Cannabidiol (CBD) is the non-psychoactive compound of cannabis. It has significant medical benefits but doesn’t make people feel “high” or “stoned.” CBD also has the ability to counteract the effects of THC. Cannabidiol has been found to relieve symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, depression, seizures, and chronic pain because of how it acts on nerves and the brain. Because of the effects on the immune system, CBD hemp oil is also being looked at as a treatment for arthritis, diabetes, inflammation, and more. The best part about CBD is that it is safe even in high doses.
Current research into the medical benefits of cannabidiol has focused on the anti-inflammatory properties of this unique chemical. Scientists have discovered that it helps arthritis sufferers not only with pain, but also with the underlying immune system dysfunction. Medical researchers continue to look for answers for the many diseases worsened by inflammation.
Cannabidiol & Acute Lung Injury
The latest research on cannabidiol and the Endocannabinoid system is its anti-inflammatory properties and how that affects the lungs. The Endocannabinoid system is a major player in our body’s immune system, so it can help heal our lungs. First, let’s define exactly what scientists mean when they talk about lung injury.
What is Acute Lung Injury?
Acute lung injury is the severe onset of an injury to a person’s lungs, but it can also be a blanket term for short-lived lung injuries all the way to terminal respiratory failure. When lung health deteriorates to terminal respiratory failure, we call it acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The National Organization for Rare Disorders defines this condition as severe inflammation in the lungs that can be triggered by something else, such as trauma, pneumonia, or sepsis.
The onset of ARDS symptoms usually begins within a couple of hours after the event, but can begin after several days. The symptoms include fast breathing, a low oxygen level in the blood, and shortness of breath. ARDS is generally diagnosed by radiologic images. The original definition of acute respiratory distress syndrome required that a chest x-ray be used to diagnose the condition, but it has now been revised to include CT scans and ultrasounds.
The usual treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome is medical ventilation, which is when machines deliver air directly to the lungs through a firm tube down the person’s throat and secured in their airway. This method is considered the least invasive and helps prevent worsening respiratory distress. Currently, there is nothing that can be given to patients to help the inflammation caused by this syndrome besides steroids, but experimental studies are being done with cannabidiol as an anti-inflammatory drug.
Other researchers have found that CBD hemp oil supplements can help asthma patients because of its anti-inflammatory properties, but new studies looked into how cannabidiol can help with severe inflammation caused by acute lung injury.
Cannabidiol & Acute Lung Injury: A Study
This new medical study researches the potential anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol. The researchers accomplished this by using a rodent-model of acute lung injury. The criteria they used to measure the effects of the acute lung injury and also the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol include measuring the total inflammatory cells, the fluid going into the lungs, and the lung tissue. The scientists measured the concentration of several different chemicals and cells — including leukocytes, albumin, and cytokine — that together create the inflammatory response.
- Leukocytes are white blood cells that help counteract foreign substances and diseases that enter the body.
- Albumin is a simple protein that is found in our blood serum delivering messages all over our body; levels of albumin drop during a severe immune response.
- Cytokine is a signal molecule that our immune system uses to know where to send immune cells.
The first part of the test consisted of administering CBD to the rodents before the chemical-induced acute lung injury. The second part of the test explored blocking a particular receptor that plays a major part in the success of CBD in the body. Scientists do this second portion to further pinpoint the exact way cannabidiol interacts with our body’s receptors.
The single dosage of cannabidiol before the onset of acute lung injury resulted in a decrease in leukocytes going into the lungs, a decrease in the concentration of albumin, and a decrease in the production of cytokines. This means that all of the typical signals that indicate acute lung injury were decreased by the dosage of CBD before sustaining the injury. In some ways, it’s kind of like the cannabidiol was ready to give the rodent’s body a boost when it was necessary.
The second part of the study, involving blocking an anti-inflammatory receptor, undid all the positive effects of the CBD. The conclusion is that cannabidiol has anti-inflammatory effects. These effects are likely connected with the signaling of anti-inflammatory receptors because when these receptors are blocked, the dosage of CBD has no positive effects on the induced acute lung injury. In fact, when these receptors are blocked, the responses are as if there was no dosage of CBD given.
What does this mean for Cannabidiol?
While more testing needs to be done on rodent models and on human volunteers, there is definitely the potential for cannabidiol to be a viable anti-inflammatory drug for those suffering acute lung injury. The CBD molecule has receptors directly in the immune system, and it can compensate for all the other chemicals involved in lung injury.
Supplementing CBD into your diet is no different from taking a multivitamin or a fish oil supplement if you take CBD oil made from pure hemp. Despite the fact that all the healing properties of this plant-based chemical aren’t discovered yet, we know that it has positive effects on the body. Cannabidiol directly supplements our Endocannabinoid system, the system that controls mood, appetite, pain, our immune response, and so many other things. We know that cannabidiol has a hand in controlling and reducing inflammation caused by arthritis and multiple sclerosis too. CBD hemp oil supplements can strengthen your immune system and control inflammation.