We’ve had lots of questions about the use of CBD during the COVID-19 outbreak and whether it can help prevent or treat the virus. Before you get too excited, we must state that there is no current research to say that CBD has any effect on coronavirus.
What about my immune system, can CBD help prevent illness?
Cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and its cannabinoid receptors. The ECS is responsible for regulating a number of body functions including immune response, sleep, mood, appetite, metabolism and pain sensation. The human body contains both CB1 and CB2 receptors, and each has particular roles in the ECS.
CB1 receptors are mostly in the brain and nervous system and help to control memory processing, appetite, pain sensation, mood and sleep. They are also related to neuroprotective responses, activities that suggest cannabinionds could help in the treatment and prevention of conditions such as Parkinsons, Alzeimers and Multiple Sclerosis.
CB2 receptors are located in the immune system and associated structures. When triggered, CB2 receptors help to fight inflammation, reduce pain and minimimse damage to tissues. This response has been beneficial in treating inflammation related conditions such as IBS, Crohn’s disease and arthritis.
CBD also work together with other receptors in the body, including 5-HT1A which is linked to serotonin and contributes to feelings of wellbeing. This is the way in which cannabinoids are considered to promote balance and healing.
There are 4 main ways in which CBD and the immune system can work together;
1. Increasing NK (natural killer) cells
Animal studies showed that CBD oil helped to balance the immune system and increase the activity of NK cells. NK cells are instrumental in the body’s ability to respond to viruses.
2. Supporting an inflammatory response
The CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce the immune system’s inflammatory response. Inflammation is vital as it isolates infected areas, preventing toxins from spreading. In animal studies, CBD has been found to support an inflammatory response in the lungs, and has improved lung function in mice who were exposed to a lung irritant.
3. Maintaining a healthy gut
The GI tract contains a large percentage of the immune system and its’ health is therefore beneficial to overall wellbeing. There are both good and bad organisms within the gut, known as microbiota, which therefore need to be in balance. Inflammation in the gut can lead to an impaired immune system, but the endocannibiniod system works to counteract this. CBD has also shown signs that it can help support this process.
4. Helping to calm anxiety and stress
Chronic stress has strong links to a reduction in immunity and cannabinoids work to provide a healthy response to this stress. Your natural cannabinoids work on the CB receptor, but a CBD supplement works to activate the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, providing a calming effect. Studies have shown that CBD is related to an ability to modulate blood flow in the regions of the brain that are involved with anxiety.
Human trials have shown a reduction in (mild) stress in people who have taken CBD before giving a speech.
Mental wellbeing during lockdown
Social distancing and the current lockdown situation isn’t easy for anyone. We know that a number of people are suffering from anxiety and insomnia at this time. This is where CBD could help. There is evidence that CBD can help with conditions such as:
- Generalised anxiety disorder.
- Panic disorder.
- Social anxiety disorder.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
How can CBD help anxiety and insomnia?
Studies currently suggest that CBD counters anxiety by stimulating neurotransmitter systems and neural regeneration. Cannabinoids interact with many different receptors, proteins and chemicals in the brain, creating changes in neurotransmitters, hormones and other cells. Our bodies actually produce their own cannabinoids, as a part of the endocannabinoid system. These bind themselves to receptors all over the body and regulate many processes including mood, pain perception, appetite and cognitive functions.
It may be that people who don’t produce enough cannabidoids themselves benefit from taking additional supplements, or another theory states that taking CBD helps our natural cannabinoids to remain longer, thereby extending the calming effect.
Studies currently suggest that CBD counters anxiety by stimulating neurotransmitter systems and neural regeneration. Cannabinoids interact with many different receptors, proteins and chemicals in the brain, creating changes in neurotransmitters, hormones and other cells. Our bodies actually produce their own cannabinoids, as a part of the endocannabinoid system. This system helps to regulate many body processes including mood, pain perception, appetite and cognitive functions. CBD therefore interact with this system.
Because CBD potentially has the ability to reduce anxiety, it can also be helpful in reducing sleep problems and improving the quality of sleep. Research has shown that CBD may help to increase sleep amounts and improve insomnia, along with helping reduce insomnia in people with chronic pain.
How should I consume CBD for anxiety and insomnia?
In order to treat anxiety and insomnia, you need a way of getting CBD into your bloodstream. There are various ways of ingesting CBD oil, each with their own pros and cons. In addition to the information below, we do recommend that you discuss this with a doctor, especially if you take prescribed medication.
Tinctures and oils
CBD oils and tinctures are a simple and accurate way to take CBD. Tinctures usually contain CBD in an alcohol base, whilst CBD oils have the CBD extracts infused in a carrier oil, such as coconut or hemp seed oil.
These products are usually taken with a dropper, meaning that you can easily measure intake. The cannabinoid will enter the bloodstream very quickly if taken sublingually (under the tongue), having a rapid response that can last up to 3 or 4 hours. Try a product such as Sensi CBD oil, or if you prefer a spray, we recommend one such as Love CBD Entourage Oil Spray.
CBD vape oils
CBD can be vaped with a special pen that vaporises the oil. There are a number of vape liquids, cartridges or crystals available, with different flavours to suit the user. Try flavours such as Mint, Blueberry, Menthol, Bubblegum or even Cola.
At the moment, there are discussions about the safety of vaping, especially connected to the use of unregulated vaping products. All of our vape products are regulated.
Working out how much CBD to vape is not easy and we recommend that you consult the product information and follow the directions carefully.
It’s possible to add CBD to almost any food, although it should be noted that results will take an hour or more to take effect. It is easy to consume in the form of gummies or chewing gum, but remember that a limited amount of CBD gets through to your circulatory system after passing through the gastrointestinal system. Gummies are available in flavours such as mixed berry and turmeric and spirulina, which has it’s own added benefits.
*These statements have not been evaluated by Public Health England or the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.