New Research suggests Terpenes and CBD work 2X’s better for Covid-19 inflammation than Corticosteroid
So-called cytokine storms are one of the most deadly symptoms of Covid-19. In severe cases, cytokine storms cause excessive inflammation, swelling, pain, loss of organ function and even lead to autoimmune malfunctioning. As we’ve seen with many serious Covid-19 infections, this can lead to death. Over the past months, researchers have been diligently looking at whether the many medical compounds of cannabis might help in the fight against cytokine storms by bringing inflammation down. In fact, recent studies have shown promise that CBD and terpenes, compounds in cannabis, might be useful in fighting cytokine storms.
Early results from an ongoing Israeli study indicate that not only CBD, but also terpenes, could be a gamechanger in the fight against Covid-19. Terpenes are the compounds that give the plant its natural aroma and flavor. This study says that terpenes may outperform conventional treatments like corticosteroids. Reports from the study reveal that a combination of CBD and terpenes was two times as effective at inhibiting inflammatory cytokine activity than dexamethasone, a corticosteroid that is considered an effective treatment for Covid-19 cytokine storms. This new study, conducted by two Israeli R&D companies (Eybna and CannaSoul Analytics), was designed to detect whether anti-inflammatory terpenes would bring down dangerous cytokine storms, and if so, how they compared to other treatments.
The study examines an Eybna-created terpene formulation (NT-VRL), designed to treat inflammatory conditions such as the cytokine storms found in Covid-19 patients. This combination includes 30 terpenes that are considered anti-inflammatory and safe for consumption. Eybna CEO Nadav Eyal says that this method of development “is opening a new world for synergistically-effective natural formulations”, which can be designed to treat specific conditions such as cytokine storms. While most medicines contain one active ingredient, this formulation has 30 different ingredients all working in synergy. In order to test the terpene formulation, the researchers used a “Cytokine Storm Assay”, which uses human blood cells to help assess the effect different treatments have on cytokine secretion – the main factor in cytokine storms. The researchers also tested CBD and the commonly used Dexamethasone using the “Cytokine Storm Assay”. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid often used to bring down inflammation and the World Health Organization recommended this medication for severe Covid-19 cases.
When testing each compound for how it impacted cytokine activity, the researchers found that the terpene formulation outperformed both CBD and dexamethasone. CBD alone inhibited around 75% of the cytokines on average, while the terpenes alone inhibited 80%. Still, the best results came from the combination of CBD and the terpene formulation, which was able to inhibit around 90% of cytokine activity. Dexamethasone, on the other hand, only inhibited about 30% of cytokines, implying that the terpene-CBD combination may be 2 times as effective than the current WHO-recommended treatment. It is important to note that while these preliminary results are promising, they come from an ongoing study that has yet to be completed, peer reviewed and published. However, if they prove accurate, the CBD-terpene treatment could be a breakthrough in the fight against Covid-19.