New research suggests terpenes and CBD work 2x better for Covid-19 inflammation than corticosteroids
In the fight against Covid-19, the storms of cytokines are one of the deadliest factors that doctors fight against. In severe cases of this new coronavirus, this symptom can lead to excessive inflammation, swelling, pain, and loss of organ function. It can even cause the immune system to speed up so much that it starts killing the body's own cells, instead of just fighting infection. In severe cases, this can lead to death, as we have seen in many cases of severe covid-19.
Over the past few months, researchers have wanted to find out whether cannabis, or its many chemical compounds, could help combat this deadly effect by reducing inflammation. Recently, we've seen positive results from studies suggesting that CBD, a compound in cannabis, may help fight these cytokine storms.
Today, the first results of an ongoing Israeli study join a chorus of research that suggests cannabis ingredients could be a game-changer in the fight against Covid-19. But this study indicates that terpenes, compounds that impart the aroma and flavor of cannabis and many other plants, may perform even better than CBD alone, and may outperform conventional treatments like corticosteroids. Study reports show that a combination of CBD and terpenes is three times more effective at inhibiting cytokine activity than dexamethasone, a corticosteroid which a recent study found is an effective treatment for cytokine storms. Covid-19.
The new terpenes study is carried out by two Israeli research and development companies, Eybna, which specializes in terpene-based drugs, and CannaSoul Analytics, led by Professor David Meiri, a doctor of biological sciences and a well-known cannabis researcher who has studied the use of cannabis for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease. This new study was designed to find out whether terpenes anti-inflammatory could help bring down dangerous cytokine storms, and if so, how they stack up against other available treatments.
The study focuses on a patented terpene formulation called NT-VRL ™, which was created by Eybna to treat inflammatory conditions such as cytokine storm syndrome found in patients with Covid-19. The formulation contains 30 individual terpenes which are potential anti-inflammatory agents, and considered generally safe for consumption.
Researcher Nadav Eyal, co-founder and CEO of Eybna, explains that they used biological data mining, data processing and formulation design to create a formulation effectively targeting specific health conditions such as cytokine storms. According to him, this development method opens up a new world for synergistically effective natural formulations: containing therapeutic capacities in which the different active pharmaceutical ingredients will have difficulty in harmonizing.
In other words, while most drugs contain only one active ingredient, this formulation contains 30 different ingredients that all work together to create beneficial effects.
To test this terpene formulation, the researchers used a "Cytokine Storm test" from Cannasoul, which Dr Meiri says is well established and allows "the assessment of Cytokine Storm syndrome". Using human blood cells, the test is helping researchers assess the effect of different treatments on cytokine secretion - the main driver of cytokine storms in severe cases of Covid-19.
Besides the NT-VRL ™ terpene formulation, the researchers also tested CBD, CBD with NT-VRL ™, and dexamethasone using this test. Dexamethasone was included because it is a corticosteroid often used to reduce inflammation. A recent UK study found it reduced mortality in hospitalized patients with covid 19 using ventilators by a third. The World Health Organization is currently updating its recommendations to include the use of dexamethasone or other corticosteroids in severe cases of Covid-19.
Each compound was tested to see how it influenced cytokine activity, and the results are somewhat shocking. Not only was the terpene formulation able to inhibit cytokine activity (with better results at higher doses), but it also outperformed CBD and dexamethasone. CBD alone inhibited around 75% of cytokines on average, while terpenes alone inhibited around 80%, suggesting that Eybna's terpene blend may be even more effective than CBD at reducing inflammation.
Nevertheless, the best results came from the combination of CBD and the NT-VRL ™ terpene formulation, which was able to inhibit around 90% of the cytokines tested. In comparison, dexamethasone was only able to inhibit around 30% of cytokines, suggesting that the combination of CBD and terpenes may be twice as effective as the currently recommended treatment.
“The preliminary results have been very positive,” says Eyal, adding that they “demonstrate significant anti-inflammatory activity of terpenes and shatter the perception that terpenes are just aroma and fragrance compounds with a placebo effect ”.
However, while this in vitro study offers important insight into the potential for the use of terpenes and CBD in the fight against Covid-19, it is important to note that these results come from an ongoing study that has not yet been completed, peer reviewed or published. These results have yet to be reviewed and validated by the wider scientific community, but if proven to be correct, they could provide a boost to human trials to determine whether this combination of CBD and terpenes actually works. for patients with cytokine storm syndrome linked to Covid-19.