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February 15, 2022 4 min read

We begin with a question. Can cannabis really inhibit SARS-CoV-2? In the January 20, 2022 edition of Science Advances the answer is a qualified yes! In this blog we will highlight some of the findings and provide a context to understand its significance in several ways. 

Let’s begin by looking at a few interesting facts from this Abstract

“Here we report that Cannabidiol (CBD) inhibits infection of SARS-CoV-2 in cells and mice. CBD acts after viral entry, inhibiting viral gene expression and reversing many effects of SARS-CoV-2 on host gene transcription. In matched groups of human patients from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative, CBD (100 mg/ml oral solution per medical records) had a significant negative association with positive SARS-CoV-2 tests. This study highlights CBD as a potential preventative agent for early-stage SARS-CoV-2 infection and merits future clinical trials. We caution against use of non-medical formulations including edibles, inhalants or topicals as a preventative or treatment therapy at the present time.” 

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abi6110 

This study is significant for at least three reasons. First, of course are the results themselves. Second, is that the study even took place. Third, the study demonstrates that cannabis, principally CBD in this case, continues to demonstrate its amazing palate of offerings for healing. 

Jampha’s conviction is that CBD’s remarkable healing properties are still largely unknown because studies are relatively few and far between. CBD has been a long neglected area of study in most medical and scientific circles, particularly in the United States. It begs the question as to why. Certainly one reason is that marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substance Act, lumping it with heroin, LSD, mescaline and a host of other drugs. 

https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Marijuana-Cannabis-2020_0.pdf 

Yet, surely the FDA understands that marijuana is not hemp, particularly as it relates to THC content. Yes, hemp belongs to the cannabis sativa plant species, yet the chemistry of the two plants are distinct! It is noteworthy that the 2018 Farm Bill legalizes the production of hemp, yet the FDA has only approved one CBD-based product for medical purposes. That product is called Epidiolex for patients suffering from epilepsy. This product was originally developed by GW Pharmaceuticals which was later purchased by Jazz Pharmaceuticals in Ireland. 

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms. 

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/hemp-production-and-2018-f arm-bill-07252019. 

The inconsistency at the federal level is perplexing, especially in light of FDA approval of three other cannabis derived products (THC based) principally “for the treatment of anorexia associated with weight loss in AIDS patients”, and clinical studies approved by the FDA for a THC based product to treat spasticity issues for those with multiple sclerosis. The same product has already been granted regulatory approval for various countries outside the United States. Another study found encouraging results for treating the Hepatitis C virus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330095/ 

We are hopeful that the FDA will encourage more clinical studies of CBD products, including Jampha’s products using hemp CBD and its proprietary terpene recipes. We are also hopeful that non pharmaceutical companies can conduct approved clinical studies, and also produce CBD products with FDA approval.

Returning now to the study itself we note several key findings: 

-”High purity CBD inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in human lung epithelial cells.” 

-Only CBD demonstrated inhibitive anti viral properties, while THC, CBDA, CBDV, CBC and CBG did not. 

-”CBD could be acting by blocking viral entry to host cells or at later steps following infection.” 

- ”CBD effectively eradicated viral RNA expression in the host cells, including RNA coding for spike, membrane, envelope and nucleocapsid proteins.”

- ”CBD induces interferon expression as part of its antiviral activity. Interferons are among the earliest immune responses to pathogen exposure.” 

- ”CBD treatment significantly inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in mice.These results establish the pre-clinical efficacy of CBD as an antiviral drug for SARS-CoV-2 during early stages of infection.” 

- ”The purity of CBD and the chemical composition of the materials labeled as CBD are also important, especially in light of our findings suggesting that other cannabinoids such as THC might act to counter CBD antiviral efficacy.” 

- ”Finally, other means of CBD administration such as vaping and smoking raise additional concerns about potential lung damage.” 

More research into the healing properties of hemp is a viable path for exploration and this study reported in Science Advanced is an important breakthrough beyond the findings themselves. We hope that more robust studies into the potential of CBD will now become more mainstream in both the medical and scientific communities!

Jampha strongly suggests that each reader visit the links and carefully consider their contents.

 

*The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant to substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.*


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