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    Coronavirus and Cannabis Research

    Several companies have started conducting research into medicinal cannabis for treatment of coronavirus. Cannabis, a plant with many health benefits, that has been in the forefront for the past 2 years after a renewed medical interest into it’s medicinal properties, seems a perfect candidate for the cure or the ease of symptoms of coronavirus.

    One of these companies, Ananda Developments, has already submitted with the Home Office and the MHRA (Medicines and Health Regulatory Agency) an application to grow medicinal cannabis . In its license application, Ananda proposes to grow and stabilise 65 strains of medicinal cannabis which will have cannabinoid profiles useful for a range of diseases.
    One of the key uses of medicinal cannabis is in the treatment of inflammatory diseases and one of the key features of cannabinoids and terpenes (the molecular constituents of cannabis) are their anti-inflammatory properties.

    The Company’s collaboration partner for the detailed analysis of the molecular makeup of the strains which Ananda proposes to grow and stabilise is Dr Dedi Meiri, based at The Technion in Israel, and widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost cannabis scientists.

    Dr Meiri has now commenced a new project to assess whether the anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties of medicinal cannabis have benefits as a preventative measure and treatment for Covid-19 (and similar diseases).

    Coronavirus and Medical Cannabis access

    In the UK patients have been pleasantly surprised by the ease of access to medical cannabis due to a relaxation of government regulations. On the 28th of April the government published emergency legislation allowing patients to access controlled drugs without a prescription. This regulation however, has brought some confusion as documented from pharmacyregulation.org

    There has been confusion about the introduction and use of these emergency, temporary measures, including in media reporting. Please share with your colleagues the key points below, which help explain more about these new measures and how they might be used in the future:

    pharmacyregulation.org.

    Grow Pharma has partnered with Cannabis Access Clinics to launch a new end-to-end service in response to Covid-19 crisis. The service includes free initial screening call, specialist consultation via online video and next-day home delivery. Overall price has significantly dropped thanks to wider selection of medicines, clinics and consultations. Now patients can obtain medical cannabis without ever leaving their home.

    In the US where there have been similar regulation efforts on the state level to ease the pressure on the medical supply chain we have seen some very innovative examples. Mana Supply Co. became Maryland’s first cannabis drive-through.

    It might remind you of picking up fast food and this is exactly how easy and straightforward this process is. Patients need to firstly place an order on the company’s website or app. On arrival they have to show their state medical cannabis card and once checked they can pick up their prescribed medical cannabis.

    Coronavirus and Medical Cannabis Job Creation

    In another part of the world, New Zealand’s Medical Cannabis Agency has launched its new Medical Cannabis Scheme. From the 1st of April companies can apply for a license to cultivate, manufacture and distribute medical cannabis.

    Puro is one of the companies that want to take advantage of the new legislation and create hundreds of jobs amid the economic recession due to Covid-19. A Marlborough medical cannabis company, Puro has the ambition to become the country’s largest grower of medical cannabis and hemp, due to Marlborough’s high sunshine hours.

    By locally producing the medical cannabis products the new scheme also aims to lower the cost for patients. Dr. David Clark, the country’s Minister of Health has been a strong advocate of the benefits of cannabis and has succeeded into providing the regulatory framework for New Zealand’s cannabis sector to thrive.

    Coronavirus and Cannabis Smoking Controversy

    There is a growing controversy on the effects of smoking cannabis has in the lungs making them more susceptible to Covid-19. It should be emphasized that this affects people who smoke marijuana, a separate cannabis strain from the industrial hemp which is used to produce medical cannabis. While some studies suggest that marijuana can help people with anxiety, which is very much needed these troubling times, scientists warn for the adverse effects of smoking cannabis.

    Lung health experts have observed that most hospitalized coronavirus patients have underlying lung disease. Smoking tobacco and marijuana reduces the ability of the immune system to fight the virus on first contact and can lead to more severe symptoms once contracted.

    This is a great time to reduce or quit your smoking habit. There are alternatives to try such as edibles and tinctures which provide the same desired effect!

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