Canadian scientists researching if CBD can prevent coronavirus (COVID-19) from doing major harm
If you’re not already familiar with cannabidiol, also known as CBD, it is one of 113 cannabinoids found in the cannabis Sativa plant. It is also worth pointing out that CBD accounts for an astonishing 40 percent of the plant’s extract. Along with CBD, THC is another cannabinoid that is routinely extracted from cannabis plants and is one of the chief ingredients in marijuana. Because both cannabinoids come from the same plant, they are often looked upon in the same way insofar as they both are capable of producing a euphoric high. And this couldn’t be any further from the truth.
While the origin of these cannabinoids is the same, they each impact the body in very different ways. THC, which is an acronym for tetrahydrocannabinol, contains psychoactive properties that interact with receptors in the brain and body to trigger a euphoric high. It is also used for antiemetic and orexigenic benefits. Cannabidiol, on the other hand, offers much more in terms of therapeutic value. Through its interactions with receptors in the brain and body, cannabidiol can help resolve chronic pain, mental health disorders, seizures, and much more.
What You May Not Have Known About CBD
Along with interacting differently with receptors in the brain and body, CBD is markedly different than THC in that it is has been widely extolled for its therapeutic value by physicians, mental health professionals, and even government entities. To help put this into context, let’s take a moment to lay out a few key points relative to cannabidiol. In a study published by the European Journal of Pain, researchers and scientists noted that cannabidiol was effective in reducing pain and inflammation brought on by arthritis. In a separate study published by the National Institutes of Health, researchers and scientists noted that the same cannabinoid helps to ease and may even inhibit inflammatory and neuropathic pain.
Of course, the benefits of this once misunderstood cannabinoid do not end there. In what has been deemed a breakthrough in the treatment of seizures, Epidiolex, a cannabidiol-infused drug, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2018 to treat Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet Syndrome, both of which can cause severe epileptic seizures. Another study published by the Lancet, an esteemed peer-reviewed general medical journal, noted that cannabidiol could potentially be a viable alternative to traditional medicine in treating neurological disorders, such as Tourette’s syndrome, for example, and the following mental illnesses:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Over the years, cannabidiol has quickly become a go-to for many people seeking relief from a variety of physical and mental health problems. And there are plenty of credible studies that show this all-natural treatment works. Also, it causes fewer side effects when compared to traditional medicine. It is also worth noting that researchers and scientists are always on the lookout for new therapeutic uses for cannabidiol. To that point, a recent study showed that the cannabinoid might also one day become a go-to for the treatment and prevention of coronavirus.
The Grim Truth When It Comes to the Coronavirus
For those who have been following the news, the coronavirus, which originated in China’s Hubei Province before spreading to South East Asia, Europe, and ultimately the United States, has infected millions of people and has contributed thousands of deaths. With the high number of infections and an equally high number of deaths caused by the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the virus, also known as COVID-19, a global pandemic. As of the writing of this article, there have been more than 6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide. Of those diagnosed, over 376,000 have lost their lives to the disease. To say that a cure and a possible treatment is needed urgently would be a gross understatement. And this is where scientists located in Canada come into the picture.
Scientific Studies Related to Cannabidiol and COVID-19
According to an article published by the Daily Mail, an online and hard copy British newspaper, researchers and scientists with the University of Lethbridge, which is located in the Canadian province of Alberta, are conducting tests to determine if compounds in the cannabis, including cannabidiol, can prevent COVID-19 from attaching to human cells. While the study is still in its early stages, those involved are hopeful that the cannabinoid will be a viable treatment for the millions of people in Canada and around the world infected with COVID-19. So far, scientists have carefully examined upwards of 400 cannabis strains. Of those, about 12 show significant potential when it comes to preventing COVID-19 from attaching to human cells. To further put this into context, the study found that cannabidiol helped reduce the number of cell receptors in the body that the virus would otherwise attach themselves to by 70 percent. And with fewer cell receptors available to the virus, the less likely an individual is to develop COVID-19.
Understanding the Science Behind the Study Involving Cannabidiol in the Prevention of COVID-19
While THC, along with a euphoric high, offers some health benefits, most will agree that they pale in comparison to those associated with cannabidiol. And this sentiment is shared by the researchers and scientists at the University of Lethbridge as they put countless hours into researching cannabidiol as a means of preventing COVID-19. The same is true when it comes to the possibility of using the cannabinoid to treat individuals already infected with the virus. According to researchers and scientists, reducing the number of cell receptors that the virus can attach to in the body not only prevents COVID-19 but also keeps the virus from spreading, which, in turn, enables individuals who are already infected to recover sooner.
Of course, before anyone decides to go out and buy high grade CBD products, it should be noted that research involving the use of cannabidiol in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 is still ongoing. Further, CBD-based products currently on the market, such as tinctures, oils, and edibles are not intended, based on their current formulation, to treat or prevent the virus. Nonetheless, the possibility of future iterations of these products and others that will work for such a purpose look quite promising.
What Does the Future Hold for Cannabidiol When It Comes to COVID-19?
If you’re on the fence in deciding whether or not to buy high grade CBD products to resolve chronic pain, mental illness, or seizures, you should know that the products currently available can provide some much-needed relief. However, for treating COVID-19, we will still have to wait and see how things unfold. That being said, if cannabidiol is deemed appropriate and effective in treating and preventing the virus based on clinical trials, the cost of these newly formulated CBD-based products will be relatively inexpensive when they finally enter the marketplace. According to Dr. Igor Kovachuk, the lead researcher in the study, they will likely be available initially in the form of mouth wash, gargles, inhalants, or gel caps, which will keep costs down as the manufacturing costs associated with these products are relatively low. Therefore, unlike prescription-based medication, more people struggling with COVID-19 will be able to afford them.
In summation, cannabidiol has helped many people overcome a variety of physical and mental health problems, which explains why so many of them continue to buy high grade CBD products. And with help from researchers and scientists, not to mention study participants involved in the current round of clinical trials, this same cannabinoid might soon put an end to the COVID-19 global pandemic once and for all.
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