A compound found in cannabis can help to reduce lung damage from Covid-19, a new study claims.
Researchers from the Dental College of Georgia say that CBD appears to reduce the ‘cytokine storm’ that damages the lungs of patients with Covid-19.
Earlier this year, the team found that CBD was able to improve oxygen levels and reduce lung inflammation in Covid-19 patients.
Now, they’ve shown the mechanism by which this occurs.
Their findings indicate that CBD enables an increase in levels of a natural peptide called apelin, which is known to reduce inflammation.
In their study, the team were able to show that blood levels of apelin increase 20 times when patients were given CBD.
Dr Jack Yu, who worked on the study, said: “CBD almost brought it back to a normal level.”
This isn’t the first time that scientists have suggested that a compound in cannabis could help to reduce lung damage from Covid-19.
Earlier this year, researchers from the University of South Carolina claimed that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the main active compound in cannabis, can reduce inflammation in the lungs known as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
In the study, the researchers tested the effects of THC on mice with ARDS.
They found that in 100% of cases, the THC stopped the inflammation in the lungs, by slowing the release of cytokine proteins.
In their study, published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, the researchers, led by Amira Mohammed, explained: “It is of interest to note that a significant proportion of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients come down with sepsis and ARDS accompanied by cytokine storm.
“Because currently there is no effective treatment against ARDS, a significant percentage of such COVID-19 patients die from severe damage to the lungs and other organs, caused by cytokine storm.”