Canadian Cannabis healthcare technology company Cannalogue has submitted an application to Health Canada to conduct a clinical trial for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, to determine whether medical cannabis can reduce the symptoms of the disease or any mutant strains of the virus.
Dr. Mohan Cooray, president and CEO of Cannalogue and a specialist in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, and Hepatology, said that while the company is “not suggesting with current knowledge of medical cannabis that it is a prevention, treatment or cure” of the disease, “plant cannabinoids have naturally occurring immunomodulatory properties that absolutely require expedited investigation given the current global COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Cannabinoid receptors are naturally found on immune cells in the body. If stimulated prior to an infection, it may dampen the inflammatory response that follows, which is a key factor in the severity of symptoms observed in patients. If we can’t flatten the curve, then we need to focus on reducing the number of deaths.” — Cooray in a statement
The company has launched a website calling for volunteers in the event the trial is approved by Health Canada.
Scientists have long investigated the immunomodulatory properties of cannabis. Some research suggests that THC and other cannabinoids are immune-suppressant — other studies, however, suggest that cannabis can boost the immune system by increasing white blood cell count in patients with immunodeficiency disorders such as HIV.