Indian Hemp can Reduce COVID-19 complications, study Claims
A recent research claims that three strains of the cannabis plant are capable of inhibiting cytokine storms, extreme respiratory inflammation and reducing the risk of COVID-19 patients developing pulmonary fibrosis.
The study, which is a joint work carried out by the Pathway Research Inc., University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge, all in Canada, was published in Aging, a bi-monthly peer-reviewed medical journal.
The researchers say cytokine storms happen when immune cells and their activating compounds (cytokines) are overproduced by the body, causing dangerously high blood pressure, lung damage, syndrome of respiratory distress and organ failure.
They noted that in some patients where the immune system’s reaction to COVID-19 is severe, it is a normal occurrence and goes into overdrive to combat the virus.
Accumulating data, the researchers noted, indicates that, instead of the virus itself, many COVID-19 patients die as a result of increased development of inflammatory cytokine molecules.
Explaining how they arrived at their results, the team demonstrated that in 3D printed skin tissue samples they induced inflammation and tested seven different Cannabis Sativa strains on them, selected from 200 strains that were initially analyzed.
Three of the studied strains have been shown to be capable of inhibiting cytokine storms and mitigating potential risks of developing pulmonary fibrosis, which causes permanent lung scarring.
Dr. Igor Kovalchuk, a study participant from the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, said he was not shocked by the results.
“Before COVID-19, we have studied the anti-inflammatory effect of over 100 cultivars (preselected from nearly 800), and identified a couple dozen with strong potential, and even filed several patents on them for use with RA, MS, intestinal, and skin inflammation, and oral inflammation,” Kovalchuk was quoted by Jerusalem Post as saying.
He, however, recommended that the whole plant be ingested, preferably by smoking, as many terpenes (natural products) can get lost in the evaporation process.
Dr. Kovalchuk said, “As to specific chemicals, our analysis shows that CBD or THC alone doesn’t have the same effect.
“We strongly believe in the full-spectrum, entourage-based effects. Likely, there are secondary (minor cannabinoids) and terpenes that contribute, and we write in the paper, that one of such terpenes could be caryophyllene.”
According to Health Europa, cannabis-derived CBD has a history of safe use and contains several properties which may be useful in treating certain medical symptoms.
“Whole plant cannabis extracts have also been shown to reduce blood coagulation in animal models; it is known that many of the negative systemic effects of COVID-19 appear to be related to altered coagulation, so it is possible that cannabis may be useful in managing these sequelae,” Health Europa stated.
Also, last October, researchers at the University of South Carolina say that tetrahydrocannabinol or THC [the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the high sensation] might be an effective way to treat some potentially lethal COVID-19 complications.
The researchers published the preliminary results of their study in a report in online journal, Frontiers in Pharmacology.
In the study conducted on mice, researchers found that THC can prevent the harmful immune response caused by Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome [a condition in which fluid collects from the lungs in the air sacs, depriving oxygen from the organs.
They also think that a large rise in healthy lung bacteria may be caused by it.
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome can potentially be fatal and permanent pulmonary scarring will also occur in those who survive it.
Essentially, the body’s immune system tends to overwhelm and damage the lungs and other organs with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, as well as the illness it is currently attempting to combat.
If you can’t avoid the death of the organ, then it can lead to a fatality.
While the researchers in South Carolina saw enough of a positive response in mice, they suggest that health professionals conduct human care experiments while discouraging recreational cannabis usage and also advising patients not to self-medicate if they have an active COVID infection.
# Indian Hemp can Reduce COVID-19 complications, study Claims
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