A study led by Israeli research and development firms Eybna and CannaSoul Analytics suggests that a combination of CBD with terpenes is three times more effective at preventing cytokine activity than corticosteroid dexamethasone, Forbes reports. So-called cytokine storms are one of the symptoms of COVID-19, causing inflammation, swelling, pain, loss of organ function, and can cause the immune system to kill the body’s own cells.
The study investigates Eybna’s NT-VRL – a proprietary terpene formulation which aims to treat inflammatory conditions such as the cytokine storm syndrome experienced by some COVID-19 patients. The product contains 30 individual terpenes that may be anti-inﬂammatory agents and are generally considered safe for consumption, the report says. Dexamethasone was found in a recent United Kingdom study to reduce mortality by one-third in COVID-19 patients on ventilators.
Researchers used a “Cytokine Storm Assay” from Cannasoul, whose founder Dr. David Meiri indicated is well-established and allows for evaluation of cytokine storm syndrome. Using human blood cells, the assay helps researchers assess the effect of different treatments on cytokine secretion, which drives the storm in severe COVID-19 patients.
CBD alone inhibited around an average of 75 percent of the cytokines, while the terpenes alone inhibited around 80 percent, while NT-VRL inhibited around 90 percent. Dexamethasone inhibited around 30 percent, the report says.
Eybna Co-founder and CEO Nadav Eyal called the preliminary results “highly positive” and said that the compound demonstrates “significant anti-inflammatory activity of terpenes.” He says the findings break “the perception that terpenes are just flavorings and fragrances compounds with a placebo effect.”
“This is opening a new world for synergistically-effective natural formulations – holding therapeutic capabilities in which single Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients will have difficulties to match.” — Eyal, in a statement
The study has neither been peer-reviewed nor published.
Another study published last month – which also has not been peer-reviewed – purports that certain cannabis strains have the potential to quell an immune system in the midst of a cytokine storm.
The Food and Drug Administration has also approved a bid by FSD Pharma to submit an Investigational New Drug Application for a clinical trial using a synthetic cannabinoid drug called ultramicronized palmitoylethanolamide (micro PEA) to treat COVID-19.