Scientists are researching whether CBD could help treat the inflammation that comes along with some coronavirus infections.
LINDSEY THEIS: Scientists are investigating whether CBD, a chemical compound from cannabis plants, could fight inflammation in severe COVID-19 patients. The cytokine storm is when the body's immune system attacks itself. And it's been linked to the deadliest COVID-19 cases.
OLGA KOVALCHUK: And people who are also in Cannabis Field are also trying to find the right strains for COVID.
LINDSEY THEIS: Dr. Olga Kovalchuk is a cannabis researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. She's part of a team who believe they have IDed some cannabis strains high-end CBD that could help treat the inflammation that comes along with the cytokine storm of some coronavirus infections. She says, not every high-CBD strain was effective though.
OLGA KOVALCHUK: Terpenes are important, as well as other minor cannabinoids are also important.
LINDSEY THEIS: Another study from researchers in Georgia found CBD reduced inflammation and protected lung tissues in COVID-19 patients. So far, all of that CBD COVID research has been done in models, animals, or replicated human tissue.
Now, to be clear, scientists that "Newsy" spoke with say, this doesn't mean you should be planning a trip to the dispensary. Much more research is needed, including clinical trials in humans, like ones that might combine CBD with other antiviral treatments like remdesivir.
SIDDAPPA BYRAREDDY: Any antiviral therapy probably does like 90% of the job, 80% of the job, or 70% of the job. They're not doing 100%. And what we're proposing maybe CBD can do what is left over with that.
LINDSEY THEIS: Dr. Siddappa Byrareddy is a researcher in pharmacology and experimental neuroscience professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He says, getting funding is among the challenges holding back cannabis research. Some labs are even raising their own money.
The FDA just released guidance this week, outlining how companies seeking approval of drugs that contain cannabis or its derivatives must follow the traditional drug review and approval process involving clinical trials. The agency is still working on CBD-specific rules. Lindsey Theis, "Newsy," Denver.