Cannabis Compounds and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has been sweeping across the world for almost two years and has changed all our lives. Nowadays, scientists around the world are striving to find different solutions to put an end to it. Several vaccines have already been used worldwide, and research continues. But the CBD industry is not standing aside and is also contributing to the fight against the virus. In this article, we will review the latest scientific discoveries involving cannabis compounds and their use as a possible treatment for the COVID-19 virus.

What is CBD?

CBD or cannabidiol is one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. According to the study, this compound is non-psychoactive, meaning it cannot get one high (cause the so-called “entourage effect”). Also, various studies report that CBD can have several potential health effects, such as possibly helping to treat anxiety, depression, chronic pain, stress and insomnia. The range of different products that contain CBD is broad and growing every year.

However, every coin has two sides, and CBD can also have side effects. Dry mouth, drowsiness and gastrointestinal issues are among the most common ones. You can find more about the possible side effects of taking CBD in our blog articles.

CBD is the subject of numerous studies, and of those, the most topical and important have to do with the COVID-19 pandemic. And in this article, we will tell you about the results of present-day studies that have already been completed or are just at the beginning stage.

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is a global threat that suddenly appeared. Originating in China at the end of 2019, it was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation in March 2020. At the time of writing, more than 360 million cases of infection have been registered, and, unfortunately, more than 5.5 million people have died.

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough (dry or with little sputum), shortness of breath, chest, tightness, lost of smell and taste. Some scientists also highlight headaches, pharyngitis and nasal congestion. The leading complication of COVID-19 is viral pneumonia.

According to scientific data, the virus can be transmitted in the following ways: by close contact (through a handshake or household items), tiny liquid airborne droplets (from coughing, sneezing, talking) and in an air-to-dust way (via dust particles in the air).

Unfortunately, there is still no cure for COVID-19, but researchers are working on developing medications to overcome the problems associated with the pandemic.

Cannabis compounds and infection by COVID-19 virus

And now for the latest scientific news regarding CBD. As researchers say, a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant could help prevent or treat COVID-19 warrants further investigation in rigorous clinical trials. The Oregon State University research team concluded that cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), two cannabinoid acids commonly found in hemp, can bind to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that is known for causing COVID-19. As a result, the compounds can prevent the virus from entering cells and causing infection.

Another study conducted by a team at the University of Chicago examined CBD and cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 in laboratory experiments. The results of the study appeared to show that CBD helped to curb SARS-CoV-2 in infected cells. With the use of small doses of highly purified CBD, roughly equivalent to what patients receive orally as already approved for severe epilepsy, the scientists found that CBD did not prevent the coronavirus from infecting cells in test tubes. Rather, it worked shortly after the virus entered the cells, partially preventing it from making copies of itself by its effects on the inflammatory protein interferon. Similar effects were found in infected mice.

Another study by Israeli researchers at the Rabin Medical Centre is an early-stage trial that aims to assess the possible effects of CBD in severely or critically ill patients. Currently, the team is investigating the possibility of a clinical trial that would likely target asymptomatic or mild cases of COVID, so it’s too early to say anything about the results of the research.

What about the different COVID-19 variants?

The evolution of COVID-19 gives rise to the appearance of new variants. Nowadays, the B.1.1.529 variant (Omicron) is the most prevalent among new infection cases. According to the Oregon State University research team, CBDA and CBGA blocked the action of emerging variants of the virus that cause COVID-19, claiming that the compounds may be equally effective against variants B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.351 (Beta). But what about the newest variants?

While more research is needed, the team noted that, according to the study, cannabinoids could be developed into medications to prevent or treat COVID-19. The scientists say the vaccination and CBDA/CBGA treatment combined should create much more challenging conditions for SARS-CoV-2.

Final thoughts

This has been a review of current scientific findings on the research of CBD concerning the COVID-19 virus. CBD or cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound that could be proven to be beneficial in treating various health problems. And the latest scientific discoveries may be a promising step forward in combating COVID-19 in the future and ending the pandemic. On the other hand, it’s extremely important to understand that CBD is not the ultimate cure for COVID-19. Vaccination, social distancing, wearing masks and increased hygiene are the best ways to prevent the virus from spreading and improve personal and global health status. Take care, stay safe and join us in keeping an eye on the CBD industry trends.

Sources:

  1. CBD: Does it cause a high? (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/does-cbd-get-you-high)
  2. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/)
  3. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/)
  4. The Role of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Chronic Pain Management: An Assessment of Current Evidence (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31980957/)
  5. Side Effects of CBD Oil: What Are the Risks? (https://marryjane.com/blog/side-effects-of-cbd-oil-what-are-the-risks/)
  6. WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard (https://covid19.who.int/)
  7. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/coronavirus-disease-covid-19)
  8. Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35007072/)
  9. Cannabidiol inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication through induction of the host ER stress and innate immune responses (https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abi6110)
  10. Cannabis compound CBD stops coronavirus in test tube, but can it treat COVID? (https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/cannabis-compound-cbd-stops-coronavirus-test-tube-can-it-treat-covid-2022-01-25/)
  11. Oregon State research shows hemp compounds prevent coronavirus from entering human cells (https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/oregon-state-research-shows-hemp-compounds-prevent-coronavirus-entering-human-cells)
Other intersting reading
Weekly News Digest: June 4, 2021
Interview with Ilias Bulaid (Part 1)
Meeting the Marry Jane Team: Interview with Camila Maria Alvarez (Part 1)