"In fact, both clinical symptoms and physical lung changes resulting from ARDS were reversed with CBD treatment" - Researchers at Dental College of Georgia
Ok. So this is actually a pretty huge breakthrough. Researchers at the Dental College of Georgia and Medical College of Georgia recently released their findings on a study to determine the impact cannabinoids have on patients who are sick with COVID-19. More specifically, the focus was to see how lung function was impacted by the cannabinoid.
Before we get into the science here, I'd like to point out the uncanny resemblance the COVID-19 virus has to the first tie-dye shirt I bought in the parking lot of my first Phish show (Nassau Coliseum 2/28/03
, for all of you out there wondering!)
Anyway, back to the important stuff! One of the biggest issues the world is facing when dealing with novel coronavirus is treatment for the sickest patients. While COVID-19 has the ability to attack multiple organ systems in the body, it seems to focus on the lungs in the vast majority of cases. Patients who fall into the more vulnerable category, suffering from a long term illness or having a weak immune system, often need mechanical breathing intervention soon after they are hospitalized.
COVID-19 Respiratory SystemGoogle Images
Despite the fact that the coronavirus inflicts significant damage to the lungs, studies have shown that the treatment could be just as bad. When patients suffer from ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and are put on a ventilator, the patient has a much lower chance of survival. Current data shows that 30-50% of people that need mechanical breathing do not survive the illness.
That is a staggering figure.
Well, some doctors believe that the pressure from the ventilator is too high and can cause irreversible damage, and others believe that people who need a ventilator are already the sickest patients and that is a more likely reason for the high mortality rate.
What Is ARDS?
According to the report "ARDS is a rapid, severe infection of the lungs that results in widespread inflammation, shortness of breath, rapid breathing and the inability to sustain adequate oxygen levels to the body and brain. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing are some of the early signs of COVID-19. ARDS is a major cause of death in patients who are critically ill for a variety of reasons, including common sepsis."
Two of the leading researchers listed in the report, Dr. Babak Baban, and Dr. Jack Yu, Baban who also happens to be an author of the study, went into detail as to the link between ARDS and COVID-19. including why there is such a need for alternate strategies concerning intervention and treatment of the novel coronavirus.
"ARDS is a major killer in severe cases of some respiratory viral infections, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and we have an urgent need for better intervention and treatment strategies," says Dr. Babak Baban, immunologist and interim associate dean for research at DCG and corresponding author of the study in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research
How Can CBD Help?
"Our laboratory studies indicate pure CBD can help the lungs recover from the overwhelming inflammation, or cytokine storm, caused by the COVID-19 virus, and restore healthier oxygen levels in the body," says co-author Dr. Jack Yu, physician-scientist and chief of pediatric plastic surgery at MCG.
In the absence of effective antivirals and vaccination, the pandemic of COVID-19 remains the most significant challenge to our health care system in decades. There is an urgent need for definitive therapeutic intervention. Clinical reports indicate that the cytokine storm associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the leading cause of mortality in severe cases of some respiratory viral infections, including COVID-19.
In recent years, cannabinoids have been investigated extensively due to their potential effects on the human body. Among all cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) has demonstrated potent anti-inflammatory effects in a variety of pathological conditions. Therefore, it is logical to explore whether CBD can reduce the cytokine storm and treat ARDS.