Research shows potential of treating COVID-19 with cannabis
May 5, 2020 By Grow Opportunity staff
A cannabis research company in Lethbridge, Alta. has published a peer-reviewed research paper that demonstrates a potential treatment of COVID-19 using medical cannabis.
According to Pathway Rx, the data suggests that a limited sample of high CBD cannabis sativa extracts modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels in gateway tissues of the COVID-19 causing virus. The research also says it may have the potential to inhibit its entry into cells, curtail disease spread and reduce mortality.
“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,” Dr. Igor Kovalchuk, CEO of Pathway Rx, said in a statement. “Our initial findings warrant further investigation but it’s possible that medical cannabis products could become a safe adjunct therapy for the treatment of COVID-19.”
A second research study will examine the use of cannabis extracts for taming the cytokine storm, which is a common complication of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.
The initial study was conducted using artificial human 3D models of oral, airway, and intestinal tissues. Among the 1,000 cannabis sativa varieties screened by Pathway Rx, only a small number was said to have expressed medicinal properties. The most promising of these varieties are licensed to Pathway Rx’s commercial partner Sundial Growers Inc. and are currently in production at its facility in Olds, Alberta.
Pathway Rx is currently seeking government funding from the recently announced $1.1 billion to support scientific initiatives to address COVID-19.
“The Government of Canada’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,” said Dr. Kovalchuk.
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