Latest study shows that cannabis can be an applicable treatment method against COVID-19 symptoms

As the coronavirus is continuingly breaking out and spreading worldwide, many do lay their hopes in the development of treatments that could cure or prevent the potentially deadly disease. Surprisingly, cannabis is on the list of possible treatments.

COVID-19 is being explored and investigated by researches worldwide. Some of them are also examining whether cannabis or cannabis-derived CBD could provide benefits for those suffering from serious cases of the infection. According to previous studies of researchers, there are a number of ways that CBD could be beneficial. For instance, when it comes to the potential of reducing the levels of ACE2, the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, which help to fight against pneumonia or its ability as an antiviral treatment. However, the theoretical knowledge gained in the studies has barely been tested experimentally.

The latest study from researchers at Augusta University in Georgia now adds new evidence to support the theory that cannabis derived CBD may help those suffering from severe lung inflammation due to COVID-19. Their study indicates that CBD could have a positive effect on patients who suffer acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a dangerous symptom as a response by the excessive infection potential of the virus. The authors of the study state that “there is currently no definitive cure for ARDS apart from supportive measures, which highlights the urgent need for creative and effective therapeutic modalities to treat this complex disease”.

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The researchers from Augusta University suspect that CBD could help against this severe symptom by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. They state, that by reducing those specific cytokines they may be able to contain the inflammation and thus end the respiratory distress and damage. Those indications are supported by the results of the researchers’ experiments in the study.

The research itself was conducted on mice that were first given a treatment to artificially induce ARDS, with symptoms similar to those that can be seen in severe COVID-19 patients. This led to a cytokine storm, reduced blood oxygen saturation by 10% and even caused structural damage in the lungs of the mice. After the mice had experienced this sort of collapse and suffered from respiratory distress, they were given CBD. And the results showed how effective CBD can be in treating ARDS. “These symptoms were completely or partially reversed and returned to normal condition after treatment with CBD,” the authors reported.

In particular, mice treated with CBD showed decreased levels of inflammatory indices and their homeostasis was partially restored. Moreover, they also had elevated blood lymphocyte levels, which are important white blood cells for fighting infections. According to the researchers of the study, CBD could play an important therapeutic role in the treatment of severe respiratory infections such as COVID-19.

“Current data supports the idea that the inflammation reducing function of CBD could decrease the cytokine storm and reduce the effects of excessive inflammation,” the researchers’ said. They add that “taking into account all potential regulatory effects of CBD and the wide distribution of the autoimmune system in the body, it is likely that CBD could be used as a therapeutic option in treating various inflammatory conditions, including COVID-19”.

The authors point out that this is an early study, and more research is needed to expand and validate this therapeutic approach. Especially when it comes to testing this theory on actual human patients suffering from severe respiratory inflammation due to COVID-19.

This new study can be seen as a valuable first step and gives hope for a potential CBD treatment to fight against severe inflammatory symptoms due to COVID-19. It further solidifies the role of cannabis as a treatment method and its potential to fight against this deadly disease.

Source: Earlenbaugh, E. (2020). CBD For Coronavirus? New Study Adds Evidence For Cannabis As Covid-19 Treatment.
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