Scientific Team Claims Cannabis Can Treat COVID-19

Researchers state that the endocannabinoid system may play a role in regulating the body's response to coronavirus symptoms.

A research team from the Medical Cannabis Research and Innovation Centre—located on Haifa's Rambam Health Care Campus—have published data suggesting that medicinal marijuana may be used to alleviate symptoms in terminally-ill coronavirus patients.

The preliminary study was led by the scientific director of the Medical Cannabis Research and Innovation Centre, Dr. Igal Louria-Hayon, and now that it has been successfully concluded the researchers have indicated they intend to move on to clinical trials within the next several months.  

We hope that by decoding the cannabinoid activity mechanism during inflammatory storms, we can treat COVID-19 patients where conventional drugs have failed. The uniqueness of our cannabis treatments is based on our understanding of the mechanisms of cannabinoids activity and scientific findings. Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation Centre Scientific Director, Dr Igal Louria-Hayon

According to Dr Igal Louria-Hayon, the researchers focus has now shifted to determining how much cannabis influences the inflammation process.

Louria-Haylon explained that current research indicates that the body activates a large number of white blood cells when the immune system is under attack—along with releasing "communication molecules" known as cytokines—which help to regulate the inflammatory response.

"For the first time in Israel, a laboratory experiment has been undertaken to explore the effect of various types of cannabinoids on the white blood cells of COVID-19 patients," Louria-Hayon said.

"We began to understand that cannabinoids take part in the communication network of cells in the immune system. While working full force on these findings, the corona[virus] outbreak suddenly broke. As we are situated in one of the biggest hospitals in Israel, naturally, our team became part of the worldwide efforts to fight the pandemic."

"Based on our experimental data, we hypothesize that cannabis may affect the cytokine storm which occurs during COVID-19 disease. Our goal is to apply cannabis treatment to downregulate the inflammation storm before the patients develop severe lung inflammation," he said.

Unfortunately, these cytokines can rage out-of-control in the body if left unchecked, which can worsen the immune system's response to COVID-19—or other similar conditions—and even lead to death.

As cannabis contains active components which interact with the body's endocannabinoid system—which can have a significant impact on inflammation and immune response—Louria-Hayon's research team believes that cannabinoid formulations may hold the key to managing certain COVID-19 symptoms.

"We first have to identify the relevant strains and cannabinoids combinations which target and thus treat inflammation," Louria-Hayon said

"Thus, not every cannabis strain that showed anti-inflammatory properties, can also treat COVID-19 disease. Our challenge and goal is to identify the specific strain or cannabinoids combination, which can treat the specific COVID-19 related pattern of inflammation."


This pot stock could reach new heights in 2020 due to Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down, and as global markets enter meltdown many cannabis companies are feeling the effects of capital crunch.

While the market crash will continue for some time, it represents a golden opportunity for investors who are capable of riding out the volatility until share prices rally.

Luckily, one pot stock has developed antimicrobial drug that can already treat two superbugs while limiting their ability to develop antibiotic resistance.

Investors can also start picking up shares at rock bottom prices, as global investor sentiment continues to dampen thanks to COVID-19.

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Hugo Gray
Hugo Gray

Hugo Gray is a Melbourne-based journalist with a body of work that covers a diverse range of topics, including immigration law, sex technology, and now the rapidly expanding cannabis industry.

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