A new study conducted by the Klagenfurt Hospital in Austria shows that treatments containing cannabidiol can help in the speedy recovery of severe COVID-19 patients. According to the researchers of this study, the 50 patients admitted to the intensive care unit of this hospital, and who have been administered the treatment, have seen reduced the inflammation caused by the disease.
"We administered CBD to 50 patients and observed that the infection levels disappear faster," Dr Rudolf Likar, head of the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Medicine at the Klagenfurt Hospital in Carinthia (Austria), told EFE news agency. As Likar explained, cannabidiol has a positive effect on the immune system and also anti-inflammatory properties. Likewise, the administration of CBD has helped to overcome the pneumonia caused by the coronavirus and, in addition, no side effects have been detected or identified by researchers.
As Rudolf Likar has explained to the Swedish press, clinical trials suggest that medical cannabis oils can be used safely and its anti-inflammatory effects may be more beneficial than other types of medications due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and prevent serious neurological damage caused by this virus.
The treatment, with a total duration of three weeks, required the daily administration of a dosage of 200 milligrams of CBD in the form of pharmacological serum during the first days, increasing the dose to 300 milligrams later on. According to the Austrian Hospital, patients who participated in the trial tested negative in PCRs much faster than the patients who were treated with other types of drugs.
As reported by Forbes magazine, the Klagenfurt Hospital in Austria is the only hospital so far that is treating severe COVID-19 cases with CBD.
The use of CBD as a novel anti-inflammatory drug in COVID patients was already the subject of a study published in July by the Medical College of Georgia at the University of Augusta in the United States. The study argued that the most common immediate cause of death in severe cases of COVID-19 is the so-called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a devastating lung inflammation triggered by this virus which unleashes a "cytokine storm" in the infected person's body as a response of the immune system. The same trial also showed that CBD could help prevent or minimize the damage caused to the lungs due to its anti-inflammatory properties but this has only been tested in mice so far. A similar study, published in Israel by the companies Eybna and CannaSoul shortly thereafter, led to analogous conclusions. Nevertheless, new data resulting from different studies at Klagenfurt Hospital are finally showing that these beneficial effects of CBD also occur in humans.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, several trials on administering CBD to treat COVID-19 are underway. Some of them are conducted by companies of reference in the commercialization of medical cannabis and aimed at defending the use of cannabis to reduce the damage caused by COVID-19. This is why organizations such as Project CBD, a non-profit platform dedicated to promote and disseminate research findings on the beneficial medical applications of this cannabis-derived substance, have warned about the existing conflict of interest and advised caution when validating the results obtained in these research works.
The positive outcome when treating critical COVID-19 patients with CBD achieved at Klagenfurt Hospital have also attracted the interest of Austrian pharmaceutical company Incannex Healthcare, which has recently started a new study on the anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD as treatment of some coronavirus effects. The share price of this company has almost doubled in the last month.
“Recent enthusiasm in Incannex as an investment may have to do with news of Austria's Klagenfurt Clinic (a 1,800-bed hospital) using CBD to treat COVID-19 patients and reporting good outcomes with few side effects", as reported by this company to the financial magazine SmallCaps.