Canadian researchers Olga and Igor Kovalchuk have been developing and testing novel cannabis strains for years, mostly to examine the strains’ efficacy to combat cancer and inflammation.
Now, they’ve turned their focus to COVID-19, after preclinical research showed their strains might make it more difficult for the virus to enter human cells.
As the pandemic began to unfold, and lockdown orders went into place, Olga Kovalchuk and her husband Igor wondered how their cannabis strains might interact with COVID-19. “Let’s take a look whether or not any of our cannabis extracts affect any of the gene proteins that may be involved in COVID-19 disease,” Kovalchuk recalled asking.
The duo suspected their extracts might affect the ACE2 receptor, a gateway through which the virus enters and threatens human cells. “We looked through the literature and said ‘this looks very similar to SARS [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome], so it probably enters in