The coronavirus pandemic has launched many teams of scientists in search of preventive or curative treatments for COVID-19. Clinical studies on cannabis are not to be outdone, and several are already investigating whether cannabis could act against the coronavirus.
Canadian researchers are also hoping to see if cannabinoids can help treat VIDOC-19. In addition to a Canadian doctor who has announced plans to conduct cannabinoid clinical trials to see if cannabis compounds can help COVID-19 patients reduce inflammation and strengthen their immune systems, a couple of researchers in Alberta have conducted preliminary studies. They found that specific cannabis extracts showed promise as a treatment for COVID-19.
Their results have been published online, but have not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a journal.
The study focused specifically on examining the way cannabis extracts affected the ACE2 and TMPRSS2 proteins. These proteins are integrated into the cell membrane and represent a key gateway for the new coronavirus to enter host cells. Researchers used cannabis extracts to modulate the levels of these enzymes.
Initial data suggest that 13 cannabis extracts rich in CBD can modulate the expression of ACE2 in COVID-19 target tissues and down-regulate TMPRSS2. The results demonstrate that these high CBD content varieties have the potential to create a treatment with COVID-19.
Given the current rapidly deteriorating and developing epidemiological situation, all therapeutic possibilities must be considered,” said Dr. Kovalchuk. “Our team is actively seeking partnerships to conduct clinical trials.