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Researchers have found a significant ray of hope to safeguard lungs against COVID-19.
There was a study conducted by the researchers at Dental College of Georgia and Medical College of Georgia (MCG) on how we can prevent lung damage from COVID-19 and they have found that CBD can boostthe oxygen levels, reduce inflammation,and it can fix physical lung damage in their laboratory model of deadly adult respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS.
Uses Of CBD
CBD seems to reduce the “cytokine storm” that damages lungs and kills many patients with Covid-19.
It does so by increasing the levels of a natural peptide called apelin that helps with reducing inflammation.
What Is Apelin?
Cells of the heart, lungs, brain, fat tissue and the blood makeApelin.
This not only reduces inflammation but even stabilizes high blood pressure.
However, it can bring down the blood pressure only if it goes into the endothelial cells.
Taking this into consideration, Apelin might even significantly help with reducing inflammation in the lungs and it takes care of breathing difficulties associated with ARDS.
Apelin levels reduce with the viral infection and it has killed around 1 million people worldwide.
The Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine reports stated that CBD has helped with normalizing those levels with lung functions. When the researchers did their study, in their ARDS model, the blood levels of the peptide dropped close to zero and it increased 20 times with CBD.
Dr Babak Baban, DCG immunologist and associate dean for research said, shifting apelin levels in circulating blood and lung tissue, “was dramatic in both directions.”
“CBD almost brought it back to a normal level,” Dr Jack Yu, physician scientist and chief of pediatric plastic surgery at MCG, said of the apparent first connection between CBD and apelin.
“Ideally with ARDS it would increase in areas of the lungs where it’s needed to improve blood and oxygen flow to compensate and to protect,” Baban said.
They reported this summer in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research that treatment with CBD reduced excessive lung inflammation, improved lung functions by improving oxygen levels, structural damages done to the lungs with ARDS were improved too.
According to investigators, CBD needs to go through human trials before including it as a source of treatment for Covid-19.
As of now, it is not certain if CBD benefits apelin and in this scenario, peptide plays a significant role. The study over how it would help in treating Covid-19 is still on.
Apelin and ACE2 work together to regulate a healthy cardiovascular system.
Coronavirus bound to the receptor for ACE2 has been shown to decrease ACE2 levels and increases levels of the powerful blood vessel constrictor angiotensin II.
Less angiotensin II and when fewer vasodilators get produced, a patient’s prognosis gets worse.
“Instead of ACE2 helping blood vessels relax, it helps the virus get into the host where it makes more viruses instead of helping the lungs relax and do their job,” Yu added.
Reduced levels of ACE2 appear to enable less apelin and less protection.
This was further studied and there was a comparison made between three control groups.
One group received intranasal saline for three consecutive days. The Covid-19 model received POLY (I:C) intranasally for three days and the third group received POLY ((I:C) and CBD around the same time.
They found that the immune response and apelin levels normalized with CBD. Besides, even the oxygen levels, swelling, and scarring in the lungs characteristic of the deadly ARDS were normalized.
Apelin’s makes sure to provide the placenta with sufficient blood, oxygen, and nutrients that is carried during a pregnancy.
Therefore, synthetic agonists contributing to increase in the apelin levels exist and they are showing promising results in the laboratory for cardiovascular disease and the researchers concluded that CBD appears to be a natural apelin agonist.
By Neha Makhija