weed and Covid-19

nauc

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Canadian researchers Olga and Igor Kovalchuk have been developing and testing novel cannabis strains for years, mostly to examine the strains’ efficacy to combat cancer and inflammation.

Now, they’ve turned their focus to COVID-19, after preclinical research showed their strains might make it more difficult for the virus to enter human cells.

As the pandemic began to unfold, and lockdown orders went into place, Olga Kovalchuk and her husband Igor wondered how their cannabis strains might interact with COVID-19. “Let's take a look whether or not any of our cannabis extracts affect any of the gene proteins that may be involved in COVID-19 disease,” Kovalchuk recalled asking.

The duo suspected their extracts might affect the ACE2 receptor, a gateway through which the virus enters and threatens human cells. “We looked through the literature and said ‘this looks very similar to SARS [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome], so it probably enters in a similar way,’” Kovalchuk said.

A scientific paper later confirmed their suspicions, which sent the two researchers combing through a mountain of data they had collected on their 1,500 cannabis strains.

They identified high CBD concentration extracts that showed to decrease the level of ACE2 gene expression, and ACE2 protein in artificial human cell models taken from the lining of the intestines, lungs, and mouth. Evidence of the decrease meant that the extracts could have been blocking the receptors through which COVID-19 enters.

“If you think about our body as a house with a hundred doors and this ACE2 receptor being a doorway for the virus, it attaches to it, the receptor kind of brings it in,” Kovalchuk explained. The method does not target the virus itself, she said, but rather the pathway it uses to enter the cell.

“When we found that extracts can modulate the levels [of ACE2 receptors] we thought this could be used for prevention,” she added. “If we temporarily close these doors then there will be less virus that enters over a period of time.”

If the theory proves out, Kovalchuk envisions that cannabis strain extract could be manufactured into medical formulations for prevention and treatment. One such use could potentially block the virus from entering human cells in healthy individuals.

Another possibility is that it could prevent the virus from propagating, once it has already invaded a person’s system. Still, the preclinical hypothesis needs to undergo rigorous, randomized, controlled trials, Kovalchuk said.

“This is what we are very much hoping for,” she said, speaking about her goal to find funding for the trials, which can run into the tens of millions of dollars. A 2018 study conducted by Johns Hopkins and published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that new drugs approved by the FDA had clinical trials with a median cost of $19 million.

However, because cannabis has already been approved for medical use by health authorities around the world Kovalchuk sees an easier path to get trials off the ground. And, with government regulatory hurdles temporarily relaxed to spur innovative vaccines and treatments for the virus, Kovalchuk hopes that trials can get underway, quickly.

Ultimately, the Kovalchuks said if the extracts do show medicinal promise, they want it to be cost effective for everyone.

“We don't want this product to cost $600,” she said. “We want something that any average Canadian, any average American can use.”

Already, one of the duo’s high CBD strains that has potential to block cell receptors from permitting COVID-19 to enter can be found in a recreational tincture, currently sold through a Canadian dispensary. Though they stress that there is no legal connection between the research on the extract contained in their paper and the recreational strain.

They also stress that cannabis, unlike penicillin, cannot be regarded as generic, or a one size fits all, medical treatment. In the course of their research, they said, they have found some strains appear to cause harmful cell conditions to become more acute, while others show no response at all.

The husband and wife team is also conducting a separate study now undergoing peer review. In preliminary research, five of their cannabis strains appeared to improve a respiratory inflammatory response known as a “cytokine storm” that in some COVID-19 cases is so severe that it leads to complications causing death.

They propose that some of their cannabis lines suppress, or downgrade two key drivers of the cytokine storm.
 
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LSAR

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If only we'd all known sooner...had my pandemic booze budget been folded into my pandemic pot budget from the start, I'd be so high Elon Musk would be looking to invest in me for some funky SpaceX project.

Wasted potential.
 

rogue3

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"SARS-CoV-2 appears not only to gain initial entry through ACE2 but also to subsequently down-regulate ACE2 expression such that the enzyme is unable to exert protective effects in organs. "(New England Journal Of Medicine> https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsr2005760 )

So the logic appears to be,an ACE2 receptor blocker(which some strains of weed do very well), may mitigate the effects if you are exposed, preventing the virus from replicating further> gaining entry into cells .Seems like the explanation why some people have milder symptoms(ace2 protection, for all kinds of reasons).But not necessarily your stash from your friendly supplier.

"This is a reason why the ACE2 receptor, and turning it off, is the target of pharmaceutical interventions like experimental novel coronavirus vaccines ."

...no need to comment on the billions going into that research...

irony of ironies...weed to end the pandemic.:rofl::rofl::rofl:

...weed stocks took a jump on friday...apparently.:hmm:

the next strain coming to your local cannabis store...ACE2. :cool2:

only in Canada you say?...pity!:applause:
 
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rogue3

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The science is quite real.ACE2 inhibition,or promotion.critical pathway...and covid is using it,apparently.
The final analysis is a ways off as the evidence does not support any conclusions as of yet.
The covid environment,however,is supporting rapid analysis for obvious reasons,so, maybe we won't have to wait very long.A vaccine could be at the end of the line...whether it involves this,or other drugs...they are all drugs,to be used,in the end.
 
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artis_xe

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Bullshit......maybe.
people want to know the solutions

what will make me run faster . what will make me stronger . what will make me Get Sick Less . what will cure my wants and needs . . ?

there's power drinks / power bars / power pills . everything the body NEEDS .but ___

what about your mind ? . or your emotional well being ? . how many people really concentrate on that ? .

marijuana . it can make Adam Sandler movies funny ( even when they're not ) . it can make you reflect on why your hand has five fingers . for an hour . it can give you brilliant solutions to every imaginable problem __ that you can never remember the next day

what it does is relieve some of the stresses , that can adversely affect a person's physical health . there are other methods , like meditation and exercise . and Dog forbid . eating healthy :shock:

it's a product that someone can sell you . a solution . and if you need 10 more reason to " partake " ? . someone will figure them out __ between bong hits
 

HardCore Troubadour

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I opened this thinking someone was complaining about how high their weed bill was since they have been locked in for 3 months, under the direction of a female warden, that is constantly have them re-work, sand, scrape, paint, fix, repair, dig, plant, clean everything on the the whole Hacienda.....

oh wait.......never-mind.
 


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