Cannabidiol (CBD) is the major non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids found in Cannabis. It has been found to possess anti-epileptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, muscle relaxing, anxiolytic, neuroprotective and anti-psychotic activity and reduces the psychoactive effects of THC. (1) At present, CBD is being evaluated as a possible treatment for epilepsy (2) and schizophrenia (3) and for its anti-tumorigenic effects. (4)
Although cannabis and several phytocannabinoids derived from it possess antibacterial (antibiotic) effects (5), there are limited studies that indicate that cannabis or cannabinoids derived from it possess anti-viral activity themselves (5-9). Further, several studies showed that the potent anti-inflammatory properties of THC and CBD may actually enhance and exacerbate viral diseases including Hepatitis C, Herpes simplex virus and HIV by dampening inflammation and interfering with subsequent immune responses (7-9). However, in other viral diseases cannabinoids may diminish virus pathogenesis by multisystemic effects on host immunity, cell signaling and effector mechanisms involved in the viral cell cycle (6).
Because Cov-2, the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (Cov-19), is a new virus nothing is currently known about the effects of cannabinoids on the virus or pathogenesis of Cov-19 disease. Consequently, do not believe any claim that suggest that CBD, THC or any other cannabinoids is an effective treatment for Cov-19. That said, cannabis consumption may help to reduce anxiety about possibly contracting the virus and also break up the tedium of the stay-at-home that most of us are living with right now.
- Russo E, Guy GW. (2006) A tale of two cannabinoids: the therapeutic rationale for combining tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Medical Hypotheses 66(2):234-246.
- Cilio MR, Thiele EA, Devinsky O.(2014) The case for assessing cannabidiol in epilepsy. Epilepsia 55(6):787-790.
- Deiana S. (2013) Medical use of cannabis. Cannabidiol: A New Light For Schizophrenia? Drug Testing and Analysis 5(1):46-51.
- Cridge BJ, Rosengren RJ. (2013) Critical appraisal of the potential use of cannabinoids in cancer management. Cancer Management and Research 5:301-313.
- Appendino A, Gibbons S, Giana A, Pagani A Grassi G,Stavri M,Smith E Rahman M. Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: A structure-activity study J. Nat. Prod. 2008: 71:1427-1430
- Tahamtan A, Tavakoli-Yaraki M, Rygiel T, Mokhtari-Azad T, Salimi V. Effects of cannabinoids and their receptors on viral infections J Med. Virol. 2015; DOI 10.1002/jmv
- Lowe, HIC, Toyang NJ, McLaughlin W. Potential of cannabidiol for the treatment of viral hepatitis Pharmacognosy Res 2017; 9:116-118
- Hernandez-Cervantes R, Mendez-Diaz M, Propero-Garcia, Morales-Montor J. Immunoregulatory role of cannabinoids during infectious diseases Neuroimmunomodulation 2017; 24:183-199
- Reiss CS. Cannabinoids and viral infections. Pharmaceut 2010; 3:1873-1886
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