Research Roundup: CBD mouthwashes are more effective; THC might fight inflammation

Researchers observed that THC blocked the cytokines that cause inflammation and damage to the lungs


A new study shows that cannabinoid-infused mouthwash is just as effective as prescription-strength mouthwash and more powerful than over-the-counter oral care products. Photo by belchonock/iStock/Getty Images Plus


CBD and THC vs. COVID-19

Two recent research studies suggest that cannabinoids found in cannabis might be effective in treating lung inflammation, such as the kind associated with COVID-19.

For the first study, published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, a University of South Carolina research team used tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to treat mice with symptoms of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

The lung inflammation seen in patients with ARDS (and the most serious cases of COVID-19) is associated with a “cytokine storm”. This is a severe immune reaction. In a cytokine storm, the body releases too much of a type of protein called cytokine into the blood too quickly.

Lead researcher Amira Mohammed and her team observed that THC blocked the cytokines that cause inflammation and damage to the lungs. As a result, it guarded the mice against lethal symptoms from cytokine storms and improved their chances of survival. 

THC reduced inflammation in mice with symptoms of ARDS. Photo by gorodenkoff/iStock/Getty Images Plus

In a separate study published in the July 2020 issue of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, researchers from the University of Nebraska and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute look at the effects of cannabidiol. Pre-clinical models of various chronic inflammatory diseases have suggested that CBD has anti-inflammatory effects.

The paper’s authors cite research showing that CBD “decreased lung inflammation in a murine model of acute lung injury potentially through the inhibition of proinflammatory cytokine production by immune cells and suppressing exuberant immune responses”.

The researchers note that THC can also reduce inflammation. CBD, however, “has a high margin of safety”. It is also “well tolerated pharmacologically even after treatments of up to 1500 mg/day for two weeks in both animals and humans”.

Wash your mouth with weed

Belgian researchers found that mouthwashes containing CBD and cannabigerol (CBG) are equal to prescription mouthwashes and better than over-the-counter brands.

The researchers treated plaque samples from 72 adults with five different types of mouthwash, including ones containing chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine is the active ingredient in most prescription mouthwashes. Some research, however, suggests it can disrupt healthy bacteria.

The CBD and CBG mouthwashes, as it turns out, performed as well as ones containing chlorhexidine. They outperformed store-bought mouthwashes. Moreover, they had the added benefits that they don’t discolour users’ teeth and don’t contain fluorides or alcohol.

Worth noting: CannIBite, a Belgian company that makes CBD- and CBG-containing mouthwashes, funded this research. The study appeared in the Journal of Cannabis Research.

Thanks for the tip

Have you read a recent study that sheds new light on the topic of cannabis? Are you a researcher working on a clinical trial? If so, send me a link and I might feature it in a future edition of CannCentral’s Research Roundup. Thanks!

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