Although it is a preliminary study and has yet to be peer-reviewed, researchers from the University of Lethbridge and University of Calgary are finding that certain strains of Cannabis may reduce chances of contracting Covid-19. Every study is important given the scope of the pandemic, regardless of whether the desired results are found or not. An article on the study, ‘In Search of Preventative Strategies: Novel Anti-Inflammatory High-CBD Cannabis Sativa Extracts Modulate ACE2 Expression in COVID-19 Gateway Tissues’, was published online on Preprints – and although further research needs to be done, the initial findings are promising.
Cannabis may reduce chances of contracting Covid-19
Researchers looked at hundreds of THC and CBD strains, and found that sativas higher in CBD were able to ‘down-regulate the protein receptor ACE2, which is targeted by the coronavirus in the mouth, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and elsewhere in the body’. As it was not possible at that stage to test their hypothesis on humans, their research was done with artificial 3D models that imitate parts of the body impacted by COVID-19. Working under the Health Canada research license, they developed over 800 new Cannabis sativa lines and extracts and hypothesized that high-CBD C. sativa extracts may be used to modulate ACE2 expression in COVID-19 target tissues. “Screening C. sativa extracts using artificial human 3D models of oral, airway and intestinal tissues, we identified 13 high CBD C. sativa extracts that modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels. Our initial data suggest that some C. sativa extract down-regulate serine protease TMPRSS2, another critical protein required for SARS-CoV2 entry into host cells. While our most effective extracts require further large-scale validation, our study is crucial for the future analysis of the effects of medical cannabis on COVID-19.
The study certainly does show promise, as the weed strains high in CBD C. used in the research show they communicate with the same receptors COVID-19 does. The hope is that their findings will significantly lower the chances of contracting the coronavirus and help in the fight to stop its spread. To read the full study go to .