Researchers Explain Why Cannabis Could Lessen Lung Inflammation Caused by COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing its spreading. But researchers have begun analyzing how cannabis can help with this disease.
Active compounds in cannabis make it an appealing potential treatment for infections caused by COVID-19. So it makes sense as to why scientists are working to determine whether it can be used to reduce peoples’ susceptibility to this disease. There are even discussions as to whether cannabis compounds could be used for their antiviral properties.
During a peer-reviewed study, researchers claim “recent reports have suggested that acute infection is associated with cytokine superstorm, which contributes to the symptoms of fever, cough, muscle pain.” Extreme inflammation like this can result in severe pneumonia capable of clogging the lungs and making breathing challenging or impossible in some cases.
With this being the case, scientists are looking into how they can reduce the inflammation brought on by COVID-19. Specifically, they’re analyzing drugs that reduce IL-6 cytokine activity.
Recently, there was a study on a drug, Tocilizumab. This drug cleared patients’ lungs and assisted in the recovery of 90 percent of the patients treated. However, the adverse side effects were extreme, including inflammation of the pancreas and hypertriglyceridemia. Ultimately, this has resulted in researchers searching for other anti-inflammatory strategies that don’t have such harsh side effects.
Several cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant offer anti-inflammatory properties. The main cannabinoid that’s being considered for treating COVID-19 inflammation is CBD as studies have already been performed to showcase its anti-inflammatory properties.
CBD also does not offer the same psychoactive properties as THC. Furthermore, it has already been given FDA approval for use with children who have intractable epilepsy. If it works to decrease inflammation in COVID-19 patients, it will be a safer alternative to other options currently available.