The COVID-19 pandemic is one that has taken our world from behind. As it stands, there has been a total of 158k deaths in the UK, alone, with an estimation that 1.3 million people have been left with the debilitating effects of long COVID. This virulent illness is one that has been able to evade and mutate, whilst causing symptoms, and illnesses that could potentially stay with a person for the rest of their life.
With a successful vaccine programme in the UK, this has enabled COVID to appear in the vaccinated as a less serious virus, leading to less hospital admissions. But it still doesn’t stop you, or protect you from getting the virus. There is still no known medicine or drug that wholly protects against it, which has led to many looking at natural alternatives to help protect, and fight COVID. One of those natural alternatives that has received a lot of recent press is CBD, but we’re not talking about smoking marijuana.
Rigorous trials have been ongoing to see what the effects of CBD, cannabinoids are on fighting COVID.
Marsha Rosner of the University of Chicago led a team that found CBD appeared to help curb SARS-CoV-2 in infected cells in laboratory experiments. Whilst it does not stop cells from infecting one another in a test tube, the CBD acts as soon as it enters the cells, blocking it from making copies of itself in part via effects on the inflammatory protein interferon.
The researchers, led by the academics at the University of Chicago said, “Our research suggest that CBD and its metabolite 7-OH-CBD,” which is a compound produced after the body processes CBD, “can block SARS-Cov-2 infection at early and even later stages of infection,”.
Whilst studies are early, and still ongoing there is speculation that CBD derived medicines might be able to supplement vaccines in this ongoing fight against the virus. However, the medical professions reiterate that smoking marijuana and taking over the counter CBD oil is unlikely to help, however, the findings are still limited. But it shows initial hope, and promise in this long battle.
Whilst no studies show that over the counter CBD can help to fight COVID, there is still some evidence that suggests CBDmay be effective in reducing inflammation associated with COVID infection. The US are currently conducting a clinical trial into theFeasibility of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Long COVID.This study is taking place in January 2022 on a test of 30 patients over a 21 week period. Due to the early evidence that suggests it can help with inflammation and chronic pain,it is possible that CBD may be an effective treatment for people diagnosed with Long COVID. The findings of this study will help to concrete these early thoughts and findings.
For the thousands of people suffering from long COVID in the UK alone, this could be a lifeline for those that are now riddled with chronic pain, fatigue and inflammation where there is currently no other medication that offers a natural fix for these debilitating side effects from the virus.
Whilst we can currently only speculate on the effects of CBD for long COVID, we do already know that CBD can be a natural remedy for a number of symptoms including chronic pain, epilepsy and anxiety.
The main lasting effects of long COVID are headaches, cough, fatigue, chronic pain, brain fog and oxygen damage to name just a few. The symptoms are varied from patient to patient, but fatigue seems to be a common denominator across patients.
There have already been findings that CBD helps with reducing inflammation in the body, whilst there are also ongoing trials for CBD in the treatment of ME/CFS which is a debilitating long term illness which leaves the person almost constantly fatigued, among other symptoms. AsCBD is being researched for numerous conditions, and many of those conditions share features with ME/CFS and long COVID, it won’t be long until we can draw links between them all.
If you are looking to try CBD as a natural alternative to help fight against COVID or indeed treat the symptoms of long COVID, always consult your doctor or medical professional beforehand. Early studies are promising on the link between COVID and CBD, it should be later in 2022 that we have some more concrete findings. But for now, we know that CBD can bring many potential health benefits to a person as a natural alternative.
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