CBD May Lessen Lung Damage in COVID-19
The global pandemic caused by coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is unprecedented in modern history and is spreading like wildfire in certain parts of the United States and in other countries, such as Brazil and India.
To date, the global tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 15 million with almost 617,000 deaths reported. Given the grim statistics, scientists around the world are rushing to find the COVID-19 holy grail ― a safe, effective vaccine.
As researchers race to find treatments to cure or prevent the deadly disease, researchers at Augusta University in Georgia are looking into ways that hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) may benefit those suffering from severe lung inflammation ― a leading cause of mortality among COVID-19 patients.
How Does Coronavirus Cause COVID-19?
COVID-19 is proving an adversary to be reckoned with. It’s thought to spread between persons in close contact through respiratory droplets produced by infected persons who sneeze, cough, or talk.
Furthermore, it manifests a wide range of unpredictable symptoms ― from undetectable or mild symptoms to severe illness ― depending on factors, such as age, genetics and even ethnicity.
- Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native persons have a rate approximately 5 times that of non-Hispanic white persons,
- Non-Hispanic black persons have a rate approximately 5 times that of non-Hispanic white persons,
- Hispanic or Latino persons have a rate approximately 4 times that of non-Hispanic white persons.
Older persons with certain underlying medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes appear to be at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 and requiring long hospital stays. The virus causing COVID-19 appears to be highly virulent ― spreading easily and efficiently between people, especially those gathering in large groups or who reside at assisted living facilities.
While much needs to be learned about the mechanisms as to how the coronavirus operates, everyone should be on the lookout for these symptoms, which may appear between 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus, and seek medical attention:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Research Suggests CBD May Show Promise Fighting Lung Inflammation
The pace of research to find a cure for COVID-19 is moving along at a previously unheard-of breakneck speed. While most researchers are looking for a vaccine, a group of researchers at Augusta University in Georgia is studying how CBD may be able to mitigate acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) ― a dangerous symptom in COVID-19 caused by an overactive inflammatory response.
Researchers are specifically studying how CBD oil may have the ability to reduce angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression and inflammatory cytokine production to fight lung inflammation, a symptom responsible for placing many COVID-19 sufferers on ICU ventilators.
ACE2 is an enzyme that has been shown to bind to coronavirus receptors, contributing to the virus entering the body and causing illness. Cytokines are immunoregulatory proteins, such as interleukin or interferon, secreted by cells of the immune system. When COVID-19 attacks, the body sometimes reacts with a “cytokine storm” that mounts an overzealous reaction to the disease and, in turn, causes damage to healthy cells and respiratory distress.
In studies of healthy mice, the Georgia researchers were able to show that CBD lowered levels of inflammatory cytokines, reversing abnormally high inflammatory indices and re-establishing near-normal levels of homeostasis. In addition, their data showed increased levels of lymphocytes in the blood ― white blood cells important for fighting off infection.
While this research is still in its early phases, it points to the possibility that CBD may help reduce the cytokine storm responsible for excessive lung inflammation, and eventual death, in some COVID-19 patients.
What CBD Products Should I Try for General Inflammation?
Hemp-derived CBD oil has been shown to help reduce bodily inflammation and enhancing the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for regulating sleep, pain, and stress, among other things.
A broad-spectrum natural CBD oil, when used twice daily, may help support a healthy anti-inflammatory response. Try starting with a concentration between 1000 mg and 3500 mg, especially for those experiencing severe symptoms. It may be necessary to reduce or increase dosages depending on how the body responds.
There are many ways to introduce CBD oil into your system but the quickest way to experience results is as follows:
- Shake the bottle well before each usage.
- Squeeze the dropper to fill it with oil.
- Next, place half a dropper of CBD oil under your tongue.
- Once you have placed the CBD oil under your tongue, hold for 30-90 seconds before swallowing.
- Use twice daily.
While everyone is at risk of getting COVID-19, certain people may be more likely to get very ill from it. Some may experience no symptoms, while others may experience moderate to severe illness. Those who are older and have underlying medical conditions, appear to be at higher risk for getting COVID-19 and experiencing severe symptoms, such as respiratory distress or permanent lung damage.
COVID-19-19 is a new disease, and much needs to be learned about the mechanisms by which it spreads from person to person and why people exposed to the virus experience a wide range of symptoms.
The clinical trials involving animals by researchers in Georgia have produced early evidence that CBD oil may help patients showing signs of respiratory distress and avoid extreme interventions like mechanical ventilation, as well as death from ARDS.
Their laboratory studies indicate pure CBD oil may help the lungs recover from the overwhelming inflammation ―cytokine storm ― caused by the COVID-19 virus and restore healthier oxygen levels in the body. Still, optimal dosage and timing needs to be studied further before CBD becomes part of the treatment regimen for COVID-19 disease.