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Searching in the Weeds for a Cannabis Treatment for Covid-19

Almost every surprising discovery comes from something that seemed unlikely—the seeming-unlikeliness is why the discovery had to be discovered surprisingly. Here is one of many new attempts to discover something that would surprise and delight the world. This particular discovery, should it be discovered, would theoretically infuriate a few people.

In Search of Preventative Strategies: Novel Anti-Inflammatory High-CBD Cannabis Sativa Extracts Modulate ACE2 Expression in COVID-19 Gateway Tissues,” Bo Wang, Anna Kovalchuk, Dongping Li, Yaroslav Ilnytskyy, Igor Kovalchuk, and Olga Kovalchuk [pictured here], Preprints 2020, 2020040315. The authors, at the University of Lethbridge and the University of Calgary, Canada, explain:

Olga Kovalchuk

With the rapidly growing pandemic of COVID-19 caused by the new and challenging to treat zoonotic SARS-CoV2 coronavirus, there is an urgent need for new therapies and prevention strategies that can help curtail disease spread and reduce mortality….

Cannabis sativa, especially one high in the anti-inflammatory cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), has been proposed to modulate gene expression and inflammation and harbour anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Working under the Health Canada research license, we have 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.

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