The University of Lethbridge has found that some hemp extracts prevent the coronavirus from infecting cells. Recall: the virus enters the body through receptors on the surface of cells. It is believed that one of the cellular sensors, known as ACE2, is the main “gateway” for the coronavirus to infect the organism.
Experts have studied the effect of cannabis extracts on the receptors. It is known that cannabis extracts with a high content of cannabidiol, which have anti-inflammatory properties, can affect the receptors in cells of the mouth, lungs, and intestines. Studies have shown that anti-inflammatory marijuana extracts have shown their capacity to reduce the virus by about 70%.
Such hemp extracts can be applied in the form of inhalators, mouth, and throat rinses for both medical treatment and home therapy. But scientists emphasize that only a few plant extracts work. Plus, best samples contain higher concentrations of cannabidiol but low amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive component.
According to the study, all the cannabis plants for testing were grown at a licensed center at the University of Lethbridge to obtain extracts that were then applied to artificial 3D models of human oral, respiratory and intestinal tissues. The tests were designed to simulate medical products such as local oral rinses, capsule extracts, and dosed hemp oils, as well as inhalers or nebulizers so that these results can be extrapolated to the effects of smoking cannabis.
However, Forbes writes that none of the findings of the Canadian study prove that cannabis is a treatment or prevention agent for COVID-19 – it can only be an adjunctive agent for coronavirus disease.
The BBC website also highlights that, indeed, several trials are around the world, including in Canada, Israel and the UK, to examine whether cannabis can be useful as a treatment for coronavirus infections. However, these trials are at a very early stage, so it is too early to draw any conclusions about whether cannabis will prove effective against COVID-19.
Fact: cannabis has been shown to be ten times more effective than aspirin.
The researchers have isolated hemp from the plants, having a powerful anti-inflammatory effect – much stronger than modern pharmacy drugs.
Hemp has been used for a variety of purposes for more than a thousand years. Its painkillers like CBD have been known for a long time, but these are not all important substances in the plant.
They are flavonoids, a group of biological elements thought to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory features. These substances are found in fruits, blossoms, tea, wine and cannabis. In 1986, researcher Marilyn Barrett from the University of London first identified two flavonoids of cannabis, known as canflavin A and canflavin B. Both were proven to have anti-inflammatory properties 30 times more beneficial than aspirin.
But although the flavonoids of other plants are now increasingly being studied, there is no definite evidence of their biosynthesis in cannabis for decades. Now, scientists in Canada have discovered for the first time how cannabis produces these essential anesthetic molecules.
“Our goal was to understand the mechanism of these molecules’ formation, which is quite easy to do nowadays” – explains Tariq Akhtar, a molecular and cellular biologist at the University of Guelph.
The team of scientists was able to determine which genes were involved in producing these two canflavins and determine a specific genetic route in cannabis Sativa plants that uses two ferments to create canflavin A and B.
However, it is simply not advisable to extract and purify these components from the cannabis plant. Akhtar explained that canflavins are only about 0.014% of the plant’s weight. You would have to grow huge fields of cannabis. Therefore, scientists are now working on a biosystem that could produce synthesized versions of canflavins in the right quantities.
“It is clear that alternatives for acute and chronic pain that go beyond opioids must be developed. In fact, surveys of health facilities are increasingly showing that patients with acute pain prefer medical cannabis to any addictive opioids – so the future is in cannabis” – This is the scientist speaking.