Researchers Find Cannabis May Reduce Lung Inflammation Caused by COVID-19

Scientists claim that cannabis may be capable of reducing the "cytokine superstorm" caused by COVID-19 that leads to fever, muscle pain, and breathing difficulties.

Researchers from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute and the University of Nebraska have published a study examining the potential use of cannabis to reduce dangerous lung inflammation caused by the COVID-19 virus.

The scientific team behind the study are now calling for further research into the application of cannabis's anti-inflammatory qualities, after outlining their evidence in a peer-reviewed article published in the July issue of Brain, Behaviour, and Immunity.

Like Ebola, patients recovering from COVID-19 may experience various psychological and social stressors that may be triggered by residual chronic inflammation and autoimmune reactions. Therefore, randomized clinical trials to test the efficacy of CBD on alleviating anxiety and fear associated with COVID-19 infection and its consequences on people's physical, social and psychological well-being may be beneficial in the future. University of Nebraska Lead Researcher, Siddappa N. Byrareddya

According to the researchers, extreme lung inflammation caused by coronavirus can lead to symptoms that are analogous with severe pneumonia, as "recent reports have suggested that acute infection is associated with a cytokine superstorm, which contributes to the symptoms of fever, cough, muscle pain."

These symptoms can often make breathing laborious—if not impossible—for patients who have developed more severe cases of COVID-19, and in some instances may even require the use of a ventilator to treat.  

As a result, the development of novel ways to treat chronic inflammation has become an increasingly important topic in the medical community, particularly as some countries like the US are continuing to see coronavirus numbers skyrocket.

"Here, we intend to highlight the potential effects of cannabinoids, in particular, the non-psychotropic cannabidiol (CBD), that has shown beneficial anti-inflammatory effects in pre-clinical models of various chronic inflammatory diseases and is FDA approved for seizure reduction in children with intractable epilepsy," the researchers stated.

"Unlike THC, CBD has a high margin of safety and is well tolerated pharmacologically even after treatments of up to 1500 mg/day for two weeks in both animals and humans, which suggests its feasibility to reduce SARS-CoV2 induced lung inflammation/pathology and disease severity."

The scientist's findings also echo previous research into CBD's anti-inflammatory properties, which indicate that it may be an effective method of reducing lung inflammation.  

A 2019 animal study conducted by researchers from the University of Santa Catarina and the University of Rio de Janeiro, which found that CBD was successfully able to lower the production of proinflammatory cytokine, which lead to a decrease in airway inflammation.

The same research team also noted that CBD can reduce pulmonary fibrosis—which causes lung tissue to become scarred and damaged—which is another side effect which can occur in patients who suffer a severe reaction to COVID-19.

"Moreover, expressions of CB1 and CB2 in induced sputum of asthmatic individuals and their correlation with airway inflammation and lung function were also evaluated," the study's authors stated.  

"CBD treatment, regardless of dosage, decreased airway hyperresponsiveness, whereas static lung elastance only reduced with high dose."


This pot stock could reach new heights in 2020 due to Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down, and as global markets enter meltdown many cannabis companies are feeling the effects of capital crunch.

While the market crash will continue for some time, it represents a golden opportunity for investors who are capable of riding out the volatility until share prices rally.

Luckily, one pot stock has developed antimicrobial drug that can already treat two superbugs while limiting their ability to develop antibiotic resistance.

Investors can also start picking up shares at rock bottom prices, as global investor sentiment continues to dampen thanks to COVID-19.

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Hugo Gray
Hugo Gray

Hugo Gray is a Melbourne-based journalist with a body of work that covers a diverse range of topics, including immigration law, sex technology, and now the rapidly expanding cannabis industry.

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