The global pandemic has changed our lives in ways we could never have expected. Apart from the obvious danger of getting a case of severe Covid, there have been unexpected conequences to the pandemic including a mental health epidemic of anxiety, insomnia and depression. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what life was like before masks, travel restrictions, lockdowns and a constant stream of scary news.
The race is on for a cure or at least an effective treatment for severe Covid that would allow us to get back to our carefree pre-Covid days. There has been some talk in the media of CBD being that solution, and as CBD users, we would love for that to be true! But let’s take this information with a grain of salt and not get carried away.
While there is no doubt that CBD has tremendous therapeutic potential, what we actually know (and what has been scientifically proven) is limited, especially when it comes to treating Covid. As always, be very careful about what you read when it comes to treating Covid and about the “miraculous” benefits of CBD! Any individual or company who claims that CBD can cure a serious illness like Covid is being dishonest.
What scientific research is there about CBD and Covid?
A group of Canadian researchers published an article in November 2020 explaining their research into the activity of CBD on Ace2 protein levels along with serine protease TMPRSS2.
To simplify, we can say that they found that certain strains of high CBD cannabis were effective in reducing the possibility of catching covid, while also demonstrating anti-inflammatory abilities in the body. They also state that it is possible it is the entourage effect of multiple cannabinoids together with terpenes that is responsible for this action, which points to full spectrum products potentially being more beneficial than cannabinoid isolates. Since one of the main symptoms of Covid is “cytokine storm” that leads to massive inflammation in the body, the cannabis extracts could potentially offer an effective anti-inflammatory treatment option. The conclusion of this article is that certain strains of cannabis were shown to be useful, but exactly which compounds in the extract were responsible for the effect is unknown.
Another study done on mice by researchers in Georgia found that CBD showed potential as a treatment for ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) which is one of the hallmark symptoms of severe Covid. They found in their experiments that CBD both improves lung structure and exerts strong anti-inflammatory action.
Yet another study, this one published in Nature, found that hemp extracts were effective in reducing inflammation in lung cells, but actually increased inflammation in other cells known as macrophages. This particular study concludes that CBD should not yet be used in clinical settings to treat severe Covid, but that there is exciting potential that needs to be further studied.
Full Spectrum vs Isolates
It is interesting to note that the last study mentioned found that CBD alone (i.e. CBD isolate) works in the shape of a bell curve, meaning that a very specific dose is required for therapeutic benefit – too much or too little and it is not as effective. In contrast, CBD together with other cannabinoids was shown to not have the same issue so that higher doses were effective without a drop off in efficacy. This points once again toward full spectrum products being more effective and easier to dose than CBD isolates. Learn more about Full Spectrum vs Isolates here.
As you can see from these 3 examples, there is tremendous potential when it comes to using hemp derived compounds in treating Covid (and a number of other diseases), but like most things cannabis related, more research is needed before we can say anything conclusively.
As research into cannabis medicine continues, we are sure to learn more about the exact ways that cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds affect the human body, leading the way to a new class of highly effective treatments for a myriad of health conditions.
At Welliva, we advocate the use of hemp based products as we have found them beneficial in our own lives. Ingestible CBD products can help regulate mood and assist with relaxation leading to better sleep while topicals can help alleviate pain and inflammation. When it comes to keeping ourselves healthy, high quality full-spectrum extracts can effectively supplement a healthy lifestyle that includes eating well, exercising regularly and getting proper sleep. While CBD/hemp is not a magic bullet against Covid, it may someday be better understood and more widely used in clinical settings. For now, it can certainly help improve our quality of life.
To all you good people out there, stay strong, stay safe and we wish you the best of health!