Survey shows cannabis can soothe a cytokine storm caused by COVID-19

Published Jan 31, 2021 02:00 p.m. ET
iStock / selvanegra

As cannabis research progresses, we’re learning all kinds of neat things we never knew before. Some of them of course, we had theorized long before any type of scientists was willing to work out whether or not we were right, but just as many are brand new discoveries, and they’re changing the way that we use and incorporate cannabis in the field of medicine.

The research

One study, which was conducted by researchers from Pathway Research Inc., the University of Calgary, and the University of Lethbridge, used synthetic 3-D artificial skin, which was exposed to UV rays to induce inflammation that is similar to that which often noted in patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Over the course of the study, the model was exposed to seven unique cannabis strains to see if any were effective at reducing the inflammation on the artificial skin. What they found was that certain cannabis strains could reduce the severity of inflammation, which also led them to conclude that they could be just as useful in our battle against COVID-19.

Cytokine storm meaning

The definition of a cytokine storm is when the body starts to attack itself causing damage to tissue and cells instead of focusing on fighting off an invading virus. This condition is commonly experienced following a COVID-19 infection, and it’s the primary reason that emergency rooms in some of the hardest-hit areas are full. Cytokine storms are also known to happen in patients with autoimmune diseases, so if we were to find a medicine that works for patients that are experiencing this due to the virus, it could work elsewhere in medicine for people with an even scarier diagnosis.

How cannabis can help

One of the primary causes of severe cases of the virus is a symptom called acute respiratory distress syndrome, and it’s brought on by cytokine storm also known as pro-inflammatory cytokines. This reaction is believed to be the reason behind some of the most serious COVID-19 cases we’ve seen. Stopping these cytokine storms could be just the edge that medicine needs to save lives by effectively tackling inflammatory distress while reducing the frequency in which we need to rely on more advanced medical equipment such as ventilators.

Further research is critical

Long before COVID-19 researchers had discovered just over 100 cultivars that showed promise in their ability and effectiveness for treating inflammatory distress in patients, but now that we're dealing with a global disaster, it’s more important than ever for us to find solutions that will work in a timelier manner than the pharmaceutical options out there today.

A future filled with green medicines

Full-spectrum cannabis oils seem to be the most effective as far as clinical research shows for chronic or severe inflammation, and some cannabis strains hold so much promise that many experts are expecting their arrival in the field of health much faster than many of us had initially anticipated. Soon, we could see a whole line of brand-new medicinal cannabis products that are designed specifically to treat COVID-19 or other health compromised patients. Isn't that amazing?

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