Cure or Hype? An inside look at Cannabis COVID-19 research
Augusta University Seeks Way To Save Lives Of Patients With Severe Coronavirus
In the United States, they are looking for ways to save lives of patients with the most severe form of COVID-19. Some American scientists argue that cannabidiol, one of the ingredients found in marijuana, can help with this..
Cannabidiol comes to the rescue in the worst cases of coronavirus – when a patient develops lung complications, according to scientists from the University of Augusta.
“Now, when diagnosed with COVID-19, you are first sent home. You are admitted to the hospital if you find it difficult to breathe and are so short of breath that you cannot get from bed to the bathroom. At the hospital, we first carry out supportive therapy, until the last moment trying not to intubate the patient, “says Dr. Jack Yu, professor at the University of Augusta, in an interview with Voice of America..
Scientists from the University of Augusta cite alarming statistics: a significant number of patients on mechanical ventilation do not survive.
“For example, a 52-year-old female doctor who was diagnosed with the disease spent four weeks on ventilation, and when she woke up, she found that her legs and fingers were amputated,” says Dr. Yu.
The cannabidiol in marijuana may help alleviate illness in severely ill patients, according to research. This component of marijuana has anti-inflammatory properties and is able to prevent the so-called cytokine storm – a hyperresponse of the immune system, leading to severe side effects, including breathing difficulties.
“Preliminary evidence suggests that, in combination with supportive care, cannabidiol can be very effective,” says University of Augusta professor Babak Baban. “It can be used in the most severe stages of the disease.”.
Tests in mice showed that the use of cannabidiol improved lung function. The level of cytokines in the blood decreased, while the level of oxygen increased. Scientists intend to continue clinical trials on animals.
“The mouse is not the best model for this disease. Ferrets fit better, and now we plan to test on them. The ferret is the best animal for medical experimental research, ”says Professor Baban.
He stressed that if animal tests lead to the desired results, scientists will prepare for human trials..
“Cannabidiol is not a constituent of cannabis and therefore does not have a psychotropic effect. This ensures the safety of its use, “- said the interlocutor of the” Voice of America “.
While cannabinoids are readily available, researchers warn, they should never be used to treat coronavirus at home..
“Despite the fact that cannabidiol can be bought without a prescription, it is absolutely impossible to use it at home. The initial stage of COVID-19 is characterized by an attempt by the virus to make it difficult for the immune system to “detect” it, emphasizes Jack Y. – At this very moment, the body needs to stimulate the immune system, and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs can be fatal. “.
The next stage of testing will take place at the University of Georgia, scientists say. If successful, cannabidiol can be quickly released to the market, because it is already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of seizures in children..
Journalist, on Voice of America since 2019. In 2011-2018, he worked as a political columnist in the policy department of Nezavisimaya Gazeta in Moscow. Winner of the American Hubert Humphrey Fellowship in Journalism. Trained at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
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