Toronto, May 22: Amid the marathon studies underway to find a vaccine or cure against coronavirus, a study in Canada has thrown the rare possibility of using cannabis as an anti-COVID-19 drug. The possibility of cannabis - a banned narcotic substance in most parts of the world - was put forth by a group of recognised Canadian scientists. Oxford University Says Coronavirus Vaccine 'Progressing Very Well', Will Expand Trial to Older Adults and Children.
According to the study, cannabis can play a crucial role in preventing the entry of virus causing coronavirus into the human body. A therapeutic use of cannabis can reduce the number of virus receptors by "73 percent", found the researchers.
The study was conducted by a team comprising of scientists Bo Wang, Anna Kovalchuk, Dongping Li, Yaroslav Ilnytskyy, Igor Kovalchuk, and Olga Kovalchuk. They succeeded in developing 800 new cannabis sativa lines and extracts and presented their hypothesis which suggests that narcotic substance is capable of thwarting the coronavirus infection.
Their paper, titled 'In Search of Preventative Strategies: Novel Anti-Inflammatory High-CBD Cannabis Sativa Extracts Modulate ACE2 Expression in COVID-19 Gateway Tissues', finds there are at least 13 cannabis plants that can alter ACE2 pathways to restrict the entry of COVID-19 virus into the human body.
“We focus more on the higher CBD because people can take higher doses and not be impaired,” said Kovalchuk told a Canadian publication, adding that if the drug shows success, it could play a crucial role in the fight against COVID-19 as "it would be cheaper for people and have a lot less side-effects".