Cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychotropic ingredient of Cannabis sativa, possesses potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. These effects are mediated by T cell attrition and by inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokine release (tumor necrosis factor-a, Interferon gamma, IL-1b, IL-6, and IL-17) and stimulation of anti-inflammatory cytokine production (IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13). In a number of phase 2 trials involving more than 100 patients, our group was able to show the safety and efficacy of CBD in the prevention and treatment of graft-versus-host disease.
Based on these data, we will test the cytokine profile, safety and efficacy of CBD treatment in patients with severe and critical COVID-19 infection.
In the case of grade 4 side effects related to CBD or in the case of inability to provide the CBD during more the 3 days, the patient will be withdrawn from the study.
We have previously shown that the prophylactic treatment with cannabidiol (CBD) reduces inflammation in a model of acute lung injury (ALI). In this work we analyzed the effects of the therapeutic treatment with CBD in mice subjected to the model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALI on pulmonary mechanics and inflammation. CBD (20 and 80 mg/kg) was administered (i.p.) to mice 6 h after LPS-induced lung inflammation. One day (24 h) after the induction of inflammation the assessment of pulmonary mechanics and inflammation were analyzed. The results show that CBD decreased total lung resistance and elastance, leukocyte migration into the lungs, myeloperoxidase activity in the lung tissue, protein concentration and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF and IL-6) and chemokines (MCP-1 and MIP-2) in the bronchoalveolar lavage supernatant. Thus, we conclude that CBD administered therapeutically, i.e. during an ongoing inflammatory process, has a potent anti-inflammatory effect and also improves the lung function in mice submitted to LPS-induced ALI. Therefore the present and previous data suggest that in the future cannabidiol might become a useful therapeutic tool for the attenuation and treatment of inflammatory lung diseases.
Keywords: Cannabidiol; cannabinoids; inflammation; lipopolysaccharide; pulmonary mechanics.
Previous research also supports the idea that CBD can specifically reduce lung inflammation. In an animal study on asthma, CBD was able to reduce production of proinflammatory cytokine production, actually reducing airway inflammation. In the same study CBD also reduced pulmonary fibrosis – a condition where lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred, thickening lung tissue and making breathing more difficult. This is important, because COVID-19 can also leave patients with serious pulmonary fibrosis.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 05: A sign placed outside a CBD store in Murray Hill during the coronavirus . [+] pandemic on May 5, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Cannabis can be smoked in its raw form, or infused into tinctures like this one.
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Researchers are studying cannabis’ potential as an adjunct treatment for COVID-19.
In the article, researchers explain that “recent reports have suggested that acute 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 severe pneumonia which clog up the lungs, make breathing difficult or impossible. So, one of the important strategies that scientists are studying in the fight against COVID-19 is reducing inflammation.
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Why do researchers believe CBD can help with COVID-19, specifically?
No peer reviewed studies to date show that cannabis or its compounds can help with COVID-19 specifically, but the authors of this article say the evidence suggesting that it may help is worth further investigation. They recommend that scientists begin studies to investigate whether CBD can be used to reduce inflammation and anxiety in COVID-19 cases, as an adjunct to antiviral medications.