In reaction to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Canna Global Investments Plc (CGI), a London based biotech company’s research Task Force is researching the development of a cannabis-based therapeutic for the disease. The company has licenses to cultivate, research and develop cannabis-based curative medicine for varying diseases, including but not limited to:
- Lower Respiratory Infections
Researchers at CGI have been reaching promising finding towards a cannabis-based treatment for COVID-19. The investigation has been focused on the non-psychoactive component of cannabis called cannabidiol (CBD) amongst other cannabinoid compounds. Evidence suggests it can slow down the spread of the virus and stop moderate patients from becoming critical.
From preliminary evidence, the expectation is that COVID-19 patients in pre-symptomatic to moderate condition will be treated through this novel method. The evidence suggests the treatment would alleviate symptoms by using an element of the cannabis plant that is considered safe and non- addictive.
Research has identified three complementary approaches based on various cannabis strains to fight the virus:
- Lowering the expression of the receptor protein that allows viral binding and entry into the lung cells in early-stage patients.
- The use of cannabinoid-based drugs against inflammation for use in early/mid-stage patients.
- Reduction of the patient’s immune response through the body’s own cannabinoid receptors in later stages of the disease.
Additionally, the researchers will focus on the plant’s immune-suppressing capability to subdue the immune response of COVID-19 which causes inflammation and some of the most severe symptoms the disease. The resulting strains to cultivate will be high in anti-inflammatory cannabidiol. This is purported to have anti-inflammatory as well as anti-cancer properties.
Cannabinoid molecules have the ability to moderate the immune system response without destroying it. The sustainable and organic novel method will be a better complementary treatment than severely compromising the immune system.
Recent partnerships and with leading universities such as Imperial College London has afforded the company the capability to use artificial 3D tissue models and synthetic cannabinoids to simulate and map how each strain will directly impact COVID-19-related cellular responses from the respiratory system to the intestinal and other tissue systems. As one of the leading British Universities to have received UK Government funding for COVID-19 research, Imperial College London’s partnership will lead the way in the investigation and testing of cannabinoid-based therapeutics for a viable treatment of COVID-19.
CGI’s research was able to identify varying cannabinoid strains which have the ability to modulate the levels of an enzyme previously linked to COVID-19 infection called ACE2. Preliminary research results indicate there being strains which exhibit promise in ensuring there is less fertile ground for the virus to lodge itself. The research has identified more than 12 cannabidiol extracts able to change ACE2 levels. These strains reduce the number of receptors hereby minimising the chance of access significantly. Invariably, reducing the number of receptors lessens the opportunity to get the infection. The data suggests a number of strainswere also able to down-regulate another protein critical for COVID-19 called Serine protease TMPRSS2. Further examination of the effect of cannabis molecules on these proteins will determine the relative specificity of the molecules for these receptors. The study will further examine the receptors, which allow the virus to introduce its genetic material into human cells in order to proliferate. The goal is to lower viral entry, making it nearly impossible for the virus to proliferate within the cell.
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