A new study out of Canada lends further evidence to the idea that cannabis components may help to calm the cytokine storm that is a feature of acute inflammatory disease.
“Cytokine storm” is a term that has moved into the mainstream since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as some of the most severe and life-threatening respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 are caused by this catastrophic inflammatory event in the body. Out of all the cytokines, TNFα and IL-6 play are the ones most likely to be responsible for the escalation in disease severity, but in this new lab-based research at least, the addition of cannabis extracts helped to curb these chemicals.
In the study, researchers at Pathway Research Inc., the University of Calgary, and the University of Lethbridge, used an artificial human skin, technically a “well-established full-thickness human 3D skin artificial EpiDermFTTM tissue model,” which was exposed to UV rays to induce inflammation. Seven different cannabis strains were then used to check their efficacy in reducing the inflammation.
The researchers, all experts in the field, already had a good idea of the type of cannabis cultivars that presented the most anti-inflammatory efficacy before the study began. So they selected strains that would likely work best, based on what their studies and experience told them.
Their results pinpointed three particular strains that had high efficacy in damping down the most destructive cytokines and pathways relating to inflammation and fibrosis.
These are not strains that you can go out and buy as yet, but the authors provided the cannabinoid profiles of each in their write up of the study in Aging. As well as containing various combinations of THC and CBD, the strains also supplied lesser known Cannabinoids and terpenes, which the authors believe are crucial to the overall efficacy,
“We strongly believe in the full-spectrum, entourage-based effects. Likely, there are secondary (minor cannabinoids) and terpenes that contribute, and we write in the paper, that one of such terpenes could be caryophyllene,” Dr. Igor Kovalchuk from the University of Lethbridge’s Department of Biological Sciences, and one of the study’s main researchers, told Forbes.