The global Coronavirus pandemic took center stage in the medical community during the second quarter of 2020. While the effects of the pandemic slowed down research in other areas, there were still several new CBD research studies published.
Here’s our summary of the most notable CBD research studies and articles that were posted to reputable medical journals in Q2. Links to the full text for each study or article are included in the summary below.
This article from Kevin P. Hill published in June 2020 offers perspective for clinicians about cannabinoids and Covid-19. Specifically, it gives guidance to doctors about how to responsibly educate their patients and address questions about the use of CBD for viral illneses.
The article presents a brief history of the limited scientific research into the therapeutic use of CBD and THC. It highlights that “limited evidence demonstrates a possible role for cannabinoids as therapeutics in viral illnesses.” But it specifically mentions that there have been no studies into the effect of cannabinoids involving coronaviruses. ” And it clearly states that it’s “not clear whether the anti-inflammatory activity of THC and CBD…would be an advantage or a disadvantage when considering cannabinoids as treatment for viruses.”
The article concludes that CBD is a “reasonable candidate to be studied in preclinical coronavirus models.” But it emphasizes the responsibility of clinicians to take an evidence-based approach when answering patient questions about how how cannabinoids may or may not help them.
The Impact of Cannabidiol on Psychiatric and Medical Conditions
This research article by Thersilla Oberbarnscheidt and Norman S. Miller was published in June 2020. It focuses on the growth of the CBD market in the United States and concerns about the lack of education about the risks and safety concerns of CBD. Ultimately, it seeks to provide perspective on whether it is as safe as advertised in the general public.
The article gives a comprehensive overview of results and potential concerns based on historical research studies. The list of conditions discussed include anxiety, PTSD, depression, psychosis, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, sleep, Huntington’s disease, pain and opioid use disorder.
The conclusion is that “more studies need to be done in humans in a controlled setting to determine the medicinal value of CBD for various diagnoses in order to be able to make clear recommendations.”
A Balanced Approach for Cannabidiol Use in Chronic Pain
This review published by Donovan A. Argueta, et al in April 2020 includes a summary of pre-clinical and clinical findings for the effects of CBD treatment on chronic pain. In addition to a discussion of potential benefits based on past studies, it also presents some concerns about the lack of market regulation and potential adverse effects.
CBD for Prevention and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders
This article by Vincente Martinez, et al was published in April 2020. Its primary focus is on reviewing research data that shows that CBD “may be useful to treat different disorders and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.”
The article first goes into detail discussing the chemical makeup and taxonomy of the cannabis sativa plant. It goes on to describe the human endocannabinoid system and its molecular targets. The role of phytocannabinoids in irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal cancer, and other GI disorders is also explored.
The conclusion notes that research evidence has shown that phytocannabinoids “have demonstrated their high therapeutic potential to treat the diseased GI tract.” The researchers foresee hemp-derived phytocannabinoids being introduced in nutraceuticals and food products. But they also see a clear need for more research and regulations in the industry.
A Review of Hemp as Food and Nutritional Supplement
This article by Pellegrino Cerino, et al was published in April 2020. It provides a comprehensive review of the beneficial properties of hemp when consumed as a food or supplement.
It covers the history of hemp production and a description of its active compounds. The nutritional value of hempseeds is discussed in detail. The authors predict that the use of hemp in the food and supplement industries will continue to increase in coming years. Given the limited research to date, they call on government agencies to encourage more clinical research to “prove or disprove safety of hemp-derived products.”