Can CBD help protect us from the coronavirus?

(No, but hemp nutrition can!)

Published on March 22, 2020

If you’re looking for the complete and honest truth about how CBD impacts the immune system and our body’s ability to fight the novel coronavirus and its disease, COVID-19, you’ve come to the right place. “Straight talk”, as they say. Spoiler alert: You shouldn’t rely on CBD, or any supplement, to optimize your immune system and protect you from the potentially dangerous symptoms of any disease, including COVID-19.

But there’s a twist. You see, CBD isn’t the only thing that hemp can make. When female hemp flowers are not fertilized, they produce CBD and other cannabinoids, but when pollen adrift in the wind finds the tiny flowers (hundreds or thousands per plant), they grow tiny nuts that we call “hemp seeds”, and it’s these nutritious morsels that could play an integral part in your overall defense strategy.

Ok fine, but will CBD help with coronavirus?

First thing’s first: It’s our social duty to remind everyone to follow all guidance issued by our health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as from state and county health departments. If you think you have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, call (don’t visit) your doctor to receive instructions on what to do. If you think you’re having a medical emergency of any kind, call 911 immediately.

Here’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth: There is no clinical evidence to suggest that CBD could be helpful explicitly in preventing the contraction of the novel coronavirus or in treating symptoms of COVID-19.1 The fact is that we just don’t know enough to make any conclusions on what effects CBD will have on a specific viral infection in a particular person, let alone to say with certainty that those effects would most likely be good. Even if we did, that still wouldn’t answer the question for full-spectrum CBD, which includes a host of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. It also wouldn’t tell you whether any particular CBD product would work, as brands vary in quality as well as in the composition of their CBD oil.

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is a collection of receptors throughout the body that cannabinoids like CBD bind to, helps regulate a number of physiological and cognitive processes, including appetite, pain, mood, memory, digestion, and even the immune system itself. However, how any of those effects might influence a person’s ability to resist any particular disease, such as COVID-19, is unknown.

CBD does have anti-inflammatory properties2, but there is conflicting advice being released by national authorities3 and the World Health Organization (WHO)4 as to the safety of taking anti-inflammatories to manage COVID-19 symptoms. There is substantial evidence showing that CBD acts as an immunosuppressive5, meaning it makes the immune system less active, mostly by reducing inflammation. This could be a good thing when the immune system is overly active and creates too much inflammation or even begins to attack the body itself, such as in the case of auto-immune disease. However, immune suppression could also make an infection worse. In the case of viral infections, some create and thrive in inflammation, and one study6 does suggest that CBD may be able to “suppress viral replication by anti-inflammatory action”. However, that same study cites other cases showing that CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects can worsen a viral infection. More research is needed to determine whether anti-inflammatories are appropriate for use with COVID-19. We recommend subscribing to health authority updates, such as those from the World Health Organization (WHO), to stay informed. As always, consult your doctor if you have medical questions regarding any supplements you are considering or are already taking.

Watch out for coronavirus scams and snake oil

With any crisis comes those who disregard the law (and morality) and prey on people’s fears and anxieties using tactics like phishing scams and snake oil marketing, and unfortunately some cases have involved CBD.7,8 It’s important to learn how to recognize a scam.9 Already we’re seeing many supplement retailers overpromising the benefits of their products and in some cases even explicitly marketing them as helping with the coronavirus.10 This is wrong, and we applaud authorities for addressing these violations.

Hemp seed nutrition can help keep you healthy during a pandemic

Until there is a treatment for COVID-19, the best we can do is heed the advice of our health authorities, including washing our hands and practicing social distancing, while also improving our overall health and wellness. That most certainly means eating a healthy, well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients and low in processed foods and artificial additives. Hemp seeds provide a host of nutritional benefits, and you can read all about them on our hemp nutrition page. Anyone serious about eating healthy will do well to incorporate hemp seeds into their daily diet.

In particular, hemp seeds are high in dietary fiber, which promotes healthy digestion. As we mentioned above, the gut is intimately associated with our immune system, and improving our digestion is very likely to also benefit our immunity. Hemp seeds are also rich in Omega fats, especially Omega-3, which are beneficial to two organs you definitely want to keep healthy: the heart and brain. Finally, hemp seeds are a good source of zinc, which is a mineral that helps keep the immune system strong and has become a common treatment for the common cold11, which can also be caused by a virus.

Additionally, studies suggest that hemp protein may help with a number of conditions, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, kidney disease, and obesity,12 all of which are underlying conditions that increase one’s vulnerability to COVID-19. However, as with all associations between nutrition and disease, more research is needed to confirm these benefits.

Besides optimizing your nutrition, other well-known things that promote a healthy immune system include staying active, getting good sleep, and lowering your stress.13

Why buy hemp seed foods from Cascadia Hemp Co?

Hemp seed foods, especially hemp hearts, can be found all over these days. Folks in the Seattle area tend to know about their nutritional benefits, so they’re flying off the shelves in our local stores. At least people are also stocking up on things that make more sense than toilet paper. The vast majority of these hemp seed products are currently imported from Canada. Don’t get us wrong, Canadian hemp seeds are great. However, why not support U.S. farmers by buying 100% American-grown hemp seeds? That’s exactly what you get when you buy Queen of Hearts hemp seed foods from Cascadia Hemp Co.

Get healthy with hemp nutrition today!

You may have noticed hemp hearts selling out at your local stores. That’s because many folks already know just how healthy they are.

Snag your hemp seed foods from us before we sell out!

Use code STAYHEALTHY10 for 10% off your total when you order our hemp hemp seed foods.