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Weekly Medicinal Cannabis Research Wrap – 10/06/2020

Updated: Jun 12, 2020

Welcome to the first, in what will be a regular feature, a summary of the latest news from cannabis research from around the world.

Can cannabis be beneficial in the treatment of Covid-19?

There has been a bit of talk recently about whether or not Cannabis can help in the fight against COVID-19. A recent study1 done by University of Nebraska Medical Centre in collaboration with the Texas Biomedical Research Institute highlights the potential effects of cannabinoids, in particular CBD, focussing on the anti-inflammatory effects on COVID-19. In this rat study model, CBD decreased lung inflammation of an acute lung injury potentially through the inhibition of proinflammatory cytokine production by immune cells and suppressing exuberant immune responses.

A second study2 produced in Canada, hypothesises that sativa strains with high CBD content have the potential to modulate ACE2 expression (an enzyme attached to the outer surface of cell membranes of cells in the lungs, arteries, heart, kidney, and intestines) in COVID-19 target tissues. ACE2 also serves as the entry point into cells for some coronaviruses and modulation of ACE2 levels in these gateway tissues may prove a plausible strategy for decreasing disease susceptibility. These tests were carried out on tissue samples in vitro. three tissue types were used, Epi-oral, Epi-Intestinal and Epi-Airways. Reduction of ACE2 gene expression was found across multiple tests using different strains of high CBD Sativa. While this study is yet to be peer reviewed, the preliminary results are very interesting.

1 Siddappa N.Byrareddya Mahesh Mohanb Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, University of Nebraska Medical Center and Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Southwest National Primate Research Centre, San Antonio

2 Wang, B.; Kovalchuk, A.; Li, D.; Ilnytskyy, Y.; Kovalchuk, I.; Kovalchuk, O.

In Search of Preventative Strategies: Novel Anti-Inflammatory High-CBD Cannabis Sativa Extracts Modulate ACE2 Expression in COVID-19 Gateway Tissues.

Legal Cannabis hemp oil effectively treats chronic

neuropathic pain: study

Researchers at The University of New Mexico have examined the effectiveness of consuming hemp oil extracted from the whole Cannabis plant using a chronic neuropathic pain animal model. This study1 showed that legal Cannabis hemp oil reduced mechanical pain sensitivity 10-fold for several hours in mice with chronic post-operative neuropathic pain. The lab utilizes a unique nerve injury model mimicking human neuropathic pain that has allowed demonstration of hemp's reversal of the pain related behaviour.

Furthermore, studies in animals have been shown to be superior to human clinical trials as they circumvent any possible human bias. New changes in hemp laws in New Mexico are allowing researchers to test these claims in more depth.

1 Jacob M. Vigil et al, The Therapeutic Effectiveness of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Using a Chronic Neuropathic Pain Model, Life (2020)

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