Article by Emma Spears, Growth Op
Results from a new study published in the medical journal Frontiers in Pharmacology suggest that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may be helpful in preventing the occurrence of a life-threatening illness linked to the coronavirus.
Researchers at the University of South Carolina say that the cannabinoid can reduce a type of rapidly-progressing disease causing pulmonary inflammation known as acute respiratory distress syndrome(ARDS). Symptoms include shortness of breath, gasping for air and blue colouration of the skin.
ARDS causes fluid to leak into the tiny air sacs in the lungs, called alveoli, preventing the organs from filling with air, lowering the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream and subsequently, to the organs. The disease generally appears in patients who have already been hospitalized for other serious health issues. The disease is fatal for many sufferers, with heightened risk to the elderly and those who are experiencing other severe illnesses or injuries. Those who survive often suffer permanent pulmonary damage.
ARDS affects approximately 3 million people worldwide every year, with cases expected to spike this year in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.
The study administered THC to mice suffering from Staphylococcus aureus infection-induced ARDS, which normally results in acute mortality. In 100 per cent of cases of THC-treated mice, the cannabinoid halted pulmonary inflammation by decelerating the release of cytokine proteins — leading to the survival of every mouse that received the treatment.