Researchers from the Dental College of Georgia and Medical College of Georgia in the USA say cannabidiol (CBD) could help reduce some of the more extreme health impacts on patients facing complications from COVID-19.
When threatened by viruses, our body’s immune system swings into action; but problems can occur when it over-reacts and produces too many cytokines, proteins released by cells that have important signalling functions. This can lead to what’s called a “cytokine storm”, damaging various organs including the lungs, and turning the lungs into a reservoir for virus replication.
Where lung damage is involved, the condition is called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); also referred to as SAARDS when sepsis-related. This may require the patient to be put on a ventilator and ARDS can be severe enough to result in death; as has unfortunately been all too common during the pandemic. As many patients who get to the stage of requiring mechanical ventilation don’t make it, better treatments are needed to try and prevent getting to this point.
Laboratory studies on mice carried out by the researchers point to pure CBD assisting the lungs recover from cytokine storm related inflammation to the lungs. While only a few facilities in the USA are able to safely manage the highly contagious SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the researchers developed a model to duplicate the lung damage caused by ARDS.
But timing might be everything – an interesting point noted by study co-author Dr. Yu is that CBD might interfere with a proper immune response against the virus if given too early.
From their study the researchers concluded:
“Our results suggest a potential protective role for CBD during ARDS that may extend CBD as part of the treatment of COVID-19 by reducing the cytokine storm, protecting pulmonary tissues, and re-establishing inflammatory homeostasis.”
The study has been published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research
Back in June we mentioned Australia’s Impression Healthcare Limited announced it had commenced a clinical trial involving a combination drug comprised of cannabidiol and hydroxychloroquine in an animal study related to sepsis associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (‘SAARDS’).