The world we live in has changed drastically since 2020. Doesn’t that seem like a lifetime ago as we are about to enter 2022? On the forefront of every news article, channel, and social media is coronavirus. “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Most people infected with the virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. However, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention” (World Health Organization). “Many COVID-19 complications may be caused by a condition known as cytokine release syndrome or a cytokine storm. This is when an infection triggers your immune system to flood your bloodstream with inflammatory proteins called cytokines. They can kill tissue and damage your organs” (NCBI).
Some good news thankfully is that CBD is being used to treat Covid-19 patients. There has research surrounding what CBD can do to prevent and help treat Covid-19. A hospital in Austria has been using CBD to treat patients with Covid-19 who are in the ICU. They are “administering 300MG to patients over the course of 3 weeks and shared that the CBD patients have made a faster and more successful recovery than those who did not receive it . ” CBD supports the immune system,” said Rudolf Likar, Head of Intensive Care at Klagenfurt Clinic, for Radio Kärnten” (Ilesol Pharmaceuticals). “COVID-19 infection is accompanied by an aggressive inflammatory response with the release of a large amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines in an event known as “cytokine storm.” The host immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus is hyperactive resulting in an excessive inflammatory reaction. Several studies analyzing cytokine profiles from COVID-19 patients suggested that the cytokine storm correlated directly with lung injury, multi-organ failure, and unfavorable prognosis of severe COVID-19” (NCBI).
Sounds pretty terrifying right? Well the good news is that CBD had been found to block IL-6 receptors which are directly related to setting the cytokine storm in motion. “Several scientific studies have shown that CBD can block interleukin-6 (IL-6), an inflammatory molecule that in some cases causes a whole cascade of destructive cytokine storms when infected with a new coronavirus” (NCBI). Another study found that CBD was successful in preventing the spike protein of Covid-19 from attaching to ACE2 receptors, which would mean that CBD quite literally prevented infection. Consistent with this, CBD was also effective at inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 spike protein expression in host cells even 2 hours after infection in the presence of antibodies to the spike protein to prevent reinfection” (NCBI).
Overall, cytokine storm appears to be one of the common causes of mortality in the Covid-19 pandemic (NCBI). Here’s to hoping that therapeutic approaches to manage the COVID-19 cytokine storm can provide us with more information in upcoming studies. As always, please consult with a medical professional about the best treatment options for you.