We are all in the middle of a Pandemic right now. On a daily basis the reality of what that means still confronts me as if it were for the first time. It’s like my brain still can’t believe it’s really happening to all of us. Covid 19 is caused by the acute respiratory syndrome SARS CoV 2, which is one of a large genealogy of Coronaviruses. Fortunately for the vast majority of us the symptoms resemble a cold. Sadly however, for some the virus can cause pneumonia, organ failure and severe acute respiratory syndrome which may lead to death. As of today there are 20,528,680 cases world wide and 739,342 deaths.

The good news is as a race we have never before been more united in a common goal and that is to develop a safe vaccine. There are currently 170 teams around the world developing a vaccine with 7 of these in phase 3 trials, the last phase before the vaccine is deemed safe for the general public. A vaccine works by impersonating the virus in our body causing it to develop antibodies which help us fight it off. The outlook of when a vaccine will be widely available is still up for debate but as we’ve already mentioned, 7 are in the advanced and final stage 3 and several of these expect to have definitive answers by the end of this year. Great news for all of us.

Research CBD For Coronavirus

CBD is the non psychoactive compound from the cannabis genus and it is praised all over the world for its numerous health benefits. Research suggests that cannabinoids, including CBD, can be very effective anti inflammatory agents and this has led a team of scientists to see if this anti inflammatory property can be used to help diminish severe cases of Covid 19.

In Severe cases of Covid 19 the body can cause whats known as a Cytokine storm. This is when it has an over reactive inflammatory response to the virus which leads to respiratory distress and can eventually develop into ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome). At this stage a patient would have to be on a ventilator to stand any chance of surviving. Cytokines are small proteins that run through our bloodstream and they are messengers, signalling if there is a need for a greater or reduced immune response in the body. High levels of cytokines called IL-2R and IL-6 are present in patients that have severe cases of Covid 19.

A healthy immune response is when the blood vessel walls of an infected area enlarge, inflame, to allow the immune cells to enter and do their work. However, a cytokine storm causes the body to have an overly aggressive immune response and the immune cells start to spread beyond the areas of the body that are infected which causes damage to healthy tissue.

CBD and its anti inflammatory properties are being studied by scientists as a potential treatment for Covid 19. This research carried out by the Augusta University In Georgia has shown that CBD can help severe cases by reducing inflammatory cytokine production and also by reducing ACE2 Expression. Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) is an enzyme that is used by Covid 19 to enter our cells.

The researchers in Georgia conducted the test on mice. The mice were given a treatment to artificially induce ARDS. They measured the inflammatory cytokine levels and oxygen levels in the mice before and after introducing CBD to the bloodstream. The results conclusively showed that CBD reduced cytokine levels and increased oxygen levels in the blood.

The test showed that CBD can reduce the over reactive inflammatory response caused by Covid 19 and help avoid the ensuing cytokine storm that is the cause of mortality in Covid 19 related deaths. The researchers said ” the CBD treatment reversed all these inflammatory indices and partially re-established homeostasis”. Pretty powerful stuff. The CBD also increased lymphocytes in their blood which are important blood cells for fighting off infections.

Obviously this is just a small test and it was done on mice but the results are very encouraging and anything that provides even a glimmer of hope in the fight against Covid 19 is welcome.

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