A new study has found that CBD, one of the main compounds in cannabis, shows significant antiviral properties, and specifically when it comes to protecting the body from the Hepatitis C virus.
The study, conducted by Dr. Lowe, a Professor from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, which was published in the highly-respected Pharmacognosy Research Journal, suggests that CBD could be an effective treatment for more than 3 million Americans who suffer from HCV.
In 2017, it is estimated that at least 20,000 Americans will die from liver cancer, most of which due to HCV. Researchers who carried out the study, found that the phytochemical, CBD, inhibits HCV, as well as being generally antiviral.
Traditionally, when it comes to studying CBD, its anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and anti-oxidant properties are the ones researchers focused on, until now that is. This groundbreaking study took a much closer look at CBD as an antiviral agent, and the findings were compelling.
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Dr Lowe and his colleagues combined CBD and HCV under lab conditions, finding that the isolated CBD inhibited replication of HCV by as much 86.4% with a single application. As such, the study concluded that the direct antiviral effects of CBD could be effective against both viral and nonviral hepatitis, also known as autoimmune hepatitis.
Even though the researchers observed no antiviral effects of CBD on the hepatitis B virus (HBV) in vitro, they did indicate that, based on various other clinical research, CBD could be antiviral against HBV in vivo, and by regulation of the CB2 receptors in the body, positive immune responses for both HCV and HBV could be seen.
While there is already a cure on the market for Hepatitis C, it costs in excess of $100,000 for a 12-week course. This treatment is effective, and few side effects have been reported. The main issue being that not a lot of people can afford the overly heavy price tag, even if it could be a life saver for them.
Far more research is needed to look at the antiviral properties of CBD, as well as other compounds in medical cannabis. However, this new study is a good basis for new research, with a view to hopefully introducing low-cost, holistic and natural remedies for viruses such as Hepatitis.
[Featured image credit- Herb.com]