Scientists are continuing their research to develop solutions to overcome Covid-19. Today, all eyes are on researchers at Lehtbridge University in Canada. As our colleagues from the Daily Mail site report, they recently published a study which suggests that cannabis could help us in the fight against the Coronavirus.
Certain cannabis extracts would indeed be able to reduce the risk of death linked to Covid-19. They would make it possible to control “the cytokine storm. Simply put, this is a phenomenon that occurs when the immune system gets carried away during an infection. Instead of attacking just the virus, cytokines that are naturally produced by the body's immune system also attack healthy organs.
Cytokine storm is common in patients with a severe form of Covid-19. By neutralizing this phenomenon, researchers believe they can save the lives of many patients.
Three strains of cannabis effective against cytokine storms?
The results of their research are very promising. According to study co-author Dr. Olga Kovalchuk, they were able to isolate three strains of cannabis that drastically reduce the levels of two chemical compounds that play a role in the cytokine storm. These are strains 4, 8 and 14.
To study how these three strains work on cytokines, the researchers used a 3D simulation of human tissue. At the end of this experiment, they discovered that these strains did indeed lower the levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and TNF-a (Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha). Neutralizing these molecules would stop the devastating effects of the cytokine storm.
A priority for researchers
Since the start of the pandemic, researchers have been trying to find a way to control the cytokine storm. Unfortunately, it happens sometimes in some patients. Experts have indicated that it may even be the cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
“When we started to review the causes of ARDS, we found that the molecules responsible for autoimmune and auto-inflammatory diseases have a few things to do with it. Among them are interleukin-6 (IL-6) and TNF-a. "
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The researchers were keen to point out that smoking marijuana or using cannabis oil offers no protection against Covid-19. As of yet, this study has not yet been peer reviewed.