July 01, 2022

CBD & COVID-19: New Research, New Findings [June 2022]

This is a topic we’re keeping tabs on. COVID’s taken a huge toll on the world’s communities — people and businesses are suffering.

That’s why we’re on a mission to share promising new research on CBD* (and other cannabinoids) and coronavirus with you. If there’s evidence that cannabidiol can take a bite out of COVID — you should know about it, in case it can help.

So, keep reading for the latest coronavirus-CBD research on:

  • Whether preventing COVID with CBD is possible
  • How CBD interacts with the SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID)
  • The COVID and cannabinoid receptors link
  • Potential CBD benefits for COVID symptoms
  • If CBD can curb COVID vaccination side effects

* This post covers research that was published since our July 6, 2021 postReviewing Research on CBD for COVID-19 Therapy (which we suggest reading if you need an overview of how COVID-19 works in the body). To the best of our knowledge, the studies referenced in this article all used therapeutic-grade CBD that was purer or contained higher concentrations of cannabidiol than what’s on the market for public consumption.

COVID Prevention & CBD

This has been explored relatively comprehensively, meaning that several different lab and data analysis studies have been conducted.

Early results show that therapeutic doses of CBD do have a protective effect against COVID.(1) The studies were done in animals or test tubes or using computer models — so that’s something to consider.

According to the National Institute of Health’s COVID-19 Research initiative:(1)

  • CBD is the only cannabinoid that exhibited a protective quality. When paired with THC, the preventive effect diminished.
  • People who take CBD-based medications (like Epidiolex) reported fewer COVID diagnosis than other populations.
  • More research in humans is needed but CBD be part of the COVID prevention protocol — along with (not in place of ) vaccination, masking, and social distancing.

CBD vs SARS-CoV-2

So, how does CBD help safeguard us from getting COVID?

The research indicates that the SARS-CoV-2 virus molecules enter the body, usually through the respiratory system.(2) The virus then forces its way into cells (e.g., lung cells).

CBD doesn’t hinder the virus’s ability to enter cells.(3) (Though, there’s evidence that CBD’s precursor — CBDA — can keep coronavirus from busting into cells!)(4) But, what the CBD does start to attach the virus very soon after the virus is introduced into your system.

This anti-SARS-CoV-2 assault makes it so that the virus can’t spread or further develop. Basically, the CBD inhibits the virus’s capacity to replicate itself or change host cells in your body. CBD blocks the viral reproduction by activating the infected cell’s stress response, which makes it create virus-killing proteins.(3)

Moreover, the studies found that CBD may even reverse the effects of the virus on your cells in this early stage.

CBD, COVID & Cannabinoid Receptors

Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a big role in illness and recovery.

Inflammation & Immunity

This is partly because the ECS is involved in regulating your immune system and the body’s inflammatory response. There’s a ton of literature proving out that CBD’s really good at reducing inflammation and modulating cytokines. CBD does these things by interacting with the ECS’s cannabinoid receptors.

In particular, when CBD activates the CB2 receptor, it leads to a more controlled release of cytokines. This restrains the cytokine’s ability to cause inflammation or development of fibrous tissues in airways.(5)

Psychological Health

On another level, the ECS also factors into your psychological self and behavioral patterns. Data supports the notion that lockdowns and quarantines can disrupt the balance the ECS strives for and lead to depression, sleep troubles, and aggression. Because CBD has anti-anxiety, antidepressant, and antipsychotic characteristics — the researchers suggested that it could be a useful tool for addressing these isolation-provoked issues and keeping the ECS in good shape.(6)

CBD For COVID Symptoms

According to a March 2022 article in Frontiers in Immunology, CBD has been shown to decrease the severity of COVID. It’s primarily doing this by counteracting the body’s inflammatory response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The article goes on to say that CBD might even have greater anti-viral powers than other COVID-combatting drugs like such as lopinavir and remdesivir.(7)

CBD & COVID Vaccines

Survey says: CBD use and COVID vaccination is fine.(8,9)

  • It’s safe for CBD users to get vaccinated.
  • CBD use (at regular doses) doesn’t reduce the efficacy of the vaccine.
  • There’s no evidence that consuming CBD after getting vaccinated has any negative effects or interrupts the shot’s effectiveness. There’s no data showing any interaction between cannabis and the vaccine.

Health experts do recommend against smokable cannabis, though, as it can aggravate your respiratory and immune systems.

And, it’s comforting to know  that if you feel a bit icky after getting your jab — finding relief in the form of a CBD gummy or squirt of CBD drops in your tea should be OK.

Current CBD/COVID FAQs

While gathering information for this post, we saw these questions pop up time and again. These are questions people are scouring the internet to get answers to. So, in case you are wondering…

Will cannabis or cannabinoids protect you from COVID?

Current research indicates that therapeutic doses of CBD may provide some protection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The purer or higher concentration the CBD, the more effective this intervention seems to be. Researchers are quick to say that CBD alone isn’t a magic COVID prophylaxis — vaccination, masking, and social distancing are still needed. And, of course the usual caveat applies here: More study of the protective effects of CBD needs to be done in people (versus in mice or petri dishes) before anyone can say for sure just how protective CBD is.

Do cannabinoids offer a treatment for COVID?

Not yet, in any formal or official way. However, if you’re bogged down with symptoms related to COVID — like trouble sleeping, brain fog, muscle soreness, headaches, etc. — OTC CBD may give you relief. We suggest talking to your healthcare provider if you need help coping with symptoms.

How much CBD for COVID?

We really can’t say as there are no clinical recommendations at this time. What we can tell you is that the doses used in research were often relatively high and the CBD used was a purer form that what you’d find at your local dispensary or natural grocer’s shop. If your doctor thinks it’s safe for you to use CBD while afflicted with COVID, ask for guidance on dosing.

CBD For COVID — Next Steps

COVID’s probably here to stay — in some form. Fortunately, coronavirus-CBD research is expanding and advancing so it’s likely new discoveries will lead to additional cannabidiol-based therapies. And, with consumer-grade CBD oil products readily available — you have options for taking care of your daily wellness needs.

Clinical Trials in Humans

The medical and scientific communities are taking CBD’s potential for fighting COVID seriously. As such, there are multiple studies of CBD’s effect on COVID in people. However, with the different strains of the virus and varying impacts they have of patients — getting info and coming to definitive conclusions is slow going.(10)

Stay tuned to developments!

CBD For Self-Care

Setting the coronavirus-CBD research aside for a sec, it’s worth remembering that CBD oil may help you support your overall well-being. For example, if:

  • The pandemic in general has you stressed out, CBD could bring you some calm.
  • You have body aches from being sick, CBD may alleviate your discomfort.
  • Your sleep is off or of poor quality, CBD might facilitate better rest and renewal.

If you’re struggling with mental or physical wellness — related to COVID or otherwise — it’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor. Together you can find solutions (maybe including some CBD?) that’ll help you get back to being healthy and hale.

Learning From The Latest COVID-CBD Studies

More and new research further supports CBD’s ability to help address multiple aspects of COVID.

  • Clinical-grade CBD appears to have the potential to assist with preventing and treating the illness and its symptoms, physically as well as mentally.
  • Commonly-available CBD could contribute to a well-rounded self-care plan.

References

  1. (2022). Early Studies Suggest CBD May Help Prevent COVID-19. NIH COVID-19 Research. https://covid19.nih.gov/news-and-stories/early-studies-suggest-cbd-may-help-prevent-covid19
  2. Nguyen, LC, et al. (2022). Cannabidiol inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication through induction of the host ER stress and innate immune responses. Science Advances. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abi6110
  3. Reyer, M. (2022). Researchers recommend clinical trials for CBD to prevent COVID-19 based on promising animal data. UChicago Medicine. https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/research-and-discoveries-articles/researchers-recommend-clinical-trials-for-cbd
  4. van Breemen, R, et al. (2022). Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants. Journal of Natural Products. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.1c00946
  5. McGrail, J, et al. (2021). Cannabinoids as Emergent Therapy Against COVID-19. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2022.0018
  6. Brugnatelli, V, et al. (2021). Lifestyle Interventions Improving Cannabinoid Tone During COVID-19 Lockdowns May Enhance Compliance With Preventive Regulations and Decrease Psychophysical Health Complications. Frontiers in Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.565633
  7. Vallée, A. (2022). Cannabidiol and SARS-CoV-2 Infection. Frontiers in Immunology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2022.870787
  8. Perel, L. (2021). https://www.facebook.com/kcrw. This Week in Weed: Whether cannabis and COVID vaccines are a safe mix. KCRW. https://www.kcrw.com/news/shows/kcrw-features/this-week-in-weed-cannabis-coronavirus-vaccine
  9. (2021). Is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I use marijuana/cannabis? Does it matter if it is edibles, smoked, etc.? Immunize BC. https://immunizebc.ca/ask-us/questions/it-safe-get-covid-19-vaccine-if-i-use-marijuanacannabis-does-it-matter-if-it
  10. Lapid, N. (2022). Cannabis compound CBD stops coronavirus in test tube, but can it treat COVID? https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/cannabis-compound-cbd-stops-coronavirus-test-tube-can-it-treat-covid-2022-01-25


Also in News

Who’s Paying for Your Medical CBD?
Who’s Paying for Your Medical CBD?

Cha-Ching! Who’s Paying for Your Medical CBD? You’re using CBD for legit medical purposes. Maybe you even have a doctor’s note justifying the use ...

by Liz Ireland August 15, 2022

Read More
8 Ways To Be A Better Hybrid Worker
8 Ways To Be A Better Hybrid Worker

The great thing about the digital age is that it's opened up a whole world of opportunities for people who want to work from home. With a good in...

by Liz Ireland August 08, 2022

Read More
The Next Generation Of CBD & Smart Supplements Is Here
The Next Generation Of CBD & Smart Supplements Is Here

Our phones are getting smarter and so are our supplements and CBD products. It makes sense — after years of bunk outcomes from old-school vitamins,...

by Liz Ireland August 01, 2022

Read More