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BREAKING NEWS
Source: Thailand Cannabis News  May 21, 2020  8 days ago
BREAKING! Cannabis For COVID-19? Canadian Researchers Claim CBD Can Modulate ACE-2 Expression In Gateway Tissues And Help Prevent COVID-19
BREAKING! Cannabis For COVID-19? Canadian Researchers Claim CBD Can Modulate ACE-2 Expression In Gateway Tissues And Help Prevent COVID-19
Source: Thailand Cannabis News  May 21, 2020  8 days ago
Cannabis: Medical researchers from the University Of University of Lethbridge in Canada say the plant-based CBD may provide resistance to SARS-CoV-2. Their preliminary findings are part of broader research into the use of medicinal cannabis in treating cancer.


 
The hunt for drugs that can treat COVID-19 and its various symptoms have taken researchers down both traditional and less traditional avenues. In drug repurposing studies involving computational simulations to study the docking sites on the S-protein sites of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the molecular structures of possible candidates that can inhibit these sites along with studies involving various cellular and biological pathways, already approved pharmaceuticals, to nutritional supplements, herbs and traditional medicines are all being explored.
 
Drug researchers have looked at existing drug candidates, such as remdesivir, favipiravir, choloroquine, and a host of other antivirals, most of the time with very little or no efficacy really shown against COVID-19.
 
Now, preliminary research is emerging out of Canada that certain strains of the psychoactive drug cannabis may also increase resistance to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202004.0315/v1
 
If the study, which is not yet peer reviewed, can be verified, it would be a big breakthrough for proponents of medical cannabis but if not it would just another false lead just like in the case of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.
 
Dr Igor Kovalchuck, a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Lethbridge who is one of the study researchers told Thailand Medical News, "The results on COVID-19 came from our studies on arthritis, Crohn's disease, cancer and others."
 
The research claims that some strains of cannabis reduce the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus' ability to enter the lungs, where it takes hold, reproduces and spreads.
 
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Dr Kovalchuck and and his team said that the specially developed strains of cannabis that effectively stop the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus from entering the human body.  
 
Typically the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus needs a "receptor" to enter a human host. That receptor is known as an "angiotensin-converting enzyme II," or ACE2.
 
Normally, ACE2 is found in lung tissue, in oral and nasal mucus, in the kidneys, testes, and gastrointestinal tracts.
 
The Canadian researchers say that by modulating ACE2 levels in those "gateways" to the human host, it may be possible to lower the susceptibility, or vulnerability, to the SARS-C0V-2 coronavirus. Hence it could basically reduce the risk of infection.
 
Dr Kovalchuck added, "If there's no ACE2 on tissues, the virus will not enter."
 
Certain experts in the science community say medicinal cannabis may help to treat a range of conditions from nausea to dementia.  But medicinal cannabis is not the same as what one might call recreational cannabis. 
 
Recreational cannabis are more "common or garden varieties" of cannabis or street cannabis are known for their Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. That's the main psychoactive agent in the drug. These are deemed as a illegal product in many countries around the world.
 
The Canadian medical researchers based in Alberta have focused on strains of the plant, Cannabis sativa,  that are high in an anti-inflammatory cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD) and one of the other main chemicals in cannabis, aside from THC. 
 
The medical researchers have developed over 800 new Cannabis sativa variants, with high levels of CBD, and identified 13 extracts which they say modulate ACE2 levels in those human gateways.

DrKovalchuck adds, "Our varieties are high in CBD, or balanced CBD/THC, because you can give a higher dose and people will not be impaired due to the psychoactive properties of THC."
 
Dr Kovalchuck also heads a company called Inplanta BioTechnology, with Dr. Darryl Hudson, who has a PHD from the University of Guelph which is another Canadian institute where research is ongoing into the use of cannabinoids in medicine. 
 
Dr Chris Albertyn,  a Research Portfolio Lead at King's College London, and an expert on cannabinoids and dementia commented, "Researchers have to be particularly careful when disseminating their results given the socio-political volatility of medicinal cannabis use. The best way to get through that is to implement open, transparent research methods.”
 
He warned, "In this instance, the current research from Canada has just unveiled a potential therapeutic 'mechanism of action' but that would need to be validated and tested in well-designed, robust clinical trials before any meaningful clinical conclusions can be drawn."
 
He further added, “That would include pre-registering clinical protocols and analysis methods, publishing in open access journals, double-blind placebo controlled trials, and strict, independent peer review by the clinical academic community.”
 
Dr Kovalchuk however said that there is now enormous interest in his team’s research. He and his co-authors are embarking on other collaborative studies with other institutions to validate their research which they say may be a "safe addition" to the treatment of COVID-19. The said that medicinal cannabis could be developed into "easy-to-use preventative treatments," such as a mouthwash or a throat gargle in both clinical and home use. 
 
For more on medical cannabis research, keep logging to Thailand Medical News.
 
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