When COVID-19 first arrived, people the world over scampered for a solution to calm the symptoms. While some were drawn to pharmaceutical interventions, many others asked whether cannabis could help treat infections or ward off the virus entirely.
The good news is that scientific research on cannabis for COVID treatment does exist, and it sounds promising. Here we will fill you in.
The Science on Cannabis for COVID Treatment
The majority of the studies carried out on cannabis as a treatment for COVID center on the potential of CBD mixed with terpenes. Science has uncovered that CBD has the potential to help decrease the intensity of cytokine storms.
Cytokines are proteins that help modulate our immune systems by creating an inflammatory response in the body when an infection occurs.
Cytokines are extremely important in fighting infections, but when they become elevated above a certain level, they can become problematic. In fact, high elevations of cytokines have been responsible for many COVID-related deaths.
High levels of cytokines can cause fever, rampant inflammation, fatigue, nausea, and breathing difficulties, all of which present additional risk factors when a patient is infected with a severe case of COVID-19.
What Do the Studies Say on Cannabis for COVID Treatment?
One study of mice on the topic concluded that CBD may help in treating those afflicted with COVID. Researchers found that when CBD was administered, they observed both a decrease in cytokine storms and a reduction in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) among the subjects.
In some instances, researchers noted that the administration of CBD was able to reverse some of the lung damage caused by COVID.
Another study found that CBD, when consumed with a blend of terpenes with anti-inflammatory properties, reduced levels of specific cytokines commonly found in severe cases of COVID. Researchers went so far as to claim that CBD and the terpene blend performed even better at reducing cytokines than the widely prescribed dexamethasone.
Are There Drawbacks to Using Cannabis for COVID Treatment?
There may be an increased risk associated with smoking cannabis when it comes to treating COVID. Many of us have experienced mild throat or lung irritation after smoking, and if you already have compromised lungs, then it may be best to consume your cannabis sublingually or orally to avoid the inhalation of smoke.
Scientists seem to be in broad agreement around the benefits of CBD in helping treat COVID. Its unique ability to taper elevated cytokine levels can undoubtedly help the body cope under huge stress and also help prevent the development of ARDS, which has been fatal for many of those with COVID-19.
Medical Marijuana in Canada
Aside from hard scientific evidence, many cannabis consumers can attest to the subjective feeling of well-being that cannabis often imparts.
The mood benefits and broader mental health benefits can undoubtedly help people cope with the wider-reaching implications of COVID. Whether that’s the stress of lockdowns and loss of earnings, the intentional use of cannabis can impart benefits that extend far beyond physical relief.