How can CBD help with lung inflammation?
Recent research into the effects of cannabis on COVID-19 has found that CBD products could significantly reduce lung inflammation caused by the disease. But how? Here, we take a look at the science behind this new discovery.
For many months, medical professionals across the globe have been searching for new ways to treat the potentially deadly effects of COVID-19 on the lungs.
Since scientists discovered a link between COVID patients and a lack of vitamin D earlier in the pandemic, researchers have increasingly turned to natural, alternative supplements in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
One such supplement is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD oils and tinctures have long been found to help treat a range of health conditions, from anxiety and depression to chronic pain and muscle spasms, but the strongest evidence to date lies in its ability to fight inflammation.
Wide ranging benefits of CBD
CBD contains compounds which can both reduce inflammation and inhibit inflammatory and neuropathic pain. If left untreated, inflammation in the body can trigger the production of damaging free radicals, which can then lead to long-term tissue damage and other dangerous conditions.
In COVID patients, lung inflammation is a major cause for concern, since it can quickly lead to ‘severe pneumonia which clog up the lungs, make breathing difficult or impossible’.
Respiratory failure is the leading cause of COVID-19 mortality, which is why it’s critical for doctors to find new ways to reduce lung inflammation - and that’s where cannabis-derived CBD comes in.
Because CBD has proven anti-inflammatory benefits and is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat children with intractable epilepsy for seizure reduction, scientists began to explore whether CBD might alleviate COVID-19 related lung inflammation.
A safer way to reduce lung inflammation
A prominent study published last year in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine confirmed that CBD showed serious anti-inflammatory properties, offering doctors a much safer way to treat patients than using other anti-inflammatory medicines which could have harmful side effects.
Similar studies have even discovered that CBD could increase the production of interferons, which are a kind of signalling protein that activates the body’s immune cells and prevents viruses from replicating.
Since these initial pieces of research, several more studies – such as those conducted by the Dental & Medical College of Georgia and an independent study this January in Scientific Reports - have confirmed the same findings; that CBD can, in fact, reduce lung inflammation in COVID patients.
It does this by reducing the number of pro-inflammatory cytokines like IL-6; in the Scientific Reports piece, researchers concluded that: “CBD showed considerable activity in the reduction of IL-6 and IL-8 secretion levels from lung epithelial cells.”
So does that mean we’ll start to see widespread use of CBD in treating lung inflammation in UK and overseas hospitals? That remains to be seen, but the evidence is certainly compelling and as the pandemic drags on, medical professionals may have no option but to follow the science.
Demand on the increase of CBD products
In the meantime, should we all – especially if we’re older – be taking CBD oils, tinctures and gummies as supplements to help reduce inflammation in our bodies and improve our overall wellbeing? We think so, yes.
Demand for CBD products has been growing at a rapid rate since the start of the pandemic. When the UK went into its first lockdown and people began to take a greater interest in self-treatment and natural health products, purchases of CBD products almost tripled.
More and more people are beginning to understand that high-quality, organic CBD products (as opposed to cheaper, mass-produced versions like those on sites like Amazon) can help us take much better care of ourselves, inside and out.
If you’re new to CBD, let us help you explore what it is and how it works; read our FAQ.