A new study shows how cannabidiol could reduce the activity of key proteins used by the new coronavirus to enter in human cells
The medical marijuana research strand has developed very fast recently. Several cannabinoids in recent years have proven to be active in some specific clinical settings by stimulating the development of medical cannabis. A new study of the University of Lethbridge in Canada suggests the use of medical cannabis sativa extracts with high cannabidiol content in patients with Covid-19.
The Canadian team is specialised in research on the clinical applications of cannabinoids and has previously worked on hundreds of extracted molecules. Among these, cannabidiol is already known to have anti-inhibitory properties. The team therefore thought to investigate its effect on the infection caused by SARS-CoV-2. The different extracts containing cannabidiol were tested on 3D models of human tissues that mimic the mouth, airways and intestines.
Among the studied mixtures, 13 extracts showed the ability to reduce the levels of two key proteins for the action of the virus, Ace2 and Tmprss2. The study is in preprint (not yet peer reviewed, corrected and externally validated) and shows only partial results. Furthermore, the results do not in any way encourage the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, which is highly discouraged, especially in cases of Covid-19 patients. Preliminary results may lead to the development of new treatments for the infection as supportive therapies. Research could also lead to the development of preventive treatments that are easy to administer, providing an additional means of fighting the pandemic.