Not only is the death toll due to Covid-19 is rising, but now it seems that the infection will stay for longer than expected. The only way to overcome it is to create an effective vaccine, which may not happen anytime soon. Till then, researchers are trying their best to improve treatment, to reduce the mortality rate.
It is now evident that Covid-19 is not like the flu. It stays in the environment for longer. It might even be airborne, though various agencies are hesitant to accept that. But the most significant difference between the two is that Covid-19 seems to be a lung eater, causing severe pneumonia in many.
Additionally, hyper-inflammatory responses or so-called cytokine storm has lots to do with multi-organ damage and higher mortality rate.
Till date, researchers are trying either to kill the virus directly with the use of antivirals, which is late in many cases. Or control the inflammatory response that causes more damage than infection.
Researchers think that CBD might help in multiple ways. It may be particularly useful in those diagnosed with Covid-19. It might help reduce inflammation, or it may potentiate the anti-inflammatory effect of other drugs.
So far, some of the approaches used to control hyper-inflammation in Covid-19 did not show satisfactory results like the use of corticosteroids or monoclonal antibodies.
What researchers know is that CBD has an inflammatory activity, and unlike numerous pharma drugs, it normalizes inflammatory responses without over suppressing it or causing severe side effects.
In the first trial, they are trying to deliver CBD at the right target, and for that, they are using one the latest known vehicle of vital proteins in the human body called exosomes. Exosomes are vesicles used by the body to transport essential substances, proteins, and messages. Researchers are trying to exploit this new understanding, and use exosomes to deliver CBD where it is needed the most. They think that this is the most effective way to deliver CBD directly to the inflamed lung tissues.
In the second trial, they are trying to complement steroids with CBD. Low dose steroids are known to help with severe inflammation. However, when used alone, their benefit is only small. Researchers think that combining CBD and steroids might help better control inflammation, reduce mortality. They are trying to explore the synergy between these two different substances.
The third approach is somewhat more straightforward, which is examining the role of cannabis in slowing down the inflammatory response, and thus reducing the severity of the infection. This might be especially useful in the early stages of diseases and may help reduce the severity of the condition.
Some researchers are of the view that CBD may also help due to its antimicrobial activity. It may have a role in reducing viral replication in preventing secondary infections.
At present, everyone understands that they will not find any magical bullet, but what researchers want to see is a safe way to reduce the severity of the disease, and minimize mortality.