As coronavirus cases continue to surge and the current administration and its White House advisors scurry to reframe their response by convincing Americans to get back to work and just live with it, thankfully scientists are still hard at work.
Researchers from the University of Nebraska and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute are delving into cannabis-derived CBD as a possible option for treating the deadly lung inflammation that accompanies COVID-19.
In their study, researchers explained that the acute infection resulting from the coronavirus is associated with a “cytokine superstorm,” which is basically an immune reaction gone wild that seems to be linked with the most severe cases of COVID-19.
This breakdown in the immune system leads to symptoms such as fever, cough, muscle pain and, in some cases, severe lung inflammation which makes breathing difficult if not impossible. Hence the last ditch use of ventilators for COVID-19 sufferers.
Reducing inflammation is crucial, especially as Johns Hopkins University grimly noted that, as of July 8, coronavirus cases in the United State have surged to 3 million – one million occurring in just 28 days.
Cannabis’s anti-inflammatory properties hold promise in reducing lung inflammation that accompanies COVID-19.
“Here, we intend to highlight the potential effects of cannabinoids, in particular, the non-psychotropic cannabidiol (CBD), that has shown beneficial anti-inflammatory effects in pre-clinical models of various chronic inflammatory diseases and is FDA approved for seizure reduction in children with intractable epilepsy,” say the authors of the article, published in the July 2020 issue of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.
CBD Reduces Lung Inflammation
For example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third most common cause of death by disease in the United States, with more than 15.3 million Americans suffering from it. And, like the Coronavirus, there is no cure.
However, several recent studies have shown CBD to exhibit significant bronchodilator properties, which essentially open (dilate) and relax the airways, or bronchial tubes, enabling people to breathe more easily.
The same goes for asthma. Studies have shown that CBD dilates the respiratory airways by reducing inflammation in the lungs.
THC and Anti-Inflammatory Properties
THC also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, though the COVID-19 researchers caution that the psychotropic effect – as in getting too stoned – could produce certain unwanted reactions in some consumers.
“The many uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic such as status of the economy, employment and loss of connection can fuel depression, fear and anxiety,” note the authors in something of an understatement.
Gaslighting causes anxiety and there is no shortage of either.
For example, the president of the United States spent the 4th of July weekend raging about protecting statues of American heroes with racist pasts while barely mentioning the rampant pandemic that has killed over 133,000 Americans.
The coronavirus pandemic now threatens to become endemic.
So, yes, let’s look at all options to treat it.