Researchers in a hospital in Klagenfurt, Austria, reported earlier this year that Covid-19 patients in the local intensive care unit experienced alleviation of inflammation and faster recovery after experimental administration of cannabidiol (CBD).
During three weeks of their standard treatment, patients were initially administered 200 milligrams of CBD broad-spectrum extract daily, but the dose was gradually increased to 300 mg.
“Blood tests after cannabidiol administration have shown that the rate of inflammation in patients is reduced. Those who received CBD were released earlier compared to those who did not receive it,” said the head of the Klagenfurt ICU, Rudolf Likar. “Apparently, CBD supports immunity.”
The success of the treatment might be due to the fact that some CBD-rich extracts can suppress viral cell entry and spread by inhibiting the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) receptors, which the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein binds to. These receptors are expressed in lung tissue as well as oral and nasal mucosa, the kidneys, testes and gastrointestinal tract.
Outperforming conventional drugs
In addition, the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD extracts reportedly outperform conventional drugs, since cannabidiol can cross the blood-brain barrier more easily and thus prevent some of the serious neurological consequences associated with long-term coronavirus infection.
Research into the impact of CBD on inflammation at the Klagenfurt clinic is not over, but the preliminary results appear to be very promising. “We are currently assessing the data, and they look quite good. We will probably start administering cannabidiol to all patients simply because it has no side effects,” added Likar.
A similar study on the effectiveness of Covid-19 treatment with CBD-rich cannabis extracts is now underway in Israel. Meanwhile in Australia, drug developer Incannex has been evaluating the anti-inflammatory capabilities of its lead drug candidate IHL-675A against sepsis-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (SAARDS) – the leading cause of death in patients who have contracted the Covid-19 virus. IHL-675A is a combined formulation of CBD and the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine. In November, the company revealed positive animal study results that showed IHL-675A outperformed CBD significantly across the five inflammatory cytokines analyzed.
Author: Martin Helcman
Source: Cannabis Therapy Vol. 2
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