CBD or cannabidiol, originating from hemp plants, seems to find a way to catch a headline in just about any disease out there. One might think it is a wonder drug when it even shows up on the list of possible therapies for COVID 19 infections. Researchers at the Dental College of Georgia and Medical College of Georgia found the popular CBD could lower inflammation in a mouse model simulating COVID 19 infection.
While not yet fully confirmed as the primary mechanism of COVID 19 severe infection, cytokinge storm prevails as the primary theory for damage to lungs in the disease. Cytokines, immune messengers between immune system cells coordinate the response to microbial invades whether viral, bacteria, or otherwise. Immune cells send out these signals to tell other immune cells what to do next. If the cytokines which trigger inflammation are released in excessive quantities without counterbalancing anti-inflammatory cytokines, the inflammatory process can get out of hand. Then the inflammation begins causing more damage than the infection itself.
While prior blog posts dug deeper into whether cytokine storm exists in COVID 19, these researchers took advantage of a mouse model for hyper-inflammatory lung damage to see if CBD might help. In their experiment, CBD therapy led to improved oxygen levels, lower temperatures, and lower cytokine levels. There were all obviously promising results. Both clinical symptoms and the damage normally seen with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) were improved by the CBD therapy.
The CBD likely works through its similarity to chemicals we make in our bodies called endocannabinoids. These chemicals participate in various normal cellular function form sleep to reproduction and innate anti-inflammatory actions through binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD binds to these receptors also and likely exert their effects through them.
In 2021 and beyond, we need all the tools in our toolbox as possible to prevent and to restore the lung damage caused by COVID 19. Why not use a natural therapy widely available which has a known safety profile? At the very least we need more researchers using this benign therapy in actual COVID 19 patients. I tried looking for such research and while many talk about needing more research, it seems that everyone is waiting for someone to do what anyone could do, but nobody is doing. Oh the insanity we endure in the 2020’s.
Hesam Khodadadi, Évila Lopes Salles, Abbas Jarrahi, Fairouz Chibane, Vincenzo Costigliola, Jack C. Yu, Kumar Vaibhav, David C. Hess, Krishnan M. Dhandapani, Babak Baban. Cannabidiol Modulates Cytokine Storm in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Induced by Simulated Viral Infection Using Synthetic RNA. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2020; DOI: 10.1089/can.2020.0043
Thanks to Science Daily:
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. “CBD may help avert lung destruction in COVID-19, research suggests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200716111623.htm>.