A recent study is aiming to reveal the health benefits of CBD as a potential help and an aid in the fight against the recent COVID-19. Due to the fact that still there’s only a little credible info about the COVID-19 virus that started in late 2019, researchers are trying to wrap their heads around the many unknown challenges it brings. As the virus continues to spread, experts are struggling to keep up with it. There is still no known cure or vaccine, so new treatment options are constantly being under research. The CBD for Coronavirus can be considered as a potential treatment.
Current Studies on the Topic
Both cannabis terpenes and cannabis-derived cannabidiol (CBD) are undergoing examinations by scientists and researchers. It is being assumed that these alternative options may be able to offer some health benefits to individuals who are experiencing severe symptoms. There’s a theory that says CBD for Coronavirus as it may be able to reduce Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression and pro-inflammatory cytokine production to help combat inflammation in the lungs and be used as an antiviral.
Unfortunately, the number of studies orchestrated to test these theories is still very small. However, new evidence about the CBD case is emerging every day. Researchers at Augusta University (Augusta, Georgia) led by Babak Baban, PhD, Department of Oral Biology and Diagnostic Sciences, DCG, DCG Center for Excellence in Research, conducted a study proposing that CBD could provide positive results for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) which is seen in severe cases of patients suffering from COVID-19 due to an overactive inflammatory response.
ARDS is also referred to as “cytokine storm.” The authors of this study explained that, at the time, other than supportive measures, there is no known definitive cure for ARDS, explaining the urgent need for creative and effective therapeutic methods to treat this illness. It was suggested by the researchers that CBD for Coronavirus treatment may provide some benefits to help reduce pro-inflammatory cytokine production by reducing specific cytokines like interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1B, and IL-17. When those cytokines are being targeted, the inflammation may be reduced, ending the respiratory distress and also preventing further damage.
The results from Augusta University’s study act as credible back up to this theory. In order for this study to be conducted, researchers used mice that were given a treatment called Poly (I:C) which induced ARDS artificially, recreating the symptoms seen in severe cases of COVID-19. Thus, creating the “cytokine storm.” Blood oxygen saturation was reduced by 10%. The “cytokine storm” also caused structural damages to the lungs of the mice subjects. While the mice were experiencing these symptoms and respiratory distress, they were then administered CBD.
The results when they were administered CBD proved that it could be a powerful tool as treatment for ARDS. It was reported by the researchers that these symptoms were totally or partially reversed and returned to the level and condition of normal after treatment with CBD. Mice that were treated with CBD experienced a reduction in the expression of IL-6, which is an important factor for cytokine storms, as well as lowered levels of other pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Treatment with CBD helped in reversing inflammatory indices and in partial homeostasis reestablishment. Another very interesting discovery of this study was that mice who were treated with CBD also showed an increased number of lymphocyte levels in their blood, which are vital white blood cells that help in combating infections. The authors of this study believe that CBD may be able to play an immunotherapeutic role in treating other severe respiratory viral infections that are similar to COVID-19.
Further adding that, “considering all potential regulatory effects of CBD for Coronavirusand the vast distribution of endocannabinoid system in the body, it is plausible that CBD may be used as a therapeutic candidate in the treatment of various inflammatory conditions including COVID-19 and other virus-induced ARDS.” As this study is very recent, a lot more research needs to be performed, particularly on human subjects with COVID-19 related ARDS in order to be able to validate and expand this therapeutic strategy. The evidence that was provided on the additional health benefits of CBD offers a kind of hope in the still unknown traits of not only COVID-19 but other illnesses as well, hopefully also providing an ending to the stigma surrounding the cannabis plant.