CBD and easing the symptoms of COVID-19

The myths about the COVID-19 coronavirus range from silly to potentially dangerous. No, eating garlic won’t cure it or prevent it, although doing so may well keep people away from you in any case. One of the more dangerous myths is that gargling with bleach will keep coronavirus away – it doesn’t, and doing so would certainly cause serious harm. Similarly, spraying yourself with chlorine or pure alcohol won’t help (although hand sanitizer is definitely useful). Chinese food won’t infect you, so feel free to enjoy your General Tso’s. And no, for pity’s sake, Bill Gates did not invent the coronavirus and sell it to China.

With the increased popularity of CBD, many people have wondered about the potential benefit CBD may have in curing or preventing coronavirus, and like everything else, there is a lot of misinformation. There is no evidence that CBD will cure or prevent COVID-19, and claims that it will are irresponsible. A few irresponsible vendors have made such claims, or implied that CBD can be used as a cure or preventive medicine for COVID-19, and the FDA has taken swift action to issue warnings. Most responsible vendors are not making such claims, and are instead offering reasonable guidance about what CBD can be used for if you do contract COVID-19 or the flu.

One of the reasons CBD has become so popular is due to its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with common muscle aches and pains that may result from COVID-19 or the flu. Already manufacturers and retailers are seeing a boost in CBD sales as consumers rush to stock their homes with sanitizer, Lysol spray, toilet paper and over-the-counter cold and flu remedies. (Be kind though, before you fill up your cart, leave a few of those items for other people!)

CBD’s properties

To date, the FDA has issued no guidance on what claims can be made. However, there has been some evidence that CBD does possess anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Again, this does not mean that CBD will cure the coronavirus or prevent you from contracting it.

CBD won’t prevent or cure COVID-19, but it may be useful for alleviating some of the symptoms. Due to those unique properties which have made it so popular, consumers are looking to CBD as a means of combatting the muscle aches, inflammation and nausea that people may be experiencing if they do get the coronavirus, the flu, or a common cold.

As the country shuts down, anxiety goes up

Nearly every major event has shut down, from Broadway shows to sporting events. Companies are instructing their employees to work from home, and restaurants and bars are empty. People are remaining at home after doing their Armageddon-level shopping trips. The entire population is worried about COVID-19, but they are also worried about the repercussions. The stock market has crashed and entered into a bear market, small businesses may face devastating losses due to a lack of traffic or an inability to stay open, and draconian measures may still come from our political leaders in an attempt to contain the virus. Countless people are faced with the loss of a paycheck as their employers shut down.

As a result, far more people will suffer from anxiety than will suffer from the coronavirus itself. Stress levels are high, not just from baseless worry that you won’t have enough toilet paper and will have to resort to the Sears catalog, but from the very real prospect of economic loss.

One of the most common uses for CBD is for stress reduction and anxiety issues, and a course of CBD may be just the thing to calm your nerves after battling a horde of angry grandmas fighting over the last package of antiseptic wipes.

Easing the symptoms

Users of cannabis and CBD are well acquainted with using those substances when suffering from the flu. Again the FDA has not issued any guidance on what CBD can be used for, but existing research and anecdotal evidence does point to its usefulness in easing some of the more common symptoms of the flu and of COVID-19.

  • Supporting your immune system: More research is needed, but some early research has shown that CBD can function as an immune system modulator.
  • Bronchodilator: It’s no fun to be wheezing and coughing up phlegm, but evidence also exists that cannabinoids can relax bronchial muscles, which may make it easier to breathe.
  • Antibacterial: Research from McMaster University has shown that cannabigerol (CBG) may be effective as an antibiotic treatment for MRSA. CBG is one of the many cannabinoids other than CBD which is contained in the whole hemp plant. Using a full spectrum CBD product, as opposed to an isolate, will help those who wish to take advantage of the full benefit of the entire cannabinoid family, including CBG.
  • Pain relief: One of the more common symptoms of both the flu and of COVID-19 is muscle and joint pain, and both anecdotal evidence and some early studies of CBD have pointed to its use in easing this sort of discomfort.

CBD is not a cure or preventive medicine for the coronavirus. Although the FDA has not yet recommended it for specific therapies, it may well be worth your while to try it out as a means of alleviating some of the symptoms.