A cannabis worker plucks long leaves off recently harvested cannabis buds.

Rory Savatgy

Biotech Startup Awards Grant to Cannabis Pioneer to Explore CBD as Asthma Therapy

CIITECH, a cannabis biotech startup developing Israeli cannabis products in the United Kingdom and European Union, has awarded research funding to two Hebrew University scientists to explore the possible effects of CBD on asthma. The Hebrew University team includes asthma researcher Francesca Levi-Shaffer and Raphael Mechoulam, who is credited with discovering the endocannabinoid system.

“We know that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and we’re looking forward to investigating whether this will be effective on treating asthma and related respiratory conditions,” Mechoulam said in a statement.

In the UK, CBD products were approved last year for broad sale in stores and online. According to Asthma UK, 5.4 million people in the Kingdom receive treatment for athsma.

“Most of the symptoms of allergic disease patients are controlled by either symptomatic drugs or corticosteroids. However, some patients are steroid-resistant and allergic diseases such as severe asthma have been labeled as unmet clinical needs by the [World Health Organization],” Levi-Schaffer said. “We believe our research will provide a novel and effective solution to treating this condition.”

Clifton Flack, founder of CIITECH said the company is “honored” to support the researchers, adding that cannabis could “become this century’s wonder drug.”

“Many of the plant’s therapeutic benefits and compounds are yet to be explored and we’re excited to take part in expanding and galvanizing this new field of therapy,” he said.

Hebrew University launched its Multidisciplinary Center of Cannabinoid Research in April.

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