In the first study to test cannabis against coronavirus, researchers found a cocktail of cannabis terpenes (compounds which create the pungent scent in many plants) combined with CBD, displayed an antiviral effect that prevented cell damage and interfered with coronavirus’ affect on the lungs.
Driven by the search for antiviral compounds to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, a team in Israel, tested a proprietary blend of 30 terpenes with and without CBD on a human coronavirus.
Terpenes are the pungent smelling aromatic compounds that give orange peel, pine trees, lavender and many other plants their unique smells. Cannabis has its own distinct scent and cannabis terpenes are also medicinal.
The group tested the terpenes/ CBD concoction in human lung cells against a less virulent coronavirus strain that doesn’t require a level 4 biosafety facility to study.
After testing each component separately, the combination of terpenes and CBD proved to exert the most potent antiviral effect by working together to prevent cell damage. The researchers also suggest that the mixture of terpenes and CBD likely interfere with the viruses ability to attach to and enter lung cells.
The team concluded, “Such activity may be particularly useful for controlling the cytokine storm and acute respiratory distress syndrome associated with COVID-19”, adding, “As the lungs are the organs most affected by COVID-19, preventative treatment directly to the lungs, possibly via inhalation, would be the ideal administration route for this potential therapeutic solution”.