Researchers are optimistic about using cannabis terpenes for COVID-19 patients

Researchers are optimistic about using cannabis terpenes for COVID-19 patients

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

The outcome of a study exploring the potency of a cannabis terpene-containing formulation for viral infections suggests the plant is capable of battling coronavirus (COVID-19). Conducted by Eybna and Cannasoul, this Israeli in vivo study focused on the potential of NT-VRL – a patented formulation of terpenes developed by Eybna.

Aside from testing the cannabis terpene solution’s efficacy at relieving the cytokine storm syndrome that arises in COVID-19 patients, scientists and researchers also assessed whether or not NT-VRL could be used as a treatment for widespread inflammatory conditions.

“NT-VRL terpene formulation showed significant anti-inflammatory effect which contributed to a functional immunological response in vitro,” wrote the researchers, who believe that the cannabis plant holds promise as a fighting agent against the destructive virus.

Study on cannabis terpenes for COVID-19 demonstrated successful outcome for treating inflammation

Numerous reports, such as this one, have surfaced lately regarding the potential of easing severe COVID-19 symptoms with ‘cytokine storm’ prevention. What is a cytokine storm, you ask? Well, this occurs when the human body weathers an impact on cell communication that can essentially encourage and/or intercept inflammation. 

When cytokine storms are released in large quantities, multisystem organ failure may arise in the affected individual. For this study on cannabis terpenes for COVID-19, Eybna NT-VRL and CBD, were the primary compounds used, with Dexamethasone coming into the mix as the positive control. 

“MyPlant-Bio’s (Cannasoul’s Subsidiary) Cytokine Storm Assay is a well-established preclinical in-vitro, or practically ex-vivo, assay. It provides an evaluation of Cytokine Storm Syndrome with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The goal of this study was to assess the effect of Eybna NT-VRL terpene formulation on cytokine secretion,” said Professor Dedi Meiri, Chairman & CSO at CannaSoul.

Prof. Meiri and his team carried out their experiment on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). All donors were healthy at the time of study participation, but were administered with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce inflammation. In order to accurately assess cell viability in the testing concentrations, the scientists conducted cytotoxicity tests before a cytokine storm erupted.

Combination of CBD and cannabis terpenes proved most effective

When merged with CBD, terpenoid formulations appear to exert a stronger effect on patients with COVID-19. Although the reputation of terpenes heeds from the aroma and flavor of these plant-produced chemicals, early findings from this study on cannabis terpenes for COVID-19 indicate that terpenes could play a much more important role. 

“The preliminary results were highly positive. Demonstrating significant anti-inflammatory activity of terpenes and breaking the perception that terpenes are just flavourings and fragrances compounds with a placebo effect,”said the Co-Founder & CEO at Eybna, Nadav Eyal, adding that, “Utilizing Eybna’s proprietary technology of biological data mining, data processing, and formulation design, allowed us to develop our data-driven NT-VRL formulation effectively targeting specific health conditions.”

Specifically, the researchers say that CBD and cannabis terpenes are twice as powerful at relieving inflammation as commonly-prescribed corticosteroids, such as Dexamethasone. After being tested together and on an individual basis, the team discovered that the highest inhibition of cytokines occurred when CBD was administered with the Eybna NT-VRL formulation.

“This is opening a new world for synergistically-effective natural formulations – holding therapeutic capabilities in which single active pharmaceutical ingredients will have difficulties to match,” Eyal concluded.