Michigan State University partners with GB Sciences to study cannabis and COVID-19

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Additional research could back previous studies showing cannabis can treat COVID-19 symptoms

Since COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc worldwide, different researchers have come together to look at the effects cannabis has in relation to this condition. One clear example began in 2021 when a group of researchers from Michigan State University and the GB Sciences team came together to announce positive results from an ongoing trial of cannabinoid-based treatments for cytokine release syndrome (CRS). Even today, this work is still pending, but the good news came to light shortly before the Omicron variant emerged to spread around the world.

For the sake of understanding, CRS is a symptom of viral diseases such as COVID19, which sets the body’s immune response to inflammatory infection into hyperdrive. Through this study, researchers are further analyzing the ability of cannabinoids to mitigate viral hyperinflammatory responses, much like the cellular response to COVID-19. This being the case, cannabis-related research has begun to take on a rather special focus.

“When the cytokine systems get out of whack, you end up bringing too much of the immune system to bear on a particular region, and then you have problems,” Dr. Andrea Small-Howard, president and CSO of Gb Sciences, said.

Gb Sciences continues to make strides in this research, so much so that it has made use of an artificial intelligence-driven drug discovery platform in an effort to identify cannabinoid-containing formulations aimed primarily at reducing cytokine levels triggered by a SARS-CoV-2 infection. The idea is to maintain a proper balance so that the level of cytokines is sufficient to manage the body’s natural immune response.

Late last year, the research team revealed that one-third of the formulations containing cannabinoids appeared to have the ability to reduce the body’s natural immune responses while maintaining adequate levels of cytokines to continue to control the infection. These results have been quite promising and there is no doubt that further positive revelations may be forthcoming this year.