The new strain of Coronavirus, COVID-19, is spreading at alarming rates. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the Coronavirus spreads through person to person contact. COVID-19 spreads especially fast within communities and has now traveled from China to Italy, and the US. With supplies like face masks in high demand and short supply, many are wondering what natural products like CBD oil may help them avoid catching this superbug.
What is COVID-19 Coronavirus?
The symptoms of Coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath that appear two to fourteen days after exposure. Special test kits are used to confirm COVID-19 infections. These kits are now being distributed to hospitals in the US.
With astonishing deaths and rapidly spreading infection, many have begin to panic and buy up supplies like water, toilet paper, face masks, and hand sanitizer. But will these products or natural products like CBD oil really help deter the Coronavirus?
The CDC is recommending the following steps for preventing infection:
- Avoid contact with those who are sick
- Avoid touching your face (nose, eyes, mouth)
- Don’t leave home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Wash hands often for 20 seconds using soap and water
- Follow CDC recommendations for facemasks:
“CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.“
How to Treat Coronavirus
As it says in the name, Coronavirus is a virus- not a bacteria. Antibiotics cannot help treat viral infections and can even have worse effects by increasing antibiotic resistance of bacteria in the body. There is currently no vaccine or anti-viral medication for Coronavirus.
Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you think you may have Coronavirus. While there is currently no treatment for Coronavirus, supportive care is important. People who have potentially been exposed to the virus will also need to quarantine themselves to ensure the virus is not spread.
What Can CBD do for Coronavirus?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid extracted from the hemp variety of cannabis. CBD oil is a popular natural product that is believed to help support health and wellbeing. It is also thought the CBD oil has benefits that can relieve symptoms of pain, anxiety, and epilepsy. CBD products will not get you high unlike THC from cannabis.
Taking CBD helps to balance the endocannabinoid system.3 The endocannabinoid system is important because it plays a regulatory role in signaling. When the endocannabinoid system is out of balance, signals to nerves and cells can be disrupted. This biological disinformation can cause symptoms associated with pain, mood disorders, and poor immune function. Balancing the endocannabinoid system is thought to help maintain a healthy immune system function.
Antimicrobial Ability of Cannabinoids
CBD won’t stop the coronavirus, but it does have notable antimicrobial activity. In fact, all five of the major cannabinoids (CBD, THC, CBG, CBC, and CBN) have potent antibacterial activity against the superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).1
A review of the antibacterial properties of CBD was prepared by Głodowska and Łyszcz (2017). They found that ethanol and petroleum extracted cannabinoids had strong inhibitory effects of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.2 These include:
- Baccilus subtilus
- Baccilus pumilus
- Staphlococcus aureus
- Micrococcus flavus
- Proteus vlugaris
- Bordetella bronchioseptica
Final Thoughts on CBD for Coronavirus
The antibacterial activity of cannabis extracts is comparable to the common antibiotic Celphalexin.2 Leaf extract of antibacterial cannabinoids is even 250 times higher than the concentration of the antibiotic. However, this powerful antibiotic activity will do nothing to keep the Coronavirus away. CBD may help support your overall health, but don’t buy into outlandish claims that CBD can cure or prevent Coronavirus.
- Appendino, G., Gibbons, S., Giana, A., Pagani, A., Grassi, G., Stavri, M., … & Rahman, M. M. (2008). Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure− activity study. Journal of natural products, 71(8), 1427–1430. Retrieved from: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/np8002673
- Głodowska, M., & Łyszcz, M. (2017). 11. Cannabis sativa L. and its antimicrobial properties–A review. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Martyna_Glodowska/publication/317185536_Cannabis_sativa_L_and_its_antimicrobial_properties_-_A_review/links/592bfd7d458515e3d46eae74/Cannabis-sativa-L-and-its-antimicrobial-properties-A-review.pdf
- Nichols, J. M., & Kaplan, B. L. (2019). Immune Responses Regulated by Cannabidiol. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. Retrieved from: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/can.2018.0073