November 10, 2020
2020 has turned out to be anything but the year that we all expected. Sheltering in place, working and educating our kids from home…Nothing has gone to plan. As we continue to see cases of COVID-19 increase, we’re wondering what we can do to protect ourselves from contracting the virus ourselves.
Can CBD Help Protect me from COVID-19?
The answer is not clear, unfortunately. More research is needed to find a more definitive answer, but scientists have discovered that CBD oil may increase levels of cytokine, a chemical that protects the lungs and other organs, which could ward off the worst effects of COVID-19.
Cytokine is a protein found in the immune cells and responds to inflammation and infection in our bodies. An overactive cytokine response has be found in serious cases of COVID-19, and when this happens, it can cause serious damage to the lungs and even cause death; however, apelin, a naturally occurring peptide, has been shown to reduce this response in laboratory models of another serious disease, adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
So how does this connect to CBD? New research has been published by scientists from the Dental College of Georgia and Medical College of Georgia, and in this research, it was shown that CBD oil has been shown to increase apelin levels. The research also showed that oxygen levels were increased and inflammation was reduced and overall lung damage caused by ARDS was reduced as well. In the ARDS models, levels of apelin in the blood dropped to almost zero, but when CBD was administered, these levels increased twenty-fold and nearly brought it back to a normal level.
Apelin acts as a key regulator to bring blood pressure back to normal levels and reduce inflammation. It is produced in the heart, brain, lungs, and blood and works in cooperation with the angiotensin-converting enzyme receptor, also known as ACE2, to control blood pressure. But as we’ve learned this year, the ACE2 receptor is how COVID-19 enters our cells and corrupts normal function.
COVID-19 disrupts the relationship between ACE2 and apelin, which stops blood vessels to relax and takes over cells to create more of the virus. Reduced levels of ACE2 seem to have an effect on how apelin is produced and provides naturally occurring protection within the lungs and other organs affected by COVID-19.
Again, more research needs to be done to more fully understand the relationship between CBD and apelin production, but the work with ARDS indicates that CBD could provide some protection to the organs affected by COVID-19.