Cannabigerol and Cannabicyclol Block SARS-CoV-2 Cell Fusion

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“The search for new active substances against SARS-CoV-2 is still a central challenge after the COVID-19 pandemic. Antiviral agents to complement vaccination are an important pillar in the clinical situation.

Selected cannabinoids such as cannabigerol, cannabicyclol, cannabichromene, and cannabicitran from Cannabis sativa and synthetic homologues of cannabigerol and cannabicyclol were evaluated for effects on the cell viability of Vero cells (CC50 of cannabigerol and cannabicyclol 40 resp. 38 µM) and reduced virus entry of vesicular stomatitis pseudotyped viruses with surface-expressed SARS-CoV-2 spike protein at 20 µM. In addition to a reduction of pseudotyped virus entry, a titer reduction assay on Vero cells after preincubation of Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 significantly confirmed antiviral activity.

Investigations on the molecular targets addressed by cannabigerol and cannabicyclol indicated that both compounds are inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-mediated membrane fusion, as could be shown by a virus-free reporter fusion inhibition assay (EC50 for cannabigerol 5.5 µM and for cannabicyclol 10.8 µM) and by monitoring syncytia formation in Vero reporter cells. Selectivity indices were calculated as 7.4 for cannabigerol and 3.5 for cannabicyclol. Systematic semisynthetic alterations of cannabigerol and cannabicyclol indicated that the side chains of both compounds do not contribute to the observed anti-membrane fusion activity.”

The Inhibitory Effects of the Herbals Secondary Metabolites (7α-acetoxyroyleanone, Curzerene, Incensole, Harmaline, and Cannabidiol) on COVID-19: A Molecular Docking Study

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“Background: Since the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, researchers and studies are continuing to find drugs and/or vaccines against the disease. As shown before, medicinal plants can be very good sources against viruses because of their secondary compounds which may cure diseases and help in survival of patients. There is a growing trend in the filed patents in this field.

Aims: In the present study, we test and suggest the inhibitory potential of five herbal based extracts including 7α-acetoxyroyleanone, Curzerene, Incensole, Harmaline, and Cannabidiol with antivirus activity on the models of the significant antiviral targets for COVID-19 like spike glycoprotein, Papain-like protease (PLpro), non-structural protein 15 (NSP15), RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and core protease by molecular docking study.

Methods: The Salvia rythida root was extracted, dried, and pulverized by a milling machine. The aqueous phase and the dichloromethane phase of the root extractive were separated by two-phase extraction using a separatory funnel. The separation was performed using the column chromatography method. The model of the important antivirus drug target of COVID-19 was obtained from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) and modified. TO study the binding difference between the studied molecules, the docking study was performed.

Results: These herbal compounds are extracted from Salvia rhytidea, Curcuma zeodaria, Frankincense, Peganum harmala, and Cannabis herbs, respectively. The binding energies of all compounds on COVID-19 main targets are located in the limited area of 2.22-5.30 kcal/mol. This range of binding energies can support our hypothesis for the presence of the inhibitory effects of the secondary metabolites of mentioned structures on COVID-19. Generally, among the investigated herbal structures, Cannabidiol and 7α- acetoxyroyleanone compounds with the highest binding energy have the most inhibitory potential. The least inhibitory effects are related to the Curzerene and Incensole structures by the lowest binding affinity.

Conclusion: The general arrangement of the basis of the potential barrier of binding energies is in the order below: Cannabidiol > 7α-acetoxyroyleanone > Harmaline> Incensole > Curzerene. Finally, the range of docking scores for investigated herbal compounds on the mentioned targets indicates that the probably inhibitory effects on these targets obey the following order: main protease> RNA-dependent RNA polymerase> PLpro> NSP15> spike glycoprotein.”

Cannabis effectiveness on immunologic potency of pulmonary contagion

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“Respiratory illnesses and its repercussions are becoming more prevalent worldwide. It is necessary to research both innovative treatment and preventative techniques. Millions of confirmed cases and fatalities from the COVID-19 epidemic occurred over the previous two years.

According to the review research, cannabinoids are a class of medicines that should be considered for the treatment of respiratory conditions. Cannabinoids and inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation have illustrated advantageous anti-inflammatory, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and pulmonary artery hypotension in numerous studies (in vitro and in vivo). It has been also noted that CB2 receptors on macrophages and T-helper cells may be particularly triggered to lower inflammation in COVID-19 patients.

Since the majority of lung tissue contains cannabinoid receptors, cannabis can be an effective medical tool for treating COVID-19 as well as pulmonary infections. Notably, CB2 and CB1 receptors play a major role in immune system modulation and anti-inflammatory activities.

In this review, we put forth the idea that cannabis might be helpful in treating pulmonary contagion brought on by viral integration, such as that caused by SARS-CoV-2, haemophilus influenza type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae, influenza virus, and respiratory syncytial virus.

Also, a detailed overview of CB receptors, intricate mechanisms, is highlighted connecting link with COVID-19 viral structural modifications along with molecular basis of CB receptors in diminishing viral load in pulmonary disorders supported through evident literature studies. Further, futuristic evaluations on cannabis potency through novel formulation development focusing on in vivo/in vitro systems can produce promising results.”

Possible Role of Cannabis in the Management of Neuroinflammation in Patients with Post-COVID Condition

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“The post-COVID condition (PCC) is a pathology stemming from COVID-19, and studying its pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment is crucial.

Neuroinflammation causes the most common manifestations of this disease including headaches, fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety, among others. Currently, there are no specific management proposals; however, given that the inflammatory component involves cytokines and free radicals, these conditions must be treated to reduce the current symptoms and provide neuroprotection to reduce the risk of a long-term neurodegenerative disease.

It has been shown that cannabis has compounds with immunomodulatory and antioxidant functions in other pathologies. Therefore, exploring this approach could provide a viable therapeutic option for PCC, which is the purpose of this review. This review involved an exhaustive search in specialized databases including PubMed, PubChem, ProQuest, EBSCO, Scopus, Science Direct, Web of Science, and Clinical Trials.

Phytocannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), exhibit significant antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to be an effective treatment for neuroinflammatory conditions.

These compounds could be promising adjuvants for PCC alone or in combination with other antioxidants or therapies. PCC presents significant challenges to neurological health, and neuroinflammation and oxidative stress play central roles in its pathogenesis. Antioxidant therapy and cannabinoid-based approaches represent promising areas of research and treatment for mitigating adverse effects, but further studies are needed.”

Cannabis use associated with lower mortality among hospitalized Covid-19 patients using the national inpatient sample: an epidemiological study

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“Background: Prior reports indicate that modulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may have a protective benefit for Covid-19 patients. However, associations between cannabis use (CU) or CU not in remission (active cannabis use (ACU)), and Covid-19-related outcomes among hospitalized patients is unknown.

Methods: In this multicenter retrospective observational cohort analysis of adults (≥ 18 years-old) identified from 2020 National Inpatient Sample database, we utilize multivariable regression analyses and propensity score matching analysis (PSM) to analyze trends and outcomes among Covid-19-related hospitalizations with CU and without CU (N-CU) for primary outcome of interest: Covid-19-related mortality; and secondary outcomes: Covid-19-related hospitalization, mechanical ventilation (MV), and acute pulmonary embolism (PE) compared to all-cause admissions; for CU vs N-CU; and for ACU vs N-ACU.

Results: There were 1,698,560 Covid-19-related hospitalizations which were associated with higher mortality (13.44% vs 2.53%, p ≤ 0.001) and worse secondary outcomes generally. Among all-cause hospitalizations, 1.56% of CU and 6.29% of N-CU were hospitalized with Covid-19 (p ≤ 0.001). ACU was associated with lower odds of MV, PE, and death among the Covid-19 population. On PSM, ACU(N(unweighted) = 2,382) was associated with 83.97% lower odds of death compared to others(N(unweighted) = 282,085) (2.77% vs 3.95%, respectively; aOR:0.16, [0.10-0.25], p ≤ 0.001).C

Conclusions: These findings suggest that the ECS may represent a viable target for modulation of Covid-19. Additional studies are needed to further explore these findings.”

“This study marks the first attempt to examine active cannabis use and Covid-19 outcomes among people who use cannabis using a national inpatient sample database. The results reveal significantly lower odds of Covid-19-related hospitalization, MV, PE, and mortality among individuals with a history of cannabis use compared to those without such history. These findings underscore the potential of the ECS as a viable target for modulating moderate and severe Covid-19 cases.”

Antiviral Activities of Cannabis

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“Despite the history of scientific evidence regarding plants and their products in prophylactics and therapeutics, their applications in healthcare systems are only now gaining momentum.

Plants contain bioactive compounds that target certain viruses to cure or prevent viral diseases and infections.

They provide a rich resource of antiviral drugs. Identifying the antiviral mechanisms in plants has shed light on where they interact with the life cycle of viruses, such as viral entry, replication, assembly, and release.”

Terpenes and cannabidiol against human corona and influenza viruses-Anti-inflammatory and antiviral in vitro evaluation

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“The activity of the terpenes and Cannabidiol (CBD) against human coronavirus (HCoV) strain OC43 and influenza A (H1N1) was evaluated in human lung fibroblasts (MRC-5 cells). Also, we examined whether these ingredients inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).

The tested preparations exhibited both anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects. The combination of terpenes was effective against both HCoV-OC43 and influenza A (H1N1) virus.

The addition of CBD improved the antiviral activity in some, but not all cases. This variation in activity may suggest an antiviral mechanism. In addition, there was a strong correlation between the quantitative results from a cell-viability assay and the cytopathic effect after 72 h, as observed under a microscope.

The anti-inflammatory properties of terpenes were demonstrated using a pro-inflammatory cytokine-inhibition assay, which revealed significant cytokine inhibition and enhanced by the addition of CBD.”

Cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System in Early SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Long COVID-19-A Scoping Review

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“Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The clinical presentation of COVID-19 is variable, often including symptoms such as fever, cough, headache, fatigue, and an altered sense of smell and taste. Recently, post-acute “long” COVID-19 has emerged as a concern, with symptoms persisting beyond the acute infection. Vaccinations remain one of the most effective preventative methods against severe COVID-19 outcomes and the development of long-term COVID-19. However, individuals with underlying health conditions may not mount an adequate protective response to COVID-19 vaccines, increasing the likelihood of severe symptoms, hospitalization, and the development of long-term COVID-19 in high-risk populations.

This review explores the potential therapeutic role of cannabinoids in limiting the susceptibility and severity of infection, both pre- and post-SARS-CoV-19 infection.

Early in the SARS-CoV-19 infection, cannabinoids have been shown to prevent viral entry, mitigate oxidative stress, and alleviate the associated cytokine storm.

Post-SARS-CoV-2 infection, cannabinoids have shown promise in treating symptoms associated with post-acute long COVID-19, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress injury, insomnia, pain, and decreased appetite.

While current research primarily focuses on potential treatments for the acute phase of COVID-19, there is a gap in research addressing therapeutics for the early and post-infectious phases. This review highlights the potential for future research to bridge this gap by investigating cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system as a potential treatment strategy for both early and post-SARS-CoV-19 infection.”

Feasibility of a cannabidiol (CBD)-dominant cannabis-based medicinal product (CBMP) for the treatment of Long COVID symptoms: A single arm open-label feasibility trial

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“Aims: To conduct a single arm open-label feasibility trial of the safety and tolerability of a full-spectrum cannabidiol (CBD)-dominant cannabis-based medicinal product (CBMP) for treating the symptoms of Long COVID.

Methods: The treatment phase ran for a total of 21 weeks, followed by ~3 weeks without the study drug. Participants received up to 3 mL of MediCabilis 5% CBD Oil (50 mg CBD/mL, <2 mg delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)/mL) per day orally. Monthly patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) of common symptoms and daily self-report of symptoms were collected via a smartphone app. Key measures of heart rate, activity, sleep, and oxygen saturation were assessed using wearable technology.

Results: 12 (1 male, 11 female) individuals diagnosed with Long COVID were recruited into the trial. All patients adhered to the treatment protocol for the duration of the study and there were no serious adverse events. Response rates for the research assessments were high with over 90% completion of PROMs and daily self-report.

Conclusion: The study drug was safe and well tolerated, demonstrating feasibility of CBD-dominant CBMPs in individuals diagnosed with Long COVID. However, there were limitations in research design related to recruitment strategy demonstrating a lack of feasibility in the approach implemented in this study. Future work with larger samples and incorporating a control group are required to test the efficacy of this treatment.”

Isolation and in silico investigation of cannflavins from Cannabis sativa leaves as potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents targeting the Papain-Like Protease

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“This study aimed to isolate and identify three prenylflavonoids (cannflavin A, B, and C) from Cannabis sativa leaves using different chromatographic techniques. The potential of the isolated compounds against SARS-CoV-2 was suggested through several in silico analysis. Structural similarity studies against nine co-crystallized ligands of SARS-CoV-2’s proteins indicated the similarities of the isolated cannflavins with the SARS-CoV-2 Papain-Like Protease (PLP) ligand, Y95. Then, flexible allignment study confirmed this similarity. Docking experiments showed successful binding of all cannflavins within the active pocket of PLP, with energies comparable to Y95. Among them, cannflavin A demonstrated the most similar binding mode, while cannflavin C exhibited the best energy. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and MM-GPSA confirmed the accurate binding of cannflavin A to the PLP. In silico ADMET studies indicated favourable drug-like properties for all three compounds, suggesting their potential as anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents. Further In vitro and In vivo investigations are necessary to validate these findings and establish their efficacy and safety profiles.”