The whole world is looking for ways to fight the corona virus. Whether it is new hygiene concepts, new vaccines, or therapies to inhibit infection or start the recovery process. A team of researchers from the University of Chicago has now discovered CBD as one of these possibilities. In a study published on 10 March 2021, they show the connection between the intake of CBD and a reduced infection rate.
CBD with antiviral effect
The researchers discovered that taking CBD inhibits the multiplication of SARS-CoV 2. They discovered this by treating lung cell cultures with a cannabidiol solution and exposing them to the virus after two hours.
Two days later, the lung cells were tested for viral spike proteins and the result indeed showed that CBD is able to inhibit the multiplication of the viruses.
Only CBD inhibits the multiplication of SARS-CoV 2 viruses
Other cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG) and CBDA were also investigated. However, CBD alone showed an antiviral effect at a therapeutic dosage.
Fewer corona infections among CBD users
In order to further expand the findings in a real-world setting, 93,000 Corona test results were analysed. The results showed an infection rate of 10 percent among all tests. This rate dropped to 5.7 per cent in patients with a history of cannabinoid therapy. The greatest difference was seen in the infection rate among people who regularly take CBD. This was only 1.2 percent. Thus, the results from real life underline those from the laboratory.
How does CBD work against SARS-CoV 2?
The researchers are investigating two ways in which CBD could counteract the virus. First, there is the possibility that CBD promotes an antiviral immune response. This means that it helps the body to classify the virus as dangerous so that it can counteract it early. Another possibility is that CBD counteracts the cytokine production. The cytokine production is promoted by viruses and can have life-threatening consequences.
Taking CBD has some advantages over other agents or therapies such as Remdesivir or antiviral antibodies. It is easy to take at home without a visit to the hospital or doctor. In addition, the tolerability is significantly better.
The optimal dosage, application and drug formulation will be further investigated in future studies. Until then, the researchers advise against the preventive use of CBD to combat corona.
Cannabidiol Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication and Promotes the Host Innate Immune Response
Long Chi Nguyen, Dongbo Yang, Vlad Nicolaescu, Thomas J. Best, Takashi Ohtsuki, Shao-Nong Chen, J. Brent Friesen, Nir Drayman, Adil Mohamed, Christopher Dann, Diane Silva, Haley Gula, Krysten A. Jones, J. Michael Millis, Bryan C. Dickinson, Savaş Tay, Scott A. Oakes, Guido F. Pauli, David O. Meltzer, Glenn Randall, Marsha Rich Rosner
bioRxiv 2021.03.10.432967; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.10.432967