As the world continues to seek treatments for COVID-19, the University of Waterloo researchers had a breakthrough regarding the use of synthetic cannabidiol (CBD) as protection against the said virus.
In its study entitled, Cannabidiol and the anti-viral response to SARS-CoV-2 proteins, the cannabis plant was found to have a non-psychoactive compound. This compound can aid in priming the cells’ innate immune system to protect the system from pathogens, including the SARS COV-2.
The findings haven’t been tackled in other related studies. The researchers say that CBD boosts how cells respond to various key proteins activated by the genome of the coronavirus. To observe the results, the researchers spent time studying how the genome proteins operated in healthy control cells and healthy kidney cells with CBD and without CBD.
According to the study’s lead investigator, Prof. Robin Duncan, the infected cells in the digestive tract or lungs can respond and sense the infection even before the immune system acknowledges the presence of the virus. However, the response is inefficient, leading to higher COVID infection rates.
Prof. Duncan said that cells could get killed as they perform their initial work in shredding the virus. If properly handled, the breakthrough could slow down the transfer of the virus and might potentially stop the infection. This can be fulfilled by leaning on the combination of viral proteins and CBD to activate apoptosis effectively.
CBD can be helpful in the process since it doesn’t cause euphoric effects as THC does. To date, the study is undergoing review in the Journal of Life sciences after passing initial peer reviews.