Following a study conducted at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, researchers believe that strong cannabis strains could prove valuable in preventing or treating coronavirus infections.
Their study led them to hypothesize that those extracts high in CBD could be leveraged to combat Covid-19 infections by modulating levels of ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme II) in certain “gateway” tissues.
These include lung tissue, oral/nasal mucosa, gastrointestinal tract, kidney, and testes. The researchers believe that modulating ACE2 levels in these areas with CBD could help to decrease people’s susceptibility to Covid-19. As the coronavirus can only enter a human host with a receptor, i.e. ACE2, targeting these could reduce the risk of infection significantly.
Its goal is to determine whether CBD can increase the effectiveness of corticosteroids (a key treatment for autoimmune illnesses) or allow for steroid dosages to reduce while enhancing their effect.
The research conducted by Stero Therapeutics and the University of Lethbridge’s team could open the doors to unexpected new ways to prevent, and treat, coronavirus. However, further studies will be required to verify the research and facilitate the creation of CBD-centric solutions suitable for COVID-19 patients.
Whatever the outcome, the need for an effective treatment is urgent.
As we continue to see outbreaks of the novel coronavirus surging, many are waiting and hoping for treatments to be developed that might treat, cure or prevent the potentially deadly disease. In a surprising turn of events, cannabis is on the list of potential treatments.
While researchers are exploring many different possibilities in combating COVID-19, some researchers are looking into whether cannabis or cannabis derived CBD might offer benefits for those suffering from severe forms of this infection. Interestingly, there have been several different ways researchers have suggested CBD might help, including its ability to reduce ACE2 expression and pro-inflammatory cytokine production to fight lung inflammation, and it’s potential as an antiviral. But few studies have tested these theories with actual experimentation.
Now new evidence is adding support to the theory that cannabis derived CBD may help those suffering from the severe lung inflammation that occurs in more serious cases of COVID-19. The study from researchers at Augusta University in Georgia suggests that CBD may positively impact ARDS or acute respiratory distress syndrome – a dangerous symptom in COVID-19 caused by an overactive inflammatory response. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘cytokine storm’. The authors of the study explain that “currently, other than supportive measures, there is no definitive cure for ARDS, illustrating the urgent need for creative and effective therapeutic modalities to treat this complex condition.”