Southern Alberta researchers say medical cannabis could help fight COVID-19

Researchers have discovered cannabis may help fight COVID-19

Researchers at the University of Lethbridge say while clinical trials still need to be done, data they’ve been collecting over the past four years shows promise that some cannabis extracts may help in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Olga and Igor Kovalchuk have been working with cannabis since 2015, using varieties from around the world to create new hybrids and develop extracts that demonstrate certain therapeutic properties.

‘There’s a lot of documented information about cannabis in cancer, cannabis in inflammation, anxiety, obesity and what not,” says Igor. “When COVID-19 started, Olga had the idea to revisit our data, and see if we can utilize it for COVID.”

“It was like a joker card, you know, coronavirus. It just mixes up everybody’s plans,” says Olga.

She says they started to examine the special proteins, or receptors, that the virus hijacks to enter the body, and they’ve now submitted a research paper studying the effects of medical cannabis on COVID-19.

The Kovalchuks say, based on the preliminary data and pending further investigations, anti-inflammatory high-CBD cannabis extracts can modulate the levels of the receptors in highly relevant tissues, such as the mouth, lungs and intestinal cells.

One of the receptors, known as ACE2, has now been shown to be a key gateway, to how the COVID-19 virus enters the body.

Other key receptors allow the virus to enter other cells more easily and multiply rapidly. But some cannabis extracts help to reduce inflammation and slow down the virus.

Read the full article at CTVnews

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