According to a Canadian study carried out by researchers at the University of Lethbridge, cannabis has enzymes that could treat COVID-19.
Results from the study, which was published in the peer journal Preprints, show the benefits of CBD as an aid in blocking the cells that enter the body from the novel coronavirus.
According to release from pharmaceutical research company Pathway RX, the study was conducted by the scientists in April, and the results were released in a non-peer-reviewed, preclinical study titled “In Search of Preventative Strategies: Novel Anti-Inflammatory High-CBD Cannabis Sativa Extracts Modulate ACE2 Expression in COVID-19 Gateway Tissues” earlier in May.
The study is a partnership among the university and Pathway.
Researchers conducted the study using artificial 3D models of oral, airway and intestinal tissues coupled with a limited sample of high CBD Cannabis sativa extracts modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels. The results indicated hemp extracts high in CBD may help block proteins that provide a “gateway” for COVID-19 to enter host cells.
“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,” said Dr. Igor Kovalchuk, CEO of Pathway Rx and holder of a Health Canada License for Cannabis Research.
“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,” he added.
Among the 1,000 Cannabis sativa varieties that have been screened by Pathway Rx, only a small number have expressed medicinal properties.
“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,” Kovalchuk stated.