Effect of MAHA CBD on COVID 19
In a new study, scientists have shown that one of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids in cannabis – CBD – reduces lung damage induced by cytokine storms caused by COVID-19 by enabling an increase in levels of a natural peptide. Therefore regular intake of MAHA CBD oils may help in keeping wellness during hard times faced by the world pandemic.
CBD reduces COVID-19 lung damage with protective peptides
The scientists, from the Dental College of Georgia (DCG) and the Medical College of Georgia, demonstrated earlier this year that CBD has the ability to improve oxygen levels and reduce inflammation and physical lung damage related to adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This new study has now shown the mechanisms behind these results, demonstrating that CBD normalises levels of a peptide named apelin, which is known to reduce inflammation. Levels of this peptide are low during a COVID-19 infection.
Cannabis in the early stages of COVID-19
Under normal circumstances, whenever the immune system senses an infection or inflammation, the body releases cytokines into the bloodstream. Cytokines are – proteins, peptides, or glycoproteins secreted by specific cells of the immune system which mediate and regulate immunity, inflammation, and haematopoiesis – by rushing to the site and communicating to white blood cells which virus or cell to attack. Once the infected or damaged cell is destroyed, the cytokines disperse; and the destroyed cells are carried away as waste.
As cytokines play a crucial role in fighting off infections, reducing them as a preventative measure or in the early stages of the infection may be a bad idea. Many authorities caution against using cannabis agents in the early stages of infection because cannabis and specific cannabinoids such as CBD and THC suppress immune responses.
Patients with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of getting gravely sick or remaining infectious for a longer period of time than others with COVID-19. There are many reasons a person may be immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system, including a solid organ, blood, or bone marrow transplant; immune deficiencies; and prolonged use of corticosteroids or treatments with other immune weakening medicines. 1
However, some evidence does indicate that several high-CBD extracts can inhibit viral cell entry and spread by decreasing angiotensin-converting enzyme
2 (ACE2) receptor levels, a receptor expressed in lung tissue and the oral and nasal mucosa that SARS-CoV-2 uses for entry into a human host.2 As this data is from in vitro studies only, it is not conclusive and requires further large-scale validation and clinical studies.
Furthermore, observation in patients being treated with other immunosuppressants or anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) alpha biologics for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or rheumatoid arthritis, indicates they seem to fare better than the general population, needing less hospitalisation, and not reaching the most severe stages of COVID-19.3 Trials are still ongoing using various anti-TNF alpha treatments.
Cannabinoids and cytokine storms in patients with severe COVID-19 infection
Various studies have shown that cytokine storms, resulting in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), are a leading cause of death in severe COVID-19 cases. In some cases where cytokine release is necessary, the immune system overreacts, releasing too many proinflammatory cytokines like interleukins IL-6 and IL-1β, as well as immune cells like neutrophils and monocytes. This hyperinflammation is called a cytokine storm; and can become dangerous to patients’ health as the immune system attacks the body’s own cells instead of the virus, meaning patients may experience high fever, inflammation, severe fatigue, and nausea. In extreme cases, known as hypercytokinaemia, a cytokine storm can become life-threatening and even cause organ failure.
In these cases, the lungs fail to remove harmful gases like carbon dioxide and are unable to efficiently provide oxygen to the body. This helps the virus multiply rapidly in the lungs, resulting in respiratory conditions such as ARDS.
Endocannabinoids produced in the respiratory system and cannabinoid-induced bronchial dilation suggest a significant therapeutic potential for cannabinoids in the treatment of respiratory diseases, including COVID-19-induced ARDS. Several studies mimicking lung damage caused by ARDS in mice show that CBD improved clinical symptoms significantly improved the levels of oxygen, and reduced the levels of inflammation-promoting cytokines caused by COVID-19-induced ARDS.4 Detailed examination showed that CBD partially or totally reversed the damage caused to the lungs, such as tissue overgrowth, scarring and swelling. A study showed the reason for this is a significant increase in the levels of apelin, a peptide made by cells of the heart, lung, brain, fat tissue and blood that works in reducing inflammation. In the ARDS model, apelin levels dropped close to zero in the lungs and blood, but when scientists gave the mice CBD, apelin levels increased by 20 times.5
Whole-plant cannabis extracts have also been shown to reduce blood coagulation in animal models.6 It is known that many of the negative systemic effects of COVID-19 appear to be related to altered coagulation, so it is possible that cannabis may be useful in managing these sequelae too.