Cannabis and its cannabinoids have long been championed as a highly medicinal plant and compounds. Research throughout the years has shown cannabinoids’, especially CBD’s, potential in helping treat a wide variety of chronic and debilitating illnesses and their symptoms such as cancer, cachexia, epilepsy, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis. There has also been proof of cannabinoids being able to aid in the treatment of mental disorders.
With the hours of research dedicated to the plant, many people are looking to it for a cure, especially during the recent coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak. Some companies have even started to claim that the plant and its most medicinal cannabinoid CBD are remedies for the virus. However, it is important to keep your expectations in check and avoid misinformation regarding the CBD and coronavirus.
Here, we will discuss cannabidiol and COVID-19, as well as the myths surrounding CBD and its potentials in treating the virus. Let’s start with a few basic things.
What is the coronavirus?
Before we begin discussing the myths and realities about cannabidiol and coronavirus, it is essential to understand what exactly it is and what it does to the human body. The current COVID-19 pandemic is just one of the many outbreaks related to coronaviruses throughout the years. In recent years, the world dealt with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections in humans. It can manifest in a wide variety of illnesses such as the common cold to more deadly conditions such as pneumonia. MERS and SARS are caused by two different coronavirus strains. Meanwhile, the recent strain causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
COVID-19 is manifested in various symptoms such as fever, aches and pains, runny nose, sore throat, and diarrhea. However, some infected individuals do not exhibit symptoms. When infected, people with existing medical conditions are more likely to develop grave illnesses. This virus can be transmitted through droplets from the mouth or nose, which can be inhaled or transferred to the eyes, nose or mouth via touching surfaces with these droplets
What can cannabidiol do?
Now that you have an idea as to what COVID-19 is, the next thing you should know is the medicinal properties of cannabidiol. This cannabinoid is known as one of the most therapeutic compounds in the plant. It does not have a psychoactive effect, unlike another prominent cannabinoid THC (normally present on weed).
In the United States, states have created laws to regulate this compound. According to Harvard Health Publishing, all 50 states imposed laws that legalize CBD with different levels of regulation. Meanwhile, the federal government still prohibits cannabis and all its cannabinoids including CBD.
The reason for the legalization of this compound is its health benefits. Research shows that it has been effective in treating epileptic children, as well as mental health illness sufferers. Moreover, studies posited that CBD offers a more effective and non-addictive option in relieving pain and inflammation compared to opioids.
Top 3 Myths and Realities about CBD and Coronavirus
With this information about cannabidiol and the recently discovered coronavirus, you might be looking into the possibility of using the compound to treat COVID-19 and its symptoms. However, you need to be cautious about misconceptions and straight-up false claims regarding the connection between the two. To shed light on some of the misconceptions about this, here are 3 myths and realities you should know.
Myth #1: Cannabis Kills the Virus
A few weeks back, a photo which appeared to be a screenshot of a newscast circulated social media sites. It said that “cannabis kills corona virus” and that “scientists are shocked to discover that [the plant] kills corona virus.”
The Reality: It is important to note that the World Health Organization clearly states that a vaccine or medicine to cure COVID-19 is yet to be created. This means that the cannabis plant or any of its cannabinoids including CBD is not proven to kills the virus.
Myth #2: CBD Can Treat the Infection
Cannabidiol has proven its effectiveness is various serious illnesses. This is why many people are treating it as a miracle drug. Some even claim that it can cure the infection once a person contracts the virus.
The Reality: Aside from the WHO ‘s statement that there is no cure for the infection as yet, people should remember warnings against ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medicine. According to experts, anti-inflammatories suppress the person’s immune system. This weakens the body’s response to infection, as well as its ability to fight off viruses.
Now, apply this logic to CBD, which is proven to have anti-inflammatory properties. When ingested, cannabidiol enters the bloodstream and binds to endocannabinoid receptors within the immune system to address inflammations from the endocannabinoid system. However, keep in mind that topical cannabidiol which is applied externally to address specific painful areas, which means that the substance does not enter the bloodstream in this case.
Myth #3: CBD Can Fight the Virus
Those who have not yet been infected take preventive measures to boost their chances of not contracting the disease. Some companies claim that cannabis and CBD ensure that a person will not get infected
The Reality: Studies suggest that while the compound has anti-inflammatory properties, it has an attribute that helps balance the immune system. According to these studies, it has an adaptive immunomodulating effect, which means that the substance can help reduce immune activity when treating inflammations, but it can also boost the immune system when needed. However, sufficient studies regarding this effect are yet to be conducted, so sticking to vitamins and minerals remains to be the best way to boost your immune system.
Remember that the virus remains to be the subject of research. Scientists are still working on a vaccine that can treat COVID-19. Given the facts and fiction about CBD and coronavirus, it is important to be careful about how you consume the cannabinoid during these trying times. Moreover, do not forget to wash your hands, disinfect your home and things and boost your immune system through proper diet and rest.