Mice that were treated with CBD experienced reduced expression of IL-6, which is an important factor for cytokine storms, as well as lowered levels of other proinflammatory cytokines. CBD treatment aided in reversing inflammatory indices and partially reestablishing homeostasis. Another exciting find of the study was that mice who received the CBD treatment also showed increases in lymphocyte levels in their blood, which are vital white blood cells that help fight off infections. Researchers of the study believe that CBD could play an immunotherapeutic role in treating other severe respiratory viral infections similar to COVID-19.
“The current data support the notion that the anti-inflammatory function of CBD may reduce cytokine storm and mitigate the effects of exaggerated inflammation” the authors explain (1). Further adding that, “considering all potential regulatory effects of CBD as well as the vast distribution of endocannabinoid system in the body, it is plausible that CBD may be used as a therapeutic candidate in the treatment of various inflammatory conditions including COVID-19 and other virus-induced ARDS.”
With this being an early study, more research needs to be performed, particularly on human subjects with COVID-19 related ARDS to validate and expand this therapeutic strategy. This evidence on the additional health benefits of CBD provides hope in the uncharted waters of not only COVID-19 but other illnesses as well, hopefully ending the stigma of this enlightening cannabis plant.