As outbreaks of the new coronavirus continue to spread, many people are optimistic that medications will be produced to treat, cure, or prevent the potentially fatal disease. Cannabis is now on the list of possible therapies, which is a surprise change of events.
While researchers are looking at a variety of options for fighting COVID-19, some are investigating if cannabis or cannabis-derived CBD might help people who are suffering from severe versions of the virus.
CBD’s capacity to lower ACE2 expression and pro-inflammatory cytokine production to battle lung inflammation, as well as its potential as an antiviral, have all been mentioned by researchers as ways it can aid. However, just a few studies have used actual experimentation to evaluate these claims.
New data now supports the hypothesis that CBD extracted from cannabis can aid those suffering from severe lung inflammation caused by COVID-19. Researchers from Augusta University in The CBD can help with ARDS, or acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is a serious illness caused by an excessive inflammatory response in COVID-19.
A cytokine storm is a term used to describe this phenomenon. Currently, there is no clear treatment for ARDS, other than supportive measures, the study’s authors write, illustrating the urgent need for new and effective therapeutic approaches to treat this complicated disorder.
Another advantage of CBD?
CBD, a non psychoactive component of marijuana, is gaining appeal as a natural treatment for a variety of ailments. Previous research has linked CBD to antiviral capabilities and the ability to cure antibiotic-resistant illnesses, in addition to pain management and stress alleviation. Its usage as an epilepsy therapy has been authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration.
CBD can help to reduce inflammation.
In the scientists’ ARDS model, blood levels of apelin, a key regulator in lowering blood pressure and inflammation, decreased to near nil and surged 20 times with CBD. Appelin levels should rise as blood pressure rises, for example, to help lower the pressure. To assist normalise inflammation in the lungs and concomitant breathing problems associated with ARDS, Apelin should accomplish the same.
The ACE2 receptor
The COVID-19 virus penetrates human cells via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, commonly known as the ACE2 receptor, which shares a lot of similarities with apelin, including the fact that both are found in numerous cell types and organs, including the lungs.
Upregulation of both Apelin and ACE2, which typically operate together to control blood pressure, may be beneficial in cardiovascular illness, such as heart failure, by lowering blood pressure while boosting the heart’s capacity to pump.
As a natural apelin agonist, CBD is beneficial.
The next stage in the research is to learn more about the connection between CBD, apelin, and the new coronavirus, such as why apelin decreases in the face of the virus and why CBD increases it.
The researchers will look into how removing apelin impacts ARDS and if CBD has the same lung effect without it. The scientists speculate that the virus inhibits something that suppresses apelin and that CBD disrupts this process; nevertheless, they doubt that the apelin-CBD interaction is the sole way the chemical acts in this and other cases.
In these investigations, the COVID-19 model received POLY (I:C) intranasally for three days whereas the control group got intranasal saline for three days. POLY (I:C) and CBD were given to a third group, the therapy group, throughout the same time period. When compared to controls, mice with COVID-like symptoms had considerably lower apelin levels, and CBD therapy normalized the immune response and apelin levels, as well as oxygen levels, edema, and scarring in the lungs.
Is CBD making its way into human COVID trials?
The researchers also looked at the impact of CBD on 82 individuals who were taking it prior to the epidemic. They compared this group to patients who had never used cannabidiol before.
Only 1.2 percent of CBD users tested positive for COVID-19, according to the findings. Non-users, on the other hand, caught the virus at a rate of 12.2 percent.
“The almost one-order-of-magnitude reduction in SARS-CoV-2 infection risk in patients who took FDA-approved CBD indicates the drug’s potential effectiveness in treating SARS-CoV2 infection,” the study authors wrote.