I’ve seen all that on the news, but what actually is Coronavirus?
Covid-19 is the infectious disease caused by the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which is a respiratory pathogen (i.e. a bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease).
How does the Coronavirus work?
COVID-19 uses its spiky surface proteins to attach to receptors found on healthy cells, especially those found in the lungs. These viral proteins travel through ACE2 receptors; and once they're inside, the coronavirus seizes healthy cells and takes control. |This results in some of the healthy cells eventually being killed.
The virus impacts the respiratory system by moving down your mouth, nose, throat, and lungs. COVID-19 however, goes further than illnesses such as the common cold, this is becuase the lower airways have more ACE2 receptors than the rest of the respiratory tract. It is this reason that the coronavirus is more threatening than the average cold or flu. It focuses on the lungs, thus making breathing difficult, this is particularly harmful if it leads to pneumonia.
What are the symptoms
COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. There are some who show no symptoms, and perhaps aren't even aware they have contracted the virus. Others will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalisation. Others, as we know, have much more significant, and sometimes fatal consequences.
Most common symptoms:
- dry cough.
Less common symptoms:
- aches and pains.
- sore throat.
- loss of taste or smell.
- a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes.
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
- chest pain or pressure.
- loss of speech or movement.
For approximately 80% of people who catch Coronavirus, the symptoms end with a cough and a fever. For others, the infection can become very severe. About five to eight days after symptoms begin, shortness of breath can sometimes occur which can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). It takes approximately 5–6 days for symptoms to show, although it can take up to 14 days.
It has been suggested that this group of people - who show no symptoms - are responsible for most of the spread. Inevitably, if people are not showing symptoms, it is less likely they will seek out testing. In addition to this, positive tests generally represent infections that have been in the body between 5 - 14 days. Which has given the infection a great deal of time to spread.
The answer to this is a massive YES.
Many CBD companies have been heavily criticised for selling products that claim to prevent COVID-19. The FDA has forbidden the 'sale and advertising of products for the mitigation, prevention, treatment, diagnosis or cure of COVID-19'. With some companies having been sent warning letters from the FDA.
In March 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the use of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the treatment of COVID-19. Taking advice from The Lancet Medical Journal, it was advised that NSAIDs contain an enzyme which could complicate symptoms and treatment of COVID-19.
Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) agreed with the potential use of CBD early in the Coronavirus outbreak but by April 2020, they reversed that opinion and stating “there is currently no evidence that the acute use of NSAIDs causes an increased risk of developing COVID-19 or of developing a more severe COVID-19 disease.
One might make the assumption that these views come from those who oppose the use of CBD in general, but this simply isn't the case. Pro-CBD experts have also raised concerns.
Whilst the theory behind CBD and how it can help does point towards the idea it could help with Coronavirus, professionals are stating that this isn't the case, and even those to who study CBD have been alarmed by some of the claims being made by advertisers. The board of the International Association on Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) even released a statement in March asking advertisers not to amplify “false information that is circulating on the Internet.”
Sunil K. Aggarwal, an integrative medicine physician who uses cannabis in his Seattle practice, agrees with the IACM and notes that there is no evidence that CBD protects against coronavirus infection or effectively treats it.