Study reveals how cannabis minimizes lung inflammation associated with COVID-19 fatalities

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Just a couple of months ago, doctors and everyday people were alerted to the fact that one of the primary constituents of the cannabis plant CBD (cannabidiol) may prove beneficial at relieving coronavirus-related lung inflammation. 

Although researchers were already aware of the fact that the non-psychoactive compound may benefit COVID-19 patients, a fresh bout of research has highlighted how the process works.

The findings, which were published in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, showed that levels of apelin a natural peptide soared after patients were exposed to CBD. As a result, lung damage caused by the cytokine storm was dramatically reduced.

CBD helps normalize Apelin levels in COVID-19 patients

Apelin is an endogenous peptide that identifies as a ligand of the G protein- coupled receptor APJ. It is widely expressed in the adrenal glands, adipose tissue, brain, endothelium, gastrointestinal tract, heart, human plasma, kidney, liver and lungs.

In COVID-19 cases whereby a cytokine storm an inflammatory response of the immune system erupts inside the body, Apelin levels tend to plummet. Since the ligand is responsible for reducing inflammation, lung functioning can be drastically impacted if Apelin levels are not restored quickly in coronavirus patients.

After analyzing COVID-19 patients, a team of researchers from the Medical College of Georgia discovered that blood levels of Apelin sunk to almost zero in cases of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), before increasing 20 times once CBD was administered.

“CBD almost brought it back to a normal level,” said Chief of Pediatric Plastic Surgery at college, Jack Yu. As an integral regulator for reducing inflammation and blood pressure, normal levels of Apelin are critical for preventing fatalities in COVID-19 patients.

“It was dramatic in both directions,” added the study’s corresponding author, Babak Baban, who also works at the college. 

Further investigations into the effects of CBD for COVID-19 patients needed

Earlier this summer, a study published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research revealed that CBD was capable of minimizing lung inflammation and enhancing lung functioning. In addition to this, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid proved successful at repairing structural lung damage associated with ARDS, as well as boosting oxygen levels.

Following this discovery, investigators emphasized the fact that further work must be carried out into CBD for lung inflammation caused by COVID-19. Until human trials had been accomplished and further research conducted into the specific way(s) that CBD could benefit coronavirus patients, introducing cannabis-derived compounds as a method of treatment would have been a tricky feat.

Fortunately, the most recent findings published in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine have shown CBD to be a miracle molecule for apelin regulation. While further research is needed, the team feel confident that CBD plays an integral role in reducing coronavirus-related lung inflammation.