Influenza left the chat in 2020. Meanwhile, Covid-19 stole the spotlight – especially in statistics. Scientists urged that strains of coronavirus are atypical of the flu. More difficult to ignore, however, is how mechanisms related to CBD and CBG treat Covid-19 and superinfections after influenza.
Influenza can weaken the immune system, allowing for severe infections. Different mechanisms in the body are affected by such an infection compared to Covid-19. But both illnesses dramatically disrupt endocannabinoid synthesis.
PPARS and the ECS share a mutual command
PPA (Peroxisome proliferator-activated) Receptors are signalling agents that indirectly entwine into the endocannabinoid system. Their role is to regulate many systems in the body, from fatty acid metabolism to genetics. To summarize with an example, an increase (proliferation) of oxidative stress within cells (peroxisome) occurs when members of the ECS break down in the body.
ECS metabolites, therefore, activate PPARs. And activating the regulator, in turn, maintains the breakdown of endocannabinoids and other lipids. Excessive activation of the messenger can, however, suppress the immune system.
The endocannabinoid system acts as an on-demand control board during Covid and superinfections following Influenza. And the ECS employs PPARs as three Major Generals to command a complex army of lipids and immune agents. PPARs turn down cytokines and inflammatory agents that inflame and kill human tissues, but in excess, they allow for superinfection.
Phytos and endos against influenza
In January 2020, we suggested the analysis of CBGa as a treatment for coronavirus due to its role as a PPAR agonist. More than a year later, CBGa made headlines for its ability to block Sars-Cov2 in a test tube. Earlier this year, unrelated research identified endocannabinoid-like metabolites that regulate major components of fatal Covid-19 infections. And published this month, research from Philadelphia discovered a balancing act that occurs following influenza. Interestingly, CBD and CBG might fit separate targets to control the balance in the event of a superinfection.
Activating of PPARs helps resolve inflammation and return the body to homeostasis. And the resolution of inflammation helps to avoid tissue damage. Research from Philadelphia highlighted the endocannabidiome’s role in negating inflammation but neglected phytocannabinoids.
Not too much CBG, and just a pinch of CBD
CYP inhibition is a commonly discussed effect of CBD. Enzymes in the CYP (Cytochrome P450) category in the liver break down drugs, toxins, and other molecules, which CBD blocks. But endocannabinoid-like molecules activate PPARs after CYP450 enzymes break them down. For this reason, excessive CYP inhibition will worsen infections.
Philadelphia researchers omitted phytocannabinoids from their study, but their conclusion supports CBD’s dual role. CBD prevents the breakdown of a PPAR agonist known as PEA, a lipid related to anandamide. Whereas CBG directly activates PPARs, helping CBD clear a superinfection after influenza.
- Lucarelli R, Gorrochotegui-Escalante N, Taddeo J, Buttaro B, Beld J, Tam V. Eicosanoid-activated pparα inhibits nfκb-dependent bacterial clearance during post-influenza superinfection. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2022;0.