The marijuana plant contains many components, with THC and CBD being the two major compounds. CBD is particularly known to be very powerful since it has much more significant medical usage than THC and the other numerous compounds found in medical marijuana. CBD is known to interact with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of our body to produce natural cannabinoids that help against viruses.
The endocannabinoid system has two major receptors known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptor is found in the brain and is mainly involved with the mental effects of cannabis, whereas the CB2 receptors are responsible for regulating the flow of hormones.
CBD has been proven to have antiviral properties which are helpful in curing the symptoms of many viral diseases. CBD is beneficial in improving the immune system’s ability to protect the body from viral infections by serving as a natural antimicrobial that targets bacteria. When a virus is found in the body, it triggers a response by the immune system as well as increased inflammation, which could kill healthy cells in the body, thereby resulting in major health repercussions.
However, CBD is very effective in reducing the activities of the immune system in case of a viral infection, thereby minimizing the inflammation and preventing serious after effects. Of course, a strained immune system equally causes enormous strain on the body which could lead to other ailments than just a cold. Moreover, the endocannabinoid system cannot single-handedly maintain a balanced level of activity from the immune system and that is exactly where cannabinoids like CBD step in. CBD therefore plays the important role of inducing an efficient response from the immune system that prevents the body from overworking itself and exacerbating the situation.
For instance, CBD is reported to be effective in treating the symptoms of the Herpes Simplex Virus, also known as HSV. HSV is a common sexually transmitted disease which doesn’t have a cure, even though there exist medications to alleviate the symptoms. CBD can lessen the pain caused by the herpes simplex virus and equally prevent an outbreak from reoccurring. Scientists have therefore argued that thanks to the antiviral properties of CBD, the frequency of outbreaks of HSV can also be diminished.
There is also some evidence that CBD is effective in treating viral hepatitis. According to a study that was conducted in 2017 and published in PMC, CBD could be further developed and used therapeutically against hepatitis C (HCV). It is evident that hepatitis has become a global health problem that if left untreated could lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer.
Moreover, the risk of drug resistance, combined with the high cost of therapies prompted the authors of this study to investigate the possibilities of developing a safer and more cost effective therapy. That said, preliminary screening of CBD during this study revealed that CBD is active against hepatitis C. Further findings from this study actually indicated that CBD inhibited HCV replication by 86.4% at a single concentration of 10 μM with EC50 of 3.163 μM in a dose-response assay.
CBD has also been reported to be effective in treating flu, swine flu inclusive. This assertion can be explained by the fact that CBD decreases the reaction of the immune system in people who have contacted the swine flu, thereby preventing over-activity that can have serious and even fatal results. More so, hemp derived CBD also contains Omega 3 fatty acids that are beneficial not only in managing inflammations, but also in boosting the immune system’s defense against various threats, flu inclusive.
Although there is a need for more research on the antiviral properties of many other cannabinoids, CBD is unarguably the best choice to focus on because unlike other cannabinoids like THC, CBC does not have psychoactive effects that can result in the feelings of being stoned or high.
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