CBD and the Coronavirus: Clearing up the Confusion

The COVID-19 virus is on everyone’s minds as cases continue to rise and more countries go into lockdown. 

Many people are curious about whether cannabidiol (CBD) can help with the virus in any way. Some companies have even gone so far as to suggest that CBD oil protects against the coronavirus, earning the wrath of federal authorities.

Let’s be clear: at this time, there isn’t any evidence that CBD oil or any other CBD product can prevent coronavirus infection or improve its symptoms. 

Having said that, CBD does have some evidence backed-properties that may help your immune system healthy. Here’s what the medical research says.

CBD’s Antiviral Properties

Some studies have shown that CBD has antiviral effects. One 2017 study found that CBD reduced the replication of the hepatitis C virus but had no effect on hepatitis B. 

Similarly, a 2012 study reported that CBD slowed the spread of cells infected with the Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) that causes skin cancer.

However, there is no evidence that it works against any other viruses, and researchers stress that it’s too early to recommend its use as an antiviral compound.

CBD and the Immune System

The effects of CBD on the immune system are complex. Generally speaking, CBD and other cannabinoids act as immunomodulators: compounds that normalize immune system function, suppressing some aspects of it and stimulating other ones to help bring it back into balance. 

At this time, however, we only have strong evidence for one immunity-related effect of CBD: reduction of inflammation. This can be beneficial for some viruses, especially those that require chronic inflammation to progress, but it’s too early to tell.

In short, more research is needed to say whether the anti-inflammatory and other immunity-related effects of CBD can help with viruses.

CBD’s Indirect Benefits

Where CBD does hold some potential benefits for viruses is its indirect effects: reducing stress and anxiety and improving sleep. These popular uses of CBD are backed by a growing body of medical research evidence

As it happens, being chronically stressed, anxious, or sleep-deprived is known to weaken your immune system. So, if you struggle with any of these issues, taking CBD can potentially boost your immunity.

However, that’s a far cry from protecting against or even curing the coronavirus. At this time, there’s zero evidence to support the use of CBD against COVID-19.

P.S. note that I am not a doctor and this information should not be considered as medical advice. I’m simply recounting what I’ve read in published medical research studies of CBD to help counteract some of the false claims that have been made about CBD’s ability to cure or defend against the coronavirus.

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