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cannabis COVID19

In quest of a new therapeutic approach in COVID-19: the endocannabinoid system

Abstract

The SARS-Cov-2 virus caused a high morbidity and mortality rate disease, that is the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the unprecedented research interest in this field, the lack of specific treatments leads to severe complications in a high number of cases.

Current treatment includes antivirals, corticosteroids, immunoglobulins, antimalarials, interleukin-6 inhibitors, anti-GM-CSF, convalescent plasma, immunotherapy, antibiotics, circulation support, oxygen therapy, and circulation support. Due to the limited results, until specific treatments are available, other therapeutic approaches need to be considered.

Endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system is found in multiple systems within the human body, including the immune system. Its activation can lead to beneficial results such as decreased viral entry, decreased viral replication, and a decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-12, TNF-α, or IFN-γ. Moreover, endocannabinoid system activation can lead to an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines, mainly represented by IL-10. Overall, the cannabinoid system can potentially reduce pulmonary inflammation, increase the immunomodulatory effect, decrease PMN infiltration, reduce fibrosis, and decrease viral replication, as well as decrease the ‘cytokine storm’.

Although the cannabinoid system has many mechanisms to provide certain benefits in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients, research in this field is needed for a better understanding of the cannabinoid impact in this situation.

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Conclusion

Overall, the cannabinoid system can potentially reduce pulmonary inflammation, increase the immunomodulatory effect, decrease PMN infiltration, reduce fibrosis, and decrease viral replication, as well as decrease the ‘cytokine storm.’

Although the cannabinoid system has many mechanisms to provide certain benefits in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients, research in this field is needed for a better understanding of the cannabinoid impact in this situation.

Lucaciu, O., Aghiorghiesei, O., Petrescu, N. B., Mirica, I. C., Benea, H., & Apostu, D. (2021). In quest of a new therapeutic approach in COVID-19: the endocannabinoid system. Drug metabolism reviews, 1–13. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/03602532.2021.1895204

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