirus hijacks healthy cells and takes command. Eventually, it kills some of the healthy cells.
- The virus moves down your respiratory tract. That’s the airway that includes your mouth, nose, throat, and lungs. Your lower airways have more ACE2 receptors than the rest of your respiratory tract. So COVID-19 is more likely to go deeper than viruses like the common cold.
Your lungs might become inflamed, making it tough for you to breathe. This can lead to pneumonia, an infection of the tiny air sacs (called alveoli) inside your lungs where your blood exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide.
- If your doctor does a CT scan of your chest, they’ll probably see shadows or patchy areas called “ground-glass opacity.”
For most people, the symptoms end with a cough and a fever. More than 8 in 10 cases are mild. But for some, the infection gets more severe. About 5 to 8 days after symptoms begin, they have shortness of breath (known as dyspnea). Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) begins a few days later.
- ARDS can cause rapid breathing, a fast heart rate, dizziness, and sweating. It damages the tissues and blood vessels in your alveoli, causing debris to collect inside them. This makes it harder or even impossible for you to breathe.
Can CBD prevent or treat COVID 19?
Possible Prevention of COVID 19
Presently, there is no enough evidence or research to prove or link the treatment of COVID 19 to CBD. However, novel approaches to the prevention of COVID-19 include a single study examining the possibility of incorporating CBD into oral solutions, such as mouthwashes and throat gargling liquids, to lower or modulate ACE2 levels in high-risk tissues.
Scientists through research prove that ACE2 levels change during the progression of COVID-19 and therefore the ability to modulate these levels becomes particularly important as ACE2 is essential for lung function in animal models of SARS viruses.
CBD helps to reduce the impact of COVID 19 in the body.
In analyses of COVID-19, there has been a significant degree of interest in the phenomenon of cytokine storm syndrome, wherein too many cytokine proteins are released in the body: these proteins can attack the lungs and overwhelm the immune system with hyperinflammation. Early evidence has tentatively indicated that CBD and THC may be beneficial in the treatment of patients whose bodies’ inflammatory response has become pathogenic.
Research on CBD for COVID-19.
Much research in this field has focused on the ability of cannabinoids and terpenes to lower the immune system’s response without suppressing it.
- Early findings in a study currently being conducted by terpene manufacturer Eybna and cannabis research and development firm CannaSoul Analytics, both from Israel, appear to indicate that the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids used is up to two times more effective than the corticosteroid dexamethasone when used to reduce inflammation from COVID-19. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed.
- Another new approach currently being investigated in Israel is the development of a potential cell therapy treatment that uses CBD-loaded exosomes to treat COVID-19 patients. This technology intends to ‘target both central nervous system indications and the COVID-19 coronavirus’. CBD-loaded exosomes hold the potential to provide a highly synergistic effect of anti-inflammatory properties by targeting specific damaged organs, such as infected lung cells.
Reducing inflammation in COVID-19 with CBD
Blood levels of apelin, which is an important regulator in bringing both blood pressure and inflammation down, dropped close to zero in an Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome model and increased 20 times with CBD. When blood pressure gets high, for example, apelin levels should go up to help reduce the pressure. Apelin should do the same to help normalize inflammation in the lungs and related breathing difficulties associated with ARDS.
As Scientists looked at their ARDS model, apelin did not do either, and instead decreased in both the lung tissue itself and the general circulation. However, this changed when they administered CBD.
More research and studies are ongoing to establish a good link between CBD and COVID 19. For now, studies show that CBD can be used to minimize the pain and symptoms of COVID 19.