CBD and the Immune System: Dealing with Coronavirus

It’s hard to look at the television or chat with your friends nowadays without being inundated with information about the newest strain of coronavirus, also known as COVID19. At this stage, many people are looking beyond frequent hand washing and social distancing for other ways to protect themselves and their families from COVID19.

The spread of the virus is at pandemic levels, and at the moment, there is no known cure or vaccine for COVID19. Many people are using immune-boosters as well as good hygiene practices to reduce the spread and help them avoid the illness.

Could CBD, a popular supplement with a range of health benefits, protect you from COVID19? Is it worth taking CBD during the pandemic?

Here’s what you need to know.


CBD is a cannabinoid, which means it is a chemical naturally found in cannabis and hemp plants. It has a range of health benefits because it interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Every human has an endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for keeping your body healthy and ensuring that it functions properly. Your ECS affects your eyes, skin, brain, digestive system, cardiovascular system, and more. The ECS maintains “homeostasis” - a state of balance within your body.

Your body naturally produces its own cannabinoids, but you could also take cannabinoids such as CBD to produce a positive effect. Many people take CBD to keep themselves healthy.

CBD might strengthen a compromised immune system

There is some evidence that CBD could strengthen a compromised immune system.

You might have heard that COVID19 is more dangerous for those who are immunocompromised. If someone is “immunocompromised,” it means their immune system is impaired because of a pre-existing condition. This makes it harder for their bodies to fight off infections and diseases.

You may be immunocompromised if you have, or have had:

● Cancer
● Diabetes
● Malnutrition
● Heart disease
● Lung disease
● Lupus
● Certain genetic disorders

Some research - such as this 2001 study on CBD and cancer - suggests that CBD can help a compromised immune system fight against infections. It does this by stimulating the release of cytocines, which are essential proteins produced by the immune system.

However, as this research points out, this needs to be studied further before we understand whether CBD really helps the immune system, and how exactly it does that.

CBD may help you destress

CBD is often used by people with anxiety disorders and stressful lives. We know that stress can lead to illness. Stress weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.

Living through a pandemic can be incredibly stressful - but paradoxically, it’s a time when you need to destress the most. Managing your anxiety is essential to maintaining your overall health.

There is some promising evidence that CBD can help those with anxiety disorders. One 2011 study looked at ten people with social anxiety disorder and found that CBD decreased their overall anxiety levels. Another study looked at 54 subjects with symptoms of anxiety. The study gave them CBD and then subjected them to a public speaking test. The study found that CBD effectively reduced anxiety.

Research also suggests that CBD could treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a type of anxiety disorder. One review of studies notes that CBD might have the potential to treat the symptoms of PTSD.

If the news is stressing you out or pushing up your anxiety levels, reaching for one of these CBD products might help. Positive lifestyle changes - like journaling, home exercise, and getting some fresh air away from crowds - can also be useful in these difficult times.

If you need more support, online therapy portals like BetterHelp and Talkspace might be helpful. Through these portals, you can talk to therapists via text, video call, or voice call. This means you’ll be able to get professional help while practicing social distancing.

CBD could help you sleep

Getting quality sleep for six to eight hours a night is essential for the functioning of your immune system, as well as your mood and overall health.

If you’re practicing social distancing and working from home, your routine might suffer, causing your sleep cycle to fall apart. This can leave you feeling moody, depressed, and lethargic - and it can take a significant toll on your mind and body. CBD might be able to correct this.

People with insomnia often use CBD. This could be because it seems to reduce pain, which can often keep one up at night. It also promotes wakefulness during the daytime, according to a 2014 review, which suggests CBD can be used to improve the sleep cycle.

CBD’s anxiety-reducing properties might also be why so many people use it to fall asleep. Many insomnia cases are caused by anxiety, according to the National Sleep Foundation. A case series that focused on anxiety and sleep found that CBD may reduce anxiety-related insomnia.

So, if stress about the pandemic is keeping you from getting some shut-eye, these CBD products could be worth a try.

Can CBD treat COVID19?

Unfortunately, the answer is no.

There’s a lot we don’t know about COVID19 - and we don’t yet know if CBD can treat coronavirus or whether it can help us manage the symptoms. But it seems to reduce anxiety and improve one’s sleep, which can be useful in these stressful times.

Contrary to what some CBD companies are claiming, CBD can’t “cure” COVID19. It has not yet been tested against the virus. There is no known cure for COVID19 so far. There is also no proof that CBD can prevent you from getting the virus in the first place.

While CBD has a range of known health benefits, it isn’t a cure-all - and, like all supplements and medications, has its limitations.

To learn more about CBD, check out Thryv Organics. We are CBD experts and happy to answer any questions you have about the CBD you are currently taking or how you might benefit from incorporating CBD into your daily regimen.

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