It may be a lifesaver, early clinical data suggests
Initial findings from clinical studies indicate that CBD may help prevent respiratory distress in those affected by Covid-19 and thus save precious lives.
Covid-19 is here to stay for some time, and creating an effective vaccine might take longer than expected. Therefore, it is worth looking at readily available remedies, that could help fight the epidemic.
Studies show that Covid-19 is not like a common cold or seasonal influenzas, as this particular mutation of coronavirus is more aggressive, and is more probable to affect lungs.
People who die from Covid-19 are affected by lower respiratory tract infection. However, the more significant reason for fatal outcomes is systemic toxicity and multi-organ failure.
Covid-19 might be a newly discovered mutation; however, doctors are facing something they have known since quite a long time. Many fatal outcomes in Covid-19 are due to so-called cytokine storm.
‘Cytokine storm’ might sound like a complicated term for most individuals. It is just another name for a hyper-inflammatory response. This kind of immune-response found in severe systemic infections; it is a common reason for fatal outcomes in patients diagnosed with sepsis.
Although this phenomenon is well known to science, it has struggled to find an effective remedy. One of the challenges in suppressing cytokine storm is that most potent medications with such capability have numerous side effects.
There are two approaches in medicine to suppress the cytokine storm. One is to use corticosteroids, which is a double-edged sword as they are non-selective and also suppress the immunes system.
Second, and a newer approach is to use monoclonal antibodies (like Tocilizumab). This second approach does work but with limited benefit. It did show promising results in small clinical trials. However, they did not work as expected in masses.
As one can see, another downside of the above approaches is that they use highly toxic drugs that only help severely ill patients in hospital conditions.
So, could CBD be a novel way to reduce hyper-responsiveness of the immune system and prevent cytokine storm? At least, some research seems to indicate that.
Studies into CBD and its role in the treatment of complications related to Coronavirus infections are not new. Researchers had studied its utility in SARS-CoV2, which is very similar to Covid-19.
Earlier studies show that CBD may have a role in the prevention of cytokine storm by reducing systemic inflammation. It may suppress cytokines like various interleukins, interferon-gamma, TNF, and other inflammatory proteins.
CBD may not be as specific as Tocilizumab or potent as corticosteroids, but that is perhaps its advantage. The lower level of activity of CBD against specific inflammatory proteins may mean that it helps without suppressing the immunity.
Further studies into the role of CBD or even its use is justified based on the fact that it is quite safe. It is also suitable for use as a precautionary measure due to its other health benefits and wider availability as a supplement.