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17 June 2020

Cannabinoids in medicine part 5: Treating COVID-19

In this final article of a series of five, Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies will discuss their expertise on the use of cannabinoids in medicine.

COVID-19

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by Sars-CoV-2, a novel coronavirus that was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since then, COVID-19 has spread globally, resulting in an ongoing pandemic. In the UK alone, there were over 275,000 confirmed cases of the disease, resulting in more than 39,000 deaths as of 2 June, 2020. Worldwide, 6.37 million confirmed cases and over 377,000 deaths were reported.

COVID-19 is part of a large family of coronaviruses. Some are relatively harmless, causing only common cold like symptoms, while others can be more severe, causing diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Following the SARS outbreak in 2002, and MERS in 2012, COVID-19 is the third significant coronavirus outbreak in the last two decades.

Coronaviruses can be transmitted through both direct (droplet and human-to-human transmission) and by indirect contact (airborne contagion and contaminating objects). The most common symptoms associated with COVID-19 include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and loss of smell or taste (3). More severe symptoms, which have been associated with adults with the disease, include pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis and septic shock.

Cannabinoids and COVID-19

The outcome and severity of COVID-19 is associated with excess production of proinflammatory cytokines, known as a cytokine storm. In some patients this leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and multiple organ failure. Effectively, supressing the cytokine storm is a crucial step in preventing the deterioration of patients with COVID-19 infection, and in saving patients’ lives.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has the potential to attenuate the pro-inflammatory response and cytokine storm that is observed in COVID-19 patients.

Read the full article here.

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