Original News Article Posted At Preliminary results of using CBD to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 (sciworthy.com)
Disclaimer: This article is still in pre-print mode and has not been officially reviewed by peer-review. This article should not be considered conclusive evidence. This explanation can be found at the NIH funding agency.
It is no secret that the 2019 coronavirus has been at the heart of a pandemic that has claimed millions of lives and closed down entire regions of the globe for several weeks or months. Medical professionals and scientists have created vaccines and been able to test different compounds for the treatment of the virus. The University of Chicago (UC), discovered that a metabolite of Cannabidiol (7-OH-CBD) may be able to inhibit SARS-CoV-2.
The University of Chicago team was able to identify the most susceptible cells by infecting human lung cells with the virus. These cells contain receptors called ACE-2 on their surfaces that act as binding points for the coronavirus.
This research was conducted in conjunction with a study on CBD users. They showed lower COVID infection rates than the general public. Because CBD is an over-the-counter medication, it’s available in many forms. The FDA approved CBD oral solutions as a treatment for epilepsy patients.
Researchers conducted multiple experiments to compare coronavirus infection rates and CBD use in this paper. One experiment involved human lung cells that express the ACE-2 receptor. This receptor was used to test if coronavirus could enter the cell after CBD treatment. After being treated with CBD for two hours at a concentration of 0.0-10 micromolar (uM), the cells were then exposed to coronavirus for 48 hours.
The number of viral spike proteins in the culture was used to measure the infection level. As CBD dosage increased, the infection rate (or amount of spike protein that was recovered) decreased. Their experiment confirmed their hypothesis that CBD inhibited infection. However, they still needed additional information.
Researchers compared the effects of different cannabinoid compounds on spike protein levels to determine which compound inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infecting cells. THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, was also tested. The results showed that CBD and its metabolite 7OH-CBD were associated to decreased expression of the viral spike protein, as well as a lower rate of infection. The presence of other compounds appeared to decrease the CBD’s ability to protect cells against infection.
Our cells don’t absorb CBD directly. Our bodies break down CBD into 7-OHCBD and 7 COOH-CBD molecules. In testing, 7-OH-CBD was found to be the same compound that is effective in treating epilepsy. Researchers discovered that 7-OHCBD was responsible for actively protecting cells from infection. This molecule signals the body to detect a virus and causes other changes in the cell. CBD was also found to be effective in preventing cell infection and reversing virus effects.
CBD could play a role in the prevention of COVID-19 infection and replication, and other viral infections. These were cell culture experiments and more research is needed in order to determine the effects CBD has on the coronavirus within the human body. Researchers were careful to point out that CBD products are not recommended for self-treatment of coronavirus. CBD products are readily available in many forms, including tinctures and lotions, foods, and nasal sprays. These products may have different sources, qualities and concentrations.
Conflict of interest statement from the authors: MRR, GR and LCN filed a provisional patent entitled, “Method for using Cannabidiol to combat HIV.” The USPTO acknowledged receipt of the provisional patient on November 30, 2020. S.A.O. S.A.O. is a cofounder of OptiKira. (Cleveland, OH).
A study published on: 10 March 2022
Study author(s): Long Chi Nguyen, Dongbo Yang, Vlad Nicolaescu, Thomas J. Best, Takashi Ohtsuki, Shao-Nong Chen, J. Brent Friesen, Nir Drayman, Adil Mohamed, Christopher Dann, Diane Silva, Haley Gula, Krysten A. Jones, J. Michael Millis, Bryan C. Dickinson, Savaş Tay, Scott A. Oakes, Guido F. Pauli, David O. Meltzer, Glenn Randall, and Marsha Rich Rosner
The study was done at the University of Chicago (USA)
The study was funded by: the National Institutes of Health (USA)
Raw data availability: Not yet available, but will be. Comment from the author… “All data, code and materials used in the analysis will be available in some form to any researcher for purposes of reproducing or extending the analysis except when limited by materials transfer agreements (MTAs). Raw and processed RNA-seq data will be deposited into the GEO database.”