Scientists and leading health experts continue to explore different treatments in a bid to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. Could CBD hold the key?
Researchers at the University of Lethbridge recently declared the benefits of CBD as a potential aid in blocking the cells that enter the body from COVID-19 after promising results from a study. The study was conducted in April and published in the peer journal Preprints with the results being released in a non-peer-reviewed, preclinical study entitled ‘In Search of Preventative Strategies: Novel Anti-Inflammatory High-CBD Cannabis Sativa Extracts Modulate ACE2 Expression in COVID-19 Gateway Tissues’. The results were startling to say the least and shows how CBD could help with COVID-19. How?
The study works to develop cannabis therapies to help treat specific diseases.
Researchers conducted the study by using artificial 3D models or oral, airway and intestinal tissues coupled with a limited sample of high CBD cannabis sativa extracts modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels.
The results indicated hemp extracts high in CBD may help block proteins that provide a “gateway”.
What is cannabis sativa?
Science Direct explained: “Cannabis sativa is a remarkable plant containing many valuable natural components.
“It has been cultivated throughout the world and history for use as a food, fuel source, nutritional supplement, body care product, source of paper, building material, medicine and in textiles.
“One key aspect of Cannabis sativa was the flower which produces cannabinoids, terpenes and seeds with a healthy balance of fatty acids.”
How could cannabis sativa help with COVID-19?
Dr Igor Kovalchuk, CEO of Pathway Rx and holder of a health Canada license for Cannabis Research said: “Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been generally accepted by the scientific community as a receptor required for the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into human cells.
“Our initial findings warrant further investigation but it’s possible that medical cannabis products could become a sage adjunct therapy for the treatment of COVID-19.”
Speaking about the results of CBD as a possible treatment for COVID-19, Dr Kovalchuk said: “We were totally stunned at first, and then we were really happy.
“Cannabis can reduce the virus’ entry points to the body by up to 70 percent.
“Therefore, you have more chance to fight it.
“Our work could have a huge influence – there aren’t many drugs that have the potential of reducing infection by 70 to 80 percent.”
The research company is moving forward in seeking funding to continue its efforts to support scientific initiatives to address COVID-19.
“The government of Cananda’s latest investment to support the health of Canadians creates a significant opportunity for Pathway RX to advance our research and accelerate the development of custom therapies and products to help combat COVID-19,” added Dr Kovalchuk.
Dr Stanton Glantz from the UCSF Centre for Tobacco Control Research and Education spoke to SF Weekly and said: “Smoking doesn’t cause the flu; vaping doesn’t cause the flu.
“But people who smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke are more susceptible to getting sick.
“There’s not a lot of direct data on COVID-19 but there’s a ton of evidence that smoking and vaping depress immune function in your lungs.
“If you look at cannabis smoke and compare it to tobacco smoke, it’s not that different.
“You have THC instead of nicotine, but the immunosuppressive effects do not seem to be primarily because of nicotine.”