Cannabis can be used to treat viral diseases

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The CBD cannabinoid continues to find greater support for treating a variety of issues

As cannabis gets more acceptance and one cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), is already legal, there are more things we know about this still mysterious plant. Cannabinoids interact with the body through its endocannabinoid system (ECS) that has receptors in most cells. Studies show the effectiveness of CBD, which has several benefits for patients suffering from a large number of conditions, like epilepsy or chronic pain. Now, it seems that it is also useful in treating viral diseases, according to available evidence.

A group of scientists from the United Kingdom and Italy conducted a systematic review of the current evidence. Then, the evidence found was compared to public testimonies made across the Internet. Studies showed that there is a relevant portion of online search with the terms CBD and ‘viral’ or ‘virus’ together. After removing from the study research on synthetic analogs, enriched extracts and metabolites of CBD, there were three relevant studies for review.

One of the studies reviewed the effects of CBD on Hepatitis C (HCV) and Hepatitis B (HBV) viruses, which was tested in a culture for several days. It was discovered that CBD inhibited the replication of HCV cells up to 86.4%. The results were compared to those exposed by the currently prescribed treatments for Hepatitis infections. Also, CBD has fewer side effects than the actual medication and is less cytotoxic (toxic to cells).

The second study assessed the effect of CBD on the Kaposi’s sarcoma, which is associated with the herpes virus (KSHV). To assess the progression of the virus after being treated with CBD, the researchers used dermal microvascular endothelial cells. CBD showed indirect antiviral effects on KSHV. It seemed less efficient to target KSHV’s infection in the cells; however, it did reduce the spread of the cells that were already infected.

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