Research explores potential for cannabis to treat COVID-19
Study uses artificial human 3D models of oral, airway and intestinal tissues.
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Pathway RX Inc., a research company focused on developing custom cannabis therapies and Swysh Inc., a cannabinoid oral health product developer, are evaluating the potential for medical cannabis to treat COVID-19, and its possible complications.
Results from a study by Pathway Rx were recently shared publicly and the research paper was submitted to a scientific journal for peer-review.
The data suggests that a limited sample of high CBD Cannabis sativa extracts modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels in gateway tissues of the COVID-19 causing virus and also have the potential to inhibit its entry into cells, curtail the spread of disease and reduce mortality.
The study was conducted using artificial human 3D models of oral, airway and intestinal tissues.
A second research study that examines the use of cannabis extracts for taming the cytokine storm will be published soon.
“Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been generally accepted by the scientific community as a receptor required for the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into human cells,” said Igor Kovalchuk, CEO of Pathway Rx. “Our initial findings warrant further investigation but it’s possible that medical cannabis products could become a safe adjunct therapy for the treatment of COVID-19.”
Among the 1,000 Cannabis sativa varieties that have been screened by Pathway Rx, only a small number have expressed medicinal properties.
Pathway Rx aims to seek funding to support its research goals including the recently announced $1.1 billion from the Canadian Government to support scientific initiatives to address COVID-19.