The COVID-19 pandemic is probably the greatest health concern ever to have been witnessed this generation. Also known as the Coronavirus disease, COVID-19 is a highly infectious, acute respiratory viral illness that broke out in the Wuhan port of China in December 2019.
As of the time of writing (June 22, 2020), more than 8.9 million people had contracted the virus, with over 460,000 deaths. As researchers grapple with finding a cure or vaccine against COVID-19, it’s now emerging that cannabidiol (CBD) can help to fight the disease more effectively than some of the conventional medications that have been recommended, such as hydroxychloroquine.
But what is CBD and just how does it help in the fight against COVID-19? This is exactly the focus of this post.
The Role of CBD on the Immune System
Cannabidiol improves your immunity against COVID-19 by enhancing the functions of your endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a system within the body that regulates normal homeostatic balance, hence contributing significantly to a higher immunity. Some of its core functions include relief from pain, anxiety, inflammation, the elevation of mood and appetite, regulation of circadian rhythms, etc.
CBD attaches itself to your endocannabinoid receptors, particularly CB2 receptors, in such a way that it alters their chemical structure. In doing so, endogenous cannabinoids get attached to these receptors for improved cell-signaling. That results in a quick relief from pain or whichever medical condition you could be suffering from.
Since the endocannabinoid system plays a direct role in boosting your immune system and CBD impacts the endocannabinoid system, it’s therefore evident that CBD may help fight off COVID-19.
Ways CBD Help To Fight COVID-19
CBD Contains Antioxidant Properties
The first way that CBD can help fight COVID-19 is through its antioxidant properties. Like many other extracts of the cannabis plant, CBD boasts flavonoids and terpenes that can help ward off infections.
The antioxidants in CBD protect body cells from the damage occasioned by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress refers to the imbalance between the number of antioxidants in an organism and that of free radicals. Your susceptibility to disease increases whenever there are more free radicals in your body than the number of antioxidants.
So far, antioxidants have been linked to the prevention of chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Therefore, you can shop for high-quality cannabis seeds and begin growing cannabis for use against COVID-19.
CBD Contains Antiviral Properties
COVID-19 is a viral infection, which makes antiviral drugs highly effective at keeping it at bay. That is exactly what CBD guarantees.
Numerous research studies have pointed to the possibility of cannabidiol being used to prevent, treat, and manage viral infections. Though research on the antiviral effects of CBD is still work in progress, preclinical findings so far are quite inspiring. The substance has already shown tremendous promise with several viral infections, such as hepatitis C and Kaposi sarcoma.
One of the top advantages of using CBD against viral infections like COVID-19 is that it doesn’t come with severe side effects. That’s in contrast to the now-touted hydroxychloroquine which is notorious for presenting a myriad of side effects.
CBD Inhibits the Pathways of Viral Infections
This ties back to cannabidiol’s antiviral effects. A recently-commissioned study revealed how cannabis extracts affect ACE2 and TMPRSS2 proteins. These are proteins that occur within the body’s cellular membranes and act as a key getaway for the Coronavirus disease to enter the host cells.
According to these studies, cannabis compounds like CBD can modulate the expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 proteins in COVID-19 target cells.
In layman’s terms, CBD blocks the pathways of COVID-19 viruses, thereby preventing them from penetrating the host’s body cells.
CBD Prevents Inflammation
Inflammation is one of the body’s many natural defence mechanisms, which occurs when your body detects a foreign substance. As the body tries to eliminate the invaders, it also seamlessly attacks healthy tissues, leading to a mass of cells.
After COVID-19 your system, they begin to proliferate in your lungs. Your body responds by attacking the virus and in the process, also attacks adjacent tissues. That results in an inflamed lung, which triggers the coughs.
High potency CBD pills prevent inflammation by lowering your body’s inflammatory messenger activity. Less inflammation translates to reduced coughing.
CBD Treats Pain
Though it’s more of a secondary symptom of COVID-19, pain is part and parcel of the disease. The incessant coughs and sneezes are bound to weigh down on your chest cavity, resulting in pain.
Fortunately, CBD can make all the difference in relieving pain and escalating your recovery process. According to this 2018 review, CBD might help treat different kinds of chronic pain.
By relieving pain on your throat and chest cavity, CBD indirectly improves your chances of recovering from COVID-19.
CBD Relieves Anxiety
Just like pain, anxiety is an indirect side effect of COVID-19. In fact, a huge proportion of those who aren’t infected yet is already grappling with some form of anxiety, mostly from COVID-19-related news.
Anxiety can inhibit your body’s ability to deal effectively with COVID-19 if you get infected. However, it’s reassuring to note that CBD is effective against all the five anxiety disorders, including Social Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Cannabidiol relieves anxiety by improving serotonin signaling in your brain. Serotonin is one of the feel-good chemicals and its deficiency has been associated with stress and depression. The less anxious you are, the more effective you’ll be at dealing with COVID-19.
Evidently, there are numerous ways CBD can help you to cope up with the Coronavirus disease. To recap, CBD helps your body keep the virus from entering your system. It also helps your body cope with the virus if you’re already infected. Most importantly, it doesn’t present any serious side effects, which is instrumental in speeding up the recovery process.