Might a mouthwash help combat Coronavirus? It’s a question that cannabis researchers Igor and Olga Kovalchuk have recently turned their attention to.
The University of Lethbridge, Canada, biology professors have been exploring how different cannabis extracts may help to combat the virus in general, releasing their findings as preprints which have since been peer reviewed and published to the biomedical journal Aging.
The researchers found that cannabis extracts help to prevent the virus from entering human cells and can also help to avoid cytokine storms which can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome.
The effective cannabis extracts exert their effect by reducing the number of ACE2 receptors on the surface of the cell — around a dozen or so varieties have been found that reduce the expression of the ACE2 receptor by up to 80 per cent according to Dr Igor Kovalchuk.
ACE2 is effectively the gateway into the cell for the SARS-CoV-2 virus so reducing the number of these receptors can decrease severity of COVID-19 symptoms.
Taking the concept forward, the U of L professors have partnered with the American-based Good Pharmaceutical Development Company who, with the scientific data collected, have developed a cannabis-based therapeutic oral rinse to combat the virus.
A clinical study into the efficacy of the oral rinse is currently under way, but the findings have so far been positive with average symptom score being 0.4 on enrolment, falling to 0.4 after 14 days of treatment.
The oral rinse is basically a type of mouthwash that the company says should be vigorously swished around the mouth and then swallowed.
Good Pharma is now in discussions with an investment bank and a distribution company in the USA to try to bring it to market.
Both Dr Kovalchuk and Good Pharma stress the importance of how specific these cannabis strains in the mouthwash are — people should not be simply consuming cannabis thinking it will help fight or ward off COVID-19 they say.
Source: CTV News