Some work suggests that CBD oil may be beneficial for certain viral diseases, but more studies are still needed.
The cannabidiol (CBD) is a major cannabinoid compounds in cannabis or hemp (Cannabis sativa) and lacks addictive potential and psychotropic effects. Scientific studies highlight its anti-inflammatory properties and its action on the nervous system in some cases of epilepsy.
Recent research indicates that it may also be helpful in preventing infection with the COVID-19 virus. These are preliminary works that must be verified, so it has not yet been officially approved for this indication.
CBD INHIBITS VIRUS REPLICATION IN THE LUNGS
Researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago have published a study stating that cannabidiol (CBD) fights SARS-CoV-2 infection. They state that CBD and one of its metabolites, 7-OH-CBD, “powerfully block” the replication of the COVID-19 virus in lung epithelial cells.
According to the scientists, CBD induces the expression of the interferon protein that has an antiviral action and regulates its antiviral signaling pathway.
The study proves that people who take CBD have a lower incidence of the disease compared to the population average. It is not clear from the research whether the influence of other factors can be ruled out.
On the other hand, other research carried out in Israel proposed a mixture of CBD and 30 terpenes extracted from plants can constitute an effective formula to preventively combat the virus and that could complement vaccines. This mixture is prepared in a way that it can be inhaled.
Both studies, both the American and the Israeli, are preprints, that is, they have not been peer-reviewed.
THE CURRENT PROVEN INDICATIONS OF CBD
CBD indications in relation to the COVID-19 virus have not yet been approved by drug agencies. However, CBD medications can be found in pharmacies because their use is approved in other cases.
There is currently a CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, to treat seizures associated with two rare types of epilepsy. There are no other officially approved therapeutic indications.
Apart from this pharmacological use, CBD is in Europe in a very confusing legal situation. In many countries, including Spain, you cannot sell CBD products for internal consumption; they can only be for external or cosmetic use. However, in other countries of the Union CBD is approved as a food supplement.
A regulation from the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) is expected to clarify the situation in the coming months.
Meanwhile, on internet sites you can buy CBD products to which a long list of properties are attributed. Researchers from the University of Imbrusia (Italy) and Imperial College London (United Kingdom) have reviewed the available scientific literature and statements from specialized websites to assess the current state of knowledge on the use of CBD. This study predates those conducted in the United States and Israel regarding the COVID-19 virus.
CBD IS INTERESTING FOR ITS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES
Researchers have found scientific studies that support the use of CBD for the treatment of viral diseases such as hepatitis C and multiple sclerosis (the viral origin of this disease is currently a hypothesis).
However, they add that the results are encouraging but preliminary and that many new studies are needed before CBD reaches the market as a treatment for viral diseases.
Other studies suggest that CBD does not have a direct antiviral effect, but that its recognized anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties may be useful in treating viral infections such as oral and genital herpes and herpes zoster and, including Ebola.
A study is currently being conducted on the use of topical CBD oil to determine its effectiveness in inactivating the Zika and West Nile viruses.
THE PROVEN BENEFITS OF CBD
CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in the regulation of sleep, appetite, pain, and the immune response.
Studies have shown that CBD can help reduce chronic pain in patients with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also mitigates anxiety and depression, lowers blood pressure.
Although CBD is a fairly safe substance, it is advisable for people who receive any medication to consult their doctor before taking it. In some cases it can cause side effects such as diarrhea, changes in appetite and fatigue.
Consultation with the doctor is also essential to obtain a correct diagnosis. In the event that you suspect that you may be infected with COVID-19, you should immediately contact the health services.