CBD and Covid-19. What’s the skinny?

Lockdown got your mood at a low ebb?  We feel you. Isolation + economic anxiety + Newsnight Groundhog Day – no time with your mates = STRUGGLE STEET. We know that CBD can help enhance our moods but what do we know about how it interacts with Covid-19? And more’s the point, why am I seeing CBD hand gel on my feed??!?  We’re here to deep dive into some of the science.  
*WARNING* - this one is a good read if you’re a bit of a geek like us 🤓

Does CBD cure Coronavirus?

No.

Could CBD help with the intensity of the symptoms?

At the moment there are no studies directly related to CBD and the Corona Virus. Covid-19 hasn’t been around long enough to conduct peer reviewed studies about the effect of CBD on this new virus. CBD is not the cure of Covid-19.

However, by looking at previous studies on the human body and in particular, the immune system, we can shed some light on how CBD could help. This is the subject of ongoing research and hopefully we will have more concrete answers in the future.

How could we use CBD to positively affect our immune system?

Queue the science bit. Many studies have shown that CBD can positively influence the immune system. If you feel like taking a read on one of these long lockdown days, dive in here.

 When a virus attacks the body, our immune system responds by sending white blood cells to fight the virus. In some people their immune reaction goes into overdrive. Unfortunately, this response can actually exaggerate the viral attack which can prove extremely harmful or even fatal to its host. It is this dramatic reaction that causes the release of far too many cytokines…

What are cytokines and how are they related to Covid-19?

Cytokine is a broad name for small proteins, they are produced by a large range of cells, including the immune cells (white blood cells). In this case they are released when the Corona Virus is discovered in the body -they are vital in the immune response that fights infection. They travel through the body and flood the affected area causing inflammation. In worst case scenarios a cytokine storm[1] can occur, this is when an excessive number of cytokines keep releasing in an uncontrolled manner. The sheer influx of cytokines to one area causes hyperinflammation which in turn, can cause serious harm or even death.

Anyway… on to the brighter side… how could CBD help this?

CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Our endocannabinoid system[2] is responsible for regulating our appetite, metabolism, communication between cells and, as we’ve been talking about, our immune response. CBD doesn’t directly bind to our cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system however it still impacts them. This can decrease inflammation[3] and potentially help the body fight the virus without risk of hyper-inflammation.

This suppression effect may also help with other conditions, not just viruses. Autoimmune diseases, coeliac disease, allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and neuro-inflammation (which may be linked to depression and anxiety). These are all conditions that would be greatly helped and managed by something with anti-inflammatory properties.

Boosting the immune system feels like it’s going to be a priority for us all in these pandemic weeks and beyond, the good news is that there are so many natural options to support immune function.

Don’t worry too much though!

In summary CBD won’t cure us but there is some very interesting information out there that suggests that it could help with suppression of Covid-19 symptoms and help the immune response and generally support the immune system. More studies will be done in time and we will be able to have a much greater understanding of Covid-19 and its relationship with CBD.

For now though we can all stay safe by staying home during the lockdown. In fact, why not relax with a Dutch Courage and wait for all this to blow over?

 

 

 

[1] https://www.newscientist.com/term/cytokine-storm/

 

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/

 

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26059175