COVID-19: Melatonin and CBD
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Melatonin and COVID
Recently, the journal Melatonin Research published details concerning patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia who were given high doses of melatonin as an adjunct therapy to their standard treatment. All of the patients who were given melatonin improved within 4 to 5 days and were, on average, discharged from the hospital after 7.3 days, compared to 23 days, for those patients who did not receive melatonin. (Study)
As well, a study published in the journal Life Sci. (June 1, 2020), titled “COVID-19: Melatonin as a potential adjuvant treatment”, summarized the likely benefits of melatonin in the reduction of COVID-19 symptoms, based on its commonly accepted development as a disease (pathogenesis).
In “the pathogenesis of acute respiratory disorder induced by either highly homogenous coronaviruses or other pathogens, the evidence suggests that excessive inflammation, oxidation, and an exaggerated immune response very likely contribute to COVID-19 pathology”.
These responses in the body lead to the infamous cytokine storm, “and subsequent progression to acute lung injury (ALI)/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and often death”. Melatonin has proven to be an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative molecule, and is “protective against ALI/ARDS caused by viral and other pathogens”.
Thus, their study concluded that “there is significant data showing that melatonin limits virus-related diseases and would also likely be beneficial in COVID-19 patients.”
And, as a bonus, they point out that, in critical care patients, melatonin can reduce anxiety and improve quality of sleep, which might also be beneficial for better clinical outcomes for COVID-19 patients. (Study)
Furthermore, on Oct 2, 2020, the journal Virus Res. published an article titled, “Melatonin potentials against viral infections including COVID-19: Current evidence and new findings.”
This study provided a comprehensive overview of the many beneficial properties of melatonin in different viral complications, including viral respiratory disorders. The authors pointed out “the management of oxidative stress and inflammatory responses, as well as the regulation of immune responses may be critical to target respiratory virus infections such as SARS-CoV-2”.
Since melatonin works well to reduce oxidative stress and inflammatory responses, as well as serving to regulate the immune system, and given the safety of melatonin has been well established through many clinical studies (on a wide-range of doses), they considered the use of melatonin as a supportive therapy for treating COVID-19 “to be beneficial”. (Study)
One physician who is actively using melatonin to treat his COVID patients, is Dr. Richard L. Neel. Dr.Neel, and his colleagues, at his clinic in Texas, had, as of the last week of July, 2020, treated more than 400 patients successfully with high-dose melatonin (in combination with vitamins C and D).
Here is his protocol: “Dosages are based on symptoms and age. I wish I could give a blanket recommendation on dosage, but I just can’t. So far, dosage of these patients has been ranging from 40 to 80 mg of melatonin divided in 4 doses during the day. Vitamin C dosage has been from 500 mg to 1000 mg 4 times per day. I want to be clear these high doses are only appropriate for people who actually have the virus, and you need to talk to a doctor first.”
“Low doses 1 mg, 3 mg is more appropriate for preventative measures. If you want to take melatonin and vitamin C as a prophylaxis, a low dose might be helpful as a preventative measure. I do have colleagues who believe that taking 5 mg daily is a good thing to do.” (Source)
I have a full chapter on melatonin in Health Secrets Vol 2: Surviving Modern Times. I devote a whole chapter to the subject because melatonin is more than just a sleep aid; it has many functions, including being an anti-cancer and longevity agent.
Since melatonin is suppressed by electromagnetic pollution (well-documented in animal and human studies), and we are all dwelling in a sea of electrosmog, I always take a small amount of melatonin (2-3 mg), and suggest that most city-dwellers do the same. And, given it’s safety record, if I had COVID (or even suspected it), I would follow the high dose protocol without any worries. That, of course, is a personal opinion.
COVID and CBD
As scientists everywhere seek new approaches to curtailing the spread and reducing the mortality of COVID-19 it is no surprise that no rock is left unturned. Recently, researchers, working under license from Health Canada have been examining the potential of medical marijuana for aiding this situation.
As with other respiratory pathogens, COVID-19 can be “transmitted through respiratory droplets with potential for aerosol and contact spread”, thus, one potential therapeutic approach is to inhibit viral entry into the body.
This virus, like related ones, enters “into the human host via angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) that is expressed in lung tissue, as well as oral and nasal mucosa, kidney, testes, and the gastrointestinal tract”. Given that fact, our researchers sought to find a strategy for modulating ACE2 levels in those tissues, thereby decreasing one’s susceptibility to viral infection.
Since they were aware that cannabis sativa, with a high CBD (cannabinoid cannabidiol) content, has proven to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, and is believed to modulate gene expression, they started doing laboratory research on the subject.
Using artificial human 3D models of oral, airway, and intestinal tissues, they identified 13 high CBD cannabis extracts that modulated ACE2 gene expression, and ACE2 protein levels. They also discovered that some of these medical marijuana extracts down-regulated “serine protease TMPRSS2, another critical protein required for SARS-CoV2 entry into host cells”.
As a result of their research these scientists “developed over 800 new Cannabis sativa lines and extracts and hypothesized that high-CBD C. sativa extracts may be used to modulate ACE2 expression in COVID-19 target tissues”.
Of course, as always, they suggest that their research undergo further large-scale validation and human studies. Once such validation occurs, they believe these high CBD extracts “can be used to develop easy-to-use preventative treatments in the form of mouthwash and throat gargle products for both clinical and at-home use”, and will help “to decrease viral entry via the oral mucosa”. (Study)
While medical marijuana, per se, is tricky to get since legalization (oh, the irony), one can still purchase high CBD marijuana oils (with low amounts of THC) at regular licensed pot shops, should one be interested in this approach.