The coronavirus disease, popularly known as COVID-19, has been around for slightly under two years. However, the virus has already caused millions of deaths worldwide and threatened to cripple significant world economies. Although intensified research programs have since yielded vaccines, COVID-19 remains a global pandemic.
Thankfully, it’s now emerging that CBD may help to manage COVID-19 by addressing some of the condition’s worst symptoms. For the uninitiated, CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. It’s one of the numerous therapeutically beneficial compounds obtained from the cannabis plant. These compounds are technically known as cannabinoids.
Although marijuana produces 115+ cannabinoids, cannabidiol is the most popular and widely studied one. The compound is an essential ingredient in nearly all medical marijuana products.
Cannabidiol is marketed for its potent analgesic, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, and antiemetic properties. CBD also contains antispasmodic and antioxidant properties. So, there’s a long list of medical conditions that the compound may remedy. In this post, we narrow down our focus to the role of CBD in managing COVID-19 by highlighting six exciting facts you need to know.
1. CBD Is Not A Cure For COVID-19
It’s essential to begin by pointing out that cannabidiol is not a magic pill for COVID-19. Presently, the virus has no cure.
What we have so far are vaccines, most of which are still in their trial and pretrial stages. However, there’s some research that looked at the effects of CBD on Covid-19. The findings from these studies suggest that cannabidiol may mediate the severity of COVID-19 by addressing some of the virus’ most bothersome symptoms.
3. CBD May Relieve COVID-19 Pain
Pain is one of the most severe symptoms of coronavirus disease. COVID-19 pain mainly presents as headaches, body aches, chest pains, and sore throat.
Cannabidiol may make COVID-19 bearable by relieving the various forms of pain triggered by this virus. CBD fights pain through its positive interactions with pain-signaling receptors spread throughout the endocannabinoid system, such as vanilloid receptors.
Cannabidiol may also relieve pain by increasing the body’s anandamide signaling. Anandamide is a neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in mediating pain, inflammation, and anxiety. CBD mainly boosts anandamide signaling by inhibiting fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an enzyme that degrades anandamide.
4. CBD May Alleviate COVID-19 Inflammation
Lung inflammation is another common symptom of COVID-19 that cannabidiol may remedy.
A recent study appearing in the journal Aging found that cannabis may offer numerous benefits for COVID-19 patients through the plant’s anti-inflammatory properties. According to this study, hyper-induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines, commonly known as ‘cytokine storm,’ is a leading cause of ARDS. If untreated, ARDS could be fatal.
The studies also established that besides ARDS, COVID-19 patients also suffer from lung fibrosis. Both ARDS and lung fibrosis have cytokine storm as their primary underlying trigger. And that’s where medical marijuana comes in.
Cannabis mainly relieves inflammation by blocking the activation of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Remember, CBD is the primary ingredient in medical marijuana products. So, it’s safe to infer that the compound plays a more significant role in inhibiting the body’s inflammatory messenger activity compared to other cannabinoids in medical cannabis products.
5. CBD May Combat COVID-19 Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are the most common mental conditions associated with COVID-19. COVID-19-induced stress primarily results from the fear of getting infected with or losing someone to the deadly virus. The anxiety could also be triggered by the prospect of losing your job or having your entire routine disrupted.
Cannabidiol has shown tremendous potential in relieving anxiety. Therefore, it’s logical to infer that the compound might also help combat COVID-19-induced stress and anxiety. CBD mainly fights anxiety by increasing the body’s access to its neurotransmitters associated with happiness, such as serotonin.
According to a 2019 double-blind placebo trial, CBD might improve the symptoms of a social anxiety disorder (SAD). In addition to SAD, CBD may help with various other anxiety disorders believed to aggravate COVID-19 symptoms. They include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PSDT), panic disorder (PD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
6. CBD May Boost Sleep
Sleep disorders like insomnia typically share a cause-effect relationship with anxiety. That explains why many COVID-19 patients also have insomnia. Fortunately, this is another area where cannabidiol has demonstrated immense potential. CBD can boast powerful sedating properties. Therefore, the compound may combat COVID-19-induced insomnia by shortening sleep onset time.
Studies have also cited CBD for its ability to reduce rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the sleep phase marked by intense dreaming.
7. CBD Won’t Get You High
The last thing you want to do is subject yourself to a mind-altering drug when trying to manage COVID-19. Such drugs not only make it difficult to monitor the symptoms of COVID-19. They could also aggravate some of those symptoms. Since CBD is a cannabis extract, it’s intuitive to imagine that the compound induces euphoria. However, it’s reassuring to know that cannabidiol won’t get you high.
CBD is neither psychoactive nor intoxicating. Those properties are attributed to another popular marijuana extract, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Cannabidiol may not be a cure for COVID-19 (the disease presently has no cure anyway). However, CBD has proven to be one of the most effective remedies against various COVID-19 symptoms. As a parting shot, remember to talk to your doctor before using CBD products for COVID-19. That’s especially if you’re already on other medications.