Written by Kandi Neal:
As the popularity of cannabis increases, so does the extensive research conducted on this magical plant. CBD can be used for many things, such as pain management, relieving inflammation, reducing anxiety, and much more. Now, its healing properties are being explored in treating lung damage caused by COVID-19.
When someone suffers from a severe case of COVID-19, oftentimes the immune system goes into overdrive, resulting in a release of excessive cytokines. As this happens, the COVID patient can begin to experience a high fever, muscle pain, inflammation, and a nagging cough. This phase is referred to as a ‘cytokine storm,’ and is extremely hard on the patient. This is where CBD steps in. One way that cannabidiol CBD is showing promise in reducing damage caused by the cytokine storm is by its positive effect on apelin, a naturally occurring peptide which is known to reduce inflammation and whose levels are drastically reduced during the storm. According to Dr. Babak Baban, DCG immunologist, CBD has demonstrated that it can make a dramatic difference when it comes to changing levels of apelin in both circulating blood as well as lung tissue.
In order to see how CBD can really go to work when it comes to repairing the lungs, researchers at the Medical College of Georgia studied ARDS and response of cannabidiol with a laboratory model. They discovered that CBD is not only able to reduce inflammation and increase oxygen levels with the deadly adult respiratory distress syndrome, but also noted that physical lung damage had improved. Blood levels of the peptide dropped close to zero in their ARDS model and increased 20 times with CBD, according to the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.
In another study this summer, The Cannabis and Cannabinoid Journal reported that treatment with CBD led to improved oxygen levels, helped in reducing excessive lung inflammation, improved lung function, and repaired some structural damage to the lungs that are standard with ARDS. Their discovery of extreme reductions in apelin in the face of ARDS makes levels of the peptide a potential early biomarker for ARDS and response to treatments. Although this is showing a lot of promise, researchers concluded that more studies were needed, including the exploration of how CBD produces remarkable changes, along with conducting human trials.
While scientists continue to explore a multitude of ways to fight against COVID-19, some are really examining how cannabis derived CBD could possibly benefit those that are suffering from severe forms of this novel coronavirus. We now know that spiked virus enters human cells through the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, or ACE2, receptor. There is a plethora of commonalities between ACE2 and apelin, including the fact that many tissues and cell types contain both, including the lungs. Further research has suggested that CBD is perhaps able to reduce the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression, which is used as a receptor to invade human cells.
As research continues, the next step is to further explore the relationships between CBD, apelin and COVID-19, including why apelin goes down with the virus, while CBD brings it up. This would also need to include the exploration of how eliminating apelin affects ARDS and if CBD can reduce inflammation in the lungs without apelin. More than likely, the virus suppresses something that in turn suppresses apelin. To study this further, a research team developed a safe model of ARDS by distributing a synthetic analog of double-stranded RNA called POLY (I:C). For these studies, a control group received intranasal saline for three days while the COVID-19 model received POLY (I:C) intranasally for three days. A final group received both POLY (I:C) and CBD over the same course of time. They found a significant reduction in apelin levels in the mice that developed COVID-like symptoms compared to the control group. Treatment with CBD normalized apelin levels, immune response, oxygen levels, as well as helping with swelling and scarring in the lungs, which are characteristic of the fatal ARDS.
As more and more is uncovered through this important research, the significance of CBD and apelin cannot go unnoticed. Beyond apelin being a significant player when it comes to fighting this coronavirus, correct levels of the peptide are believed to improve blood and oxygen. Moreover, apelin plays a part in a healthy pregnancy by helping to ensure that the placenta is supplied with blood and oxygen flow. Luckily, synthetic agonists that increase apelin levels do exist and are showing promise in lab studies when it comes to cardiovascular disease. According to researchers, CBD appears to be a natural apelin agonist.
Although there is still so much more to learn about COVID-19, this early data gives us hope that CBD is definitely worth considering when it comes to fighting both ARDS and COVID-19. Luckily, there is more and more information coming to the surface daily on both COVID and CBD, giving us even more reasons to turn to cannabis for its natural, healing properties. With little to no side effects, you can incorporate CBD on the daily without worry. A good oil to start with is our Cannafyl™ Balance – Full Spectrum CBD. This particular blend can help to reduce anxiety, improve your mood, and reduce your reaction to stress. To learn more about us and our products, please call, click, or come by today!
News Medical Life Sciences: CBD Could Reduce Lung Damage Caused by COVID-19
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine: Cannabidiol (CBD) Modulation of Apelin in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome