2020 sure has been something. Deadly fires, political unrest, and Murder Hornets have provided us with a bit of excitement and a whole lot of stress. But the real kicker? Of course, it couldn’t be anything but COVID (though with three weeks of 2020 remaining, it might be too early to call it…).
While vaccines are just starting to come out, research into potential cures and treatments for those afflicted continues. And although a cure or foolproof vaccine would be ideal, for those experiencing incapacitating long-term effects post-illness, any potential therapy or medicine that could offer relief is essential.
One such possibility? CBD! Since the beginning of the COVID outbreak, the powerful cannabinoid has been the subject of numerous research studies searching for potential vaccines and treatments. Unfortunately, CBD is not a miracle cure and, very likely, won’t be the sole means necessary to eradicate the virus.
Research, however, has shown promising data on the efficiency of CBD in decreasing the severity of many symptoms. And though the CBD under examination may not identically parallel the CBD you can buy online in Canada, there is comfort in knowing that a potential therapy so readily available is reassuring.
What’s the Word on COVID?
Most commonly known as COVID-19, the novel SARS‐CoV2 virus is a deadly virus that has ravaged the population of many countries, interrupted the global economy, and changed the entire landscape of society in 2020.
With approximately 69.5 million cases and over 1.5 million deaths worldwide as of mid-December, the impact is phenomenal. A safe, efficient vaccine is imperative to avoid further death and economic turmoil.
Good news! Vaccines are in production, some set to be released as early as this week. And while that is positive in general, vaccines are not one-size-fits-all. Many people are unable to receive vaccines, whether for pre existing medical conditions, allergies, or any number of other reasons. Discovering alternate vaccines is necessary to ensure that everyone is safe and protected.
But a potential vaccine is only one necessary weapon in the battle against COVID. It isn’t just contracting the virus that poses risk, but the subsequent, lasting negative health effects. As such, further research into therapies for those who have already caught the virus and are still suffering the after-effects is just as imperative.
Labs around the world have already begun research into additional vaccines and treatment options, and while it is only one of many subjects being studied, CBD has shown heartening promise as a means of reducing the severity of the disease.
The Great Potential of CBD for COVID-19
Decades of in-depth research have already confirmed the pain-reducing, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral qualities of CBD. Further research into these effects and their correlation to COVID is underway as clinical trials and lab studies backed by preclinical data get underway. Scientists are currently examining CBD’s role in both fighting COVID and treating those already affected. Research is focused on several different ways in which CBD might help, backed by preclinical data and an ever-growing catalogue of cannabis-based science.
CBD is recognized for its ability to regulate inflammation and the immune system, without suppressing the latter. This is imperative to COVID research, as various groups of scientists around the world, from Canada to China, the United States to Italy have noted a key correlation between the novel SARS‐CoV2 and the abnormal release of cytokines, a signal protein that controls immune function and moderates inflammation.
The excess production of these proteins, known as a cytokine storm, can damage not only the lungs, but a number of other organs causing long-term health issues and, in some cases, death.
Canadian-led research and trials using lab-generated models of human-lung epithelia examined CBD’s ability to down-regulate the expression of two SARS‐CoV2 receptors, preventing the virus from binding with specific receptors.
Depending on the specific variant, cytokine proteins can elicit a response that is beneficial when necessary but potentially dangerous otherwise. A deviant cytokine storm can cause inflammation of respiratory and pulmonary tissue and signal the over-secretion of mucus, increasing the risk for respiratory infections like pneumonia. The cytokine proteins can also signal the immune system to attack healthy cells, further increasing the potential for infection and organ damage.
CBD is widely recognized for its antiviral components, something that scientists are examining further in relation to COVID, as research continues. Current pharmaceutical therapies under examination, for example the use of certain immunosuppressants, are showing some promise in the fight against COVID, but also have the potential to cause harmful side effects like pancreatitis. In opposition, CBD presents none of the increased negative health risks, while still exhibiting notable virus suppressing characteristics.
What About the Long-Term Prognosis?
A COVID vaccine is absolutely essential, yet it isn’t the only health concern currently in examination in the health and science sectors. Lingering side effects, neurological concerns, and organ damage have been widely reported, along with a plethora of other negative conditions that have the potential to last long term.
One of the most pressing concerns is the prevalence of pulmonary fibrosis, a condition recognized by the remainder of scar tissue in the lungs of recovering patients. As illustrated by preclinical data, CBD acts as a PPARγ agonist, impeding the development of pulmonary fibrosis, which in turn can inhibit lung and respiratory function.
Between the mental, emotional, and financial strain that COVID has put on the global population, it comes as no surprise that negative thought patterns and uncertainty have increased worldwide. And while research into vaccines and therapies has taken precedent during COVID, there has also been an increased interest in CBD and its anxiety-reducing qualities.
Recognized as an efficient anxiolytic and mood booster, CBD interacts with specific receptors in the endocannabinoid system to elicit various bodily functions and chemical responses, decreasing sensations of anxiety and depression. An added bonus? As CBD is non-psychoactive, it is a safe, non-intoxicating alternative to modern pharmaceuticals.
What Does This All Mean?
Whether as a herbal medicine, an alternative therapy, or a part of our modern healthcare system, CBD’s renown and frequency of use only continue to grow. This is underscored by the sheer amount of research going into the study of CBD and the development and production of cannabis-based therapies. The increase in research is especially prominent in response to COVID, as made evident by studies above and a myriad of others.
While much of the research related to COVID is still in the preclinical phase, established CBD research has already revealed irrefutable evidence of the cannabinoid’s potential, allowing many projects to begin clinical trials. Although solid answers and solutions are not yet readily available, with the amount and degree of funding and research going into these pressing studies, further answers are on the horizon.
The Quest for a Cure Continues
Despite the giant upheaval caused by COVID, the world continues to turn. Times are uncertain, many things have changed, but still, the greatest minds of our time continue to push on, working to understand both COVID and CBD inside and out.
The disease itself has been terrible and destructive, but from it, new and imperative research will allow for the best possible treatments and protection against future cases. Although CBD itself is not a cure for the virus, when you buy CBD online in Canada, you can rest assured that the products you receive will be safe, regulated, and efficient in supporting your health and well-being, in the era of COVID or otherwise!