No matter who you are, where you live or what you do, COVID-19 has disrupted your life. Our collective goal for 2020 is to find a vaccine and treatments for this devastating disease. Scientists worldwide are racing to uncover a solution, and several recent studies found that CBD might be a potential treatment for coronavirus.
Research from the University of Lethbridge suggests that CBD sativa extracts modulate ACE-2 gene expression. ACE-2 is a protein that sits on the surface of many human cells and is key in things like inflammation, blood pressure and wound healing. The shape of the ACE-2 gene attracts the mace-like spike proteins that project from SARS-CoV-2 and allow the virus to gain access to the body. The more ACE-2 expression, the higher the likelihood of virus entering tissue.
According to the study, 13 of the cannabis strains that are particularly high in anti-inflammatory CBD, modulate ACE-2 gene expression in COVID-19 gateway tissues. While further large-scale validation is needed, the research suggests CBD could potentially reduce the virus by up to 80 percent.
Another study from Augusta University found CBD could help the most severe COVID-19 cases by reducing lung inflammation by mitigating ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), one of the most dangerous symptoms of the disease that occurs when the body’s inflammatory response goes into overdrive.
This over-the-top immune response appears to happen more with SARS-CoV-2 than other viruses.
The study found CBD might be able to fight the pro-inflammatory cytokine production that causes the issue. CBD appears to reduce specific cytokines like interleukin 6, 1b and 17. When CBD was tested on mice with ARDS, their symptoms were totally or partially reduced after treatment with CBD. The mice also showed increases in lymphocyte levels, which are key white blood cells that fight infection.
“While more research is needed to conclusively determine if CBD can help fight COVID-19 the preliminary studies are promising,” said Dr. Elaine Burns, founder of Dr. Burns ReLeaf™ products. “CBD is a strong anti-inflammatory agent so it does make sense that it could help the body naturally fight off coronavirus.”