In the Cannabis sativa plant (commonly known as cannabis or hemp), cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound. The FDA has authorized a particular type of CBD as a treatment for seizures in the United States.
The cannabis Sativa plant contains around 80 different compounds known as cannabinoids. The most well-known component of marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp, a low-THC variety of the Cannabis sativa plant, is the source of CBD. CBD seems to affect brain chemicals in a way that is distinct from THC’s. Seizure disorders are treated using a prescription version of CBD (epilepsy). However, there is insufficient scientific data to support the use of CBD in the treatment of a wide range of medical diseases such as dystonia and Parkinson’s disease.
As we continue to witness outbreaks of the new coronavirus, many are waiting and hoping for therapies to be found that could treat, cure, or prevent the potentially lethal illness. Cannabis has made an unexpected appearance on the shortlist of possible therapies.
Research on COVID-19 is ongoing, however, some scientists are looking into the possibility that cannabis or cannabis-derived CBD might help patients with more severe forms of the virus. An interesting aspect of CBD’s potential benefits is its capacity to lower the expression of ACE2 and pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body, as well as its antiviral properties. However, there have been few studies that have investigated these claims. The key element in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), may help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
However, don’t rush out and buy CBD oils from your local dispensary just yet: There’s still a lot of research to be done. (Also, don’t use marijuana to avoid becoming infected with coronavirus) However, even if the results hold, they only apply to FDA-approved medical-grade CBD used to treat seizure disorders, not to the lower-potency products accessible to consumers today. COVID-19 vaccines and high-quality face masks are not a replacement for these weapons, according to study leader Marsha Rosner of the University of Chicago, who researches immunological responses. The molecule might be useful against other viruses than the SARS-CoV-2, according to the researchers. There is some evidence to indicate that the molecule may aid people, as well as mice, fight against COVID-19, according to the research team. Clinical research is required, Rosner told Live Science, since “we don’t know yet” whether CBD can help prevent COVID. “We want a clinical study, that’s essentially our slogan.”
The cannabis plant is the source of CBD. CBD, unlike THC, the major psychoactive element in marijuana, does not provide a euphoric effect. According to Robin Duncan, a biochemist and nutrition scientist at the University of Waterloo in Ontario who was not involved in the current study, it binds to more than a thousand distinct receptors in the human body. Its biological activity has earned it the title of health supplement, and products such as CBD oils and shakes are widely accessible. However, very little research has been done on the effects of CBD on human health.
When Rosner and her colleagues were looking into CBD and COVID-19, they came onto them by accident. Cancer research scientists were conducting screenings of cancer-fighting chemicals, attempting to induce an immunological reaction in cells known as the host stress response (HSR). The innate immune response includes the host’s stress response. When a cell detects a danger like an invading virus, this reaction puts the cell into a defensive state, activating the release of protective chemicals and aiding in the prevention of the cell’s machinery being utilized to multiply the virus.
Rosner and her colleagues opted to test CBD against the new coronavirus because it seemed to be effective in triggering the human stress response, which is critical for cells to start fighting back against viruses.
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was introduced to human lung cells in a test dish by treating them with CBD. They discovered that CBD-dosed cells fared better against infection when compared to those that had not been treated with CBD. Monkey kidney cells, which may be infected by the virus, were similarly affected. It also applied to the coronavirus’s alpha, beta, and gamma subtypes. (Delta and omicron were unavailable at the time of the research, Rosner said.)
SARS-COV2 replication can be halted by CBD up to 15 hours after infection, which implies the compound might be helpful even at the earliest stages of infection, Rosner added.
Putting CBD to the test
Living creatures are distinct from cells cultured in a laboratory. SARS-CoV-2 was injected into the nasal passages of mice for seven days, which is a guaranteed method of infection, and pure CBD was injected every day for seven days. CBD injections were given for another four days.
The researchers assessed the viral load in the mice’s nasal passages and lungs five days following the viral therapy. In comparison to untreated mice, the viral load was reduced by 4.8 times in the lungs and by 3.7 times in the nasal passages when animals were given a modest dosage of CBD. The viral load in CBD-treated mice was 4.8 times smaller in the nose and a startling 40 times lowers in the lungs compared to untreated animals when the dosage was high. Infected animals treated with CBD exhibited no signs of illness or weight loss, which is unusual for mice exposed to pathogens in the lab.
People who suffer from seizure disorders may take regular oral dosages of CBD since it is an FDA-approved medication. A total of 530 persons with seizure disorders, all of whom were receiving CBD medication, were compared to a control group of 530 people with comparable demographics and medical histories but who were not receiving CBD treatment. People who were using CBD had a COVID-positive rate of 4.9 percent, compared to 9 percent of those who were not taking it. However, since the research relied only on medical data, it couldn’t rule out the possibility that there may be any undiscovered variations between the two groups that may independently alter their risk of exposure to COVID.