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Can CBD help combat COVID-19 during the early stages of infection?

Jan 21, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

“CBD acts after viral entry, inhibiting viral gene expression and reversing many effects of SARS-CoV-2 on host gene transcription.”

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A new mice study suggests CBD could prove “a potential preventive agent” during early-stage SARS-CoV-2 infection.


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While researchers out of Chicago and Louisville caution against making any leaps regarding how CBD would work with people, they do emphasize that the findings to date merit “future clinical trials.”

Investigators point out in the research article, published this week in Science Advances, that COVID-19 spread clearly illustrates new treatments to combat the virus are needed.

  1. Stephen Colbert opened his show on Wednesday evening with a few thoughts about the study. PHOTO BY FRAZER HARRISON/GETTY IMAGES

    ‘All this time we’ve been listening to the C.D.C., we should have been eating CBD’

  2. “Orally bioavailable and with a long history of safe human use, these cannabinoids, isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2.” / PHOTO BY WILDPIXEL/GETTY IMAGES

    Study: Two hemp compounds shown to stop coronavirus from entering human cells

  3. Researchers regard  “cannabis as an important therapeutic plant against post-Covid symptoms.” /

    Cannabis may be an early contender in treatment of long-haul COVID symptoms

Despite recent vaccine availability, study authors write that the virus is spreading rapidly. The need for alternative treatments is particularly pressing “for populations with limited inclination or access to vaccines.”


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It’s been reported that 63.5 per cent of the eligible U.S. population is fully vaccinated. The Mayo Clinic offers a U.S. COVID-19 vaccine tracker that indicates vaccination rates by age and state.

After carrying out testing, some in the lab and some involving patients, researchers found CBD and its metabolite 7-OH-CBD inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in the cells and mice by potently blocking virus replication in lung epithelial cells. This was not the case for THC and other cannabinoids tested.

“CBD acts after viral entry, inhibiting viral gene expression and reversing many effects of SARS-CoV-2 on host gene transcription,” study authors explain.

Investigators explain that they pre-treated human lung carcinoma cells for two hours with from 0 to 10 μM CBD before they were infected with SARS-CoV-2.


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After 48 hours, what they found was that “CBD potently inhibited viral replication under non-toxic conditions.” CBD also inhibited virus replication in human lung and monkey kidney epithelial cells, the study notes.

With regard to matched groups of human patients, the 100 mg/ml oral solution of CBD had “a significant negative association” with positive COVID-19 tests.

Per Vice, of the 1,212 U.S. patients taking prescribed CBD for seizure-related conditions, those being managed the aforementioned oral doses “returned positive COVID-19 tests at much lower rates than control groups with similar medical backgrounds who did not take CBD.”

Specifically, the publication reports 6.2 per cent returned positive COVID-19 tests or a diagnosis compared to 8.9 per cent in the control group.


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According to the Daily Mail, the investigators originally set out to explore if CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties could help people recover from the aftermath of COVID-19 infection.

Professor Marsha Rosner, the lead author of the study, pointed out that if proven effective, she could see CBD forming a prophylactic treatment for COVID-19 to help reduce the chances of a person becoming ill, the Daily Mail reports.

But before everyone starts scarfing down CBD, the study authors offer a warning. “We caution against use of non-medical formulations including edibles, inhalants or topicals as a preventive or treatment therapy at the present time,” they write.

Although it has attracted some criticism and plenty of nudge-nudge, wink-winks, a recently released lab study out of Oregon State University found “a pair of cannabinoid acids bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people.”

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