New research conducted by Eybna, a global technology and cannabis research company, found that the compounds in cannabis can potentially help manage COVID-19 symptoms.
CBD for COVID-19 Symptoms?
Specifically, Eybna explained to Emerald via email that CBD with terpenes has the potential to manage symptoms of COVID-19. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds in plants that determine their smell. But many commonly associate them with cannabis because cannabis plants contain a high concentration of terpenes.
Eybna has developed and manufactured a proprietary, patented terpene formulation called NT-VRL. It includes terpenes like beta caryophyllene, eucalyptol, and citral.
“The formulation contains terpenes with a high indication for their anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties in optimized ratios,” said Nadav Eyal, co-Founder, and CEO of Eybna. In other words, the terpene blend proves effective at fighting both inflammation and viruses in certain concentrations.
Furthermore, Eybna found that the combination of NT-VRL and CBD is more effective than Dexamethasone. Dexamethasone is a drug the World Health Organization recommends to treat COVID-19 patients.
How Does it Work?
Eyal explained that our immune system’s primary response to pathogens, including the coronavirus, is inflammation. When our body senses pathogens, they produce cytokines to recruit other cells of the immune system to fight the pathogen. But sometimes, the production of cytokines is excessive and uncontrolled. Scientists call this a “cytokine storm.”
Eybna found that the combination of NT-VRL and CBD is more effective in reducing cytokine storms than CBD alone. Consequently, NT-VRL exhibited stronger anti-inflammatory and antiviral activities when combined with CBD.
In the study, published in the journal Life, researchers used human lung fibroblasts (MRC-5) — or lung cells that help repair injury in the airways — and a strain of the human coronavirus (HCoV-229E). Then they put the MRC-5 cells in a plate, combined them together with NT-VRL and HCoV-229E compounds, and incubated them for a few days. The researchers then tested the terpene-based formulation, code-named NT-VRL, on the infected lung cells.
The Game Plan
The next step for Eybna and NT-VRL is the clinical trial. Eyal expects the trial to begin in the third quarter of 2021, or this summer, according to Eyal.
“Our scientific team is working hard to further clarify the NT-VRL mechanism of action and to prove that NT-VRL is effective against other strains of the coronavirus, as well as other types of viruses such as influenza,” Eyal said.
Moreover, Eybna continues to investigate the functional uses of cannabis for health and wellness, specifically in the areas of anxiety, sleep, pain and focus with 11 ongoing studies.
“Our overarching mission at Eybna is to make the therapeutic benefits of phytochemicals accessible to the world through data-driven, safe and evidence-based products,” Eyal explained. “There are cases such as NT-VRL where formulated terpenes are demonstrating a potentially more effective activity than pharmaceutical drugs, and this is an incredibly important development for the future of human health and wellness.”
“We hope our ongoing research into active molecules found in nature will help introduce the world to the benefits of botanical-derived compounds, and unlock a broader world of novel all-natural health solutions,” Eyal continued.
Eybna’s current study: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/11/4/290