You’ve probably seen a few wacky headlines about cannabis potentially solving the COVID crisis around the world.
You may have even scoffed at the idea and said to yourself “…wait a minute, did my weed write this?”
It’s no joke. The science is becoming abundantly clear that CBD can actually reduce inflammation in COVID infected lungs, and even prevent infection in some cases.
Based on a study done by the Medical College of Georgia, CBD intake was reported to “improve oxygen levels, and reduce inflammation in the lungs.” CBD protects the lungs and, in some cases, reverses the effects of lung inflammation, through stimulation of a substance called apelin.
“Apelin is a pervasive peptide made by cells in the heart, lung, brain, fat tissue and blood, and is an important regulator in bringing both blood pressure and inflammation down, says Dr. Babak Baban, DCG immunologist and Assoc. Dean for Research.
So essentially, CBD stimulates apelin production which helps declutter the lungs of harmful bacteria and disease, which can ward off serious infection.
In this specific lab study, researchers were targeting CBD’s influence on deadly adult respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, but similar parallels can be drawn to the novel coronavirus.
Right at the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC warned against cannabis and tobacco smoking, citing general health risks that may predispose some to catching, and spreading, COVID-19.
Now, over a year after the initial lockdown, researchers are calling cannabis an “unlikely” candidate in preventing and treating COVID-19 symptoms.
The Chicago Tribune reported on this topic not long ago, shedding some light on the matter by bringing forth some key studies conducted in 2020 that nearly prove CBD’s influence on significantly reducing inflammation in the lungs, which is a key factor in treating COVID.
But, what about preventing the COVID virus?
A newer study, awaiting peer-review, showed a specific gene within the CBD compound that actually reverses the process of lung inflammation that COVID induces. According to MerryJane, the researchers also report that “CBD was able to reverse the hyperinflammatory response that this virus creates in the lungs. This excessive inflammation, commonly known as a “cytokine storm,” is one of the leading causes of death in patients hospitalized with COVID.”
Merry Jane also reported that CBD was the only cannabinoid from the study that was effective in combating COVID’s inflammation attacks. The combination of THC and CBD intake was effective, but not as effective as plain CBD. THC might not help in reducing lung inflammation, but it might be the perfect additive to CBD from a mental health perspective.
THC’s powerful sedative properties can provide those infected (or potentially infected) with some anxiety or pain relief, at the very least.
So, while these studies need further research, insight and peer review, cannabis is clearly on its way to being integrated into people’s health routines, and could serve as a viable treatment to COVID-19 infections.