Over the course of the pandemic, huge numbers of studies have presented information on how we might battle the virus that causes COVID-19. Many have looked at nutritional solutions since health experts were finding little help in the way of existing medications.
Not too long ago, health leaders from around the world recommended an increase in vitamin D supplementation based in part on studies that had shown people with adequate levels of the virus were less likely to become infected. The mineral zinc has also come to the forefront of COVID-19 research.
But perhaps the most researched non-pharmaceutical when it comes to helping us gain a possible foothold over the virus has been CBD.
One study claimed that CBD may increase a lung-protective peptide, helpful in patients presenting with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDs), which can develop with COVID-19. Another found CBD may have the potential to block coronavirus entry points.
Now, according to a yet-to-be-peer-reviewed study, researchers are investigating if CBD may help prevent the virus from replicating as well as boost the innate immune system…
Marijuana’s more widely accepted cousin
CBD is just one of over a hundred cannabidiols found in the cannabis plant, a cousin to marijuana that has little to none of the THC responsible for Mary Jane’s psychoactive properties.
It’s also a compound that’s beginning to go mainstream. The FDA has already approved a drug featuring CBD as the active ingredient for use in treating epilepsy. And many people would like to see it approved for pain management and stress and anxiety relief.
Past research has even demonstrated the possibility of using CBD to treat infections that are resistant to antibiotics. Even better, in the case of COVID-19, studies have even shown it may have antiviral properties.
Blocking viral replication to block spread
And that’s where this most recent research comes in…
The team of scientists used human lung cancer cells (called A549), which were then treated with CBD. These mutated lung cells express the ACE-2 gene. The ACE-2 receptors in the lungs are where the SARS-CoV-2 spike attaches to gain a hold.
Once the team flooded those cells with CBD, they were exposed to the virus.
And guess what…
They found that after 48 hours, the cells that were treated with CBD actually cut off the virus’s ability to multiply and spread.
In fact, they found that treatment of cells with CBD worked to reverse almost all of the changes the virus incites in host cells.
Because of this, the researchers say that CBD could possibly have the power to stop the infamous “cytokine storm” that happens when the body’s immune system goes into hyperdrive and attacks even healthy cells in the lungs. This is the condition that has been reported so many times since the beginning of the pandemic as the cause of Covid deaths.
All in all, the researchers say, “CBD has the potential not only to act as an antiviral agent at early stages of infection but also to protect the host against an overactive immune system at later stages.”
One more look at the battle between CBD and Covid
The team also decided to directly analyze the risk of contracting COVID-19, comparing a group of patients who regularly took CBD before the pandemic to non-CBD users.
Compared to the 12.2 percent of patients who skipped CBD and also ended up with the virus, the chance of ending up Covid positive was just 1.2 percent in CBD users.
It’s important to state that CBD is not considered a cure for COVID-19. But it certainly looks like, with more research, there may be more interest than ever before in the medicinal uses of CBD.
US COVID-19 vaccine progress — USA FACTS