January 18th, 2021

SACPA to discuss how medical cannabis may treat COVID-19

By Jensen, Randy on May 28, 2020.

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald


This week, the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs will be exploring how medical cannabis may be able to treat COVID-19, through research and clinical use.

Studies have found that enzymes in cannabis may be able to treat COVID-19. Researchers at the University of Lethbridge recently released results from a study that shows the benefits of CBD as an aid in blocking the cells that enter the body from the novel coronavirus. The study is a partnership with the university, Pathway, which works to develop cannabis therapies to treat specific diseases, and cannabinoid-based oral health company Swysh Inc.

Researchers at the U of L conducted a study using artificial models of oral, airways and intestinal tissues coupled with a limited sample of high CBD cannabis sativa extracts, modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels. The results indicate hemp extracts high in CBD may help block proteins that provide a gateway for COVID-19 to enter host cells.

Today’s speaker, Olga Kovalchuk, received her BMed and MD degrees at the Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University in Ukraine. Currently, she is a professor and a board of governors’ research chair in Epigenetics of Health and Diseases at the University of Lethbridge.

In 2008-18, she held the Canadian Institutes for Health Research – Institute of Gender and Health chairs in Gender and Health. Kovalchuk is an internationally renowned leader and expert in epigenetics and epigenomics of health and disease, environmental epigenomics, and radiation biology and oncology. She is studying mechanisms of disease, epigenetics, novel precision medicine approaches and novel cannabis-based disease therapies. She is also a co-founder of PathwayRx, a research and development medical cannabis company developing personalized approaches for cannabis-based treatment of cancer and age-related diseases.

Today’s SACPA presentation will take place at 10 a.m., on SACPA’s YouTube channel. To participate in the discussion and to ask questions, participants must have a valid YouTube account. For more information, visit sacpa.ca.

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