CBD May Show Promise in Treating COVID-19
By Dr. Barry Morrison
Researchers in Alberta, Canada have made a major discovery of a simple cannabinoid compound. This discovery may emerge as a surprising addition in the global battle against the coronavirus. We have recently seen a frantic rush to find all potential treatments to combat the novel coronavirus. Leading up to the question, how does CBD fall into this category?
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A Groundbreaking Study
A very recent study from the University of Lethbridge shows that high concentrations of a cannabis compound known as cannabidiol (CBD) and low amounts of tetrahydracannabidiol (THC) can inhibit viral activity caused by the novel coronavirus. The results of this study points towards a potential treatment of CBD in treating covid 19, also known as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This major discovery may act as a catalyst for the cannabis industry…
Transmission or the virus is through tiny respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person. The virus then uses receptor-mediated entry into the human host by an enzyme called angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2). Primarily the ACE2 receptors are found in the lung tissue, as well as oral and nasal mucosa. Smaller amounts are in the kidney, testes, and the gastrointestinal tract.
Another entry point is via a second enzyme, transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2) located in the cell membrane. Control of both the ACE2 and TMPRSS2 enzymes may play a major role in curtailing the spread of the disease. Not to mention its role in reducing the mortality rate.
In the Lethbridge study, researchers injected different extracts of sativa into artificial human tissues containing ACE2. The results showed that some high CBD strains reduced viral receptor activity by 73%, leading to less likelihood of becoming infected. So, the difference between ACE2 activity in certain tissues before and after were significantly different. The majority of the strains used were of the high CBD and low THC variety. The favorable strains used fall into the hemp family with an average ratio of CBD:THC at 25:1.
According to the study: “The extracts of our most successful and novel high CBD C. sativa lines, pending further investigation, may become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy. They can be used to develop easy-to-use preventative treatments in the form of mouthwash and throat gargle products for both clinical and at-home use. Such products ought to be tested for their potential to decrease viral entry via the oral mucosa. Given the current dire and rapidly evolving epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue must be considered.”
This April 19, 2020 study is classified as preclinical and has not yet been peer-reviewed. Cannabinoid therapy is gaining traction as a potential therapy in combating COVID-19. The initial suspicion from experts was that cannabis strains high in THC could cause a worsening of COVID-19. Scientists in Israel are now conducting three clinical trials to test the effects of CBD on COVID-19. Focusing on repairing cells that have been damaged by COVID-19. Citing the plant’s well-known anti-inflammatory properties.
How promising is this study?
In my professional opinion, the results have major physiological credibility. This is a result of the vast majority of severe COVID cases lead to fatalities based on a sustained hyper-reactive immune response. You may have heard of it referred to as the cytokine storm. It’s been widely studied that the coronavirus induces extraordinary levels of immune response from the body. Causing white blood cells to attack and destroy healthy tissue. High concentration of these cells attacked the lungs leading to potential mortality.
Therefore, according to this study, high concentrations of CBD that is found within hemp exhibits interesting results and warrants further scientific investigation into its use to strengthen our bodies defenses and assist us in mitigating the effects of viruses prior to or just following infection. So, the immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD may prove particularly useful.