Scientists investigated the effect of THC treatment on Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B(SEB) induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome(ARDS) in mice. While exposure to SEB resulted in acute mortality, treatment with THC led to 100% survival of mice.
Mohammed, A., Alghetaa, H., Sultan, M., Singh, N. P., Nagarkatti, P., & Nagarkatti, M. (2020). Administration of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Post-Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B Exposure Protects Mice From Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Toxicity. Frontiers in pharmacology, 11, 893. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.00893
Δ9Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive ingredient found in Cannabis sativa, has been shown to act as a potent anti-inflammatory agent.
Scientists discovered THC treatment significantly suppressed the inflammatory cytokines, IFN-γ and TNF-α. Additionally, THC elevated the induction of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and their associated cytokines, IL-10 and TGF-β. Moreover, THC caused induction of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSCs).
THC acted through CB2 receptor as pharmacological inhibitor of CB2 receptors blocked the anti-inflammatory effects. THC-treated mice showed significant alterations in the expression of miRNA (miRs) in the lung-infiltrated mononuclear cells (MNCs). Specifically, THC caused downregulation of let7a-5p which targeted SOCS1 and downregulation of miR-34-5p which caused increased expression of FoxP3, NOS1, and CSF1R.
Together, these data suggested that THC-mediated alterations in miR expression in the lungs may play a critical role in the induction of immunosuppressive Tregs and MDSCs as well as suppression of cytokine storm leading to attenuation of SEB-mediated lung injury.
This study shows that THC in marijuana may be able to treat deadly COVID complication.