COVID-19 and CBD Research: The Latest Findings and Takeaways
Since the pandemic struck, researchers have been exploring how hemp compounds (particularly CBD) could prevent Covid, mitigate symptoms, or treat the disease. To date, we are far from knowing the answer, and by no means can anyone claim retail=grade CBD oils make a notable difference. But, CBD research and phase II/III clinical trials have undoubtedly revealed fascinating results.
Here we’ll explore the key CBD Covid studies today, what they conclude, the open questions that remain, and the healthy alternative supplements doctors recommend today.
Clinical Trial Explores Full-Spectrum Hemp for Long-COVID Treatment
Experts estimate that up to 50% of the 236 million Covid survivors continue to suffer from a mysterious condition known as “Long Covid” months after they test negative. The World Health Organization defines Long Covid as a range of symptoms that usually occurs within three months of infection, that lasts at least two months (and up to six months in some cases). And it can happen to anyone, no matter how severe or mild their initial illness.
Long Covid manifests in various issues like persistent pain, anxiety, fatigue, and brain fog. Some people experience symptoms immediately after Covid recovery. Others feel fine at first and then wake up weeks later with enduring symptoms. This is a devasting problem for millions of people, and to date, there is no treatment or explanation.
Researchers, however, are actively studying the phenomenon and working to find sources of relief. Bod Pharmaceuticals is one organization taking a stab at addressing Long Covid, using its cannabis-based medicinal line. Recently, Bod teamed up with Drug Science UK to analyze its CBD-concentrated full-spectrum hemp oil, MediCabilis®. The product contains:
- CBD + CBDA - 50 mg/mL
- CBC - 2 mg/mL
- Delta-9 THC - less than2 mg/L
- CBG - 1.5 mg/mL
- CBDV - 1 mg/mL
In January, Bod received clinical trial authorization to test its formula. The team plans to administer MediCabilis® to 30 adult patients daily over six months. Results are expected by the end of the year.
“Long-COVID shares symptoms with disorders that medical cannabis has been proved to treat. So this new study could be an exciting and important step for both patients and for our wider understanding of these medicines.," said Professor David Nutt, Drug Science Founder, and Chief Scientific Officer.
Researchers Recommend CBD-Based Clinical Trials for Covid-19 Prevention
Marsha Rosner of the University of Chicago and her team, who recently published a study in Science Advances, want to see CBD at the forefront of Covid-19 prevention studies. Why? Their widely circulated research indicated that highly potent oral CBD inhibits Covid infection in human lung cells and mice. According to their findings, CBD may work by inhibiting viral gene expression while boosting the body’s stress and immune responses. Notably, the study concluded that THC counteracted the benefits.
“We just wanted to know if CBD would affect the immune system,” Rosner said. “No one in their right mind would have ever thought that it blocked viral replication, but that’s what it did,” said Marsha Rosner, Ph.D.
Rosner is clear that CBD is worthy of further study. Still, Rosner doesn’t suggest people rush to their local CBD shop and assume that commercial formulas will do the trick. Rosner is clear that investigators must still perform clinical trials to determine the proper CBD dosage and confirm her team’s preliminary results.
Supposing researchers can determine the right CBD dosage, Rosner warns that consumers face another marketplace issue–mislabeling. Unfortunately, some CBD companies don’t properly test their formulas and publish their results, which means several brands are selling products with false labels. That means consumers will have to carefully select their CBD sources, if and when the time comes. But for now, researchers have more work to do to prove the exciting results.
Phase II/III Clinical Trial Examines CBD Therapy for Covid Heart Complications
Last October, Cardiol Therapeutics announced its plans to expand its Covid-19 investigative trial from the US to include Brazil, Mexico, and Canada patients. Clinical researchers developed this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to examine its CardiolRX CBD formula for hospitalized Covid patients with cardiovascular disease risk (specifically, myoccarditis). Risks include patients with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, or those who are over 64 years old.
The LANCER trial already registered US patients under the Investigational New Drug approval cleared by the FDA last year. Now, Cardiol Therapeutics is seeking patients in Brazil, Mexico, and Canada in three more countries.
"COVID-19 remains an international crisis, and there remains an urgent need to develop new therapeutics to address the immune-mediated inflammation that results from the virus, particularly in high-risk patients with cardiovascular disease," stated Dr. Guillermo Torre-Amione, Chairman of Cardiol Therapeutics.” said Dr. Guillermo Torre-Amione, Chairman of Cardiol Therapeutics.
If positive, results could reduce all-cause mortality and specific cardiovascular issues.
CardiolRX is an oral cannabidiol formula, which contains:
- CBD - 100 mg/mL
- THC - < 0.005 mg/mL
Lab Research Says CBDa and CBGa Can Stop Covid-19
We’ve talked a lot about the potential of concentrated, oral CBD formulas for Covid-19. But what about other hemp compounds?
Well, Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Science University recently conducted an in vitro (lab) study with exciting results. According to the team, CBDa and CBGa prevented Covid-19 from reproducing and spreading (in a petri dish). CBDa and CBGa are minor cannabinoids, also known as the raw forms of CBD and CBG.
Study investigators found that, of hemp’s hundreds of cannabinoids, CBDa and CBGa exhibited the most powerful ability to inhibit the Covid protein from seizing human cells. Even more profound, these minor cannabinoids reduced viral infection loads (still, in a petri dish) by an astounding 50%.
To be 1000% clear, Oregon researchers did not administer CBGa and CBDa to human patients. Instead, the team ran CBDa and CBGa’s properties through a computer model that checked them against Covid-19. Then, after seeing the results, the team combined live Covid samples with CBDa, CBGa, or a neutral control.
A day later, the scientists found that the virus moved remarkably slower in the hemp samples compared to the control group. These findings provide preliminary proof that can hopefully inspire further research on animals and, ultimately, people.
What Doctors say Can Help Mitigate Covid-19 Today
We love exploring hemp and CBD’s significant wellness potential at Medical Mike's. And we’re excited by the research showing CBD’s inflammatory properties may weaken Covid-19 while preventing some of its most severe symptoms. BUT, we are not saying that commercial-grade hemp and CBD formulas will stop Covid from affecting your life. Additionally, we urge you to take guidance from your doctor on the most effective available treatments.
So, with all that said, let’s switch gears to some of the other natural modalities doctors suggest to battle this pandemic.
The Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance group published (and recently updated) a Covid-19 prevention and treatment protocol consisting of pharmaceuticals and a list of natural supplements.
In priority order, the Critical Care Alliances lists the following supplements:
- Vitamin D - due to its natural immunity defense and the added protection it provides after disease exposure
- Turmeric - for its antiviral activity
- Black cumin and honey - for their antiviral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulatory effects with proven safety profiles
- Vitamin C - for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-enhancing properties
- Quercetin - for its virucidal properties against a range of viruses
- Zinc - due to its natural immunity defense and the added protection it provides after disease exposure
- Probiotics - due to Covid-19’s attack on the microbiome, further increasing the severity of the disease
- B complex vitamins - for its ability to strengthen the immune system