This immune response occurs when white blood cells release inflammatory cytokines which then cause the body to produce even more white blood cells in response. This "cytokine storm" can be deadly, causing severe respiratory distress and the subsequent shutdown of multiple organs. If the immune system goes into overdrive, it leads to “a flood of immune cells into the lung". This causes a rapidly cascading effect in the body . Even if those immune responses are trying to help by attacking the pathogen, they can end up blocking oxygen uptake in the lungs.
The question then remains is how best to treat a cytokine storm syndrome once it is identified. Corticosteroids can be powerful immunosuppressive agents; however, it can be risky to treat a severely ill, infected individual with such powerful immune suppression. In China, coronavirus patients are being treated with the anti-inflammation drug Actemra, which is used in the US for rheumatoid arthritis.
As a result, inflammatory disease analogs and immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory agents may be beneficial. Cannabidiol's (CBD) powerful anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties, pleotropic functioning, and low toxicity, may assist in combating the severity of the virus.
CBD has overwhelmingly demonstrated immuno-suppressive and anti-inflammatory properties in recent studies, including suppression of cytokines. The overall mechanism of CBD involves direct suppression of target cells through suppression of kinase cascades and various transcription factors. The involvement of regulatory cell induction by CBD is also a major part of the mechanism by which CBD controls immune responses.
Taking a model of asthma, this disease is characterized by chronic airway inflammation, hyper-responsiveness, and increase of related cytokines. In a study, CBD was tested to antagonize this response. In an in vitro model of asthma, six cytokines were measured: TNF-α, IL-6, IL-4, IL-13, IL-10, and IL-5. CBD treatment significantly decreased all cytokines.
Another study on autoimmune hepatitis and CBD reports that MDSCs, one of the main regulatory cells of the immune system that can potently suppress T cell function, may be induced by CBD. In turn, triggering of MDSCs can inhibit inflammation.
The protective effects of CBD upon lung inflammation have been demonstrated in several different models. A single dose of CBD is able to induce a decrease in several lung inflammation parameters, such as leukocyte migration, myeloperoxidase activity, pro-inflammatory cytokine/chemokine production, and vascular permeability during the course of in vivo model of acute lung injury.
It has also been demonstrated that CBD is well tolerated without significant effects even when chronically administered in humans.
This information is not clinically approved and is not an offer to purchase any CBD product.