The pandemic of COVID-19 remains the most significant challenge to our health care system in decades. In a surprising turn of events, cannabis is on the list of potential treatments for the Coronavirus. According to Dr. Jon Kaiser exciting new research provides evidence that a strain of high CBD cannabis may be able to suppress inflammation to a great enough degree that it inhibits infection with Covid-19.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, may help reduce the cytokine storm and excessive lung inflammation that is killing many patients with COVID-19, researchers say. One way CBD appears to reduce the “cytokine storm” that damages the lungs and kills many patients with COVID-19 is by enabling an increase in levels of a natural peptide called apelin, which is known to reduce inflammation and whose levels are dramatically reduced in the face of this storm.
While more work, including clinical trials to determine optimal dosage and timing, is needed before CBD becomes part of the treatment for COVID-19, researchers at the Dental College of Georgia and Medical College of Georgia have early evidence it could help patients showing signs of respiratory distress avoid extreme interventions like mechanical ventilation as well as death from acute respiratory distress syndrome.
At least one way CBD is thought to calm the immune response is because it looks similar to endocannabinoids, a natural cell signaling system in our bodies believed to be involved in a wide variety of functions from sleep to reproduction to inflammation and immune response. CB1 and CB2, the main receptors for this system, are found extensively throughout the body including the brain and respiratory system, where we breathe in humanmade and natural irritants in the air — as well as viruses and bacteria — that might inflame. The work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health.
Further studies are required to verify and approve CBD-centric solutions suitable for patients suffering from COVID-19. The need is to formulate effective treatments to slow down and ultimately stop the pandemic in any way possible, even if the path leads through cannabis.