Hemp Oil in the Time of Covid-19
*Credits: American Cannabis Nurses Association
On March 5, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic as the virus, COVID-19, spread at an unprecedented rate. While all options, including alternative modalities, are considered, the CDC is yet to identify a curative COVID-19 treatment.
Now, let's be clear, Cannabis and CBD have no proof of effectiveness against COVID-19, thus we must not claim otherwise. It is our responsibility to hold the CBD industry to high standards. To illustrate, in March 2020, the FDA sent a cease and desist letter to a CBD company in Idaho for selling a “Coronavirus Kit” ...not cool.
While we are all searching for glimmers of hope, we must carefully discern the validity of the information we reproduce or let into our own minds. Resources such as the CDC, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the FDA should take precedence over speculation. The FDA clearly states that at this time there are no available products to treat or cure COVID-19 including vaccines, prescription medicines, lotions, lozenges, potions, etc.
Clinical research from China demonstrated COVID-19 deaths could have resulted from virus-activated “cytokine storm” syndrome - multiple inflammatory causes resulting in a disease that appears similar to sepsis. Since then, several cannabis articles have emerged, arguing that cannabis can slow the “cytokine storm”. While pre-clinical studies may indicate some anti-viral properties of cannabis, there is no evidence that cannabis or CBD treats or reduces recovery time for those with the COVID-19 virus.
Even though research is limited to animal data, some cannabis companies market products as having antibacterial properties, however, it is important to note that COVID-19 is not a bacteria but a virus. Cannabis topicals should not replace antiseptic agents that prove efficacy against disease-causing microorganisms.
Statements promoting cannabis as an immune boost are also trending. While research demonstrates the benefits of cannabinoids on inflammation and immune modulation, suppressing inflammation may inhibit the immune system, which may lead to complications when fighting a fever or infection.
Correlation does not imply causation. As an emerging industry, we are responsible for choosing relevant sources, choosing our words responsibly, and not jump the gun by pushing feeble correlations.
Is Cannabis Essential?
In light of the recent mandates to shelter in place, many cannabis businesses have been deemed non-essential, and patients are losing access to their medicine. While the use of cannabis to treat infections is still in its early stages, as per the American Cannabis Nurses Association: “there is useful data on cannabis for anxiety, chronic pain, and insomnia.” Because stress may exacerbate anxiety, pain, and insomnia, cannabis may be deemed essential to help manage these symptoms.
If considering alternative modalities, give precedence to information from reliable sources such as the CDC, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, FDA, and other reputable science-based organizations. Be healthy, protect your immune system, and keep track of your emotional and psychological well-being during these challenging times. CBD, as well as exercise, may be a good way to manage stress and aid with relaxation.
Wellness Tips on Social Distancing
We encourage the general public, to practice social distancing as recommended by the CDC. Whether we are on the front lines of COVID-19 or sheltering in place, it can be difficult to stay calm during this outbreak. Here are some wellness bites to help you achieve balance during these challenging times:
- Build a routine: Schedule chores, breaks, and family time. Set limits on work
- Get Active: Schedule times to stretch and exercise. If possible, schedule walks outside while keeping social distancing
- Write a Journal: Start a journal to help you confront your feelings as you deal with the impact of the virus
- Be Creative: Take an online class, make crafts, or try a new recipe. Create a video conference group and share the creativity with your loved ones
- Be present: Slow down and take some time to just be. Practice mediation, mindfulness, and yoga