For its therapeutic properties, it is now officially proven that medical cannabis is effective in naturally supporting the treatment of a variety of diseases, including major ones. In fact, cannabidiol and THC extracted from this plant are effective in cancer or autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Because of its pain-relieving and muscle relaxant properties, it is also effective for chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as:
- multiple sclerosis
- alzheimer's disease
- parkinson's disease
In recent years, several studies have confirmed not only the pain-relieving properties, but also the antiseptic, antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties of cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants.
What had not yet been demonstrated by these studies was the potential efficacy of cannabinoids, particularly THC and CBD, for the treatment of Covid 19. This is what happened this year thanks to research carried out worldwide.
Are CBD and THC effective weapons against Covid 19?
Knowing the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol in fact, with the outbreak ofCoronavirus, scientists took action to assess whether, and to what extent, cannabis might have some effect on the Sars-Cov-2 infection.
A Canadian team, in a study conducted last June by the University of Lethbridge, screened high-CBD cannabis extracts. It tested the effects on 3-D models of human tissues (mouth, airways and intestines) and observed a decrease in the expression of Ace2 and Tmprss2 proteins, i.e., those that the Sars-Cov-2 coronavirus exploits to enter cells.
The conclusion reached by this research is that CBD may have a role in preventing the disease, that it may lower the likelihood of infectionand alleviate the symptoms of Covid-19.
The Canadian pharmaceutical company Tetra Bio-Pharmasta testing one of its synthetic cannabinoids to evaluate its efficacy in reducing inflammation and hyper-reactivity of the immune system.
Cannabis and the immune system
A team from the Israel Institute of Technology is also doing research along these lines to test the effects of cannabis on the immune system and the Ace2 receptor in the treatment of Covid-19.
In an article first published on October 15, 2020 in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular medicine titled "Cannabidiol (CBD) modulation of apelin in acute respiratory distress syndrome," it is stated that "The beneficial effects of CBD have been correlated with the regulation of apelin, an endogenous peptide that possesses protective effects on lung tissue. In addition, apelin may be a biomarker for early diagnosis of ARDS and for classifying the risk of deterioration and disease progression."
Because apelin is also a substrate for ACE2, these findings are particularly important for the management of COVID-19 disease.
Research in the States on THC and CBD against acute respiratory distress syndrome
Specific research has been carried out by researchers at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Huston to identify the correlation between the action of THC and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
The results of this research are presented in an article published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. This study states that "Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol prevents ARDS mortality by leading to suppression of the cytokine storm. This is accomplished through apoptosis of immune cells. SEB-mediated treatment of ARDS mice with THC resulted in 100% survival.
Regarding the suppression of the cytokine storm there is also the study on CBD by researchers at Augusta University published in Cannabis & Cannabinoids Research.
The results of experiments done on mice i confirm that CBD is able to help counteract the cytokine storm. All this can reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1b and IL-17. In short, it reduces inflammation the resulting respiratory damage. Increased levels of lymphocytes, important infection-fighting white blood cells, could also be seen in CBD-treated mice.
Researchers also say CBD could play an immunotherapeutic role in treating severe respiratory viral infections such as COVID-19, based on current findings.
A very recent research study, published in January 2021 in the International Journal of biological macro molecules, would seem to definitively confirm the strong antiviral power and clinical efficacy of light cannabis in therapy against SARS-CoV-2.
In the study, five cannabinoids (THC, CBD, THCA, CBDA and CBN) were analyzed and CBD and THC were found to have superior antiviral power to current drug therapies used in treatment today, namely lopinavir, chloroquine and remdesvir.
According to this study, THC and CDB in fact are composed of molecules with potential dual effects in counteracting SARS-CoV-2 virus.
On the one hand, they inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Mpro on the other hand, they reduce the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines that trigger lung damage as CB- receptor agonists, succeeding in preventing acute respiratory distress syndrome.