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Israeli Researchers Begin Trials for CBD as a COVID-19 Treatment

Three groups of researchers in Israel have launched clinical trials to test whether or not the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD may potentially be a treatment for COVID-19. Since the outcomes of these trials may have a significant impact on any COVID-19 treatment course, we’re going to be breaking down the three trials and what they’ll be studying. However, we’d first like to note that this is just the announcement of the trials. It will probably be weeks before we begin to see results and it pays to be cautious before making any sort of argument that CBD can safely be used to treat COVID-19. That being said, given the wide body of research that supports CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, it makes sense that researchers would be looking into CBD as a potential addition to treatment regimens. 

The Available Science...

Each of the three trials involves slightly different drug combinations. One of the trials investigates whether CBD can lower respiratory symptoms in patients with COVID-19. The second study combines traditional steroids with CBD in the belief that CBD will enhance the therapeutic potential of the steroids. The final study is looking at the potential use of exosomes to deliver targeted CBD doses to organs damaged by COVID-19.

But Isn't Smoking Bad For You?

Though doctors and experts warn that smoking marijuana may worsen symptoms of COVID-19, Israeli researchers are exploring the use of CBD to lower respiratory symptoms in patients that have moderate cases of COVID-19. Since CBD has beneficial anti-inflammatory properties it may be able to reduce inflammation in the lungs, which then reduces the severity of symptoms. It is unclear what delivery method will be used in this trial, and it should be interesting to see the results as they are published.

CBD and Steriods?

Traditional steroids are a common treatment for COVID-19 and many other inflammatory and immunological disorders. Steroids can have severe side effects and a person can experience steroid withdrawal when coming off of them, so most doctors only prescribe them in the short-term for managing flare ups. There is increasing evidence that CBD may act as a “steroid sparing treatment”. This means that patients taking CBD along with their steroids may be able to take less of the steroid and, in some cases, CBD may be able to be used instead of a traditional steroid. This particular trial continues to build on that research. If this trial proves successful, it would be an awesome first step to help maintain stocks of steroids and reduce the impact of steroid use on patients since steroids are the main treatment course for hospitalized patients with COVID-19. The researchers do have plans to expand to 40 other patients should this first run prove successful.

What The F*ck Are Exosomes??

The final trial involves CBD being delivered to damaged organ cells via exosomes. So what are exosomes? Exosomes are created when stem-cells multiply and can target particular organs and cells that have been damaged. Stem cells can be divided into two categories: embryonic and adult. Embryonic stem cells are known as pluripotent which means that they can turn into more than one type of cell. Adult stem cells are divided into two types themselves: ones that are derived from fully-formed tissue and induced pluripotent adult stem cells. Regular adult stem cells typically do not produce more than one cell type (i.e. liver-derived stem cells will only produce liver cells). While induced pluripotent adult stem cells are stem cells taken from fully formed tissues and then are manipulated in a lab to become pluripotent. Exosomes themselves are still the subject of a lot of research, but the targeted delivery of CBD to damaged organ systems could provide more direct and effective anti-inflammatory relief to patients.

The Most Important Take Away From All This Info...

No set treatment course has been established for COVID-19 by doctors and experts. In the meantime it is important that researchers rigorously test any potential treatments for this virus and it’s symptoms. It’s too early to say whether or not CBD is beneficial for this particular virus and we NEED more science, but we’ll keep you up to date as more data is gathered and published! P.S. If you think you have COVID-19, please don't come to the store! Talk to your doctor before trying CBD, especially if you're currently prescribed other medications. DO NOT SUBSTITUTE YOUR DOCTOR'S RECOMMENDATION WITH CBD WITHOUT EXPLICITLY TALKING TO THEM!