Coronavirus update: The supplement that may reduce COVID-19 lung inflammation
Coronavirus has swept the globe – taking many lives along with it. Serious cases of the disease lead to breathing difficulties. Scientists are now looking into a new treatment.
This month, researchers from the University of Nebraska and Texas Biomedical Research Institute are recommending more research into a new area.
They are curious as to how cannabis-derived CBD could help treat dangerous lung inflammation from the novel coronavirus.
A research paper detailing CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties was published in the latest issue of Brain, Behaviour and Immunity.
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It explained that “recent reports have suggested that acute [COVID-19] infection is associated with a cytokine superstorm, which contributes to the symptoms of fever, cough, muscle pain”.
These extreme instances of inflammation can lead to pneumonia – inflammation of the lungs.
At present, there are no effective antiviral drugs or vaccines against COVID-19.
This has led scientists to look into research on how to reduce inflammation.
This is where the cannabis plant has caught some attention, as several cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties.
Research has shown CBD to contain anti-inflammatory properties without the mind-bending effects associated with cannabis’ most talked about chemical THC.
Instead, CBD has been shown to reduce a number of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as:
- IL-1α and β
- Interferon gamma
- Inducible protein-10
- Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1
- Macrophage inflammatory protein-1α
- Tumor necrosis factor-α
All of which are associated with the pathologist of severe cases of COVID-19.
Additionally, the paper reported that CBD can increase the production of interferons, a type of signalling protein that can prevent viruses from replicating.
They noted previous research supports the idea that CBD can specifically reduce lung inflammation.
Citing work published in the European Journal of Pharmacology, the researchers highlighted data brought forward by the Faculty of Medicine at the University of São Paulo, Brazil.
They conducted an animal study on asthma, where CBD was shown to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine production thereby reducing airway inflammation.
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In the same study, CBD also reduced pulmonary fibrosis – scarring of the lung tissue.
These results combined are intriguing, as some COVID-19 patients suffer from pulmonary fibrosis.
Alternative research mentioned that CBD is well-tolerated with dosing as high as 1500mg a day, for up to a period of two weeks.
The authors said this “suggests its feasibility to reduce [COVID-19] induced lung inflammation/ pathology and disease severity”.
As it stands, CBD is still an area under development for the treatment of COVID-19.
No peer reviewed studies to date show how CBD can benefit people with an infection with COVID-19.
However, promising results on CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may make it worthwhile for further study.
This is an area of research more scientists may investigate – especially with the potential to be an antiviral drug for COVID-19.
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