A new study suggests that combining compounds found in cannabis could help treat or prevent infection of Human Coronavirus (HCoV) strain 229E in human lung cells.
According to the research, titled “In Vitro Evaluation of the Activity of Terpenes and Cannabidiol against Human Coronavirus E229” and published by the peer-reviewed journal Life last month, terpenes could be what end up holding the healing properties. The formulation NT-VRL combines 30 different terpenes and could be the answer researchers are looking for.
Headed up by a company called Eybna, the study found that the combination NT-VRL, which includes beta-caryophyllene, eucalyptol and citral, can be helpful when combined with cannabidiol (CBD) to treat severe inflammatory issues such as the cytokine storm that can occur in COVID patients.
Eybna CEO and co-founder Nadav Eyal wrote about the implications of the team’s research. “If clinically proven, NT-VRL could be the first preventative line of defense for a population with a high infection risk,” Eyal said about their recent research. “It would significantly strengthen existing preventative measures such as face masks, maintaining personal hygiene and vitamin D usage.”
They also added that, while there are already successful COVID vaccines on the market, it is not yet clear what the timeline looks like globally in terms of getting everyone vaccinated. This could also be used as a preventative measure or treatment for those who are medically advised to not get vaccinated.
“Several population groups, such as the youngest age groups and people with health limitations, will take longer to vaccinate,” the researchers wrote. “Therefore, a preventative antiviral treatment to be used in conjunction with vaccines or even temporarily until vaccination or other alternatives become available would be valuable.”
Now, the next step for Eybna is to develop a Phase 2 clinical trial in 2021 at an Israeli hospital. This will help them determine if NT-VRL really can help COVID-19 patients. In addition to helping with COVID patients, the treatment could also be successful in helping those with influenza.