“People tend to underestimate the effects of flu (and doctors underestimate the dangers of vaccines), but it puts several hundred thousand people in the hospital every year. It can kill up to 50,000 people every year, and there are certain groups—people with underlying medical conditions, the elderly and the very young—who are at risk for severe illness from flu,” said Dr. Michael Jhung, a flu expert at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If we diminish our suffering when under viral attack we will reduce our chances of dying of infection. No one likes being sick and suffering from the flu, which is one of life’s great miseries. Most adults and children do not die from viruses but bad colds and the flu certainly do bring a lot of pain and discomfort.
In my essay Medical Treatments for Cold, Damp and Wind, I wrote about using infrared BioMats. There is nothing like having a BioMat under your body the entire time you have a bad cold or flu. Nothing will take away the pain and provide as much comfort (except cannabis) as radiating the entire body with infrared light that turns to heat inside the body.
Dr. David Allen has good reason to think, “Cannabidiol (CBD), may offer control of the immune system and in turn provide protection from viral infections. Cannabis has already been recognized to inhibit fungus and bacteria and can be considered a new class of antimicrobial because of the different mechanism of action from other antimicrobials.”
“Cannabinoids are proving to have significant cidal (killer) activity to many viruses, including hepatitis C and the HIV virus. Cannabinoids down-regulate (inhibit) the immune response to the infection,” continues Dr. Allen, and this would be crucial with treating Ebola.
Dr. Robert J. Melamede, Chairman of the Biology Department of the University of Colorado, believes that medical marijuana could be used to curb death risk from the swine flu. His belief relies on the principle that the chemicals in marijuana known as cannabinoids have a dampening effect on the immune system.
It is worth noting that symptoms of flu — runny nose, sore throat and achiness — happen when the immune system launches a massive attack on the virus that results in excessive inflammation. However, the inflammation could start to kill body’s own cells and such a process may lead to organ failure and death in acute cases. Endocannabinoids, which are natural chemicals that suppress the immune system, are released by the body when inflammation goes off the control. However, endocannabinoids may not always keep up and this could lead to organ failure. “They die not from the virus itself but from their own immune response,” Melamede said.
“Contemporary antiviral medical technology is currently inadequate to meet the world’s immediate challenges,” Melamede said in a press release. “We believe that cannabis extract-based medicines can reduce influenza deaths.”
In the immune system, the endocannabinoid system is defined by the presence of endogenous ligands to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, members of the G protein-coupled receptor family, which are primarily responsible for attenuating, but not preempting, an immune response. It has been established that both endogenous and exogenous ligands for the CB2 receptor are immunomodulators. They lead primarily to a downregulation of Th1 cytokines and chemokines and an upregulation of Th2 cytokines, which are antiinflammatory. A study involving both occasional and regular use of smoked marijuana showed that IL-2 was downregulated, while IL-10, a Th2 cytokine and TGF-2 , an immunosuppressive cytokine, were upregulated.
All forms have anti-oxidative, neuroprotective, immunomodulation, analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions. Beyond these core physiological protective mechanisms, something as simple as smoking marijuana is ideal for the pain and discomfort of influenza. With or without the “high,” cannabinoid medicine offers safe pain relief even as it heals and protects. It should be put into wide use in hospitals as well as in the home for routine treatment against the worst ravages of the flu.
Dr. Ester Fride strongly recommends the use of cannabinoids in pediatric medicine so what I am saying for adults also applies to children. She notes that “excellent clinical results” have been reported in pediatric oncology and in case studies of children with severe neurological diseases or brain trauma, and suggests that cannabis-derived medicines could also play a role in the treatment of other childhood syndromes, including the pain and gastrointestinal inflammation associated with cystic fibrosis.
According to the CDC the Avian flu (H5N1) has a 63% mortality rate. Unfortunately, the Swine flu, while causing death at a much lower rate than the Avian flu, also appears to result in death via a similar mechanism. The common cause of death with these strains is organ failure, especially as seen in the lungs with the development of Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). ARDS is caused by an excess immune-generated inflammatory response that leads to apoptosis (cell death) and subsequently to organ failure.
When the immune system launches an attack on a virus it causes an inflammatory response that produces flu symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, and body aches. The body uses its’ own endocannabinoids to moderate the immune response, but it is sometimes unable to fully control the inflammatory process. The cannabinoids present in marijuana also have an inhibitory effect on the immune system giving the natural endocannabinoid mechanism a boost.
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