“Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is spreading fast all around the world with more than fourteen millions of detected infected cases and more than 600.000 deaths by 20th July 2020. While scientist are working to find a vaccine, current epidemiological data shows that the most common comorbidities for patients with the worst prognosis, hypertension and diabetes, are often treated with angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).
Body: Both ACE inhibitors and ARBs induce overexpression of the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptor, which has been identified as the main receptor used by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to enter into the alveolar cells of the lungs. While cannabinoids are known to reduce hypertension, the studies testing the hypotensive effects of cannabinoids never addressed their effects on ACE-2 receptors. However, some studies have linked the endocannabinoid system (ECS) with the renin angiotensin system (RAS), including a cross-modulation between the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and angiotensin II levels.
Conclusion: Since there are around 192 million people using cannabis worldwide, we believe that the mechanism underlying the hypotensive properties of cannabinoids should be urgently studied to understand if they can also lead to ACE-2 overexpression as other antihypertensive drugs do.”