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Cannabis May Reduce Deadly COVID-19 Lung Inflammation

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This month, researchers from the University of Nebraska and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute are recommending more research into how cannabis-derived CBD might help treat dangerous lung inflammation from the novel coronavirus. The authors detailed the evidence for how cannabis’ anti-inflammatory powers may help in a peer reviewed article in this month’s issue of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

As Forbes reports:

In the article, researchers explain that “recent reports have suggested that acute infection is associated with a cytokine superstorm, which contributes to the symptoms of fever, cough, muscle pain.” These extreme instances of inflammation can lead to severe pneumonia which clog up the lungs, make breathing difficult or impossible. So, one of the important strategies  that scientists are studying in the fight against COVID-19 is reducing inflammation.

In experiments with 3D human cell cultures mimicking a number of diseases diseases, some high CBD cannabis strains demonstrated abilities to shut down coronavirus’s favorite “pathway: a receptor called ACE2.

Researchers from the University of Lethbridge put out a study in April showing  13 cannabis plants were high in CBD appeared to affect the ACE2 pathways that the virus uses to access the body “We were totally stunned at first, and then we were really happy,” one of the researchers, Olga Kovalchuk, told CTV News. CBD blocks proteins that provide a way for for COVID-19.

“Our work could have a huge influence — there aren’t many drugs that have the potential of reducing infection by 70 to 80 percent,” he told the Calgary Herald.

The study has yet to be reviewed, and it was carried out in partnership with Pathway Rx, a cannabis therapy research company, and Swysh Inc., a cannabinoid-based research company. The researchers are seeking funding to continue their efforts to support scientific initiatives to address COVID-19.

The researchers sifted through 400 cannabis strains for this particular study.

 

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