Recent Canada-based research studies on cannabis sativa extract with high CBD content are demonstrating encouraging outcomes, such as inhibiting the SARS-CoV2 virus entering into the cells.
The rapid growth of the current pandemic has forced researchers and scientists to explore a wide variety of treatment approaches and preventative measures against the COVID-19 disease. One of the promising treatments on the horizon is cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in the resinous flower of the cannabis plant.
In a paper published on preprints.org, where scientists can publish non-peer-reviewed research results, Dr. Igor Kovalchuck, a professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Lethbridge and his colleagues write that their specially developed strains of cannabis effectively stop the virus from entering the human body.
CBD inhibiting the SARS-CoV2 virus
Drug researchers have looked at repurposing existing drugs, such as remdesivir, favipiravir, choloroquine, and a number of other antivirals, but with mostly very little efficacy against COVID-19, no fully approved treatment option is available yet. The bottom line is that researchers are studying different drugs to prevent the spread of infection and decrease mortality. Restricting the entry of the virus into the cell and thus hindering its spread is one of the most important therapeutic objectives.
Comparable to other respiratory pathogens, SARS-CoV2 is known to be transmitted mainly through respiratory beads, and there is a risk of airborne and contact spreading.
As reported, the novel coronavirus uses a receptor-mediated enzyme -converting enzyme II (ACE2) to enter the human host. ACE2 is expressed, among other things, in the lung tissue as well as in the oral and nasal mucosa, the kidneys, the testicles and the gastrointestinal tract. Controlling ACE2 levels in these entry point tissues could indicate to be a credible strategy to minimise the susceptibility to the pathogens.
Anti-inflammatory cannabidiol (CBD) as COVID-19 treatment
Researchers have long anticipated that cannabis sativa, particularly cannabidiol (CBD), with its high level of anti-inflammatory cannabinoid, may modify gen expression and inflammation and have anti-cancerogenic and anti-inflammatory effects.
More than 800 new cannabis sativa lines and cannabis sativa extracts have been developed by Canadian researchers. The researchers now claim that high CBD cannabis sativa extracts may help to attenuate ACE2 expression in target tissues of COVID-19.
Whilst studying cannabis sativa extracts researchers using artificial human 3D oral, respiratory, and intestinal tissue detected 13 high-CBD cannabis sativa extracts. The original research data indicates that some CBD extracts control the TMPRSS2 serine protease, which is another critical protein needed for SARS-CoV2 to enter host cells. Although further extensive testing is required for the impact of the most effective extracts, the present study is still meaningful for a new perspective of the analysis on the effects of medical cannabis on COVID-19.
The most efficient and recent cannabis sativa lines extracts with high CBD content could be a beneficial and safe adjuvant therapy for COVID-19. For instance, CBD extracts can be invented to create simple-to-use prophylactic treatments in the form of oral and throat gel alternatives as clinical and home intervention.
Currently, scientists are aiming to explore the potential of such CBD products to eliminate the entry of viruses through oral mucosa. Throughout the present global pandemic, all possible therapeutic options and approaches need to be considered. In view to meet the urgent need to control the rapid worsening of the developing epidemiological situation, CBD is a welcome addition to the candidate treatment options.
Authors: Wang, B.; Kovalchuk, A.; Li, D.; Ilnytskyy, Y.; Kovalchuk, I.; Kovalchuk, O. In Search of Preventative Strategies: Novel Anti-Inflammatory High-CBD Cannabis Sativa Extracts Modulate ACE2 Expression in COVID-19 Gateway Tissues. Preprints 2020, 2020040315 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0315.v1)