People throughout the world are concerned about the serious health threats of the novel coronavirus. Therefore researchers are expanding efforts to find effective strategies for treatment. They’ve started studies with cannabis and COVID-19, and have made some promising discoveries.
Although scientists are still trying to understand how coronavirus impacts the human body, the natural components of cannabis have shown a likelihood to help in many ways.
CBD, a naturally occurring compound in cannabis, has been shown in numerous studies to reduce anxiety. This is because CBD is one of the plant’s many cannabinoids. They work to supplement to the body’s endocannabinoid system.
This recently discovered system supports the endocrine system, which is tasked with regulating emotions and hormones, among other things.
In 2020, researchers looked specifically at using CBD for alleviating anxiety and fear associated with COVID-19. They found that consuming cannabis products could help improve psychological well-being during this challenging time.
Stop the Spread
Interestingly, another study looked directly at whether a high-CBD, Sativa strain of cannabis was able to block COVID-19 from entering the body.
The reason for the connection is the body’s ACE2 receptors, which is basically what allows a virus to enter. Cannabis has been shown to decrease the effectiveness of the ACE2 gene, which would stop the virus before it infects someone.
Researchers in Canada are working to develop specific strains, extracts, and lines to target this opportunity.
Anti-Inflammatory Possibilities of Cannabis and COVID-19
CBD and another cannabinoid, THC, have both been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits. These may be therapeutic for viral infections like COVID-19.
One recent study suggests this benefit maybe because the coronavirus causes the body to produce massive levels of cytokines, which causes hyperinflammation. Both CBD and THC, along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, could help to reduce the cytokines produced.
Lung inflammation is especially problematic with the coronavirus, but cannabis shows promise with this, too. Another study found that CBD, regardless of dosage, helped reduce asthma and other hyper-reactions within the lungs. The same study also found that cannabis helped reduce pulmonary fibrosis, which is often a cause of breathing difficulty for COVID-19 patients.
Beyond treating specific symptoms of coronavirus, cannabis may also help to boost the immune system. The research looked closely at the relationship between the cannabinoids in cannabis and the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and the cells of the immune system. Through supporting homeostasis, it’s also possible to reduce sickness.
There is plenty of science that shows how cannabis is medicinally beneficial. It supports healthy sleep patterns, regulating anxiety, addressing chronic pain, and helping with mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
All of these bodily functions can support or reduce your ability to fight off disease. The healthier you are on a holistic level, the better you can respond if you come in contact with COVID-19.
Consume in Health
No study suggests that cannabis is the only preventative or treatment for coronavirus, but many show promise for complementary use with other medicines.
If you have health concerns, it may be wise to choose a method of delivery besides smoking. Vaping, edibles, tinctures, and capsules are gentler on your lungs while providing the benefits of cannabis for your health.